Monday 27 September 2010

Mothers by daughters - My mother - Ileana Citaristi

I was rehearsing for my new production 'Karuna' inspired by Mother Teresa's life when the phone rang on the 2nd of August: “Ile, mother has left us one hour ago.” My brother's voice was choked; the phone fell from my hands. She had been sick for the last few months. I had visited her thrice in the hospital, last time in July, along with the members of my troupe. She had been looking forward to our July program in Bergamo, my home town. We had been talking about it over the phone, making plans about where the artistes would stay and which items we should do, until that fatal brain hemorrhage happened in February, after which she had been silent, closed in her own world, but still alive, still listening to our tales, giving a few signs of recognizing us like the tears which dropped from her eyes when I first visited her in the hospital in March.

She was not a dancer or a musician or an artist of any sort; she has been a devoted wife all through her life. I used to envy my father and at times be jealous of him. Even during the few days I would return home, I rarely could have her all by myself. I always thought it was my right perhaps because during my childhood, I had been deprived of her presence and attentions since, being a headmistress, she used to leave home every day in the morning and come back only late in the afternoons.

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