May 11, 2008
The saas-bahu saga has been continuing through the ages, and will continue for ages to come. The ma-beti saga is yet to begin.
My earliest memories of childhood are brought alive by the numerous photographs that I possess. My favourite one amongst other photos is one in which I, barely 4 months old and helpless, am standing supported by ma’s sturdy hands by my armpits. My mouth full of cerlac and a bowl of cerelac kept at a safe distance. Another favourite picture of mine shows me about 6 months old, dressed in blue sweater and white woollen pants, and carried in my mother’s arms, flanked by my eight year old sister. The most striking thing in the picture is the expression on my ma’s face - protective, possessive, caring and full of love.
Yes, that’s what a mother stands for. Motherhood is determined by two factors, namely biological and social. A biological mother is one who has been fortunate to go through the cycle of motherhood, who has carried her child in her womb for nine months, and labours to give birth to the child. The social aspect or phase of mother is the social role that a woman plays in the society as a mother.
‘Matro devo bhava’ Mother is considered the manifestation of God on earth. She is considered as our first guru. She is the one who starts to impart education to a child and prepares him/her for the big bad world outside. Her constant complaints of her children not eating enough, not eating the right kind of food, losing lots of weight, working too hard often go unheard. Her dedication to the family is endless. She will eat only after everyone in the family has eaten. Her efforts to cook what we (the individual members of the family) eat are endless. Wherever she maybe, her duties towards her family surfaces first. Fighting all odds, she manages to multi-task and successfully complete all work. The only concern at the back of her mind is always about her children and family.
As kids (be it boy or girl), we are waging a continuous battle with our mothers in some way or the other. Girls are said to be mother’s best friend. But simultaneously there is a considerable difference of opinions that exists among children and mothers. But, by the end of the day, the children always return to their mothers for help, crying, complaining and to weep out the woes. Whatever we don’t care to do in their presence, we make sure we do it in their absence. She has been always been there for us, working out tirelessly, while the laziness in us shunned the easiest of the tasks.
And if today the family system in India has still retained the values and principles it used to have before, it can be solely attributed to the hardworking mothers. It is the conscious efforts of the mother –the first lady in every family that forms the pillar of a strong family.
We shouldn’t have one single day to express our gratitude and feelings to our mothers. Let us salute her everyday for her selfless and wonderful work. Without you, it would have been very tough to imagine life.
Anupama Prabhu - Archives: