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A special conversation with your mom that you remember!
  • Mommy in moi!

    When I became a mom, no matter how happy I was, it was frustrating to put up with the sleepless nights and spend my whole day in pajamas doing nothing but changing nappies and feeding. No hot food, no sleep, no time to catch up with friends, no outings and if ever there were it was the baby’s schedule that dictated the terms. Life had come to a standstill. Did I like it? No, the whole ‘forget yourself and indulge the baby’ routine would bug me so much that when my hubby would come home from work, I would just start welling up tears making him feel miserable too. It was difficult to comprehend a life without ‘me’ figuring in it. It was the fear of losing me that loomed large.

    I did not instantly fall in love with my son. I think my maternal instincts were like a tube light that flickers many times before being taken seriously. But during one of those flickers, I realized that, just like my mom, I had it in me to love unconditionally. There was this little creature who only ate and pooped, never gave me a smile, he didn’t even recognize me but I still showered him with attention, kisses and hugs. That’s what my mom must have felt about me. Despite being fiercely independent, she was there whenever I needed her.

    Today, when I leave my son at the playground and watch silently from the fence, I figure out why my mom never stepped in when I fought with my friends. When I wake him up hurriedly in the morning for school, I understand what can be more important than Oh! So wonderful morning sleep. When I push him to learn something new and don’t help him much, I realize what my mom had in mind though she looked like Hitler minus the moustache to me. I am thinking do I look the same to him or am I the Ringmaster complete with hat and whip trying to tame the lion? Now I understand what a mom needs to be in order to salvage sad paalak face and troubleshoot mini car crashes. And if the need arises, be Muhammad Ali in a tank top. My mom was all of that and today I understand her better, than ever.

  • அன்னையர் தினம் என்று வைத்ததற்கு என்ன அர்த்தம்? நம் அம்மாவிடமிருந்து நாம் கற்றது என்ன? நம் குழந்தைகளுக்கு நம் அம்மாவைப் போல நாம் சிறந்த அம்மாவாக இருக்கிறோமா? இவற்றைப் பற்றிச் சிந்திக்கத்தான் இந்த நாள்.

    என்ன செய்யலாம் அன்று? அம்மா அருகில் இருந்தால் வாழ்த்து அட்டை கொடுக்கலாம் நாமே தயாரித்து; பூக்கொத்து கொடுக்கலாம்; அவளுக்குப் பிடித்ததை சமைத்து அவளுடன் சேர்ந்து உட்கார்ந்து சாப்பிடலாம். அவள் மடியில் தலை வைத்துப் படுத்து அவளது பழைய கதைகளைக் கேட்கலாம்.

    இவற்றையெல்லாம்விட மிக முக்கியமானது அம்மாவிடம் இருந்து நாம் என்ன கற்றோம், எதை நம் குழந்தைகளுக்குக் கற்றுத் தரப் போகிறோம் என்று சிந்திக்கலாம். அம்மாவிடம் நாம் ரொம்பவும் விரும்பும் குணம் நமக்கு வந்திருக்கிறதா என்று யோசனை செய்யலாம்.

    மற்றவர்களுக்குச் சொல்லும் முன் நான் சற்று யோசிக்கிறேன்: நான் என்ன கற்றுக் கொண்டேன் என் அம்மாவிடமிருந்து? என் அம்மா மிக நன்றாகப் பாடுவாள். பரவாயில்லை, நாங்கள் நாலு பேருமே சுமாராகப் பாடுவோம். அம்மாவின் சங்கீத ஞானம் எங்கள் குழந்தைகளுக்கும் வந்திருக்கிறது.

    குழந்தைகளாக இருந்தபோது அம்மா தான் எங்கள் உடை வடிவமைப்பாளர்; அம்மா கையால் தைத்த உடைகள் ஏராளம். தையல் கலையை மிக ஆர்வமாகச் செய்வாள். ஊஹும்....! நாங்கள் யாரும் இதை மட்டும் கற்கவே இல்லை.

    வீடு பளிச்சென்று இருக்கும். இந்த விஷயத்தில் என் அக்கா அப்படியே என் அம்மா! அம்மா நன்றாக சமைப்பாள். நான் என் அம்மாவிடம் சமையல் கற்றதே இல்லை.

    அம்மா நிறையப் படிப்பாள். எங்கள் நால்வருக்கும் புத்தகங்கள் படிக்கும் பழக்கம் அம்மாவிடமிருந்து வந்ததுதான். இப்போதும் புத்தகமும் கையுமாகத்தான் இருப்பாள். நாலாயிர திவ்யப்பிரபந்தத்தில் ஈடுபாடு வந்தது அம்மாவால்தான். இப்பவும் பார்க்கும்போதெல்லாம் ஏதாவது ஒரு பாசுரத்தைச் சொல்லி ‘என்ன தமிழ் பாரு! அருவி மாதிரி என்ன ஒரு நடை பாரு!’ என்று தானும் வியந்து எங்களையும் வியப்பில் ஆழ்த்துவாள்.

