I believe that I am truly lucky! Why, you might ask! Because I have two mothers, which is one more than most people have, and this is when I need to knock on wood to keep the evil eye away! They hover over me like guardian angels, both diametrically different in their vocations, but amazingly similar in their principles and outlook towards life.
The mother I was born to fits into the mould of the multi tasker, whirling around like a dervish to fit in all that she does into the 24 hour day that seems to fall short always. Having lost her husband at a very young age, she was left alone to bring three daughters up, not the easiest of tasks even if you have an army of relatives and friends to lend a helping hand. Single-handedly she stood against the world, fighting demons, invisible and all too visible, as she not only brought up her girls, but started an enlightened school where she put in all those nuggets of wisdom that she had gathered and garnered from the schools she had taught in. And yet, she never once let her girls know about the hardships and the tribulations, preferring to reveal the beauty of life, blowing optimism into their ears even as they grew into confident young women. She was both father and mother, and made sure they lacked for nothing, which is perhaps, why they, in turn, have turned into her strongest champions!
When I was to be married, being the eldest, she had just been widowed and the parting was painful, like the severing of a limb. As I took the customary three circles around the fire with my bridegroom, her face mirrored mixed emotions.... joy that her beloved daughter was getting married to a wonderful man, uncertainty about how she herself would cope, and of course, sorrow that her fledgling had grown up enough to leave. Tears gushed down her face as she wished her husband had been around to witness the wedding of his eldest. And when it was all over, and I was getting into the car to leave for my new home, a feeling of panic came over me as I knew I was leaving my mother behind, and that life would change in some way! The tears in my mother’s eyes only strengthened this feeling!
But when I walked into my brand new home, in a bright silk sari and matching jewellery, where a whole host of relatives waited to welcome me in with the traditional lamp, it was my mother in law [whom I always refer to as my mother in love] who caught hold of my hand, and said in her matter of fact way, but with much love within her heart, “Take off that silk sari and get into something comfortable and sleep for a while!” It was amazing how warm those words made me feel, as she realized how utterly exhausted I was and two hours later, I was back to my normal self, rested in my new home with my brand new family!
And so it has been over the years! There has never been a moment when my second Mum has made me feel any different from her own daughter. She told me much later how she had decided that when her son got married, she would gain a daughter, not lose a son. She and I have long chats, discuss everything from politics [which both of us don’t care much for!] to recipes [which we both enjoy experimenting with!] She takes my side on most matters, a trait which her son looks upon with indulgence even if he does protest once in a while. My daughter smiles when she sees her grandma take her mother’s side, remarking wryly, “And so the defence rests, as usual!”
The other day, both my mothers were together for a short while and in the midst of all the fun they had [which included watching inane serials and eating chocolates surreptitiously], I heard my mother whisper, “Thank you so much for being such a wonderful mother to my daughter! I think she is very lucky to have you!”
Which takes me back to where I began! I believe I am truly lucky! How else could I put it, when on the one hand, I have a mother who listens to my grouses and tries to solve them in her own inimitable way, who calls herself the luckiest mum because I have written a book which she proudly presents to friends, family and every stranger who comes her way? What else can I say about a Mom who treasures every little scrap of poetry I have written over the years, and forgotten about, and who puts it together and publishes it so that she can give it to me on my birthday? A Mom who has a special place in her heart for me, her eldest born, because we have shared dark days and bright ones together?
And then again, what about my other Mum who makes sure I eat breakfast by churning out the tastiest of chutneys, even if she has to do it before I wake up, or who tells me to inform her of where I am if I am late [for otherwise she gets frantic!], or who forces me to go to the gym because she knows it is good for me? Who, when she is away, tells me that she misses hearing my voice, as much as I miss having her loved presence around?
Both my Mums hate seeing a cloud on my face, and both go out of their way to make sure that the sun is always shining and all’s right with the world, as far as I am concerned. Maybe, just maybe, this is where the beautiful saying came from, “God could not be everywhere so he created mothers!”
Mother's Day Post