A poignant Mother’s Day

I have been an absentee blogger for almost two years–ever since I left New Zealand. Much has happened since then. I went to India for a couple of months (more about that later,) returned to the US for my son’s wedding, became a first-time grandmother, got a chapbook of poetry published (Finishing Line Press) and re-wrote the novel I’d been working on in New Zealand.

This blog is about my poetry chapbook–appropriate for Mother’s Day. The title of this work, Her Skin Phyllo-Thin is a line taken from a poem entitled “Sponge Bath.”

My mother first came to America at the age of 59 to take care of her first grandchild, the one who just gave me my first grand child. She was 86 when she died in India. As she grew older, the distance between our two countries grew too, especially after she had a stroke on the heels of her last flight from the US back home to India. Flight times between Bombay and Baltimore range from a minimum of 18-22 hours depending on the route and stop-overs. My mother was 83 when she came to America for the last time. She was the family historian; her memory was razor-sharp with details Time couldn’t blunt; she was a much loved, dedicated teacher. She was also a perceptive critic, using her magic pen to edit my short story collection, Where Monsoons Cry, even after I was certain it was perfect.

Her Skin Phyllo-thin is in her honor. I can best describe my mother in words Maya Angelou wrote of her own mother.”To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power.”

This book also contains other poems of separation–immigration, divorce, youth, Time–things we lose and must learn to live without.

There are links to some of these poems on this website (under Publications and Media) so you can read and/or listen to a few poems at your leisure. You can also buy a copy of my book directly from Amazon, or Finishing Line Press, or if you want me to sign and address a copy for you, please visit the book’s page. Happy Mother’s Day Everyone.

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4 thoughts on “A poignant Mother’s Day”

  1. a lovely website and loving story thanks, Lalita – Granma…what are you called? Nancy M

  2. Well, Nancy–as you might imagine “Grandmother” or even “Grandma” sounds too dignified for the likes of me 🙂 But that night of the Grammy Awards, amid the splendor and speeches and golden figurines, it occurred to me that I’d won my own sweet, little grammy. I hope that as Emerson grows, she’ll feel she won one too. So Grammy it is, for now.
    Thank you so much for reading my work.

  3. Wow! Beaucoup congratulations on your granddaughter! Like you, I decided that Grammy was the preferable reference from Rachel’s boys—it works! I hope you get to see lots and lots of the little morsel; my experience has been that I had no idea how much I would love the little guys. “It’s in fat u AAAAAA tion, I know. . . .” as the ol’ song goes.
    I sent off for your chapbook and am saving it for our trip to Louisiana/ Costa Rica in June, so to properly savor it. Hope you are well, yea, thriving; I think of you often. Happy Mother’s Day.
    Love, Suzanne

  4. Suz:
    You are an ever present invisible friend. The good news is that if you ever want me to sign your book, you’re just going to have see me 🙂 Haha.
    About the Grammy phase, I’m baffled. Just when I thought I knew all about love, I find myself struggling in preschool.
    Love, Lalita

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