    ஒவ்வொரு முறை அம்மாவைப் பார்க்கும்போதும் அம்மா தன் டைரியை கொடுத்துப் படிக்கச் சொல்லுவாள். தான் படித்ததில் மிகவும் கவர்ந்ததை அதில் எழுதி வைத்து இருப்பாள். அம்மாவின் டைரி அவளைப் பற்றிப் பேசாது; அவளது ரசனையைப் பேசும்.

    என் அம்மாவின் கையெழுத்து முத்து முத்தாக இருக்கும். மிகக் கோர்வையாக எழுதுவாள். அந்தக் காலத்து இன்லேண்ட் கவரில் ஒரு துளி இடம் பாக்கி விடாமல் எழுதுவாள். அம்மாவின் முத்து முத்துக் கையெழுத்து யாருக்கும் வரவில்லை. ஆனால் எனக்கு என் அம்மாவிடமிருந்து வந்த சொத்து எழுதும் திறமை தான். எத்தனை அரிய திறமை இது! நான் எழுதுவது எல்லாவற்றையும் பிரின்ட் அவுட் எடுத்து அம்மாவுக்குக் கொடுப்பேன். என் கதைகள், கட்டுரைகள் எல்லாவற்றையும் அம்மா பத்திரப்படுத்தி வைத்திருக்கிறாள்.

    எங்களின் ஒவ்வொரு வெற்றியும் அம்மாவால்தான். அதேபோல எங்கள் குழந்தைகளின் வெற்றிக்குப் பின்னால் நாங்கள் இருக்க வேண்டும் என்பதுதான் அம்மா எங்களுக்கு சொல்லாமல் சொல்லித் தந்த பாடம்.
    இதன்படி நடப்பதுதான் அவளுக்கு நாங்கள் செய்யும் கைம்மாறு!

    அன்னையர் தின வாழ்த்துகள் அம்மா!

  • AAi, Mala Bhook Laagli Aahe (Mom, I am hungry)

    "Aai, mala bhook laagli aahe (Mom, I am hungry)", I would scream whenever I entered the house, as a kid. May it be after school or evening swimming lessons. She would say, “Thamb thamb dete khaylya” (wait I will get you something to eat). She knew this routine too well. The table would be set before I could throw my school bag on the sofa or toss those pointed shoes under it. Mother saw it all but never said anything until my meal was over. 'A hungry child is not to be scolded' was her policy. I took the food she prepared for granted. It would unfailingly always be Marathi quisine. Dad loved it. It reminded him of his childhood. I hated it. It was ruining my childhood. I wanted noodles, pizzas, sandwiches, burgers not varan-bhat (rice-lentils) and vange chi bhaji (brinjal).

    I grew up but never got out of the habit of announcing my arrival at home with “Aai, mala bhook lagli aahe”. She would cajole me by saying, “Thamb thamb dete khayla” for the millionth time in her life.

    One day she was gone. Poof…like that! So was the Marathi food from our lives. God can afford the best chefs but he had to take her!

    Next time I went home I had to wait for lunchtime and make do with bisibele anna & katti saru which my sister in law had prepared. Kanda-poha has been replaced by Uppitu. It is all good but it is not the same.

    I can never walk in brazenly and yell “Aai mala bhook lagli aahe” anymore. That is one dialogue I will miss for the rest of my life. It has take the ‘Ma’ out of the ‘Maayka’.
  • It’s unfair to sum my conversations with my mum in 300 words. She's taught me so much... How to be independent, how trust people, how to be me and not follow a herd...

    Peer pressure is something (per me) which makes children/teens do things they really don't want to. I, for one have never ever succumbed to Peer Pressure. This helped me keep myself away from unwanted stress that comes from Peer Pressure.

    I remember when I was around 11-12 I went up to my mum and said "Ma, I want to have a Video game of my own because most of my classmates have their own video games".

    Mum was a little busy and said she'll talk about it later. That night when Ma was making me go to sleep, she kept her hand on my head and said, "So you want the Video Game?"

    Me: Yes, everyone has it. I so...so need it.

    Ma: But, we do rent the Video Game on weekends

    Me: But, why does everyone else has it? Please Ma, Please

    Ma: Falak, you shouldn't do something because others do it. Do something what you WANT to do. You are amazing at Dramatics, Debates, Choreography... Does anyone else in your class do so many extra-curricular activities... Leave apart excel in them.
    Me: Few... May be one or two.

