It took very little to make my mom happy. She was a lover of small things. Here, in no particular order, are some of the things she liked:
* Taking walks where she would chat up with people from the vegetable vendors to the trinket sellers.
* Meeting people, talking to children like they were adults.
* Reading novels and books on holistic living.
* Narrating stories from mythology and anecdotes from her life.
* Taking siestas at any time she could snatch from her routine.
* Trying dishes from the recipe book she had been gifted as a wedding gift. They never resembled the actual dishes but they were at times quite tasty.
* Keeping up with the latest Bollywood gossip and chatting of actors and actresses as if she had known them all her life.
* Learning as many things as she could; she begged, borrowed and stole to learn the art of crochet, to read books, to learn French, to do her Montessori training and her beauty parlour course. She could fashion bags out of cigarette cartons.
* She was the queen of hoarded treasures. We had among other things plenty of the aforementioned cigarette cartons (borrowed from the paan shop owner she befriended), plastic and paper packets, cardboard boxes, eccentric ornaments (which I have come to love, like coconut tree earrings and eraser earrings) and sarees (the good, the bad and the ugly; she was democratic in her tastes).
* She was also my biggest fan; she read each of my articles. And she was always encouraging of all my endeavours. She was the one who patiently listened to all my stories about all the places I visited and the things I saw. She would rave about each little thing I brought home and show them off to our neighbours. Everyone needs someone like her who makes them feel like a hero.
Because if truth be told, they are the real heroes in life. They are the ones who make sure you are always raring to get up in the morning. They make sure you are bothering to eat and not sinking into depression most vile. In her absence I realise how the little things matter the most in life.