THE ESSAY

If we travel back in time I am quite sure we will all be able to recollect that as school going children the first essay we ever wrote was either on ‘my mother’ or ‘ a rainy day’ or ‘my favorite animal’. I remember mine; it was “My Mother”.

I still remember what I wrote.

“My mother is very beautiful and she is very tall. My mother cooks delicious food for me, she loves me more than she loves my sister (this myth was busted). My mother is kind hearted and takes care of everyone in our family. Her favorite color is red. She is a teacher and she helps me with my homework. She scolds me whenever I fight with others and praises me whenever I help others”.

The essay was definitely more elaborate than what I remember and in all probability my mother herself helped me finish it. Not that I didn’t mean what I wrote, she probably just supported my efforts to put my thoughts into words.

I am 40 and am guessing I’ve reached a middle ground in my life. Today I feel like writing another essay on the same topic “My Mother” but this time without her help. Here it goes:

“My mother is still very beautiful and still very tall. Although she is not as slim as she used to be but she looks cuter. Being a teacher all her life, my mother has been a strict disciplinarian in both my sister’s and my life. I remember as a kid when I goofed up, my mother’s frowning face popped right before my eyes, that was scary, it made me jittery. Even today if I go astray, my mom’s frown strikes back, but now it just makes me smile. It’s like a throwback in time and I suddenly feel like a child again. I am reminded that there is still someone to look after me and unconditionally love me. I still mean the world to her.

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She is my conscience keeper. She has taught me the difference between right and wrong. She attuned me to the fact that sometimes there could be a very thin line of differentiation between what’s right and what’s wrong, and that they maybe two sides of the same coin. She has taught me the alphabets of life but let me work-out a language for myself, though she still steps in from time to time to help me articulate my life.

There were times when I made mistakes, confronted failures and became a rebel with or without a cause. She stood by me playing multiple roles. She had excellent judgement of situations and knew exactly when to whack me and when I deserved a hug. She was capable of snubbing my attention grabbing stunts but she always knew when it was required for us to sit and have ‘the talk’. Her timing and style has been impeccable. My mother is the only person in my life who can play both crucial as well as trivial roles at times.She has been my “backbone” and my “lighthouse”.

At times I wonder if mothers were the pioneers of “management” or “leadership” because they are the masters of the art.They know how to raise children and make them men and women.

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“THE LOOK”

As a young man, I remember, bringing my girlfriends (love interests) home and although my mother was always a sweetheart to all my friends, she tactfully snubbed me as she believed it was not the right time or the right choice for me .That made me fret, I could imagine her telling me “isko bahu bana ke layega toh thappad khayega”. The best part was that none of this was ever conversed. It was all body language, especially the eyes.

Years later, I got a friend home and my mother chatted with her at length. That was just unbelievable. I was zapped. That friend is my wife today. Does that make me a “mama’s boy”. Of course! I am my mama’s boy.

The fact my friends was that my mother was convinced that I was serious and settled in life hence she approved my choice. That still makes me a mama’s boy but also the “man” that I have grown to become.

She has been my friend. When I got married she became my wife’s friend. Nowadays she is busy being my daughter’ friend. That’s some bandwidth. I guess that’s what mothers are. Unlimited bandwidth and full of surprises.

She has always loved me and I have always felt her love. Isn’t that wonderful? I believe that’s the mother-child connection. Pure, beautiful, eternal and unconditional.

P.S – she still cooks delicious food for me.


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