Remember when I was a kid and figuring out the talking part and I adopted bhai’s mannerisms which means I literally started talking like him aka a boy. Remember how everyone in the family was so distraught but you were relaxed and chill like you always are. I am sure at that time everybody was pretty much convinced that you were probably a terrible mother. A woman who doesn’t care about teaching her own daughter the proper way of speaking, oh, what a lousy mother! That is what that neighbour of ours called you, isn’t it? Well, it goes without saying that you did not listen to her or anyone for that matter of fact. You just went ahead being you and did what you knew was right for the both of us.
The entire family was busy being my teacher, and to be true it was pretty fun being the centre of attraction. The fun stopped when Saru bhaiya decided to step in. He might be my favourite from a lot of annoying cousins but he can be a nightmare when he decides to be the responsible one. That nightmare went on for about 6 months before badi mummy (father’s sister-in-law) finally confronted you.
“You are not being a good mother, this is not how you do it. This is not the way to raise children, especially a daughter,” she said, or probably something close to this. And I know all of this because Saru bhaiya has told me this story like a thousand times, especially this next part.
He told me that you were sitting on that old couch in our dining room when badi mummy stormed in and began yelling at you (we both know how she gets when she is pissed). You smiled at her and took her hand and said, “I am not being a terrible mother, I am just being a mother who is letting her daughter figure out who she is before the world figures it out for her.” Cool mother, isn’t she?
The day bhaiya told me this story, I fell in love with you all over again. I knew that you were spectacular and I have witnessed it over the years on many occasions in my life but back in the 90s, being from a conservative joint family and married into another joint conservative family and still being so liberal, maa you were cool. Women were supposed to be a lot of things back then but liberal was not one of them, and maa you defied every stereotype. And that is what made me love and respect you even more.
If I tell you that you are my role model, it would be the understatement of the year, nay, my entire life. Ever since I was a kid I have watched you do impeccable and incredible things. I have seen you being an amazing daughter in law to a rather very strict orthodox lady, a perfect wife to a ‘tough-to-handle’ husband and of course the super cool mom to a pair of very difficult children. I know every mother is a super mom for their kid, but you, oh you maa, you are my knight in shining armour, and this damsel would never be in distress as long as you are by her side.
I am not going to tell you how much I love you or how you are my best friend because you already know this, probably because I say this to you like a hundred times a day. So, instead, I will tell you this. Maa, “Tum khana Bahut achcha banati ho.” (you make great food). I and a dozen of my friends agree on this one.
I love you, 3000. Happy Mother’s day!