This mother’s day I wish to pay my heartfelt tribute to all those women including my mother who have shaped my life. I have already written about my mother in earlier posts but whatever I write seems inadequate. She has had a very strong and positive role in my life and I have no hesitation in tracing every little success that came my way and each one leads me to her. From the time she taught me to read and write till occasions that left me depressed her presence alone instilled a confidence that was difficult to explain. Never verbose or vocal, she led by example and one could never compromise on morals and ethics – neither when she was alive nor after her death. She taught me to accept the ups and downs in my life with equanimity and under her guiding influence I learnt valuable lessons – the most important one being that good and bad times are a part of life and neither last forever.
My mother’s sisters also mothered me in their own way. Following my father’s death they would invite us children for vacations and treat us to movies and exhibitions the way my dad would have. Her older sister had no children of her own but how can I forget the kindness and concern she showed when she came to assist me when my son was born. I was in hospital following my delivery and in a foul mood because my husband was taking a long time to come. He was to come straight from his office so I did not expect my aunt to turn up. But she did. She did not know the route and could manage just a few words of Hindi. A flask of coffee in one hand and idlis in the other she took the town bus, got down at the blood bank as per my father in law’s direction, followed the crowd that was proceeding to the hospital, asked for the maternity ward and was by my bed even before my husband. All because she knew that I would be hungry and that she did not want me to eat the hotel food that my husband may get since he was coming straight from his workplace.
Kamakshi mami, my maternal aunt by marriage about whom I have written in this post was also a second mother to me. She taught me the virtue of being selfless again leading by example. Her own children were around the same age as my brothers. I cannot recall a single incident where she subjected us to indifference or showed any preferential treatment for her own children. It was her influence that helped me overcome minor irritants and hiccups as a young bride in Jamshedpur.
My mother in law also made me feel at home in my acquired family and would tell me so much about her people that I learnt to love them even before I had met them. She also did not differentiate between daughter and daughter in law and thanks to her, today I can proudly claim that I equally love both my sister and sister in law.
Finally, my mother in law’s friend Thailam mami, who was a pillar of strength when my mother in law was sick and I was at a loss not knowing how to deal with her mood swings and hunger pangs. I could walk into her house at six in the morning and return with a bowl of rasam or sambhar for my mother in law who was normally a picky eater but screamed for food like a six month old on account of her diabetic condition. Thailam mami not only assured me that I could feel free to approach her anytime and would come over during her free time and reassure my mother in law that she would be well very soon. But for her support and guidance l could not have coped with my responsibilities well enough.
Motherhood is not about raising children it is more about teaching them valuable lessons of sharing and caring. This is done, not by preaching from a pedestal but by showering love and affection on those around us.
A very happy mother’s day to all mothers!