Entey Vanchi .. ( my boat)

I received a mail from a friend I have known for years.,,
One single sentence caught my attention.. “Do whatever floats your boat”
And I have been thinking about that one sentence for a very long time.
What floats my boat??
It is very complicated and I am trying my best to answer that question here.
I don’t know if I ever wrote about my mother’s fear of giving me anything from her home. Be it her love or the items from my childhood. She gave everything to my sisters ( and they lost it all over the years..every single thing)..In her quest for fairness, Amma has even taken things from me to give to my sisters.
I really wanted to keep Amma’s recipe book..It was a 250 page note book. Amma had beautiful script.. she used to practice writing on mirror..apparently that gives you a  better handwriting..( from the time I was little..I knew I would be a doctor..my handwriting is atrocious!!)
The book was very old and Amma had got someone to bind it with thick white thread and you can see the thread knotted from the outside.
In it there was a recipe for 1234 cake and I followed that recipe to bake the cake..every time…I made the biggest mistake of asking Amma, if I could keep her recipe book..( this was when I was doing medicine and we were living in Bangalore.) The book was given to Chechy the very next time she came for a visit..The unfairness in all this is..my sister doesn’t cook, wouldn’t cook and the recipe book was of no use to her.. of course my sister lost it in the course of time..just as she lost every little thing she took from our home..
I stole my grandfather’s cross from Amma. ( it is a very tiny cross and is bend because my grandfather had this habit of nibbling the cross when he was bored, because it was bend, no one was wearing it and no one noticed it was missing). That is the only thing that I have from my home..( I had also stolen Amma’s achappam achu, which she took it back few years ago)
I have no photographs, nothing..from my childhood..from my home..Even a photograph of my parents..I remember when they took the photo..I was in 8th std. Rarely a visit from my father could be considered peaceful.That year perhaps the planets were in perfect alignment. Appa and Amma went to Chithra studio to take a photograph..black and white photo..My mother is not photogenic..and in that photo..she had a nice smile..Apart from their wedding photos, that was the only photo of them together. Amma gave that to my sister younger to me. I begged my sister to lend me the photo for a day, so I could take it to the studio to get another copy..She wouldn’t give me..I never understood how is that one can even have proprietary rights to the photo of parents..
I have this fear of owning something that belongs to someone..because they might come and ask it back..
I also hate recycled gifts for the same reason..It belonged to someone and someone took it to give it to me..
I know I was talking about what floats my boat..
This is what floats my boat..
Things that no one can take from me..that floats my boat..
My memories..
My children.. ( I don’t own them..but no one, not one person can take them away from me. Actually, Amma and my sisters tried it once.. they came to my house in KL..well planned trip..My youngest sister rang the calling bell..I have a security door outside the main door and only my sister was standing outside..and I opened the door for her..the rest were hiding by the side of the gate..They demanded visitation rights to my children..According to my oldest sister, Amma as a grandmother and she as an aunt has rights..This is the same aunty who didn’t open her door when my children went to wish her merry christmas..Yaya was holding on to me and my mother was pulling Yaya from me and telling Yaya to follow Ammachi and Ammachi will raise her better than yaya’s mother..I called the cops..That was the last time I saw my mother and sisters together..and why I ran with my kids to Canada)

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