Mothers All

May 11th was Mothers’ Day and we welcomed our readers to send in their best moments with their Mums, what they miss doing with them, what inspires them etc.

We asked them to:

1. Share one of the innumerable special qualities of your Mum or Mother Figure that you have learnt and has now become a part of your personality.

2. Share one incident or anecdote or even a personality trait from your Mums or Aunts life that has left you inspired.

3. One really funny incident that leaves you in splits or brings a smile on your face even today.

4. One moment that you really wish you could do more often… Like in my case, I miss my chai times and gupshup with my Mum. What’s your thing that you miss?

 

And it was so amazing to read everyone’s stories. Each one so inspiring, so fuzzy, warm and strong. We opened up the submissions for the entire month. Here’s what we have received till now.

First to send in was Ms. Anu Menon from UK 🙂

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My mom is a beautiful women, a great friend, brings sunshine to my days and gives me countless reasons to shine.

1.Her patience on how she never gets annoyed while multitasking and also her kindness that she shows to everyone.

2. The role of a mother in our life is irreplaceable. My mother’s personality has always inspired me to be like her. Her optimistic and enthusiastic nature always makes me wonder how she manages the household chores and dozens of other responsibilities impeccably. She has always known to manage time, spend time with her children and perform her duties in taking care of the house. Her unconditional love and never give-up attitude to ensure happiness in the family is what I love most about her. She has not only educated us, but she also has taught us to be a good human being.

3.My mom is only used to reading books which interests her, like cookery and handicrafts.

One day, I had to go out leaving my daughter with her. My little one is so used to hearing bedtime stories before she goes off to sleep. As usual, she handed a little book to granny to read. When I reached home, Mom said,” Can you believe that I read a storybook to your little one though I have not read even a single book to you when you were a child.” This incident brings smile to my face even today.

4. I miss the frank long conversations on any topic under the sun, over yummy snacks that she prepares, in the evening. I also miss the impromptu shopping and travelling with her.

 

Monalisa Banerjee from Dallas, Texas writes in to us about her Mum 

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1. My Mommy Strongest !!! Real boss Lady who taught me never give up and be your best. My mommy social interpersonal skill is one of most special skill I liked and same has become part of my personality. She is awesome personality who maintains all cordial relationship with multiple family members and friends.

2. During my early childhood my mother use to take care of Dad, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, my brother and me . It was impressive to see her managing expectation of multiple generations and never giving up. She was backbone of our family. Those days women would prefer to have nuclear family and avoid taking care of in laws or older generation. But kudos to my mom who successfully managed all family members from very young age.

3. One really funny incident that leaves you splits or bring smile on your face even today.
Mom could never be angry with me. Whenever she would get angry with us she would have mild smile in her face and that seem to be funny. I refer to it as “mommy cheeky smile.

4. One moment that you really wish you could do more often ….
Doing gossips with my Mom and eating her homemade Sooji Halwa. My Mom is awesome in making 5 minutes quick delicious snacks.

 

Harshikaa Udasi from Mumbai, India, writes…

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1. Guess what? I am nothing like my mum. She is great at stitching, embroidering, cooking and people management, and I seem to have inherited none of it. But when I scratch my brains, it’s got to be the uninhibited singing that I have definitely got from her. She and I can begin singing at the drop of a hat. I remember when I was a kid, the two of us would sing from a book of Lata Mangeshkar songs. It was torn and tattered but it held the most amazing memories. She has introduced me to the beautiful world of lyrical nuances.

2. My mum has nerves of steel and can handle any situation. I really do look up to her for it. One incident stands strong in my memory – the time when we were shifting houses. Due to some serious mischief on the part of the homeowner whose apartment we were shifting into, we realized we were homeless for one night. We had bundled up everything in our home and handed over the keys to the person who had bought our house, and we were heading towards the new home we had bought and we realized that family was not moving until the next day! My uncle and aunt who stayed close by came around to rescue us. But we didn’t know how to manage the truck with all our things. My parents had a quick discussion and mom decided to stay put with the truck. Our old neighbours gave her company way into the night but eventually they went to sleep. Of course, they asked mom to come over but since it was not a gated community there was a chance of theft and my mom stayed the night in the truck. I was very very scared but I was in awe of her! Next morning when I hugged her super tight, she just laughed out loud.

