Friday, 18 January 2008

Thanks ma!

It is said that God could not be everywhere in the World and that’s the reason he created mothers. How true this cliché has proven to be over the times. Mother is nature’s precious gift to all living creatures. Right from the times of holding a child in her womb, giving birth to the baby, till the very last breath of her life, a mother nurtures her children with so much of love and affection and makes so much of sacrifices that no person can ever dream of repaying the mother’ gratitude.

My mother’s birthday was last Friday(11 jan) and it was really a special day for me. She is the proud mother of three fabulous kids and I am one among them:-), in fact the middle one. This year, since I had to work for long hours and had to travel a very long distance, I could not spend much time with my mom on her birthday. Nevertheless, I kept admiring her, pondering about all the sacrifices that she had made and all the hardships she endured to ensure her children a great future.

My mother was the sixth child out of the eleven children my grandma had and hailed from a small village along the coast of Karnataka. Those days, every house in the village boasted of numerous children and so much of poverty. Family planning was unheard of and if it was there, then I would have never existed. Very often, the father and usually the first son would be the earning members of the family and the financial status of the family would not be that good. My grandfather was a post master and earned a meager salary and as such, managing a house full of children was a very hard task indeed.

Many of my aunts never went to school and even if they did, they dropped out of school very early. But my mother had realized the importance of education very early. She had a firm resolve to achieve something in her life. Those days there was no high school in the village. She finished her tenth class in a school that was five kilometers away. She used to walk that distance everyday.

The only college in the area was 10 km away and a girl going to college was unheard of those days. The eldest of my uncles had got married then and was raising a family in Hyderabad. Since he and his wife were both working, they needed someone to manage the daily chores of the house as well as take care of their small baby boy, ie my cousin. My mother saw an opportunity there. She felt that if she went to the city, she could somehow pursue her higher education and fulfill her dream of becoming a graduate. So she gladly accepted the offer and went with her elder brother to the city.

But life in the city was not as easy. She had to get up early, finish off all the chores of the house and even pack Tiffin for both uncle and aunt. Then she had to take care of the child with utmost attention. Most of the times, aunt would be unhappy with the way my mom managed the household. But my mom was a fast learner, she would never be deterred by whatever aunt said. She learnt all the household chores soon and pleased everyone with her culinary skills. Soon, she had won over the family and the young baby Ravi grew very fond of my mother.

When Ravi was old enough to be left in a play-home, my mother put forth the idea of her going to college to my uncle. Though he was a bit reluctant due to pressure from aunt, he finally agreed. Then began the tedious days for mom. She had to manage the household tasks as well as the studies at college. Such was the hardships that she seldom went to classes in time. On some of the days when she managed to go to classes early, her class-mates would ridicule her. But that did not deter my mom. She had the absolute resolve to finish her college. With dedicated efforts, she acquried her arts degree that she had always dreamt of.

Due to growing tensions between aunt and my mother, my mom shifted to a room nearby and started searching for jobs. She was helped greatly by my uncle who asked her to learn shorthand typing courses and increase her chances of getting a job. She kept looking for jobs for many days and finally after much hardships got a job as a typist(steno) in a nationalized bank.

Life was much harder after she got a job. She had to manage the household with the meager salary that she earned as well as save some money to send it to grandma in the village. By that time, grandpa was already bed-ridden and there were small children in the house to be taken care of. She led a very hard life for almost two years. Then, seeing her hardships, one of her younger brothers, Kancha came to stay with her in the city. He too found a job and went to college in the night. My mother gave him all the support he needed to study. Due to his persistent efforts backed by support from my mom, Kancha passed the B. Com exam with the highest score in Osmania University, securing a gold medal. My mother was very happy then.

With marriage, my mother thought her troubles would end. But even Dad’s was a large family with he being the sole support. Both of them worked in the same bank and had then moved into Bangalore, with my dad having already taken a loan and built a small house in the outskirts of the city. They had three children, Panini the elder, me the second and the last one being Ultra. Even though my dad got a reasonably good income, he had a big loan to repay and a big family to support back home. Additionally, he was a social worker and ran a school for special children and spent most of his time and money there.

With little help from my father, the entire burden of taking care of three children was on my mother. When Ultra was born, I was going to nursery school and Panini was in first. My mother really had a very hard time, taking care of a small noisy baby (ultra was really a cry baby), getting the other two nursery kids ready for school, preparing breakfast for all, then finally getting ready for work…. my mum struggled a lot then. She even had plans of quitting work then. But the financial situation in the house was not that good and hence she toiled on.

