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My mother in law made the choice to be my best friend unlike other mothers in law, and that makes her an amazing woman I love!
Mother’s Day has just gone by, and it made me want to dig through old albums and photographs and go down memory lane. These old pictures in black and white, or sometimes sepia tones may not have the best poses or the best image clarity unlike the ones we pose for in our DPs and Instagram handles. Still, they bring with them a warm, familiar, and safe feeling – the one we get every time we hugged our moms when we were scared, or from the time when we held her hand tight as dad was about to scold us for poor marks in Math exams (no exam would tick my dad off as much as poor performance in the Math exam!), or when we just could not resist telling her the secret that our best friend had asked us not to – with the traditional pinky swear!
However, I am dedicating this post to my ‘other mother’ whom I got to know through my husband. My mother in law. My own mother has shown me great love and affection through the years, and it gives me the courage and encouragement to love my new mother without inhibitions or the fear of being judged.
My mother in law, born as Ms. Vidya Srinivasan, was the youngest of the five siblings and the pampered daughter of her house. Being the youngest of all her sisters- she and her oldest sister are 20 years apart! (When I first heard this I was like Whoa!). She enjoyed her time with her sisters as much as she enjoyed the solitude of her own presence. Her time was split between learning classical music, singing with her sisters at various gatherings and painting the relics of Lord Krishna – her friend, philosopher and guide.
She was a young bride when she married my father in law, and soon became the mother of two wonderful sons. Although my husband and his brother are the apples of her eye, she always yearned for a daughter with whom she could share her inner most concerns, talk about colours, discuss different dresses and matching accessories among other things.
Honestly, I had my own inhibitions and pre-conceived notions about mothers in law thanks to the umpteen wily and venomous MILs we have seen on TV shows and movies. The cunning kind- the one who would push her daughter-in-law down the long spiralling staircase, the nepotic kind – who would favor her children over her newly wed daughter-in-law (DIL) and the all time classic – the blaming kind – who would blame her DIL and not her son for not bearing her grandchildren.
If my mother in law had to audition for any of the above roles, she will certainly not bag any of them nor fit the bill for making mean and foul expressions.
My mother in law has been an amazing source of inspiration and encouragement from the day I have known her. She is incredible at painting and decoration, a voracious reader, a keen and attentive listener (which most of us are not these days as we are always multi-tasking on our phone).
My mother in law gives me her 100% which makes me feel welcome to open up to her with ease. I have tried to be the daughter she never had but let’s just say she is now one of my best confidante and my friend, ’cause you don’t share everything with mommy, do you? Whenever my husband and I would have our own share of bickering or quarrels she would always take my side, so much so that I would end up feeling bad for him.
I love that she takes the extra time and effort to read and analyze what I write. My own mother, Mrs. Lakshmi Ravi who always had a dream of being a journalist and pursued her degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and took classes in Delhi every other weekend when I was 7, encouraged me to write. As a child, I maintained my own bed time story book and read it to my dad every night. But my ‘other mother’ has become my best critic! Giving her time to our umpteen conversations and piquing my interest in topics which I was unaware of has given me a whole new source of ideas to tap and explore, as a budding writer. I was really touched and overwhelmed when she created her first own e-mail id exclusively to receive the stories and blogs that I write.
Your own mother loves you unconditionally without choice and by natural instincts but the ‘the other mother’ makes a choice to love you. That makes my mother in law an amazing woman, I think!
Image source: Ranjani Ravi
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Ranjani Ravi, is a 27 year old Environmental Professional and an avid blogger. She is
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