“There’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.” ― Mitch Albom
I never celebrated Mother’s day. I never said to my mom how much I loved her. See we don’t talk love. We don’t express it in words. But ask me or her this question about our mutual love and understanding, we both can bring back a million memories and hours for the answer.
My mom never asked me to follow her footsteps. She wears Saree, keeps fast for her favorite God, and loves philosophy of spirituality. Not a single guest leaves her home without eating home cooked meal and a small souvenir for the family. My dad doesn’t eat out because my mom brings the whole world within the four walls of her kitchen. “No food tastes better than what she cooks,” says my dad. She cooks with love. She tells me all her secret recipes and misses me every single time she cooks my favorite food. She’s giving, selfless, thoughtful, and caring. I am not.
I didn’t become like her. Eating is not my favorite hobby, I skip my meals when I find something more attractive, books or movies or a discussion. I don’t like Saree and I am hardly religious. But like her, I adore human relations and I love cooking for close people. Like her I talk to plants, water them regularly and feed them. I treat them like living beings. “If you love plants, they love you back more than you imagined,” I remember my mom’ s lesson whenever I realize that truth.
She has long hair. She and I always liked my hair short. But each time I am home, she combs and oils my hair like I am still her five year old. A ritual that I miss often. Who says love has to be wordy!
I come from a family of strong-willed ladies, grandmothers, and mother-figures. During my childhood I believed my mom was some superwoman. She was not scared of anything or anyone. She could do anything, even magic. She fought with mean people, answered back when she felt something was wrongly said. And she was always logical. You cannot win an argument with her unless you are really right.
When I was just nine, I found two Nobel prize winner novels by contemporary authors in her bookshelf. She happily explained to me what Nobel prize meant. She has taught me how inner meanings of poems are so many times different from what we apparently understand. She must have read more than a thousand poems to me till now. We must have fought a hundred times over “meanings” of a song, or a story, or a drama, or a poem. She watched old award winning movies with me on Sundays. In simple language she discussed many difficult art house films with me. Her favorite genre has been life. Mine too. Now in thirties, I know why I am the way I am.
I love being my mom’s daughter. This is one of the best gifts, in my opinion. This realization. That when I see other moms, I remember the one I got, and I feel lucky to have known her well, to be made of her flesh and blood and her soul-stirring food.
Facebook reminds me to wish my mom on Sunday, retail shops want me to gift her skincare products, handbags or those blingy jewelries to remember another Mother’s Day. I won’t do any of those, just like other years. But like every other day, I will pick up her call and listen to her concerned voice and silently feel fortunate to have someone like her in my life.
Even though she never expected me to be like her, some day I may just turn into her…. quite happily.