I was brought up in a normal almost boring midle-class family where the father was the sole bread winner. My Mom had a degree in hindi & was eligible to teach in High School but my father believed tht his govt salary was good enough to sustain his family & that his wife should stay at home & bring up the children properly.
During our childhood, my sister & I took it for granted tht breakfast was served when we were ready to go to school. The lunchbox always contained food which was freshly made that morning & dinner was ready & waiting when we finished studying for the day. Clothes were hand washed, segregated, ironed & folded neatly to be used and we always came back to a neat & tidy house.
Many a time I wondered whether my mother ever felt resentful tht she could not put her degree to good use. But I never delved too closely because the selfish side of me was glad that she was always around when I needed her. Everyday after school, college whtever, within half an hr of reaching home, i would be in the kitchen having my tea & snacks while she was cooking something for the night. There, I would get the details of what she did the whole day & I in turn would tell her about my day. Yes, there were times when I hid some minor details of "misdemeanors" but I never hid from her.
I gave her a very bad time during my teens when I wouldn't study & spent all my time reading "story-books"(as she called them) which resulted in my getting poor results. She used to get so angry with me & we used to fight very badly. I think this phase lasted almost 5 yrs. When I think back now I wonder how she tolerated me. I was such a arrogant, mean mouthed & unhelpful being.
Completed my degree & joined work almost immediately.... as a coordinator in a Multimedia training institution. Work started at 7am & finished by 3pm but most of the time I never reached home before 6pm. I still continued my reading habits & she still hated it but this time she couldn't yell at me too much coz I was not neglecting my studies. She'd nag me tht I didnt learn how to cook & never bothered about how much effort it took to clean the house and that tomorrow when I got married she would be blamed for my deficiencies. These outbursts never bothered me too much. We both still fought it out but would make up within a day & get back together until the next fight. I only got worried when she wd give me the "silent treatment". I absolutely hated that.
Then i got married. Went far away from her. I missed her the most.
I also got myself a partner who thought like my father. I learnt how to cook & clean the house. In course of time I got better at it. But even today when I make a particular dish & everybody says its really good, i 'll taste it & find it lacking. It never ever matches upto the original.
And when I find myself tackling the kids, she always comes to mind.... not bcoz she was always right or that I want to handle my kids the way she did. I just realise that she went through so much & I am just a beginner.
No, she is not a perfect mother....she has many faults....prime among them is that she loves my sister more than me. Atleast thats wht i feel. But i never could prove it.......bcoz whenever she divided anything between us sisters I always got the bigger share. I never understood that & have finally arrived at the conclusion that she may be doing it bcoz she feels guilty.
But that doesnt make my love any less for her. I am so blessed she is my mother. I love her. I rarely told her these 3 words before I got married. But now I always end my telephone conversations with these words. Everytime she hears them she is surprised. I knw. I can make it out from her tone. But she is pleased too. She also has started saying the same back to me.
Something wht my sister once said about her comes back to me..... "duniya mein ek hee piece hai". At tht moment when she said it, it was not meant as a compliment:-)).
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