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Take the effort to really understand your mother, like they take the effort for you. Buy or do for mothers things that they crave or need, without them having to actually ask, sometimes, at least!
I am a mother. And on Mother’s Day, I was excited to be wished, given gifts, offered discounts, and made to feel special through messages, forwards, emojis, GIFs, and so on.
Of course, it’s great that a special day is allotted for the world to recognize my contribution in doing my bit in the larger scheme of things, as it’s said that it takes a village to raise a child. But for some reason, villages are fast disappearing or converting themselves into modernized urban centers.
For totally unrelated reasons, new age children seem to be not ours, but offspring of superhuman species who are capable of doing absolutely anything, anytime, anywhere. Mothers mostly haven’t evolved to the same extent to suit them, though thankfully we no longer belong to the Nirupama Roy era (you know teary-eyed 24/7, with an expression of love that I cannot seem to muster even on my best mothering days).
Mothers today are mostly modern, hands-on, and ready for combat, either verbal or physical depending on the age of the child. Yet, at the end of the day, we are mothers. Soft, emotional, mushy, protective, and easily offended. And so as mothers, can we at least in this letter, let you all know what we really would want on Mother’s Day?
Don’t get me wrong, we mothers are happy about even a single day’s acknowledgment of our existence. But may we ask for more?
To make it all quick and easy to understand, I thought a bullet point presentation would work. Oh yes, we have learned the finer aspects of technology and effective planning more while doing our kid’s projects than at the office, and surprisingly much to the absolute ignorance of their teachers!
Okay, on that note, here is a mother’s wish list of how we would ideally want to be wished on not only Mother’s Day, but well, on other days too. (Yes, not wasting any opportunity is a mother’s most lethal weapon.)
Oh no, I don’t mean the ‘surprise’ breakfast on Mother’s Day alone. I mean please make your own breakfast each day without having mothers run behind you or cajoling you to take a bite.
How hard is it to toast bread and spread butter on it? Or fill a glass of milk that is kept ready and boiled on the stove already? Or break an egg in the pan and scramble it yourself?
Just like how on Mother’s Day, children and husbands seem to rush into the bedroom with open arms, as moms lay cozily wrapped under white bed covers!
No, no, that is not how it really unfolds, but well the thought counts.
And never mind the running in with open arms, but it would do a whole lot of good if children could wake up on their own. You know those smartphones also have an alarm clock, just as they do the zillions of useless games and video downloads. Just saying!
I am sure mothers truly enjoy reading those adorable Mother Day cards. But watching the creativity and handwriting of our kids, often makes us wish for them to use these skills while perhaps doing homework or helping us write our shopping list.
You know, like why not thank and make your mom happy by making her see neat, well written essays, preferably without red circular marks? Or just use your artistic geniuses to do your bit in organising things, without her first yelling and then almost begging you?
No, I don’t mean making the bed or not throwing tantrums for a day type of gifts. I mean real gift-wrapped things that are gifted by children and family.
Well, thank you, family and friends, for those lovely gifts, but please do gift moms things that they want or desire for their own sake. Buying them coffee mugs, cushion covers, or home items can be stalled for housewarming or maybe Diwali.
Take the effort to really understand your mother, like they take the effort for you. Buy or do for mothers things that they crave without ever needing to ask them out loud.
Fathers and family please note too – get them those heels they wanted, or anything else, and please carry the baby yourself, take over the kids when you can – they are your responsibility too. Gift them a coupon for a spa or a movie ticket outing with friends. Gift them some time to finish their lunch, wash their hair, or even to do their makeup in peace.
Acknowledge us by not judging but encouraging and appreciating. We can be working and yet taking good care of our kids. We can be at home and yet be useless. Either way or any other way, it is really nobody’s business.
Children are individual entities by themselves. Not a reflection of a mother’s upbringing alone. A fat child is not overstuffed and a thin child is not malnourished by the mother. A rude child does not live with a rude mother and a polite kid is not ruled by a strict mom. Acknowledge mothers by knowing and believing that each of us gives our best. And in the end, that is all that really matters.
That there is joy in learning and playing. That there is equal opportunity for every child to find and unleash their truest potential, and prosper. As maternal human beings, not necessarily only as mothers, stand up for each kid and stand up for the future. Make yours, and our lives inclusive, empathic, and courageous, because children learn best through watching adults and those around them live their own lives.
Lastly, as mothers, please treat us as people first. We are persons with dreams, opinions, ambitions, likes, and dislikes. See us as we are and help us see ourselves too, more than just as mothers.
Published here first.
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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