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A Tale of Bougainvillea

As a kid, I lived in what my relatives called the back of the beyond.
Oh, it may be all the rage now, but Thane was a small sleepy town in the 80s.

Not that it mattered to me.
Home was full of wide open spaces, where we ran and climbed trees and skinned our shins and ran some more.
Home was full of lakes and trees.
And home was full of bougainvilleas.

Bougainvillea pic 1

I was crazy about them.
On the way to school, mummy picked them for me.
On the way to the church, mummy picked them for me
I close my eyes and I can still picture her, all of her slight 5 feet frame; stretching, slightly leaping, to get her son, his bougainvillea.


As I grew up, and we faced tough days, I could never afford to buy mummy anything.
So every Mother’s day, I’d gift her a big bunch of bougainvilleas.

Bougainvillea pic 2

And her face would light up!
Some of it would go into her hair, some on the altar at home.
And she’d look so proud.
And I’d secretly, sadly wish I could buy her something more substantial, more significant than my pretty, soon to be wilting bougainvillea


Years have passed by.
We’ve had so many ups and downs.
Mummy’s been our lighthouse, one that we all hew to.
And I’m all ‘grown up’ now.
I can afford to buy her pretty things.
I gifted her a watch yesterday

Raga Watch pic

And I saw the same joy on her face, the same silly goofy grin, the same hearty laugh.
And the same face, full of love.
And that’s when I realised…

Mummy never cared about what I gave her.
A bunch of bougainvilleas was as precious as a gold plated watch.
As long as I loved her, she’d be happy.

Happy Mother’s day, Mummy!

Lots of love from your two beautiful daughters and three dumb sons :)
And Daddy too!