There’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.”
― Mitch Albom
Time and again it has been proved. If there was one constant truth in the ever changing world, one honest emotion that would melt your heart or one warm hug that could wash away your worries, it had to be mother’s unparalleled and unconditional love. While all the other relations do have some conditional strings attached, this one has no strings. Yet this is the only one where you get pulled back to, in your lows and highs of life. She prods you, pushes you to better yourself only to avoid the inevitable fall which she has already foreseen, with her age old experience, but more importantly, despite all the cautionary advice, she still lets you be.
Well, that’s what my Maa does for me, everyday.
When I look back at the journey of growing up, from a cherubic toddler to an obedient teenager to a strong headed woman, I see a fuzzy kaleidoscopic film. Kind of a vintage frame of nostalgia filled slides, changing every second. Some black & white frames of family time, some tunes played on Akashwani in the summer afternoons, walks to the nearby bakery for cupcake, a cup of my favourite ice cream post any injection, series of firsts of everything- all of it, carefully tucked in the memory.
My first memories of Maa trace back to when I was just about some 2.5 years old. I had demanded for a plastic doll, the plump fair doll that ruled the market, way before Barbie dolls took over the toy store. The terrible two’s of demanding and howling got me in trouble in the market place itself. I was not only refused the toy, because I had the same doll back home, but also met with silent treatment. The tiny brain then was incapable to comprehend why I was not allowed the simple pleasure of a toy. And that I remember was my first tryst with mom’s anger and disciplinarian attitude.
Real Life Lesson 1 # You may demand, whether to give or not is the givers discretion.
Like any other kindergarten kid, I too fancied sugary sweets. Thus, I was once lured to a school friend’s house after the school, only for a wafer biscuit. Packaging and taste obviously entices anyone, at any age. I was no different. The only side effect of this uninformed visit to the friend’s house was that my entire family was on the search mission- to search their missing daughter who had not returned home after school. When they finally found me happily walking back home with a biscuit, they couldn’t help but get angry on me. Back then, I didn’t understand that the anger was due to the fear of losing me.
Real Life Lesson 2 # In the eternal quest of the ‘Best’ packaging & adventures, you might be treading in deep waters, at times at the cost of the near ones. Just watch out for signs.
In most of the Indian families love isn’t expressed through words. It may be shown through actions. Maa expressed her love for all of us through her caring and giving nature. It would be in the form of our favourite meals cooked, day after day, all these years. Her love was her anger when my dad wouldn’t take medications. Her love was in the form of that pesky advice to take steam, to gargle and to apply vicks when suffering from cold. Her love was in form of that one phone call when one of us would get late to reach home. She has been the silent warrior of the family.
Real Life Lesson 3 # You love no matter what, in sickness, in health, in good, bad, mad and sad. You stand like a rock for your loved ones, come what may.
And then there are some advice which were easy breezy, or so I felt.
- Follow your heart. Even if it means you are going against the tide
- One life, let’s make the most of it.
- Be independent financially and emotionally. Try.
- Always apply oil before washing your hair
- Besan ,haldi and cream is still the best tan removal treatment.
- Keep a count of the Tupperware containers in the house.
- Do not drink water directly from the bottles. Use glass for others benefit.
And while I know these are just about regular life lessons and advice, I value them more because I have a story for each of them, somewhere in the deep recesses of my heart, caressed by the warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia that sweeps over, reminding me of my journey of all these years with my Maa.
To end my story with my first expert for the Godrej Expert , I would say that I would have the same set of advice for my daughter, some day, along with this beautiful spoken poem by Sarah Kay.
Till the next post.