Happy Mother’s Day! I am going to make little sense here, but read on anyway.
If I were to count the times you’ve put me before yourself, I’d go crazy. I can’t count that far, you know numbers were never my thing (sorry Papa!). But words are kind of my thing, so instead of counting the times you’ve sacrificed something for my needs, I will just pick one and take it from there. I pick travel. You completely gave up travel for us kids. With the kind of expensive education we got, and pretty much everything else we wanted – the household finances did not allow big vacations, and weekend getaways weren’t even a thing back then.
Yes, you travelled non stop for work, the kind of daily up and down that would have made me throw my hands up and declare defeat. But you never even paused to take a break. You ran like a machine – between a demanding job (I assume being the principal of a Govt Girl School wasn’t easy at all), three hyper active kids and pretty much the entire house hold chore-sheet. It helped that Papa is a hands on dad and you guys managed to make it all look easy breezy. But now that I have an actual house hold to run, AND a kid to bring up, I know better than to believe that it was ever easy. Now, I know better.
I can go on and on about you, honestly, but I will make it about me – again. Mainly because I know you’d not want it any other way – I know how much you love boasting about me, your daughter, the “celebrity author” no matter how much it embarrasses me and I beg you not to use those words. The unadulterated pride in your eyes when you say those words, makes me shut up sometimes, because it is so overwhelming. I still have a long, super freaking long way to go, but when you say it, it feels true. When you say it, I feel accomplished.
Your pride in me, Ma, makes me want to celebrate us. And the long way we have come together.
We don’t always agree on things, and I am the annoying self-proclaimed humanist who has the bloody guts to tell you to not laugh on something because – Karma, or to stop judging an actress because – Feminism. Those are instant reactions that I can’t seem to stop.
But that don’t mean that I don’t know, in my heart, that it is your good karma that is helping all three of us out today. I may act like it sometimes, but I never forget that you are the very definition of Feminism, the strongest woman I know who made it all seem like a cake walk.
It wasn’t a cake walk, and I would know. I was the very definition of Tough Kid.
But you never gave up on me. You stood by me, in your own way, when I wanted to change subjects right after school, when I didn’t want to attend the college of your choice, and every other time when I was difficult. I am a so-called Parenting Blogger today, and whatever I know of parenting, is from you. All through my growing up years, you refused to let my stupid, sometimes downright outrageous actions, stop you from believing in me, and that is good parenting. Pat on your back for that Ma, see how well I turned out, right? Hehe.
Seriously though, I have a lot to thank you and Papa for, and I keep doing it through my writings because all we do when we are together is laugh like lunatics or seriously discuss Bollywood and/or Contemporary Fiction. We’re two cool girls, Ma. Hope Gauri falls in line too.
You remember the offbeat holiday I forced you to take with Gauri and me, last year? You kept trying to dissuade me after you found out that your darling son-in-law has been called for duty. I got slightly annoyed and asked you to just trust me and take a taxi. You relented, still unsure and we took a taxi. That was the best decision of my life, not because the place was stunning (it was!) or because we had an amazing time trekking the Himalayas (we did!) – but because the next morning when I woke up and joined you on the terrace, you were humming happily and sipping on hot Adrak Chai, and the moment you saw me emerge out of the room, you said – “Thank God you made me take this trip, Tuna. This is the best vacation of my life!”
You went back to humming and watching the clouds float over the Himalayas, but me? I was rooted to the spot for a moment. I was so touched by your simplicity that I choked on some unexplained emotions. It was just two sentences, but I felt like I’ve done something right. I felt stupidly euphoric. You understand how I feel, right Ma? because I can’t explain it… so much for being a writer, meh.
And on this Mother’s Day, all I want to say is, I love you more than you know, more than I have ever said. I am awkward when it comes to saying the right things at the right time, and you know that too well. So I’m writing it here. Tomorrow is Gauri’s fourth birthday and there is just too much work to do, so I am doing what I do best – ignoring the shit-loads of work and sitting here typing this out in the hope that my love with reach you like a warm hug and keep you smiling and absent-mindedly singing a song a in an adorable off-key tone like you sometimes do. (Shree and Somya would know what I mean, so ask them if you don’t believe me!)
Love you. Thank you for everything. And let’s plan a longer, fancier holiday, just us girls.
Happy Mother’s Day, ma!