3. The funniest thing happened just the next day. We moved into our new house on the sixth floor of a building. There was no electricity so we had to bring up smaller things ourselves in several walking trips. Mercifully, we didn’t have too much furniture. But it was all one big chaotic mess. By 8 at night, we were all in and supremely hungry. So dad and I went off on the scooter to get masala dosas for dinner. “Get me 2 masala dosas. I am very hungry,” were mom’s instructions. For someone who doesn’t eat one masala dosa by herself, I was quite surprised. Dad explained that it maybe because she hadn’t had a sit down dinner since the previous night. We came back within fifteen minutes and were serving the hot dosas, when mom said she’d shower and change. I went to check on her and found her deep in sleep on the bed instead. She was so exhausted that she went flat out! Till day, whenever she declares that she is very hungry, dad and I wink at each other and ask her if we should get her two masala dosas!

4. What I really miss about being with her all the time are our fun lunches together. Mom would sometimes pack up a mini lunch and have a picnic with my brother and I on the terrace of our building. It was crazy! On some days she would announce that she was tired of cooking and make a large pot of khichdi with all veggies thrown in with several litres of chaas to wash it down with. She still does. Then there were mango-milkshake-and-watermelon-juice summers! But most of all, what I miss are her stories about growing up in Paksitan partly and then in a tiny house in a crowded street of Bombay.

She stays just 10 minutes away from me but handling my own house, I can’t meet her as often as I would like to. Managing the reading club, my writing, our child and his school is quite a full-time job.

Wonder how my Mom does it all! Love you and happy mothers’ day!

 

Here’s another contribution from Solopassport – Raksha Nagaraj from Australia. About her beautiful Mother, she Says,

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1. My mother, rather Amma as I call her, is my strength and the rock solid pillar who always stands by my side. She is that one person whom I can always count on and I know she will always be there for me. She is my best friend and she is my mentor. One of the best qualities that I have picked up from Amma is her empathy towards people and animals. I have always seen her help and give as much as possible to the needy. That is a very rare quality these days and I have seen my mother do it selflessly. Be it a dobhi or a maid or a beauty parlour lady, my mother is always ready to help. And even though I cannot be as selfless as her, I do have little bit of her personality in me. And I am proud to have got this quality of her.

2. When I was little, my mother always made sure she would take me to movies every Saturday. This was her way of spending time with me. We went on dinners together as a family at least once a week. We drove around M.G Road just for the fun of it. It was the precious memories my mom and dad were trying to create as a family.

Then as and when I became older, everything stopped. I chose movies, dinners and everything else with friends. I chose sitting at home than travelling with my parents (yes, they went on lot of road trips and now you know where I get my travel genes). Somewhere the precious moments vanished.

3. But few years ago, after some loss (a big impacted one), I realised that making memories is so important. You never know about tomorrow. And no-one absolutely no-one can be more important than parents and loved ones. And I made a promise to myself, I will travel with my mom at least once a year. It can be as simple as visiting a small garden in an unknown place or a road trip that she hates. But whatever it is, I will spend sometime with her (only her) once a year. Ever since my mother and I have been to Fiji, road tripping in Tasmania, Cambodia, Malaysia and to one of her most favourite places Varanasi.

4. The one thing that I miss when I am not with her is her continuous stories. I miss chatting with her and sleeping on her lap.

 

Varsha Pillai writes from Bangalore, India, about her Best Friend, Her Mother.

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1. Amma knows everything about me, from heartbreaks to what bugged me. Wherever I am, I always am connected with her, she is my best friend in more ways than one. What I wish I could do more often is listen to stories of how she straddled both her work and home effortlessly.

2. She took on a neighbour that was ill-treating a dog and asked them to take care of it, else she would report them!

3. Once we were traveling in a bus in Pune, going to my Amma’s Aunt’s house, the bus broke down and we had to wait for almost 45mins for the next bus to come in, till then women co passengers had become friends with Amma and they knew there to know about us! They told them anecdotes about us and we were rolling our eyes and trying to tell her to stop talking!!!

 

Dhriti Chatterjee writes in from US and shares inspiring stories of her Mum…

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1. There are a lot of women who I look up to but, the one who always stands out for me is Mummaa. I feel I understood her strength more as I started to live my life as an adult. Earlier she was an awesome mom because she made awesome food, managed to keep everyone happy, she was very loving and caring and I could never figure out why my friends felt comfortable sharing their secrets with maa. As I grew older I slowly began to comprehend the sacrifices she made…the hurt, frustration she must have felt but never showed. I finally understood that silent strength.
One of her qualities that I am still trying to learn is ‘look beyond what I perceive to be someone’s short comings and recognize my own faults and correct them.

2. The biggest example of this trait of hers was when my dad was admitted in the ICU. I don’t know how she found the strength to chant prayers for the other patients there ( all of them recovered and were discharged during our stay). She made us pray for them as well. I remember one morning when she came to the hospital ( my sis and I would stay in the ICU lobby and maa would come in the morning) she gathered my sister and I and told us she was unable to sleep properly because she felt very bad about something and she realized her mistake and corrected it in her morning prayers. What had happened the day earlier was that maa and us ( sis and I ) were chanting for someone else in the ICU and they got some good recovery news by late afternoon however, dad’s health had not improved. Maa said she felt jealous for sometime as to why the prayers worked for someone else but not her own husband…then she realized her mistake. How can she pray for someone and once her prayers are answered feel bad that some got answered and not all ( in this case prayers for baba)that was not right. That was the day I realized just how awesome my mom is.

3. With strength she also has this funny side to her … which always seems to come out when it comes to my driving skills. I seriously am a good driver and can drive for hours ( of course I AVOID driving in downtown- big cities) but, maa will always be like ‘ oh poor you .. your neck must be hurting so bad… she will tell my hubby to give me a good neck massage and the two of them will laugh at my expense. You see according to maa ( well dad would also join her) I am like a truck driver and I only look straight and wouldn’t even turn my head for conversation… I do!!!

4. If I could I would spend all my days n nights with maa near me. What I miss the most is laying my head on her lap while she runs her fingers thru my hair and we just chat .

Nidhi Mehta from Pune, India writes in about her lovely Mom…

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1. Mom- special qualities that have taught me a lot and stay with me = strong personality, never say never attitude, use time well, never give up, cook fresh for the family, love always no matter what, i can do it attitude, mom is here to help attitude.

2. There are many, but one I clearly remember is – I was in 5th grade. The school was planning a celebratory 10 years dance show. I was a participant as I always loved dance. Practice had started 3 months in advance. 1 month before the show, we as a family had planned a trip as it was a school vacation. This was informed to the dance teacher. After coming back, she told me she won’t take me for the dance as I missed practice. I was extremely upset and scared that after so much of practice my teacher just kicked me out. Everyone in school was shocked. Inspite of being informed! Just like that!! And I was always a good dancer. My mom being herself, she took me to the principal of the school and asked the principal what did I do wrong. Told me to stop being scared and tell the truth. I’ll never forget that lesson. It taught me to speak my mind and fight for my rights.

3. During my 12th boards,my center for exam was vile parle and residence was sion. So my mom would come to drop me and stay there to take me back home. After one such exam, it was evening and we both were hungry. Mom was like there’s a good sandwich wala here, let’s pack and go home as she had to reach well in time to cook dinner. So we packed the sandwiches and she started to drive while I started to eat. While eating, I was feeling sorry for her, as she was hungry too. So during a signal, I offered her a bite, which she just accepted, I am still putting that piece of sandwich in her mouth and this is a bigger piece… And mom is struggling to fit it in her mouth… And suddenly, the signal turns green. Both of us are struggling and the auto wala next to us is laughing . And mom starts laughing in that exact situation. I still can’t forget the look on her face, whether to laugh or to eat or to drive.

4. I miss face to face chatting with my mom, I miss her haath ka chai. I miss shopping with her, I miss her champi, her scolding, her haath ka khana.. Oh the list will never end. 

Continuing with our celebration of Mothers in the month of May, here is another contribution from Isha Chandra, who writes in from the US to tell us about her Mum…

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1. My mother has unparallel ethics and morals – something that I absolutely admire, especially after having seen a variety of shades of people’s personalities so far in my life. She says what she does and does what she says. She has a clean heart and has absolutely no interest in gossips, drama or any type of politics. She works very hard and stays true to herself. That is an integral part of my personality, something that is rather non-negotiable for me. I can proudly say that I have very high ethics, both in my personal and professional life and every day I can face the ‘woman in glass’ with confidence, all thanks to my mother for her upbringing 

2. I am amazed and inspired at the same time by how much my mother believed in me and my sister. Being a mother myself now, I realize its power and the impact it has on little minds. Going against all odds she just believed in us and was fixated to invest in our education and raise two strong independent women. I was a bit of a nerd growing up and loved to be around books most of the time and she would never force me to do any household chores, I would only do them out of choice. There was a time in my life when the world had come crashing down and the one person that stood tall behind me was my mother. She has always supported my life’s choices – be it changing my career from science to business administration or deciding to marry the person of my choice from a different caste or as simple as just letting me wear whatever I wanted to wear – all because she always believed in me. I aspire to be a mother like her to Ayaansh, who believes in her child, who lets him be him, who doesn’t compare and most importantly who doesn’t not enforce any societal norms.

3. My mum has this funny talent of developing her own lyrics to even the most popular of songs and she doesn’t realize she is tampering the lyrics big time. Lol. She just needs to know the tune and she not only conjures up lyrics on the fly but also would sing that with confidence. Both me and my sister would correct her but it would leave us in splits everytime she would do that.

4. What I miss most is my Mum’s cooked food and family time! When mum would make aloo parathas in winters, we would not have the patience to wait in the dining room so both me and my sister would put a mat in the kitchen and just sit there on the kitchen floor chatting with her while she would serve us the world’s best hot parathas (this was when there were strict dining rules in my family 😉) Having those parathas and homemade chutneys in the cozy kitchen, accompanied by conversations, giggles and chuckles is one of my favorite memories and is something I would love to do everyday in a heartbeat!

And while I wait for more ‘Power Mother’ stories, here’s mine. Here’s presenting, Ms. Rajshri Mukherjee

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1. My Mum is my Core. I am her Daughter. And I am so proud of her. She is extremely talented, beautiful, soft natured but gritty at times, she has the resilience of a rock and she pretty much is the pillar of strength in my home. I don’t think I can have any of her qualities completely, coz she is so unique. But what I do try to learn from her is being satisfied with what you have, being patient and never giving up.

2. Her one quality that leaves me inspired is the amount of work that she does with a smile on her face. Just like that. There is no itemisation of what she does through the day, there is no hankering for credit, no fussing or fretting… If there is something that needs to be done, she will do it. And to do that with her grace and smile is so inspiring. That’s what my brother and I always talk about.

3. Funny incidents that I shared with her are so many. But one that stands out is, from when I was in high school and that mum and I used to go to the nearest dairy to buy fresh milk. Now, they also had a cattle shed adjoining that dairy. One evening, mum and me, hand in hand were literally tra-la-laing to the dairy, when one of the cows had set loose and came running out of the shed and charged straight at us. In that split second, my mum and I just fled in the opposite directions, not knowing where the other went. After ten minutes, we started calling out to each other, and then when we met, we laughed so hard that we cried. And for the longest time after that, we didn’t go to buy milk 😁😂

4. What I really miss… Just sitting beside her, with our cups of tea or coffee and talking non-stop. I miss her.

 

Isha Banerjee Srivastava from Pune, India writes,

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Isha Banerjee Srivastava writes from Pune, India, about her Grandmother.

1. I am grateful for this life that I have been blessed with so many mother figures who are my constants. Be it my Mother, my Aunts (perks of being brought up in a joint family), my Mother-in-law, my elder cousins, and to an extent my younger sister and a few friends who, being of the same age, act nothing less than a mother to me. Having said that, the realisation of what a mother is like came from my Grandmother – my Aamma. She is no more with us today, but her presence accompanies me in all my ups and downs.

2. She is my torch-bearer. I try to think like her and inculcate her teachings in all the paths of my life. She has been the strongest lady in the family. Her words were straight from her own rulebook, which no one could override. I try to be like her and be optimistic in all situations of life. No matter what comes next, she dealt it with the fierce spirit. To some extent, I embrace the same attitude. My Aamma was a strong lady who would run everything perfectly and with all the hisaabs at her fingertips. One would hardly believe that she could ever change herself for others. But that is the most astonishing thing about her.

I have hardly met someone in their 60s or above, who is ready to believe the concept of ‘Change is the only constant.’ Generally, people say that you can’t change him or her at this age, but that didn’t hold true for my Aamma. She being a wife of a high ranking Naval Officer, being a woman of such a stature, raising 4 kids mostly as a single Mom while my GrandPa was on duty for the nation; she was ready to embrace the fact that times have changed, and was ever ready to welcome the new age thinking and modern society values.  I could tell her anything and everything, and be assured that she won’t judge. And that is one of the rare qualities that I would find in someone of her age.

3. Apart from all these qualities, the other thing that I am sure I have got from her is being humorous. Laughter and sense of humor are the essentials of life. There are many such incidents where she left me in awe of what is this lady doing, but one such incident on top of my head is this one –

Once Aamma and I went to visit the Vishwanath Temple (the famous Shiva temple in Kashi/Banaras). It was very close to our home. We were onboard an auto-rickshaw, whose Auto-driver was an always available for you type, ‘Mataji, jab bhi kahi jana ho bas aawaz laga dijiye, hum haazir ho jaenge.’ So, he was like her personal auto driver. Well, we were at the entrance of the Vishwanath gali, which is a slender pathway that leads to the temple. The gali being so narrow, only pedestrians are allowed on that. So, our auto-rikshaw stopped at the mouth of the gali. Aamma asked the auto-driver to check with the Policeman on duty at the entrance, whether the auto can get an approval to enter the gali till the Vishwanath mandir main gate. Aamma had difficulty in walking due to acute pain in her legs because of arthritis, but still she wanted to visit the mandir. Some sense of devotion, I would say, which I don’t think I have in me. I do worship daily, but bhakti at the cost of my own health, I don’t think I would be able to pursue. Anyways, coming back to the situation;

So, the policewala came and said, “Mataji, aage to allowed nahi hai, hum jaane kaise de, bataiye?” Aamma, in her very convincing tone said, “Arre beta, aap Bholenath ki duty pe hai, hum bhi to unki hi duty pe ja rahe hai. Darshan kar lene dijiye, aapko bhi punya milega !” Policewala sticking to his original statement, ”Mataji, hum rule nahi break kar sakte hai na. Hume pata hai aapke jodo me dard hai, lekin hum bhi to majboor hai. Aap yahi se haath jod lijiye Bum Bhole k.”

Aamma, having the feeling that the policewala wont nudge, the last trick she tried, “Theek hai…”, gazing at the name badge of the policewala, “Manthan Dwivedi saahab, hum bhi kuch din me to Bholenath k paas jane hi wale hai, budhiya ki to umar ho gayi hai. Unse milne pe hum aapki sifaarish kar denge k Sub-Inspector Manthan Dwivedi badi zor laga k puri shraddha k saath apni duty kar rahe hai, bas ek budhiya ko aapke dwaar aane nahi diye. Koi baat nahi, ek galti to bhagwan maaf kar hi dete hai.” Taking a pause, she turned to the auto-driver, “Chalo Ram Samujh, ghar ki taraf mod lo. Dwivedi ji ko unki duty karne dete hai..”

