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Do You Even Know What’s Your ‘Maa Ka Favourite Khana’?!

How many of us know what our mother's favourite food is? Or for that matter, her favourite songs, movies, books? Or even her desires and dreams?

“Ma, you choose today.” I said, pushing the menu card towards my mother.

We were sitting in a small restaurant, our table and the extra two chairs loaded with shopping bags. Well, that’s what happens when a mother and daughter goes on a shopping spree after two long years of pandemic, isn’t it?

“I’ll have dahi vada,” announced my mother instantly. “What about you?”

“Ma, you always have dahi vada!” I laughed.

But the very next moment, a hard hitting realisation struck.

My mother always orders dahi vada whenever given a chance because she likes it.

So what? A simple fact. Nothing in it.

But….

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It is her favourite dish.

Her. Favourite. Dish!

Now from when did the word ‘favourite’ started existing in my mother’s dictionary? Or for that matter, did she even have any likes or dislikes? I was really not aware of any.

Because for as long as I can remember, I have always seen her making food as per the desires, tastes, demands and moods of her family members. The question of her own likes and dislikes never arose. On top of that, she would always give away the best and biggest portion leaving little and sometimes none for herself.

I very clearly remember that during my childhood days, whenever we went out to eat, she would never order anything for herself first because she knew that me and my brother would never be able to finish our plates. No points for guessing whose tummy those half eaten and discarded stuff went in.

And the saddest part is we had always assumed this to be ‘normal’. Forget normal, it had never ever entered my head to even give it a thought. I seriously doubt if my mother gave it a second thought as well.

I only understood these things after I got married

Had I not married and gone to a different house, and further on donned the role of a mother myself, these realisations would have alluded me for a further long time.

There have been a zillion times when I missed her haath ka khana after marriage especially during my pregnancy days. Also there are a few dishes, which even if prepared by a five star chef, don’t give me the same delight as when prepared lovingly by her own hands.

But the fact is that we are always talking about “Maa ke haath ka khana’. How many of us even know about our “Ma ka favourite khana“? Or for that matter, her favourite songs, movies, books? Or even her desires and dreams?

How much do you know about your mother’s likes and dislikes?

Once my mother spoke about a particular ‘Rabindrasangeet’ which was one of her favourites and that she was listening to it on a loop. I was shocked. I had never known that she liked ‘Rabindrasangeet’. I felt so ashamed of myself. Did I care so little about the woman who brought me into this world? Why didn’t I make the effort to find out about her likes and dislikes?

From then onwards, I have been on a mission trying to unearth my mother’s favourites. Well, I am still digging. You know how the older generation is. They are so good at keeping everything to themselves.

But there’s one thing that I have promised myself. And that is to make the present generation realise a very basic but important fact.

A mother too is a human being with her own set of likes and dislikes.

So today if my son brings home a Perk from school, which is my favourite chocolate, I ask him to share it with me.

Because I for one, definitely want my son to know his “Ma ka favourite khana!”

Image source: YouTube/ Mother’s Day ads

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Manideepa Lahiri

An avid reader and recently a writer . I like to pen down my thoughts and experience. read more...

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