Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mom knows the best #Myfirstexpert

It was Mother's Day and I called up my mother to wish her. I have never considered Mother's Day only as a specific day to express anything to my mom. It has always been a day when I never failed to wish her. May be, just to keep up with the trend . I happened to see this video on Woman's Day, which is yet another day that the world celebrates. I feel, that everyone is celebrating it just for the sake of celebrating womanhood. Probably, we should be considering everyday as Woman's day or Mother's day. I was Googling these key words just to know what the world thinks about these special occasions when I came across this video. The video has been beautifully made. A message that a woman gives to her daughter. It made me forget about every question I had in my mind just minutes ago. My eyes moistened even before I could complete watching the video. I was missing home and foremost my mother, whom I call with lots of love- ' Amma or Mummy.' ( It has been the same way from childhood days.)

I am married for almost two years now and I have moved into a different city permanently away from my parents and my hometown into a new family. I am going to start another part of the vicious circle of womanhood, just as my mother. I have been away from home for pursuing my higher education after school. It has been ten years that I been away from home and from my parents. I have hardly stayed continuously with them for more than three months. I feel that once a woman enters into the marital phase she starts relating herself more with her mother. That is because she has seen her mother being that way from childhood.

I missed my parents in hostel and also when I was staying alone while working. But I started missing my mom more when I got married. Whenever I come home after work and sit outside in the verandah sipping a mug of coffee, I retrospect about my life. I enter my house unlocking the door only to look at the empty house. Multiple thoughts run in my mind. I am transported to those times when I used to come home from school only to be received by mom. Even now, post marriage when my parents are home, I am welcomed home with a warm cup of coffee made by my mother.

My school days used to start with a cup of coffee made by mom and it was always that way. No matter how tired she would be or how busy she was I always made sure she gave me a tumbler of coffee( that is how coffee is served in South Indian families). I could do anything to help amma during the day, like cooking, cutting vegetables, running errands for the house or cleaning the house but I wanted my coffee to be made by my mom. I waited for my first morning coffee even if it was given to me at 10 AM. The coffee sometimes was not as warm as I wanted and had less sugar. I complained about less sugar in my coffee still I wanted her to make it for me. Sometimes she got so frustrated with my morning coffee tantrums that  she once told me, " If you want more sugar then make it yourself." Despite all this I forced her to mix even the extra sugar and then give it to me. I would demand all this even when I came home during college breaks. Slowly situations changed. Now , I have to make coffee not only for myself but also for family and I cannot throw tantrums at anyone. I come home in the evening and make coffee for myself and have it alone.

I miss even making coffee for my mom. Whenever they come home I make sure I take out time to make the evening tea for my parents. My mom always complained that I never made good tea just because I didn't like it. To be honest, I never made good tea until two months before marriage. Only when I got to know that I had to sometimes make tea for my husband, did I start making good tea and also started enjoying sipping a warm cup of tea. On a lazy Sunday morning I wake up thinking mom would give me a cup of coffee. Soon, I am brought back to reality that I have to make one not only for me but also for my husband and even for my in-laws if they are here. Although my husband makes good coffee and at times surprises me in the morning, I can't really throw tantrums saying that the coffee is not adequately hot or has less sugar. I go to the kitchen myself and adjust it  according to my taste. Oh!! Even while I am writing about this I am missing the coffee connection I had with my mom. 

The hours of gossip with mom were always a turn on. It could be anything under the sun. I remember coming from school and discussing everything about the happenings of my day even without changing my school dress and continued this until we completed lunch while watching those daily soaps with high TRP's . Now, I don't even feel like watching any interesting soaps(if there do exist good ones)because I don't have my mother for company. My dad shouted at us for gossiping so much while having lunch and watching television at the same time. That is why my mother always waited to have lunch with me. That's doesn't mean we never has disagreements or arguments. We still have. They are mainly related to my clothes. I always ran to her for selection of the dress that I should be wearing for any occasion. In childhood days she decided everything for me. When I grew up, I selected and she used to approve. Then there came a time when she left me on my own to decide but, the confused person that I am, I made sure I gave her three options to select. The irony of the situation was that I never used to wear what she selected. It seldom matched with the choice I had in my mind. She used to get irritated and yell at me saying, " Why do you even ask for my opinion if you have already made up your mind to wear something else?" I used to smile shamelessly at her and give her a loving look only to show that it was just asking her that mattered to me. On many occasions I did listen to her and we came to a common decision. Oh God!! Dress selections are so important for women. For my marriage everything was decided by my mother and I. I was very happy with the selection of sarees, jewellery or even slippers that I wanted as a match to wear with each dress. I was so confident that I even left the gold jewellery selection to her and I was not even a bit disappointed. In fact, our relationship had become just like best girl friends. I had the freedom to even select a hairstyle for her and also the sarees that she should be wearing for specific occasions. Marriage has changed a lot of this because there is a permanent physical distance. I do call her up on phone and seek for her opinion. She practically remembers about all the sarees and dress materials that I have. I listen to her these days. I tried out the same with my husband. I give him multiple choice for selecting any dress that I should wear for any occasion and finally end up wearing what I had decided. He has repeated the same dialogue as my mother did. The only difference was that he swore not to select any dress for me again because I never went by his choice. I was probably looking for a motherly quality in him and I realized later that I was expecting too much. Mom will always be mom. Always so forgiving and loving. 

