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My Maa still knows what's best for me though now I'm a mother! Her empathy, nurturing, care, and discipline sustains me and shows me the way.
I was having a particularly hard day. So it was way past the usual time that I finally made the ‘customary’ call to my mother.
She picked it up on the first ring itself. “What took you so long? I was waiting for your call.” She started without any preamble.
“I was busy..”
“You sound exhausted. What happened, Sona?”
That did it! The endearment along with the sympathetic tone only a mother can use. I nearly broke down.
Here I was running one errand after the other since morning without the husband or the in-laws taking any notice of it, let alone recognising it. And here was my mother sitting miles away, yet hearing the unheard and seeing the unseeing.
Sometimes all you need is someone who will empathize with you. And who better than your own mother? Probably that’s the reason why she’s the only person in this whole wide world who doesn’t judge you.
Anyway, this is also the reason why I never call her when I am upset or angry. She will not only gauge my mood within minutes but she will also very tactfully extract the reason behind it.
Just a few days back, my daughter had her exams. This time mother dear didn’t even wait for me to call her. She called me, instead. And the first question she fired at me was, “Did you scold my granddaughter or pressurise her into studying?”
“I hope you didn’t hit her. Because if you did, I am going to come after you!”
“Maaa! I am not a child anymore. I too am a mother now!”
“Then stop behaving like a child. I know how you get all tensed up during her exams. Remember all children are different and grow according to their own pace. Did I ever hit you or your brother?”
I couldn’t believe this. Getting an earful at this age is not only a matter of shame, it is downright irritating. But my mother has no qualms in making her opinions loud and clear.
Can’t I speak my heart out with my own daughter?
The other day when she insisted on buying me a dress and took me to a shopping mall, she literally snorted at my choice of clothes.
I have seen people change after marriage. But I didn’t expect to see it in my own daughter.
Ma this is just a kurti!
Your choices have degraded.
I like this colour.
Don’t wear it when you come to my place.
Can you imagine the length she goes to when it comes to food? My mother shamelessly resorts to emotional blackmailing.
Are you going to eat only this?
I’m trying to eat less Maa…need to lose some pregnancy weight.
You look absolutely fine. Moreover, you need to eat healthy food now. Your body and baby both need it. Come on. Enough of this dieting nonsense. Finish this off!
I cooked all day in this heat just for you and now you don’t want to eat it. Ok. Fine. One day you’ll miss all these. Just like I am missing my mother now.
I give up arguing with her and finish everything that she’s served on my plate. Just when I am about to get up, she places the last item – dessert. This time however my husband speaks up.
“Kheer? But she doesn’t like kheer. Never eats it whenever it’s prepared at home.”
The two opponents look at each other. Their mouths are shut but eyes speak in volumes.
Maa, the kheer doesn’t taste like yours. And I like it only the way you make it!
That’s why I stopped making it after your marriage.
What to do now? I want to eat this kheer.
Ma stare hard at me while I squirm in my seat. Clearing her throat, she starts in her gentlest tone. “Yes I know. She doesn’t like sweet much.”
“But beta,” Here her tone hardens since it’s now addressed towards me. “You should eat everything that’s prepared lovingly by your elders. Haven’t I taught you so?”
Nodding my head demurely, I eat the kheer lovingly made by my mother. Even my poor husband doesn’t find anything to say to that! I can’t help but feel eternally grateful to her for always coming to my rescue at the right moment. As for the scolding I received later at her hands, well that’s an altogether different story.
But the point here is that my mother still continues to mother me. Whether I like it or not! It’s true that I crave for it sometimes but at others it just annoys me. So much so that we start arguing and stop talking with each other. Only to pick up the phone and call her again the next day.
For that ‘customary’ call!
Image credit: A still from Secret Superstar
An avid reader and recently a writer . I like to pen down my thoughts and experience. read more...
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