    Ma: that's because all of us are different. We're different people, we have different talents and we Have to do what we WANT and we Like... Rather than doing what everyone else does. Do you want to be a part of a herd or you want to create things and do what you want to do?

    Me: Obviously what I want to do... Why should I do something others are doing.

    Ma: So do you want the Video Game

    Me: No...

    Post that I never asked for/ did something others are doing.

    That's another point that I got a Video Game on my birthday with a note... "I'm giving it because you love playing it... Not because kids your age have it... Love Ma"
  • My Mother, My best friend - Queen of Positive Attitude


    My Mother was a teacher by profession. She was wise, loving, generous. Always cheerful even in the face of the worst times we had. She was also a wonderful writer and cook par excellence. My Mom wrote beautiful letters. Besides the usual stuff, her letters were full of wisdom. Each letter had a take-away. I'd like to share a bit of this wisdom here.

    When she advised me to keep a journal my Mom wrote: "Diary writing is far more than a way of exorcising one's unhappiness. The effect is extraordinary. Distanced on paper, troubles shrink to their true size. You can regard them objectively and see how temporary they are"

    Lesson learned - Inside our minds, problems are large. They are more manageable then we think. And troubles are always temporary.

    This took me down memory lane to an incident in the past. She had such a fabulous attitude and had the gift of viewing things positively, always. I remember, during the summer months, a lot of tiny ants turned up in our kitchen. Consequently, we would create little moats of water to keep food stuff safe from these ants. If, by chance, we left something on the counter top, we could rest assured that the place would be swarming with the little fellas.

    Anyway, on one such occasion, there was a tray with water, in which we had kept some juice bottles. And our friends, the ants, managed to reach the rim of the tray, only to find the little strip of water stopping them from reaching the bottles. Now, mind you, the bottles are airtight. Yet, the tiny specks of the sweet syrups managed to get the ants there. Can ants smell? I don't know.

    So - back to our story. I don't know what might have happened, but I think one of us must have accidentally kept one of the bottles very close to the rim of the tray. And, sure enough, these ants (probably the ones that qualified for the Olympic long jump) managed to get on the bottle. Which my Mom discovered the next time she went into the kitchen. She called me. As I entered the kitchen, I saw her hunched over the counter top, watching intently. She beckoned me close, as though the ants would hear her if she spoke, and pointed to the juice bottle. I was stunned to see the droves of tiny ants busily juicing it up.

    All worked up, I opened my mouth to rant and my Mom burst out laughing. That stopped my laughter in its tracks and I looked at her, question marks all over my face. And she said, "Vidya - they've worked so hard to get there. Don't you think they deserve it?". That was so funny and of course, I laughed too.

    From that day on, whenever we were careless enough to leave something on the counter top - or anywhere else and saw ants on it - we looked at each other and sedately said "They deserve it".

    This applied to so many other things too.

    Lesson learned. Have a positive attitude. Good things do come to those who work hard. Laughter can diffuse a tense situation much better than anything can.

    God could not be everywhere
    So he made Mothers.

    So many things got connected when I was thinking about her on 1st of January.  In 2006, when the cheering of welcoming the New Year was dying down everywhere, we were shattered with the news of my Mom saying a final goodbye to every one.

    People say it gets easier as days go by. I feel it gets tougher. In 2012, the new year day had been a bit more tough on me because of the Get Smart Contest and the Ipad2 I received on 31st of December. I couldn’t stop thinking about my Mom and how right she was. She told me never to compromise on quality for saving money. I had to use different brand of washing powder after my marriage. My Mom was shocked to see me using a cheap washing powder. She went on to explain to me how my clothes would get spoiled, how surf would save my time and how easy it was to wash with surf. She was kind of brand ambassador for Rin, Pears, Pure Ghee, Oiling hair, apple, and many other such things and surf was one of them. We both held a contest to prove which was a money and time saver and she won. I had asked her back then, what would I do with the saved time, as I had nothing much to do anyway. She had wisely replied “May be not today, but you will have children and you may take up some activities with the free time you have on your hands. Don’t waste time because  I know you have lot of potential in you and you will achieve something big someday”. I did not think much of it back then.

    Days went by and as predicted by her I had two wonderful children. With my children entering my life, there was never enough of time on hand. After reaching my forties I felt I should do something, and it was then that  the words of my mom came back to me. Now I see a light at the end of the tunnel, which says maybe I can do something big even now. My winning the contest for a product she insisted that I use and receiving the Ipad2 on the eve of New Year (when we lost her) tells me, she is sending a message. The message that asked me to be strong and pursue my dream, and the dream of my parents, who had faith in me. They believed I would achieve something in my life. At times I feel I am struggling to hold on under the pressure and it feels good to give way and release the pressure. This is when I need a pat on my back and I think this is my Mom patting on my back and telling me to be strong.

