Mother – the word conjures up many images in our mind, a multitude of emotions, a plethora of memories for each of us. Some of you may even have had two mothers; one, the biological mother you owe our life to and one, who raised you and loved you – a granny, or a trusted housekeeper or even an aunt – like her own children.
Often in our daily lives we forget to cherish them and thank them. Time and again, occasions like Mother’s Day remind us of our sheer folly. Time and again, we stop to correct our mistakes and thank them through various gestures. A quick phone call in the middle of the day to ask her if she needs her supply of medicines to be restocked or a hurriedly typed message to check if she is alright are all silent gestures of our love. Not gratitude but love. Exactly the same way that she loves and cares for us. Food prepared and kept in the fridge to satisfy those midnight hunger pangs or a generous slice of the cake saved for you, hidden away from the rest of the family, or even staying up late, waiting for you to come home from work. We fight, throw tantrums, fall sick keeping her awake all night, stay away from home for long periods, or even come home late and yet, she loves us unconditionally.
Mother, Oh Mother
I know, I’m such a bother.
But what would I be without you,
For you’re the one who completes me too.
I fight with all my might,
I forget you give me light,
When I turn away,
The hurt goes your way.
When I seek solace,
You forget, we were in a different place.
The fights, the pain, the lack of concern
May make your heart even burn
But you, and your love
Never will let me be a single dove
Just like one can’t survive without the other,
What would I be without you, Dear Mother.
Sometimes in the hurried pace of life, we do not even stop to thank her or to let her know how much we value and appreciate her. Then a day like this comes along. The world goes crazy celebrating motherhood. You jump on the train, wish her on Facebook, make plans for a celebratory dinner or even cook for her and give her a much-needed break.
You do know it isn’t enough. That it never will be. It is just a gesture. A very tiny one, but a gesture, nonetheless. So you go out of your way on this day to do special things for her.
Or you don’t. Because you’re far away. Sometimes your work or crazy hours don’t let you.
You just send a quick message. “Mom, I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.”
You may or may not post a picture on Facebook. If you don’t, you feel left out. You feel guilty about not caring enough.
If you do post a picture, however, it’s labelled as ‘showing off’. ‘Instead of this, you may have well taken out just ten minutes from your busy schedule to spend quality time with her,’ they scoff. And you feel more guilty. In all of this, the real issue is forgotten – celebrating the person that is your mother. She is your mother. Only you and she should decide how you both want to spend the day. If you’re busy, tell her and she will understand. If she is busy, be accommodating and that’s more than enough. No one else should have the right to pass comment or judgement on this.
This Mother’s Day I did nothing special for my mother. I wanted to but didn’t. Also, during the morning, she wasn’t home and throughout the rest of the day I wasn’t home. She stayed awake, way past her bedtime, waiting for me. She offered to cook dinner when I reached. I hated that. I should have cooked for her. I should have done something special. Instead, I was out the whole day and now, she was the one cooking for me. I hugged her tightly and told her there was no way I’d let her cook for me, that too at such a late hour.
She put her hand on my cheek affectionately and asked, “Are you hungry?”
I nodded meekly.
“Go, freshen up. I’ll whip up something,” she said and kissed me on the forehead.
That was it. That was our Mother’s Day moment. I had written a poem for her earlier (shared above), which she loved. But, other than that I did nothing for her.
It doesn’t make me any less of her daughter. It doesn’t make me any less appreciative and grateful for the sacrifices she has made for me. I can never repay the debts and I don’t ever intend to. I can’t lessen the value my mother has in my life by even giving that option a thought.
And I take strong objection to those who decide and judge what someone else’s mother would like or not like to do. Yes, ignoring her in real life while putting a fake status update or a photograph on Facebook isn’t okay. Neither is ‘you’ deciding a hug and kiss isn’t enough. It is the thought that counts. Let me be the judge of how I want to express my feelings.
Today morning, I saw this video that touched me deeply, and inspired by it I did what the video asked of me.
So, I changed my name. That was a gesture too.
As is this one: