The popular TV series Westworld had an episode in which a character mouths this philosophical observation, “You live for as long as someone remembers you”.

There are many people who came into my life and having lived their lives, moved on.  Some of them still live on … they come alive instantly when I think of them.  Others linger in the memory like a fading sepia photograph that one has to stare at and focus hard to decipher the once vibrant images.

The loss of a loved one is painful, but on losing a parent one feels like a kid whose security blanket has been yanked away.  While I lost my mother nearly two decades ago, my wife lost her mother earlier this week.  In an earlier blog, I had touched on the importance of celebrating motherhood each day and not wait for an annual Mothers Day.  Your “I love you” will echo emptily in the void if the recipient has moved on.

We are going through unprecedented times where a lot of folks are unable to visit with or, care for their parents and worry about their well-being.  While sharing their concerns and mouthing a prayer for the safety of all, this week’s blog includes a few verses to highlight that mothers are our guardian angels keeping watch over us.  Know that they are the source of our strength, instead of the other way around.

Duā ko haat uThāte hue laraztā huuñ Raising my hands in prayer, I tremble
kabhī duā nahīñ māñgī thī maañ ke hote hue (for) I had never sought benediction while mother was around
  • Iftikhar Arif
Kal apne-āp ko dekhā thā maañ kī āñkhoñ meñ Yesterday I saw myself in my mother’s eyes
ye ā.īna hameñ būḌhā nahīñ batātā hai This mirror never ages me
Jab bhī kashtī mirī sailāb meñ aa jaatī hai If ever my boat gets caught up in a deluge
maañ duā kartī huī ḳhvāb meñ aa jaatī hai Praying, Ma appears in my dreams
Ye aisā qarz hai jo maiñ adā kar nahīñ saktā This debt is such that I cannot ever pay back
meñ jab tak ghar na lauTūñ merī maañ sajde meñ rahtī hai (where) my mother stays kneeling to the ground in prayer until I return home (safe)
  • Munnawar Rana
Ek muddat se mirī maañ nahīñ soī ‘tābish’ For a long time my mother has not slept, “Tabish” (poet’s pen name)
maiñ ne ik baar kahā thā mujhe Dar lagtā hai (because) I told her once that I am scared
  • Abbas Tabish

To those that have departed; we shall remember and keep you living in our memory.

To mums out there serving others, leaving their own kids and families behind, “You remain in our thoughts and prayers – stay safe and be well”.

Let us honour and celebrate all Mothers, each day.

10 Replies to “Motherhood”

  1. Thank you Pankaj for sharing this post. My deepest condolences to Ritu and you on the passing of your loved one.

    I have been meaning to write to you – I have been thinking how I would have loved to read your thoughts during these difficult times. I sincerely hope that you been writing all along for posterity!

    My warmest loving regards to you and Ritu.




  2. Our loved ones live on in our memories in myriad ways. The couplets on mothers are ever so sweet, and your own observation about fading sepia photographs reminded me of the old Nida Fazli favourite – Phate purane ek album mein chanchal ladki jaisi maa.

    Liked by 1 person

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