My Tribute to
a Selfless Lady
In our lives,
we sometimes meet someone who touches our hearts in a special
way. Bujji, short for Bua Ji was one such person. She was
a middle aged lady who was my neighbour in a Government colony.
my marriage, I settled into my small but cozy Government flat.
I had moved to Delhi from Kolkata and found it very strange
to have neighbours staying so close. We lived in a big house
in Kolkata with grounds and gardens so the neighbours were
not near and we had nothing much to do with them. Here, I
found everyone gathering in Bujji's ground floor flat's small
garden, in the evenings for a cup of tea.
She had planted a
Guava tree in one corner and though small, it already gave some
shade. A cot was placed under it and all
the nearby neighbours gathered there for a tęte-ŕ-tęte.
At first, for nearly a year, I was too shy to communicate
with her. I simply used to enjoy watching the goings-on, on the
ground floor but never actually went and met Bujji and her family.
After about a year and a half, our friendship took ground and I
started talking to Bujji mostly hanging from my verandah. Slowly
but surely, our friendship bloomed and during pregnancy and after,
I found in this wonderful lady a pillar of strength and vitality.
She had become my mother as well as mother in law rolled into one.
She took care of my daughters and supervised their ear piercing
ceremony and accompanied me to the nearby nursery school for their
admission. During festivals, she helped me make goodies and took
me to meet the neighbours, especially on Holi and Diwali.
My daughter had a
special bond with her and used to love playing in her garden. She
enjoyed eating sarson ka saag and roti with Bujji. Whenever my husband
was out of town, we had our lunch and dinner with her. Bujji taught
me how to live life without worries or expectations. She had a love
for life which was magical. A simple occasion used to become special
under her supervision. Anyone visitng me, specially my mother, always
got royal treatment at Bujji's place. She used to prepare my mom's
favourite dish - Makki ki Roti and Sarson Ka Saag and loved coming
and chatting while my mom ate it with relish.
On many occasions,
during the afternoons, I used to hang from my verandah hoping to
chat with her. On seeing her lying down, reading a book or magazine,
I did not disturb her but simply enjoyed watching her serene and
calm face. I felt very restful and happy to see that she was near
me to call whenever I wanted.
Bujji was a
strong lady who believed that nothing was impossible. She
loved doing things for others as well as for her small family
of three. However big a problem, she always had a solution.
She had the capability to stop arguments and fights between
people in a calm and cool manner. She was always ready to
take my daughters to their school bus stop nearby whenever
I was unwell. She was a real friend in need who was a friend
indeed. All the neighbour's kids used to play in her garden.
I learnt many new ways of life with her as my tutor, guide
and philosopher. I literally could cook nothing at first but
she taught me quite a few dishes and under her supervision,
I began cooking.
All I needed was her
approval to prove to myself that I had cooked well. She made mouth
watering Alu Tikkis and Samosas.
Bujji believed in
humility and had no ego problems whatsoever. She used to dress in
simple clothes and believed that happiness comes through give and
take of the heart and not of cash and kind. She was a simple person
at heart and enjoyed the simple pleasures of life. Bujji and her
husband, both were humble souls who hated show of any kind. Now
that Bujji is no more, I've realised that whatever she did for me
and my family was unique and beautiful. As far as I remember, I
cannot recall anyone so selfless, loving, kind, gentle and compassionate
as Mrs. Srivastava was, whom we all knew as our darling Bujji.
Amita enjoys writing about her experiences as well as short
stories for children and poems. Contact her at : firstname.lastname@example.org