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बुदम and his Dilemma with ‘illiterate’ Mom

Let me take a break from my next episode, I want to get back to my ‘illiterate’ Mom, who was/is at the center of everything happening in बुदम’s life. बुदम noticed one thing, all the siblings in the family avoided him, loved him, and were extremely nice to him whenever बुदम used to be around them. But बुदम never saw that Hemant Bhai (Big Brother) asking him, ‘let us go somewhere or let us play together’. बुदम used to force himself in the company with siblings but felt he was not the welcome one somewhere. Though all the siblings loved बुदम extremely. Hemant Bhai had a standard statement which never changed even when बुदम became an adult. Hemant Bhai’s standard dialogues were “hey you can do it.”, “your time will come one day.” But the intriguing question remained how बुदम going to break barriers. Hemant Bhai never spent the time to help him with his homework or make him understand the concepts. It makes sense now to बुदम, why Hemant Bhai did not have time. Solving बुदम’s problems was a complex issue, and he knew somewhere in his psyche that if he started helping his younger brother, he would hurt him too much, and that would not be good for बुदम, and his future. Hemant Bhai behaved strategically to keep बुदम’s mind in a positive direction and let बुदम find his own path since Hemant Bhai’s brilliant mind knew that बुदम was made for a long race. Hemant Bhai said one thing quite often, “तू लम्बी दौड़ का घोड़ा है”. Hemant Bhai was very caring but never imposed his will on बुदम. बुदम was working at ‘Batish & Sons’, Hemant Bhai used to bring lunch in nice large tiffin for बुदम. This routine remained till बुदम left ‘Batish & Sons’. बुदम had/have high regards for Hemant Bhai and never crossed the line against his big brother.
बुदम never got the pressure to become something in life. Nobody noticed whether बुदम sitting in the jungle counting leaves or playing somewhere. In the jungle, बुदम observed a fight between सांप और नेवला (Snake and Weasel), scared but kept a safe distance. बुदम’s ‘illiterate’ Mom could not help him in studies but made him stay busy. बुदम learned a lot of things from Mom, बुदम helped his Mom in रुई पिंजना, सूत कातना (using गांधी चरखा), सूत रंगना, cleaning the house, cleaning dishes, washing clothes, cooking, stitching, and knitting. बुदम was accompanying his mom to Ram Lila, Krishan Lila, Love Kush Lila, and religious discourses. बुदम was like Gini, who was always idle after doing chores and used to end up going to Jungle for his research on leaf moment, question-answer session with Divine. Which used to be a trans moment for बुदम. When बुदम got to the age of 15+ he could differentiate Mom’s approach to treat Hemant Bhai and him. One day बुदम asked Mom, how come she personally serve food to Hemant Bhai with a lot of stuff which he never knew existed at home, and how come only Hemant Bhai got to drink milk. Mom told बुदम, we had limited resources and need बुदम’s help to make his big brother successful. बुदम felt important that he was helping his big brother to become Doctor. बुदम thought once Hemant Bhai was Doctor, no worries for him too. At this time Kalpana Didi got married and Dad got into severe debt. Hemant Bhai shelved the plan to become the Doctor and passed Bank’s exam and started a job at Nationalized Bank. Long story short, after few years बुदम had become a computer professional and was teaching the first batch of the highly intelligent group in Simla, which included one Physics Professor from HPU and a Physics Lecturer from St. Bede’s college. बुदम’s father passed away and Mom became बुदम’s responsibility. Hemant Bhai got married and got settled with his wife and daughter. Mother remained with बुदम. बुदम started taking Mom everywhere he went whether to nice restaurants, outside Simla, been to Shirdi with Mom by Air 5 times, made her stay in 5-star Hotels and enjoy all possible luxuries he could think of. A few years later बुदम got married to Uma and moved to Canada with her. बुदम promised Mom that he would take care of her. बुदम provided American Style kitchen at Nahan with all bells and whistles. Nice living room, and bedroom. All automated operations for laundry too. Enough money to had domestic help, and access to top hospitals like Fortis, PGI, etc. One time Uma and बुदम came to visit her and they did Char Dham Yatra. On another occasion, बुदम and family (Uma, Daughter-Shivangi, and Son-Tejas) came to visit Mom. She got to see her grandkids. The whole family went to Puttaparthi (Sai Baba’s Ashram).
When coming back to Canada from Puttaparthi visit, Mom requested बुदम to take her to Canada. बुदम bluntly refused his Mom that it was not possible. He made a promise that he would do anything to take care of her till she was alive but would not even cry when she passed away. बुदम was ruthless in his tone and was gone to Canada. On phone conversation, Mom asked बुदम to do something so that Hemant Bhai could take care of her. Hemant Bhai moved to Nahan and settled on the top floor of the ancestral house. Mom was not happy with Hemant Bhai and asked बुदम to take legal action against Hemant Bhai. बुदम told Mom point-blank that your investment got backfired and he could not help on this front, but all financial help was available for her from his side. बुदम was in a tight spot where he could not tell Mom that Canada was not good for her since his family was Meat eater which included all kinds of meat. Sometimes Uma and Tejas end up eating beef in restaurants. बुदम remember his teaser to Mom if she could eat meat. Mom response was quite simple if बुदम made this statement again even in a joke she would curse him. बुदम just wanted to keep his one promise to give all possible help to Mom till she was alive, and ‘do not even cry when she pass away’.
Mom never had any problem and moved to Kalpana Didi’s house. They spoiled Mom to the nth degree. Mom spent 5+ years with little sister Vibha, she was very devoted to Mom and never touched lakhs of rupees in Mom’s account. Vibha told बुदम, she could take care of Mom. बुदम was/is indebted to little sister. बुदम watched Mom’s funeral online and planned to celebrate Mom’s life by going to nearby town Lunenburg in Halifax on the weekend and light 94 Candles in heritage Church over there. बुदम was sitting on the deck of the restaurant and watching waves in the Atlantic Ocean, and pondering over his Moms’ creation that was Him. She was living in him. बुदम thought “हिरदय से जब जाओ तो सबल जानूंगा तोय – I love you Mom“. Cheers!

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Vipin Kaushik

Grew up in Shimla and was catalyst in bringing computer education in Shimla. Now working as AVP System development with US company.

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