How much has been written on this, and yet, how much more can be written? That mellifluous word, when heard, taps our soul, and salty water wells up our eyes. Imagine the connection we have with this person when its title alone makes such a strong impact on our body. Yes, you got it! It’s no one else but a mother. A person, who gives it all relentlessly, and often, makes her offspring’s way, her way.
I have been raised in a happy family, with compatible parents and a doting sister. The commander-in-chief in my childhood home makes sure things are done in a systematic fashion. She is a complete house maker, and God gifted her with will power and persistence that is impervious to the battering of doubts. Even though my mother’s cooking skills and home management is exquisite, she is naive to the world of English. She often feels left out when surrounded by people who speak the second language of our country with lightning speed.
This is where she displays her best aspect –a learner who will not quit. I vividly remember the time I was in the sixth standard. Being a demotivated, below-average student, I had no hope in my syllabus books and vice-versa. On one such day, when I shut my science book with no avail, she called me to her kitchen and asked if I had studied anything. When I nodded, she asked me to open the chapter and place the book in her hand. The 11-year-old wondered what her mother was up to.
She placed the book neatly in front of the stainless steel boxes, which were lined from left to right in descending order. Next, she asked me to take a few steps back so that the black ants on the white page became blurry to me. While still frying ladies’ fingers in mustard oil my mother said – “Sunao kya padha hai?” (Tell me what you studied) I guess she judged my perplexed eyes and said – “samajh nahi sakti, sun toh sakti hoon” (Even though I can’t understand what’s written, at least I can listen).
I did not fare well in reciting what I learned, but I did fairly well learn how far my mother could go to help me in every sphere of life. She was already being my caretaker, my laundrywoman, my cook, my Hindi, and Sanskrit tutor, but now she was also venturing into space where she had her own insecurities. In this country, more than a language, English is an obsession. Every parent wants their children to go to an English medium school and I went to a missionary.
Parents of this generation relearn academics with their children, my mother learned with me, rather, for me.
Another such instance, which makes me warm, occurred in early 2010. Social media had taken the world by storm and my mother wanted to practice technology too. As said before, she is one person who likes to learn and keep herself updated. I was living in the US at that time and gave shape to my mother’s pending request – her own Facebook account.
We had two long hours of a video call, where I gave her a demo of Facebook operations. It was one of the most productive hours of my life as I went through a hurricane of emotions during that period.
I laughed when she jumped with joy after completing step 1 – opening the web browser; admired her while she struggled to find letters in the keypad; shed a tear to see her scribble username and password on a paper for future references; empathized with her when she tried hard to unravel the mysteries of an undiscovered territory (WWW, more so Facebook), but above all, I took pride in her when she said – “Thank you beta, tum dekhna main jaldi hi seekh jaungi ye sab” (Thank you daughter, you wait and see how fast I’ll learn all of this). She then gave me that smile which said – You’re never too late!
At that moment, I so wanted to get into my computer, hug her tight and tell her – You’re a true warrior mummy, you’ll always be!
Your own mother is your inspiration in every way. Only you know what she experienced and sacrificed for you.
Motherhood is about what you do, rather than, who you are. It’s about nurturing – irrespective of gender. To think about it, we all are innate mothers, which is not dependent on birthing, but sprouting of the right emotions.