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777. Where is She?

Srinivasa Ramanujam, the mathematical Genius, was ill with tuberculosis in England. On his return, he was met by his family at Bombay. The first question he asked was, "Where is she?" He was looking for his wife. She was not there. His mother and father were there. His mother was Komalam, known as Komalatammal. She was a powerful woman, a dominant personality. She was so dominant that at Ramanujam's wedding, his father was missing. It was all the mother. While he was in England, he wrote so many letters to his wife. He never got a reply. He was wondering. He never knew that his letters reached their dead end of Komalam who threw them away. Janaki, his wife, too wrote several letters to her husband. Komalam used to censor them and take them for posting. They never reached the postbag.

George Bernard Shaw said that the first duty of a married woman is to come in between him and his mother. He was pronouncing on a biological instinct expressing as a sociological behaviour. It holds good for men and women all over the world. Komalam rose to the occasion of Shaw's pronouncement and effectively came between Ramanujam and his wife. Ramanujam never knew that a year prior to his return from England Komalam had sent Janaki away to her mother's house. He was longing to see his wife. While he was suffering in England, not being able to eat bread and cheese, he felt that had Janaki been there, he would not suffer. Komalam was the mother of a rare genius, but she was an ordinary mother-in-law who tyrannised over Janaki. To be a devotee of the Divine Mother, there are several conditions. One of them is to rise above human foibles. If a mother-in-law proves to be a mother to the daughter-in-law, it is one qualification for becoming a devotee. When Ramanujam reached Madras, he had his wife brought to him and kept her close to him.

His health took a downward turn. Komalam went to an astrologer with his horoscope and asked for an opinion without disclosing who she was. "This is a horoscope of a man who will be world famous at a young age when he will die. Or he will live a very long full life of an ordinary person," said the astrologer. Then Komalam disclosed that she was Ramanujam's mother and it was Ramanujam's horoscope. The astrologer was sorry for having been blunt. To us, being a genius is great, but to LIFE either to become world famous or live a long pedestrian life is the same. Nowadays, people live beyond 70 or even 80. It is equal to being great in another sense. Tagore lived up to 80 years after attaining fame. Bertrand Russell lived up to 98 having enjoyed world fame early in life. They are doubly blessed. The long life people enjoy nowadays all over the world is a sign of civilisation rising to a higher peak. Adi Shankara's parents too faced the same alternatives. "A famous son of short life or number of ordinary children." Astrology is a science which incidentally expresses spiritual truths of profound significance, though it cannot change the future.

story | by Dr. Radut