10 May, 2009
It’s strange that I always wanted to write about my mum here but in the monotonous sing-song of our lives and being gobbled up by our self chosen impetuous priorities, we sometimes need reminders to jolt us to return to the feelings that make our very essence. So this Mother’s Day and through this kind of declaration I pay a tribute to my mum, without whom I think I would lose the very will to carry on in life.
This is the most honest reflection of my inner most heart. For years rolling down from my childhood well into adulthood, I have lived in this belief that if god forbid, something ever happened to her...I think I would commit suicide or die naturally of grief...As years move on now and we get to see less of each other, due to my own overpowering work schedules, I sometimes feel perhaps it is God’s own way of lessening my attachments and thereby the subsequent pain that might follow in worst case scenarios...!
Oho...but let’s start with the good...!
The best...my mum!
The word that always brings a smile on my face!
She is not much older than I am...say just 19 years before I adorned the earth, she did!
Yup, she was married early and babied even earlier...!
She says I was in a hurry to come out to her and like in everything else she tells me, I believe her.
I often tease her that the hurry seems to be in ‘other’ things and how desperate could my parents get to forget about words like control and caution.
And of course I also needle her about her name...That naana ji and naani ji must have completely run out of names even on their first born among three more that subsequently followed, to name her Pinky... I mean Pinky!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whoever would torture his own child to call her that...?
And then she would smile her warm, pinkish smile that spreads from ear to ear and completely disarms the person in front and you would know she could not possibly have another name! Though she has that too- Amita Khosla... and there that brings us to another round of goblin laughter in which she almost always joins us.
Right now I am going through an influx of myriad emotions and experiences that I want to share about her, tumbling randomly and I am feeling the urgency to put them to words before they get lost in translations.
My mother has been a wonder woman. She manages to keep the house rational and running, cooked mouth melting dishes, raised undoubtedly good children, remained a weakness and temptation for her husband, stupendously well handled a toughly pleased mother-in-law and also managed to remain the social queen bee. Whew! Where does she get the boundless energies to be this one woman show? I snoop around for some magical portions that may induce so...but I have stumbled upon everything from sane to inane, except any of these...! That reminds me of how once when my parents went out and I busted their closet to satisfy my curious bones when I caught hold of video cassette of porn...
Almost aghast partly that my parents could do so and devilishly smug also that chalo at least they are not completely divine...naturally human too...and whoa, ‘wild’ humans!
My mother has lived for just one reason...our happiness.
She is intelligent, witty, and resourceful and all the rest of the things that spell success of a modern day career woman...But never for once has she regretted not having a vocation to boost her morale... ‘We’- my brother and I, are her rewards and her husband is her everyday occupational perk. How can one be so complacent in life I wonder when I look at her? There were endless nights when as tiny tots and even teenagers, we came into her room at 3 or 4 am in the stark darkness and said, “mummy neend nahi aa rahe” or “ma bhook lag rahe hain” or “mom pet mein dard ho raha hain” or simply “ momma bura sapna dekha, dar lag raha hain” and she would open her arms wide and give a nice bear hug and shift to the remotest corner of the bed to fit us in and do all of this smilingly as though we have done an obligation on her by doing so! She’s that amazing!
Arrey and the only word that truly describes her is “mast”.
In fact many a times I tell her ‘mom, you are an item really’.
When with people, her gregariousness knows no confines. Hers would be the loudest laughter, the naughtiest or rather dirtiest jokes (which she sends to me too as messages on the mobile) and no matter where she is, the crowd seem to be gathering around her and the party begins then. She shamelessly loves to hog the limelight and firmly believes the only place to be in, is in the centre of attraction and action...now I know for sure my genes come from her! As rarely happens, when she is not made to feel the queen in a gathering as she rightly deserves to be, we know to expect... ‘Oh, the party was alright...nothing much!’ (Ah, I am so bloody hell like her...that it is spooky!)
While I was growing up, she has been the perfect friend...though snooping around often and laying sometimes strict deadlines and limitations, I like most teenagers do, managed to break them keeping her in oblivion. When years later now I poke her by saying... “Ma, aapke aankhon mein bahut dhool jhooke, aur aapko pata bhi na chala” ...she gives me that bizarre frown, which I can never really comprehend if it means ‘how could u do this to me’ or ‘I knew it sweetie, but I let you live in your own world of beliefs’.
I remember when our school bus would be late, in whatever weather, she would come out at the house gate and keep peeping down at the street’s end where the bus would drop us...sometimes for a good bloody hour, just standing and churning there in her insides. No matter at what ungodly time and notice we would call our friends, she would cook and smile and gossip with all of them. Even now, if I call her up and tell mom I am coming abhi...she would drop everything she is doing no matter how crucial or promised to anyone, to be with me. She just masters the art of being there, whenever, however, whatever! I tell her if I can be half as good a mother to my children as she has been then alone would there be a point in motherhood!
Waise this narration does not imply that my father, brother and beloved do not do wonders...but then today is Mother’s Day and even without it, she deserves exclusivity. Besides if I add about them here too as my blessings...I tend to get superstitious yaar...nazar lag jaate hain na...!
So I’d keep the illustration of their perfection for some other time.
Once after some years of being married to my beloved, in a moment of great romance, when you ask questions out of the other to gauge your significance in his eyes, he had asked me... ‘Rate the top five people in your life’. And in a Raja Harish Chandra-mode, with all my brutal honesty I had put my mother on the number one slot followed by his name. And as soon as I had said that in a jiffy, without diplomacy or pretence, I knew it had been the biggest of truths. Mums are irreplaceable!
My mum has been my anchor...my guiding light as well as my daily dose of sunshine!
I would laugh with the world deceiving them of my moods but I just have to say “hello” on the phone and she has to ask ‘what is wrong, your voice is screaming of tension’.
She has to find something good in whatever I do and however I may be looking...and even if she begins to get into that checking or gyan mode...I just have to tell her ‘ma, chill, I know what I am doing’ and she trusts me on that...just like that!
She has the smoothest of cheeks that I can’t get enough of to kiss...and the strongest of hugs despite her not so big frame for which I have to tell her... ‘Mamma, saans nahi le pa rahe...lemme go’!
Within a blinking second of a tear even beginning to surface in my eyes, even now, her eyes would have already turned watery...and our family would call us drama queens! In fact sometimes I tell her so only ‘mom, thode zyaada over acting ho gaye...relax!’
You have to see her dance on the floor with a Helen like pout and nice moves when she shakes it and I jestingly remind her to mind that ‘bhudhappa’ and she has to retort back, “buddhi hoge tere ma!”
Oh I can go on and on, but then I am quite ready to burst here with emotions. I have never really thanked her enough or God for her...but then for me she is my living God. I believe in Goddess Durga Ma only because She is a form of the word that means “ma”.
With both these moms by my side my soul rests in peace and may this blessing be by my side always. Amen!