Personally, I don’t have an inclination towards mother’s day, father’s day, brother’s, sister’s, uncle’s and auntys’ days (Not sure if the latter ‘days’ exist ;)) nor are these ‘days’ celebrated in India as in the western countries. May be the prejudice that these subtle relationships shouldn’t be made to lose their poise makes these celebrations unpopular here. Well, not getting in to opinions, at least I had never given a thought before about making this day special for my mom. However, this year, I think I made my mom to remember this occasion.
Firstly, I felt it would be sober to break my head thinking about what to gift her, take the pains to roam around looking for one, get something, get it gift wrapped (Yeah, couldn’t help being a lazy daughter these many years :P) and in the name of pleasant surprise create an unnatural scene to gift her. Instead a brilliant idea flashed in my little brain that I will give her a day off – of course from cooking and running on her heels all the time for the petty works at home.
And I should let you know what I had discovered today!
My mom, for the first time (not exaggerating!) opened the daily newspaper in the morning, as she didn’t have to run in to the kitchen today. I know she enjoyed reading all the mother’s day articles in the newspaper as she was reminded of her mother and started narrating her old stories as a child. The next thing she did was made a call to her 83 years old mom, read out the articles she had read just then and had a long leisure chat of their by-gone days. Luckily her sister too gave a hand in this nostalgic conversation. An hour, one more hour and one more passed. Though I wasn’t in the room listening to their talks, I could make out that the two sisters were making their mom’s last days gratifying.
At last the tales came to an end. By that time I too was done with my mom’s usual chores of washings, sweepings and moppings, phew! And food had arrived. And we all sat together to have lunch. Need not to say, she was all-drenched with the 55 years’ memories. Quietly I asked her,
“What are the newspapers saying today, ma? “
“I only read the mother’s day highlights….lots on the celebrity mothers…. Sharmila Tagore says ….Salman Khan says….” She went on and on about the articles.
“And you had a long talk with grandma?”
“Hmm….after many days”
“We recalled our days in Faridabad in that 6-bedroom house, when grandpa had to go to Burma war. And the next two years in Batinda where there were curfews often and we couldn’t go to school for few days… and …”. Though it was all a 100th time of listening to her stories, I did it patiently.
“I always knew that I was a perfect mother to my daughters, but I always wanted to know if I were a good daughter to my mom”.
“Did you ever ask her?”
“I never felt like asking her before. But today may be she sensed my heart, I guess. For once, today, I heard her say ‘If I were to be born again, I only wish you will be my daughter again”
And this what I had discovered today. That she needs time to read newspapers, that she needs time to open her heart out with her mother and sisters sometimes and that I need to help her do that – to let her take time for herself 🙂
To all the taken-for-granted mothers, Happy Mother’s Day!