Mama Mia!

The earliest memories that I have of my mother are the ones where I see her as an authoritarian, a disciplinarian and an obsessive, cleanliness freak. All my childhood was spent in the fear of not failing her yardstick at anything, whether it was doing homework or participating in competitions at school. I always thought of her as an incarnation of ‘Maa Durga’ because she could do so much in the 24 hours that she had. I secretly thought she had another set of 4 arms, which helped her. And yes, she would not hesitate turning into ‘the Lion’ if at all one tried to outsmart her.

As the melodramatic kid, that I was, I always used to pray to God to drill some compassion into her heart. She would force me to have milk twice a day (who in the world does that to an innocent child?) Mealtimes were mundane with having to eat whatever was cooked, Bitter Gourd or Bottle Gourd were always a part of the culinary  (of course, with other such assorted sisters and brothers) and she would sell those with ‘Its healthy-eat it!’ If one didn’t like what was on the table, one could go to bed hungry. Homework always had to be done before going out to play. School uniforms had to be changed as soon as one got back from school. Sleeping on time and waking up at a definite time (also on Sundays) was a dictate. Books, once read had to be back in the drawers, used clothes always in the laundry basket, fresh clothes folded neatly to be kept for ironing. …Phew! That was some and I survived.

I affirmed, always, I would NEVER turn out like my mom!

{Mama, if you’re reading this, don’t be upset, read on…}

You know how some really wise people have said ‘beware what you wish for’ ? Well, little did I know the consequences for what I had wished. God must’ve been rather idle at the time when I prayed never to be like my mother, because He listened! 

I did NOT turn out like my mother whatsoever. In fact, I just could not. I could never be the epitome of a disciplined life like her. Of course, I never had any inkling for politics so I could never wail hours reading what’s in India Today like her. She is a mobile talent pool with flavors of dance, singing, cooking, reading and discussing politics, parenting, gardening and just about anything under the sun. She is smart like I have not seen any mothers. No really, I mean it!  Smart like she knows her way around, is a great conversationalist and refuses to accept that she’s way past her ‘education’ age. She dwells on latest releases in movies, music, TV serials, News programs, the latest on NatGeo and what’s new in mobiles, now? Remembering the names of directors/producers/composers et al of Hindi movies from decades gone by was always like a back handed activity and yet she would put debaters from the ‘House’ to shame by her knowledge of the Indian political scene. And did I mention she knows about Ayurveda and kitchen cures like no one else does?

Yes, as an adult today, I can only but aspire to be like her (Remember the curse I have already befallen upon myself?) The crestfallen memories that I had as a kid of hers have now, over years, emerged as my savior. I know, now, that for all that she was then; she was just trying to make me the person that I am today. Not only did she teach me to respect others but also inculcated in me self-respect. She infused in me self-dependence, loyalty, truthfulness, compassion, helpfulness and solidarity. She encouraged me to follow my passions reminding me at all times to bear the consequences of my ill decisions. She was there to shout ‘ keep running’ when my feet would tire me and guide me if at all my vision would fail. Like all mothers, she cares too.

Now, that I am a mother myself, whenever I wedge anywhere with parenting, I always find myself asking ‘what would mama do in this case?’ And the answers that I get make me realize how wise she has been with understanding every nuance of my life and time.

That is right-I will never be as wise as her. Never be as smart, as full of life as her. She is high up and I can only aspire.

By the way, you’ll have to soon excuse me because my mother just called to tell me that she would be on Skype in another 20 minutes so she can show me how, even after reading the instructions manual, she is finding it difficult to upload photos from her latest digi-cam over to Facebook. In the meantime, in these 20 minutes hence, she is busy uploading a list of latest songs to her I-pod, which she had discovered while surfing the Internet (surprisingly!). She also told me that my tutorial to her has to be really brief because she has to catch up with the interview on TV of a young chef she read about in Good Housekeeping.

Now, I will have to leave you at that. But I promise, I will tell you more about my mother some time later…because… She. Is. More.

I am writing a ‘Tribute to Mom’ in association with
Disclaimer: The images used in this post belong to the author and may not be used in any form.


22 thoughts on “Mama Mia!

  1. What a lovely account of the kind of person your mother is. I too hoped that I would never turn out to be like my mother. Strangely, years later, I am turning out to be exactly like her. I even find myself mouthing lines of dialogue, long forgotten, just as she used to. I hope you had a great Mother's Day.

  2. I guess we unknowingly do turn out like our mothers because our lives are so shadowed by their presence all the time. I too sometimes, find myself acting like her and of course mouthing lines of dialogue as she used to.I had a great Mother's Day, thanks …did you?

  3. What a post this is and what an interesting person your Mom is. I always say that we don't realise the real worth of our Moms till we ourselves become mothers!!!! We always ques their stands for us and then thank them later!!!Awesome post this is.

  4. What a wonderful post. Enjoyed reading about your Mom. Whether we like it or not, we do turn like our mothers, sooner or later and that's because we know what she said/did is right and makes a lot of sense even years later!!

  5. Great post about your Mom! It's true that we don't realize the vastness of their wisdom until we are older. I find myself wishing that I had paid more attention to some of the things that my own mother tried to teach me and I just wasn't interested then. Now I would like to know. Sorry I haven't been around much. I fell last week and hurt myself worse than I thought initially. Have been going to doctors and sleeping a lot. I'll catch up more later. Do love your blog and reading what you have to say.

  6. So nice to hear about your mom, whether we like it or not, some how we get influenced by them, and realise their worth, when we become mothers ! thanks for sharing !

  7. Such a lovely postI have written a similar post for my momWhile I sulk and get tired a lot she hops around the place even if she is physically not as fit as meLoved reading this kaajal

  8. wow! the whole post inspired me to be a little like her! please do convey it to your mom that its because of women like her today that we can safely say the kids are in best hands today 🙂 she seems to be a super cool person besides a mother! Thanks for sharing her life with us :)

  9. Oh, that was absolutely a tale of beauty! My first time here, and I must say, your style of writing is elegant, substantial. Wishing you and your mom many more years of togetherness!!Somehow, I felt a touch of my dotty in this writing. Wish, she had written one like this for me…!! All the best, Kajal.

  10. You know what is striking about her is that she is 'herself' before she conforms herself to the role of 'wife' 'daughter' 'mother' etc. and that is the best quality about her. I am so glad that you could relate to her and I will surely pass on your message to her. Thanks for dropping by.

  11. How nice of you to say that, Panchali. Glad you liked my post and considered it a tribute of sorts you'd want for yourself. Thank you so much for dropping by and please keep visiting !

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