Mothers’ Day has arrived.
Growing up, I cannot recall ever celebrating this “day”. It is an event that appears to have grown and grabbed everyone’s attention in the recent past. Each year, as this “special” day comes around, I wonder if it is appropriate to set aside a single day for honoring the woman who carries and nurtures a child in her womb for nine months before delivering a lifetime of loving care for her offspring?
As with most things now, algorithms create marketing methodologies that, tugging at emotional strings, goad us into believing what we must do to celebrate our mum. Expressions like “It’s Mothers’ Day. We “have” to ….” etc., suggest a compulsion and not a heartfelt desire to do something special to honor mother. It is not just retail businesses, mothers are now a convenient “touchy feely” prop for politicians as well.
However, setting aside commercial undertones it is nevertheless wonderful that people’s memory and conscience is jogged such that it prompts them to do something special for their mother, even if only once a year. On the other hand, there are countless people who need no external stimuli to think of or, serve their parents wholeheartedly each day. My own sister-in-law and her husband have been devotedly and tirelessly providing exhausting round-the-clock care to my ninety-two years old mother-in-law for several years. Life has come a full cycle it seems. In this instance, the adage “Child is father to the man” stands amended as “Child is mother to the woman.”
Parents hold a special place in our heart; mums even more so. Their memories come alive, especially around kitchens and bedrooms for a reason. How can we forget the special dishes and bedtime cuddles that made us feel special and/or safe. In times of need, mother could be both a holder of puerile secrets and the bastion against father’s wrath. A dispenser of tender kisses that served as a soothing balm against real and emotional hurts, she also excelled at public relations and no child of hers ever “came second in the class”. The Urdu poet Munawwar Rana has captured these sentiments beautifully in the following ashaar (verses):
|Barbād kar diyā hameñ pardes ne magar||The foreign land has (all but) ruined me, (yet)|
|maañ sab se keh rahī hai ki beTā maze meñ hai||(My) mother continues to tell everyone that her son is well and enjoying life|
|Abhī zinda hai maañ merī mujhe kuchh bhī nahīñ hogā||My mother is still alive (so) no harm will ever come to me|
|meiñ ghar se jab nikaltā huuñ duā bhī saath chaltī hai||(Because) when I leave my home, (her) prayers/benediction also travel with me|
|Chaltī phirtī huī ā.ankhoñ se azaañ dekhī hai||My wandering eyes have witnessed the Call to Prayer|
|meiñ ne jannat to nahīñ dekhī hai maañ dekhī hai||(although) heaven has not been sighted by me, I have seen mother|
On this Mothers’ Day, I feel compelled to repost an earlier blog of mine to honor motherhood:
A dear friend who shares my love of music had suggested including the following song written by Majrooh Sultanpuri for the 1970 movie Dastak (The Knock) composed by Madan Mohan and sung by India’s nightingale, Lata:
“O’ mother mine, how (or, with whom) can I share the pain in my heart”