I have felt the same way as Deepika Padukone feels in this ad. Though I have never ended up late or ever had a lifestyle with which my parents had any complaints. But, I have made them worried many times.

I just wish I could gift her one such beautiful necklace some day. My mom is always worried about my health and my skin. She keeps complaining that I never take care of myself and I have always neglected my skin. Whenever there were any boils or pimples on my skin, mom always had a solution. Even if it took her the effort to take me to a good parlour she would do that. Even now when I Whats App my pictures to her, the first thing she notices is that my skin is not glowing, that I look sleepy eyed or bloated and I have lost the colour on my face. There might be multiple reasons but she has just one question, " Are you happy?" I laugh and I reply to her but I know deep down how concerned she is about me. Till date whenever she reads a home remedy beauty tip she preserves those paper cuttings and reads them out to me and if I don't follow her instructions, she gets upset. She always packed a homemade face pack when I left for college after holidays. Now that she is unable to send me face packs so often, I get instructions over the phone to make it by myself at home. I forget at times but when I remember to make one. Mom is always there to guide me. 

I had jet black, thick, silky and straight hair when I was small and still have some of it left thanks to the natural hair conditioning that my mom used to apply on my hair. Every week she used to apply oil for me and very patiently give me a nice head massage. I miss it the most; as from ten years there is no one to do it for me. At times when I miss a hair oil massage I end up going to a salon but no one can re-create mom's magic. I have asked my husband for help but innocent man, he doesn't even know how to apply oil for his hair properly, how could he apply it for me? I was just expecting too much from a simple man. The realization just keeps sinking that no one could give the feeling of warmth that mom  can give.

My mom suddenly contracted an incurable but controllable disease. There wasn't even a genetic connection. She suffered with Psoriasis and she is still suffering, without a proper cure. Sometime she used to cry in pain and I never understood the reason for her grief when I was a child. 28 years back there wasn't any cure for it and neither were there any discoveries in medical science which could find a potential cure for this disease.  Despite all this my mom never left any stone unturned in my upbringing. I don't remember now exactly how she did it but I have faint memories of her sufferings. Foremost, was helping me in maintaining my silky hair. Mom knew it all and she did everything. As I grew up I started realizing that behind all the normal things, she was enduring extreme pain. She went through a physical, mental as well as a social pain. At times she used to feel extremely low about herself because of her disease condition. As her disease started progressing from acute to chronic, her bones and joints started getting affected. Her condition went from bad to worse and she had permanent deformities in her small joints that could never be reversed to their normal shape. Even with all that pain she did apply oil and did a relaxing hair oil massage for me. Initially she used to do it for more than half an hour but now if she does it beyond ten minutes her finger joints start paining. I know she is having a problem but I still ask her to continue for five more minutes just to make her feel normal. 

There were many such situations during my school days when she refused to come to collect my progress report card from school or attend any of  my award functions at school; mainly because she had lost her confidence due to her health conditions and she was withdrawing herself from the people around. Social life did suffer in such conditions. I felt sad at times thinking that my mom couldn't accompany my dad for such functions. I used to come back and tell her that she should have come as all my friends' mothers' also came. She used to smile and tell me, " I am not lucky enough for you. I want you to do good in life. I don't want anyone to ask about my health condition. It gets very embarrassing." These words still ring in my ears and my eyes well up with tears. It took her years to get out of that insecure feeling. She still travels to that mode at times but over the passing years life has taught her to be more confident and positive. I could somehow convince my parents to attend my graduation function despite having many family commitments. It was a major milestone in my life and I wanted them to be there. This time my mom was more open and confident. Thanks to her self confidence and the medicines which made her feel little better.  I remember the same situation when I see this Ad. 

