I received that much dreaded call at around 3:20 AM or so that mother had passed away. Adi called to say he received a call from the hospital. Sister-in-law was with mother. Apparently, mother had a hard time even in her last minutes with severe breathing difficulties. The ward boy upon seeing her throw up medication informed sister-in-law that she should be prepared.
Just about 1/2 hour before, I had a terrible dream. I don’t like to spread superstitions but wanted to record it anyway. In the dream, I am going to Bangalore on a flight and the flight makes a really hard landing and there is a rush to exit. I go towards the exit but weed my way back to pick up my baggage. My father was the pilot. Dreams can be so unrelated and unreal, right? As I step out I meet a friend who recognizes me. After a brief talk and he saying where I lived, I decide he is indeed my friend and we both start towards home. As we are just two-three homes away from my home, I see a huge congregation of snakes in front our the home. These snakes are mighty long – almost the length of our home, which is about 40 feet. They are crawling over one another. It is a real congregation as they all seem to be waiting for something or just happened to get there together. One of the snakes – it is almost an anaconda – starts to rush towards us. Not in a usual snake-like fashion but snaking in a vertical plane, with parts of its body off the ground and parts on. I feel very scared and I woke up. After I was awake, I decide to go back to sleep but the dreams haunts me enough for me to note the time. It is about 2:58 AM. I try to go back to sleep wondering about the dream. I didn’t at that time want to associate a bad dream with some sort of connotation about mother. I basically don’t like implanting in my mind something as unscientific as that. Then I recall that many of my nightmares are indicative of some sort of physical discomfort. I do realize that I am feeling very cold, the pajamas I had went to sleep with are more summer material. I feel satisfied enough and try to fall asleep. In about just a bit, I received the phone call from Adi. Mother had passed away around 1:30 PM EST (or at least that’s when he got the news) which is about 3 AM EST, just after the dream.
When she was young, mother had once been bitten by a Cobra. She used to suffer from asthma and after the incident, her asthma had cured and she and her family was grateful to the Cobra. In India, each family has a home god and it can be any one of the many Hindu gods or their forms. Our home god is Nagappa, which is a snake. A snake is closely associated with many Hindu gods, one being Lord Subramanya, who is the second son of Lord Shiva. A snake also constantly adorns Lord Shiva’s neck. The dream also hinted to me that the kingdom of snakes finally took her away, which they couldn’t when she was young.
Whenever I get these bad dreams, it was always me waking up shaken into consciousness. Over a period of time, I have learnt to not run away scared but to welcome what I was afraid of in the dream and it would be actually be something good. In fact, I have even practiced this. In one of the dreams, what started out as a scary spirit turned out to be my maternal grandfather and he became very talkative and sort of embraced me with peace that blew my fear away. Another instance it was my paternal grandmother who had passed away a few years back. Since then it is embedded in my sub-consciousness that I should try to face the perceived threat than to turn away. I wished I had stayed through the dream. Maybe the snakes were trying to tell me something.
Today, all day, the image of my mother is just floating in front of me. I remember how sweet she was and how she never had any intent to hurt anyone. All she wanted to do was meet people and spend available time in happiness. She had a lot of desire to travel and see places and get to know information about them. She would not hesitate to take on physical hardship to meet her goals – just about three years back, even after six months of extreme cough, she ventured out with her singing group to Banares and Shridi. She even made it to the temple after a hard climb. Here doctor was surprised. Guess all her desires kept her fighting till the end. The cancer wanted to take her away but she wouldn’t want to go. God be with her and give her peace in her after life. I will miss you, mother!
Here is a brief look at some of memories of her sweet soul!