Policewala was taken aback with what he just heard, or I think he was scared of doing a paap on his punya duty, he turned towards the driver and said, “Jao bhaiya, budhiya ko le jao andar gali me, darshan karwa do Bholenath ka, warna kya pata hume narak me bhej de ye ulti sifarish kar k.” Then he looked at Aamma sitting inside the auto-rikshaw, “Mataji, ab to khush? Sahi wali sifarish kariyega is bar.” And he gave a big smile as if he is asking the old lady to do a personal favor.

Aamma was in her full sense of pride, as if she accomplished a huge goal in life. Whole this while, I was a silent spectator, who was trying to analyze ‘what in Bum Bhole’s name was happening’. Finally, when we reached the mandir, Aamma burst out in a huge giggle, held my hand and said, “Bitiya Rani, zindagi ke mazey to haasya ras me hai. Hasoge aur hasaoge nahi to jeeoge kaise. Dekhna, aaj policewala bhi ghar ja k khoob hasega.

4. All the moments spent with her, are special and close to my heart. I miss each day spent with her. She was my best friend. I would tell her all about my crushes, my friends, my fears and fun days at school, and what not. My friends too were very sociable with her, she used to refer them as her boyfriends and girlfriends. They used to come to my house, even when I wasn’t there. They used to have snacks, gossip with Aamma, take some advice from her and leave, even without meeting me. That was her aura. I miss her all the time, I am sure she would have been proud of all her grandchildren, if she was here with us today. But nevertheless, I still feel her around me, whenever I think of her. Her vibrant smile lights my way every day and I know she is with me forever. I love my old lady, my Aamma !

Rinkoo Gupta, writes from Bangalore, India about her Mum:

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One of the latest entries for ‘All About Mum’ is from Rinkoo Gupta from Bangalore.

1) My mom my best friend- my mentor- my guide !!
A person I still look up for approvals for all clothes, jewellery, style related because she is the most stylish and graceful woman I have known

She has been always the most smartly dressed person and all my design sense comes from her.

I have always known her to be extremely good at everything she does. A very well organised person, extremely gracious host, excellent multi tasker and never shys away from hardwork.
My mom is my rockstar
When anyone sees her even today they always mistake her as my older sister 😂

2) Personality trait: I have learnt the excellent quality of jugaad or resourcefulness. I can make do with any situation because that’s how my mom raised me ( no ego, no attitude, best adjust to all the situation)

Her upbringing – which I am trying to adopt when I am bringing my daughter.
Her fabulous cooking who can cook anything and which turns out to be mouth watering and lip smacking.

Her habit of self care – which I try to incorporate. Her habit to be the best dressed person – she has always lived her life with the attitude of ” Live life king size” that’s my motto too !!!

3) Her absent mindedness brings a smile on my face, her child like innocence wants me to pull her cheeks all the time and love her all the more.
Her over feeding my friends always brings back happy memories and her non talk talking when I call her and just say Hello and then bye !!

I get her hyperness and over zeal towards life !!
I get her compassionate and big heart who is always there for everyone to help, guide and support and pray.

I have taken away from her her spiritual quotient

I remember a distinct incident till today that brings a smile to my face, when my 3rd grade teacher was more interested to see how my mom was dressed than discuss about me in class PTM, she would always ask me if my mom would come to school for my ptm ? As she thought that my mom looked like Shabana Azmi 😬😊

4) I miss my mom everyday
I miss times spent with her especially as a family. We were avid travellers and I miss my travels with her, her excited face to see new place to cherish the snow capped mountains.

I miss shopping with her as she always bought us the best things that she could afford

I miss her cooked food
I miss her presence around me

I love my Mom.

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