Mothers’ day…

Yesterday, my fb page was full of friends wishing all a very happy mothers’ day.

There are a few who think all this mothers’ day, fathers’ day, sisters’ day, brothers’ day, friendship day, women’s day, men’s day etc. are all recent trends marketed by greeting card companies.

And there are a few who believe that the perception of motherhood differs greatly in the west. They need one day in a year to stop and thank the person who has nourished them from when they’re born. “What’s the use of sending her to an old age home and ignore her 364 days of a year and suddenly honour her one day?” they ask.

Of course western mothers are also a lot unlike our own homegrown Nirupa Roy kind of mothers. They do not cling to their babies from day one. A baby sleeps alone in a separate room with only a beeper for company from the day he/she comes home from the hospital.

Children are taught to feed themselves and be independent long before they take their first steps.

I am no way suggesting the mothers there are hearltess, selfish creatures who ignore the needs of their young ones, but the rules of growing up are very different.

I just cannot imagine a mother here, sending her child to bed without supper if he/she misbehaves. Of course, a whack in the back is perfectly normal, but not feeding your child is definitely not.

We see mothers clinging to their babies long after the babies themselves have babies.

I just finished reading a book called ‘Aftertaste’ by Namita Devidayal where the central character is a mother universally called ‘Mummyji’ who establishes a flourishing sweet business in Mumbai when her huband loses all his money. The story follows her struggle in the early years and how she manipulates her four children by creating small insecurities, pitching one against another and makes sure she never loses control over her family fortunes.

A gritty lady for whom whose calamities only makes her strong, who remains a formidable influence in all her childrens’ life till she breathes her last.

A very interesting read which gives us a sneak peek into the minds of  an all-powerful mother, her simple, but malleable husband, their simple-minded eldest son and his family, a spoilt & beautiful, but perpetually insecure elder daughter, a meek and quiet younger daughter & a rebellious and belligerent youngest son.

The importance and influence of a kick ass mother in her children’s lives kept me riveted to this book. I just couldn’t help thinking what an awesome power a woman can have on her world if she’s strong enough.

The book ends with her children feeling strangely liberated after her death and all her carefully & secretly stashed wealth remains undiscovered.

The moral of her story – Family and love are much more important than money.

A simple moral, but told in a very interesting narration which flows from one character to another so seamlessly.

Anyway, this post is not exactly a book review, so let me come back to mothers’ day.

As I was saying a mother & motherhood  in India is an all-powerful phenomena than elsewhere in the world. She can create, destroy, nourish & nurture at her will.

Before anyone points out that women are still oppressed in most parts, let me tell you behind every oppressing man, stands an oppressing mother or grandmother or an aunt who directs the puppet man. Man or woman, the way we treat others around us is primarily taught only by our mothers.

So here’s wishing a belated mothers’ day to the all-powerful, all-knowing Indian Maa!