Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Mother's Eyes

The other day, while grocery shopping at Mustafa (a chore I dislike more than anything else and only do when what we need just can't be found anywhere else), a young lady walking by stopped suddenly and exclaimed "Puja didi!". I furiously jogged my memory and after a few seconds, mainly because of the didi reference, I was able to place her as Namrata, daughter of my mother's good friend/colleague in India. I had last seen her perhaps 20 years ago, when she was a young girl and I a young woman.

My first question to her was how on Earth did she recognize me in the crowded busy store. Her response shocked me. She said "You are a ditto copy of aunty. How could I not recognize you?"

Aunty meaning my mother, the beautiful Dr Chandrama Anand. Ditto copy?!!? What did that make me? Beautiful? Whuck!

Let me explain.

I have my mother's eyes. No doubt about that. They are an unusual shade of brown and almond shaped. I figured out the similarity only in my thirties, when I finally looked into her eyes one day- so busy was I before that fighting with her over every trivial issue. But I have my dad's nose. My daddy was such a great soul, loved for many things, but his nose was not one of them. My nose is a thick blob and to top it, it has a distinct twist. My mother's lovely regal nose was gifted only to my brother, who hides it half behind glasses and half behind a beard....sort of. What a bloody waste!

I have my mother's lovely smile and firm chin, no doubt. My teeth too are my mother's gift to me. No no no, they are real, passed by my mother to me genetically. But I have my dad's cheeks, as generous as his heart. In other words, they hang loose pulling my lips downwards, with the result that I am forced to smile all the time just so that I don't appear to be devastated by something. It's a fact that whenever I was absorbed in work, people walking past my work desk often spread the word around that boss was in a terrible mood and should not be disturbed. Then I would take a break and remember to pull up the saggy cheeks by smiling at everyone. That gave me quite a reputation. Upset one minute, cheerful the other- is she bipolar?

I have the same folds and wrinkles in my neck as in my mother's, which is something since she is 73 and I am 45. In her case, her face is so beautiful that nobody even notices her neck. In my case, it stands out like a sore thumb...err...that doesn't sound right.

Now moving downwards, I have my mother's hips. Wide, child bearing hips that look sensuous on her.  Except that when I was expecting my son, my gynae said she was surprised and rather disappointed that my big wide hips are only for show and that my insides were actually quite narrow. That gynae is my mother's best friend and feels it's her right to express her disappointment in my bodily flaws. So, I have big wide hips on the outside, mom's gift, and thin narrow ones on the inside, dad's gift. Thank you both for your kindness.

My mother wears all her excess weight on her hips. Her back and waist are narrow and firm even now. I also wear my excess weight on my hips, but wait, daddy gifted me something else to ease their burden- his tummy! So I have my daddy's tummy, which if I don't mince words, qualifies as a paunch. All my excess weight goes to my hips...and then an equal amount goes to the paunch. You see these two are good friends and believe in equality.

Last but not the least, my feet are a ditto copy of my mother's, except that no one can see the resemblance as they are always clad in sporty solid shoes. Covered in sporty shoes because just like my mom's and her mom's, my feet are super delicate and need extra support. No sir, no fancy sandals for me. And as my mother tells me with confidence, my feet are going to give me heck of a trouble in a few years time, like corns, and twisted toes and chillblains, because its in the genes! My dad, on the other hand, had great strong supple feet. Just saying.

So here it is. The similarity and the differences. My mom is so beautiful that any picture of hers is worth preserving. I, on the other hand, destroy 9 out of 10 pictures of mine before they see the light of the ...err...facebook!

So, Namrata, how did you recognize me. Tell me honestly!


  1. Puja you are beautiful and you are you no matter what you think and say.You dance with abandon and cook with gusto and enjoy life as it unrolls. keep it up and keep writing such beautiful things about me ( Ha ,ha)

  2. All because of you mom...and all for you!