    It is tough to think that my Mom is a memory for me now. It is tough to think that she is not going to promote Desi Ghee and its benefits, or to think that she will scold us for not oiling our hair. Mom is precious gift God has given everyone and there is no way you will get used to the feeling of losing her. She will always be missed. 

    I may not have been the most loving kid of my mom, but she had some special trust and respect for me. My mom was a nervous person when it came to her children. She always worried they were under fed and they were not safe in the big bad world. When my brother was late by an hour or so, she would literally get sick being worried. I observed that this was missing in my case. My mom remained calm when I was late. It made me feel that she did not care for me. Why would she be worried when my brother or sister was late but not me, if she cared for me as she did for them? One day I picked up this matter with her and asked her whether she did not care for me. She was a smart woman and would have got away with a clever answer even if that was the case. I think she gave me sincere answer when she said, “I have never felt you will get in trouble. You know how to handle yourself better than anyone I have met. Even if someone gets you in trouble, I know you will get out of it easily. I trust you and know for sure you will be safe wherever you are. That is the reason why I never worry about you”.  Sometime the doubt lingers whether she cleverly got out of a sticky situation by giving a smart answer. She was that way most of the time.. Wise with her words.
    Those words have held me up whenever I felt the trouble was too big for me to handle. They helped me deal with my cancer, special needs child and many other ups and downs of life. Sometimes a simple pat on the back or loving words can be a guiding force for a person all through life.
  • Oops. Here goes the entry then, in content form. :)
    For my Partner-in-Crime

    She has always been good with organizing. The pencil-set and candy packages were neat. Off they went to the singing kids the next morning. The “Happy- birthday-to-you!” gang.

    “Why do we give away these lovely things, Mom?”

    “So we can spread smiles on your special day!”

    Mom and I would colour animal pictures for my school-project. “What colour is a horse’s tail, Mom?” “Remember you rode one in Mussoorie?” “But there were so many.” “And so can there be colours for the tail!” Mom taught me to colour pencil-drawings. In effect, she coloured much more. She would put me to sleep with a “nanhi kali sone chali” and wake me with the sun.

    “Why do we need to get up early, Mom?” “Because the school bus rises early too, baby.” Dad laughed. “That’s not it, Daddy.” Mom grinned. “We don’t want to miss the bluebird that comes visiting the garden. She is never late.” I listened to the rustling leaves, the whispering winds and the calling birds. The screeching on the road was a moot-point.

    With time, Mom and I have learnt that together, nothing is a pain. We smirk at the neighbour who thinks she is the cat’s whiskers. We also get mithaai for the one who waves from under an umbrella. Sometimes, we chat for long nights, sipping coffee and ignoring Dad’s go-to-sleep. “What is so interesting?!” “Girl-talk. We can’t tell you.” He rolls his eyes; we giggle.

    With Mom, I learn that it is alright to worry sometimes. What is important is getting on with life. Living without regrets and tucking into bed with a clear conscience. Together, we are capable of being high-school girls obsessing over the latest television-heartthrob. We are also confident women who have the courage to face the world.

    Well, my world began with Mom. She continues to be right there at the centre. She is the one who loves me on my worst-hair day, in my worst mood and even when I have been really, really bad. I owe you one, Mom.

  • My entry:

    All these years i never knew that together we could so much fun..
    You were always there as a mom and i loved you like that..
    But suddenly I have realized that you can be an awesome friend too..
    And am loving the new "US" ♥

    She tells me i look beautiful and I tell her "Tell me something I dont know mom"
    She tells me she did something awesome and I say "To naach!"
    She tells me you look fair today and i say "i was always fair, your eyes were dark"
    And only the two of us know how to laugh best at it..

    Mumma, With all the fun moments we've had and so many inside jokes,
    am definitely looking to the years to come.
    Happy Mother's day :)
  • image

    Read emotional tributes to mothers and got me thinking on what my mother has taught me when all that I know is because of her. She may not talk much but has made me the extrovert person I am, she has not travelled much but has given me the courage to travel far and wide. She may be weak and emotional but has made me bold and courageous. She is simple but has made me aware on the complexities in life. She does not teach or preach but quietly stirs my wayward mind. She has never told me what to do but has silently instilled in me what should not be done. She has always watched out for me but never kept an eye one me and it’s this faith of hers that makes me accountable for my actions. She combed my hair and somehow always removed the tangles in my mind. She has adored me like her little girl but the truth is she has made me the woman I am.

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