We are storytellers. We tell stories of inspiration, courage, passion, success and also failure. If there is something to be said, we say it with a lot of love. Today, on Mother’s Day, here is your chance to catch a glimpse at the mothers who drive our storytellers to put their best foot forward, embrace their dreams and take the path less-trodden.
Melody, harmony and rhythm complete a piece of music. A mother's magnum opus is the well-being of her children. She rears them like a genius composer who spends days and nights perfecting a symphony. When the final piece of music is out – in the real world - her children are the musicians who will carry forth her values of sensitivity and freedom with a big heart. My mother was a woman who composed such a symphony. She loved children and was always kind to them.
Although I was her only child, there was never a dull moment in my house, because it would be filled with friends and cousins who were eager to savour her mastery over south Indian cuisine. Yes, she was protective of her only possession – me – and with such insecurities she also found time to be a banker, a collector of paintings and a believer in hard work. She lived by a belief that a house is only as good as the family that shared in their well-being. No one was exclusive in her household. Yet, her biggest failure could have been in giving me exclusivity over my life. Perhaps, I did not stand by her in times of need. Yet, she did not give up on me. She managed to be a pillar that would make me stand for an individual’s integrity and freedom. I have learnt a lot about life from watching her tenacity to make it work for people or things that mattered in her life, than giving up on them at the first instance of pain or struggle.
Although her enterprising nature was overshadowed by my father’s many promises, she found independence in moulding me like a song. For example, when my father was counting cash, she would read Aesop’s Fables and build an imagination. I became a storyteller, inevitable as it seems, to carry forward Vinutha’s – my mother - symphony of life.
Letter to my mother – Latha
You were a feminist before it was cool to be one. You are unique because you always believed there should be no difference in how sons and daughters are treated. You laughed when people sympathised with you for not having a son. You never once told me things that girls in most Indian families hear- “learn cooking so that you can cook for your husband and in-laws.” Instead you told me, “what if you become an IAS officer, and your cook does not turn up, and you have to eat something before leaving for work.” If your daughters are strong women, it is because you are one and so was your mother before you. Strong women raise strong daughters. You also taught us that being strong does not mean being emotionless. You are kind and I remember you shedding tears while reading the newspaper or watching news on television about people suffering due to war or calamities.
After having my babies and taking a break to care for them, one of the biggest factors that motivated me to get back to my career was because I knew how emotionally invested you were in my professional growth and I did not want to let you down. Another legacy that we inherited from you is humour. If we learnt ethics and commitment to work from Dad, we learnt from you that laughter is the foundation on which the most beautiful memories are built. You were a homemaker in the true sense of the word, building a safe cocoon for us. From cooking amazing food together as a family to listening to the funny anecdotes from your childhood, we did not need smartphones and cable TV to stay entertained.
Above all, I learnt the love for the written word from you. We read so much growing up, from newspapers to poetry to magazines to novels, it was like having hundreds of amazing teachers. I started writing with you. All those essay and oratory competitions in the pre-Internet, pre-Google days, when we would sit together and do our research from library books, they are some of the best memories of my childhood. You were strict too, when you needed to be. As a mother myself, I know now it is tough to always do the right thing. Thank you for trying your best.
Lots of love,
“You are so annoying and controlling mom!”
There are days when I feel my mother can be the most irrational and difficult person on the face of this planet. Difficult, controlling, annoying and stubborn. But, then again, I too am rebellious, stubborn, loud and boisterous.
The room I leave isn’t the same when I return. My mother would have shuffled papers on my table or would have rummaged through my drawers. Things that really bother me. Our tastes in movies don’t match, she hates the way I keep re-reading Harry Potter, she doesn’t understand my obsession with Game of Thrones, she hates my choice of lipsticks, and the list just doesn’t end.
And yet, if I don’t sit bleary-eyed every morning with a steaming cup of tea and have a conversation with her, my day just doesn’t feel right. Our conversations are mixed with arguments and laughter.
Even if it is something I don’t like or agree with, I can’t decide a thing without getting her opinion. I scream and fight with her. I may have made my mother cry more times than I am proud of. But every time I have fear clawing deep into my soul she is my armour.
And she says to me: “I have raised warriors. There is nothing in this world you can’t do. You just need to focus and put your heart to it and the world is yours.” Mom, we might fight and argue and even curse at each other but you are my superhero.
There is no one in this world that can replace a mother or her love. At the end of a long journey or in the face of small disappointments, in times of pain and joy, it is our moms that we want, however old we may grow.
Tell us about your mother, her story and how she has been an inspiration to you. Leave a comment below.