I still remember the days in my school when there would be a one hour lunch break for us. As soon as the bell sounded, all the kids used to run out where their mums (all housewives probably) would be waiting for them to give them their home made lunch. My mother always came a bit late and during that time, I would be thinking that I would cry and persuade her not to go to bank from next day onwards… then she would come and feed me and say, “When you grow up, you will be in a position to realize why I could not quit my job now”. I dint think that I would ever realize it then... times passed and I grew up to be in a position that I am in now. She was really happy when I got a job after engineering. That day, she told me, “Maybe now you will realize the significance of what I have done all these days”. And I did realize that. I have totally realized the importance of all that she did, to raise three kids to become good individuals, give them all the comforts, giving them all the happiness they wanted, making sure that they would achieve independence.

My mom opted for voluntary retirement when I was in my tenth standard. After that she has dedicated all her efforts into running the family and toward the well-being of it. Even now, when I get up early and leave for my early morning office cab, she gets up earlier than me and prepares breakfast for me. She lovingly packs me my Tiffin and sends me off. And then she does it all over again to both Ultra and Panini as well. Even in her free time, she keeps herself busy by reading books, solving puzzles and even learning to operate gadgets like mobiles and computers. Its amazing that she has the same zeal and willingness to work hard even to this day and its only fitting that she shares her birthday with the most dedicated cricketer I have known- Rahul Dravid!

As I was writing this post a thought occurred to me. All mothers in the world are almost similar. They take care of their children in the best possible manner with utmost care and attention. They struggle to ensure that their children get a good future. And still, just because they don’t achieve anything that’s worth publishing on the record-book, their efforts get un-noticed. Worse, they may be even sent to old-age homes because their children get too busy in their careers. Is this trend not a dangerous one? Does this not amount to utmost disregard for the people who care for us the most? I don’t think no anyone else can ever do what a mother does to her children. It is impossible to repay the love and affection of a mother. But atleast we can make them happy in their old age by looking after them well and making them happy. Can we not?

With these thoughts, I leave you my dear reader for now. Just think about all these and get back to me with your comments. I take this opportunity to convey belated birthday wishes to my mom and the best wishes to all mothers in the world. Thanks a lot, ma!

Notes:
1. Kancha is my mother's younger brother and my maama(thats supposed to be mama's maama!). He is now a chartered accountant and my role model.
2. Panini is my elder sister. She is the best support I have ever had- world's greatest sister.
3. Ultra is my genius brother three years younger than me. He is superbly brilliant and multi-talented. He is the creator of the pencil-sketch that you see on my profile.
And yes, the names have been changed to protect identities :-)

7 comments:

Ravi said...

Dude i read ur post again now and i liked it better this time.Sometimes in our daily routine we really forget about our priorities.This blog is a very nice tribute to all the mothers.

But do tell whats the real name of panini and ultra!

Saravanan said...

I love your writing dude.. Its kinda coooolll..

Mom is always special in everyone's life, whether they acknowledge it or not. I have a small story..

A guy falls in love with the gal.. The gal to test his love asks him to get the heart of his mom to prove himself. He asks him mom and mom gives away her heart to him.. While taking it to her, he slips on the way, the moment he slips, the mom's heart says "Be careful son, take care"..

That's mom..

Life is not rosy.. Its great to see you understand many things...

Shashia said...

@ravi
Thanks for saying that man. I will surely let you know their names :-)

@saravanan
I am glad that you like to read whatever I fill here. It feels good to be appreciated after spending time on it.
Thanks for that story. It was nice and completely believable

Nikin Shetty said...

It was a really good buddy...had not read it earlier...but time does not make the article old...

Aravinda K said...

Unique article because of the content and great article because it projects the hardships faced by almost all AMMAs. Thanks for the article.

Bhaskar said...

The way you put the words, touches the very soul of the reader. Thanks for the beautiful article. Wishing your MOM a very happy b'day.

You should start publishing articles in news papers if possible.

Shashia said...

@Nikin
Thanks man! Ya, somethings get better with age :)

@Aravinda K
Thanks for your words!

@Bhaskar
Thanks for your wishes, will convey it to her.

Newspapers ?? Would people have time to read lengthy posts on paper these days?