I defied my mother's dreams for me and she still supported me

8th May 2016
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Mother’s Day isn’t a new concept – it dates back to 1908, when Anna Jarvis organised a celebration in Grafton, West Virginia for the same. The tradition still continues more than a century later, and is a great way to appreciate our mothers, grandmothers, and motherhood in general. There can never be enough said about motherhood.

In the words of Sigmund Freud, “If a man has been his mother’s undisputed darling he retains throughout life the triumphant feeling, the confidence in success, which not seldom brings actual success along with it.”

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Manisha on the right with her mom and sister

I think I say this for a majority of us – man or woman – every child growing up is made to feel like the most special person in the world by their mum, capable of achieving whatever it is their dreams decry. That feeling of being special is what motivates our ambitions and pushes us to prove to the world that indeed we are special and capable of touching the skies. No matter how old or how successful one gets, we still look up to our mother as if we were still a child striving for her approval and terrified of her reprimands.

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Manisha with her mother

Although no day goes without me thinking of my mother, today, on Mother’s Day, I feel a bit more introspective about our relationship. For me, my biggest pillar of strength was and continues to be my mother – who, despite her life-long ambition of seeing me married to a nice Sindhi boy and settle down in the quintessential Indian manner of things, not only allowed, but actively supported me in pursuing my dreams and ambitions despite her skepticism. In a society that still believes in the glass ceiling for women, I am considered an anomaly for quitting a very comfortable ‘easy’ life to embark upon an arduous journey that has led me to where I am today. I wonder if I could have achieved what I have or reached where I am without my family’s guiding hand and constant encouragement.

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Mother daughter duo

Born in an upper middle-class business family – post my undergraduate studies, I was expected to a) marry a ‘suitable boy’ or b) take the family business forward. But I wanted to push my boundaries and head ‘saat samundar par’ (overseas) to pursue a master’s degree in Information Systems Management in Carnegie Mellon University. Although it went against my mum’s plan for me – she did once not stop me, but simply revised her dreams. Once again, I upset her nice and laid-out plans when I decided to leave the six-figure salary (the American dream) and start LogiNext and deep-dive into the world of uncertainties, back-breaking efforts and a single-minded focus on building and growing a company to the exclusion of all else.

I still remember some of the comments from our friends and family when I came back to India – “Beta visa nahin mili kya?” (Child, was your visa not approved?), “Naukri se nikal diya kya” (Were you thrown out of your job?), which amused me but worried my mum. Despite her misgivings, she wholeheartedly supported and encouraged me and was thrilled to bits when her faith in me was validated on the publication of the first article about me on YourStory . She gleefully went around showing all and sundry how her daughter was making waves in the tech world. She religiously ‘likes’ all my social media posts without reading most. She calls me ‘the son of the house’ but still worries about me getting married to a ‘nice boy’, which I find extremely touching. She is an Indian mom so I guess that’s part of her DNA.

Even today, when I have a bad day, she is the one I call, and I would assume it’s the same for most of us. We all instinctively retreat to the womb for comfort and strength. Our mothers make the world alright. Mother’s day is a nice reminder for us to stop a for a moment to think about their sacrifices for us, for all the love, support and never-ending confidence in our capabilities. They don’t need pretty gifts, just pick up the phone or better yet go give her a nice lovely hug and spend some time with her.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory)

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