After 12 days at the city of Chandigarh with my mother and family I am off again today to the mountains . . . somebody said, ‘hills,’ and I corrected: mountains. For mountains they are, both ancient and new, dense with a thick forest. I ache to return.

But first things first: my mother has become the sweetest old woman I know and love. No quarrels or disagreements the entire time I was here. Of course, this worries me mildly; this, and the fact that this time she gave me the jewelry that she had set aside for me. She had given their share to my sister and sister in law, but had kept my share for almost three years, and though I itched to posses it, I was really very relieved that she was attached to it and hoped to wear it again. The thought of her wearing it again, dressing up, wearing the lovely shawls she was so fond of, and many of which she has distributed, warmed my heart. My worry — she is getting ready for what my father called “the big leap — is mild, like I said before, since there is no help but to reconcile ourselves to the inevitable and take joy in the process of shedding this skin we call our body. I am so happy to be loving her so totally and being loved in return. A few months ago when I was in the US she said to me on the phone — I love you. Wow! I think this is the only time she has ever, ever said it to anyone. Am I lucky, or what?

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