In the matter of hearts, my mother figuratively has a big one and literally an enlarged one. The first brings a smile, the second recently left her breathless. Late one September night in India, an ambulance had to be called to her gate for she was gasping for air.
There was an issue with the stretcher so Raghubir, 48, my mother's cook for nearly 30 years, scooped her tiny, 87-year-old body into his arms, like a man cradling a half-broken flower, and carried her to the ambulance. Then, as she lay restless, he stayed close for the long ride. He's not a man of words but he was telling her: I am here.