["Many Native Americans regard the Milky Way as the path followed by the souls of the dead. According to the Zulu and Ndebele people of southern Africa, the stars are the eyes of dead ancestors, keeping watch on the living from above", Encyclopedia of Myths]
The dead people becoming stars and blinking at you from the skies seems to be one piece of imagination that cuts across civilizations. Priyadarshan used it in his first big hit Chithram in Malayalam. Men and women wiped their eyes when Mohanlal asked Ranjini to look for him in the sky. "O the blinking stars, among you I seek the pretty faces that left me.." goes one song in another Malayalam film Purappad.
So has my mother become a star too? May be.
But as far as I know, she has always been a star.
With absolutely no intentions to compromise, with an immense desire to break free of the bonds that tied her, she traveled ahead in time. It is no wonder that she could not stretch it long.
(It is better to live a tiger's life for a day than live a dog's life a hundred years, my dad used to tell me. With no disrespect to the dog's life, I take the spirit of that saying.)
It will take many people like her before mothers become more than that.
Two years back for a Mother's day I wrote on what I learnt from her, thanks to rediff. After her death, I first wrote this and then this. This mother's day when I sit down to write on her again, I realize she is very much alive.
[in the pic: mom and dad, a rare scene]