My parents wanted me to be an engineer but I chose to become a Biochemist. They were initially not too confident about my career options but when they saw me complete my higher education with flying colours they were carefree. That was when I started getting cold feet and they seemed to be pretty chilled out. I was worried about various job options after studies and went crazy searching for jobs. Mom was a sport that time. She boosted me with extra confidence.

Her prayers during my exams and results, her sacrifices for me so that my studies don't get affected, her staying up late at night to listen to my school presentations, oral lectures and also listen to all those chapters of History that I had learnt by heart cannot be forgotten. Even till my 10th standard board exams I made her listen to history lecture notes. She sat with me at times burning the midnight oil just to make sure I didn't need anything. 

She was a part of my job hunt too in the initial days when I was looking for internship opportunity in my hometown. I got a secure job as a Biochemist and I was working for almost two years. Even then she was a constant reminder telling me that I needed to look out for better job opportunities. If she found any Ad related to my career interests she would take a note and send me the links. She made sure that I applied in all the sectors. Her dream was to see me working in a government sector in the health science field where I could have a secure job and I would be able to do service for others. She pushed me to keep looking for better opportunities rather than slipping in my comfort zone. She did all this even though she had no clue about my subject. It was just her interest for me that made her scan through newspapers and articles in magazines just to look for a better job opportunity for me. She wanted me to work in a research based government organization and told me to try applying there regularly. There were many posts available during a particular vacancy. I knew I wouldn't be selected but still she told me to apply. I did not get through the first time . She told me to visit their website again and again. I missed one such opportunity due to my negligence. That was when I realized that it was a great opportunity that I had missed. I started taking her words too seriously. I was on the outlook for a job daily and finally one day the right opportunity knocked at my doorstep. I applied for a post where I could be eligible and also could submit the application within the last date. I got my call letter one day and my happiness knew no bounds. My parents came home just the day after I received the offer. That day my mom received another letter telling that my interview had been postponed. She got a bit dejected but I was happy that I had time to study for the interview. I got the job in fifteen days and when I showed my offer letter to my mom her happiness knew no bounds. She told me to get into this job even though it was paying me less. I didn't think twice and took this bold step with utmost support from my husband. The day I joined work there my mom called up and told," Didn't I tell you that you would get it here?” My job was for a fixed tenure and a temporary one but the happiness in my mother's voice makes me work with extreme motivation even today.

Just like mine every mother is special for their children. No matter what mom does she is always the best. She has always been the #MyFirstExpert for her children. I have different memories which I share with my mom and they are really close to my heart. What is yours? Don't you relate yourself and feel nostalgic and emotional when you see all these Ads?? Mothers' are always there for us. Wish I would be able to play the same role when I become a mother. 

This post has been written for #MyFirstExpert contest on IndiBlogger by Godrej Expert on Mother's Day. 

Do check out their website for the product and the interesting commercial which yet again shows the bond shared by a mother and her daughter. 


Abhijit Ray said...

Nice anecdote of eulogy to mother. Very few have such beautiful relation and bond. Even fewer can express so lucidly their affection.

Power of Words said...

Thanks a lot :)

Santosh C said...

Awesome Archu !! This is one of the Best ones i have ever read...As you rightly said, there can be no comparison what a 'Mother' does for you throughout your life, and expressing such thoughts on paper is not an easy task, which you always manage to do with ease :) Since we both have grown up parallely, I could actually visualize & understand each of the moments you have written here...And yes I'll be there for my next tumbler of coffee very soon ;)

Power of Words said...

Thanks Bharath :) Yes you are welcome home always:)

Unknown said...

Mother is one of the most beautiful creations of the GOD. Nobody can ever substitute a mother.
The relationship between mother and daughter is very beautifully described in this article. Keep it up Archana!

Power of Words said...

Thanks amma:)

Anonymous said...

That's sad to hear. My dad too has psoriasis for almost last 30 years but it didn't become chronic. Recently he had found a new medicine thats almost curing him. Will share it with you if you are interested. I know how it feels to see our parent suffer an untold suffering. Least we would have expected to share a similar situation when we met at the IB meet, isn't it?

BTW, congratulations! A true ode to a mother!

Power of Words said...

Yes Nandhini :) I will mail you. We can exchange numbers there and get in touch through WhatsApp. Thanks and congratulations for the multiple win :-)