Celebrating Mother’s Day
It was just another Saturday afternoon and I could not get myself off first gear. The mundane weekend chores had taken up the entire morning. Although I had my mother to help me out, I was feeling so wiped out and was trying hard to fight off sleepiness. My mother however was functioning in fifth gear and had moved on to the next task at hand — prepping our meal for the night. Suddenly, she excitedly announced “Wow, it’s spitting rain now but I’m sure it is going to be bucketing down soon! How about some hot fritters for a quick snack now?” My subconscious state was now enthusiastic, hearing the magic words ‘rain’ and ‘fritters’. I now shook up to my conscious self. “How about some filter coffee too?” I added.
I watched my mother attentively, an autodidact who never went to culinary school, as she elegantly crafted fritters and appetizing South Indian filter coffee from start to finish, sifting all the ingredients seamlessly. I abruptly noticed the wrinkles on her hands that had gotten deeper and her sunken eyes shining with delight as she prepared one of her daughter’s favorite nosh! As she summoned me as a taster to determine the balance of flavors, I was reminded of how she used to do this even when I was a kid — I would give my verdict and she always took my word for it. “How do you always do everything so perfectly for your children even when you are physically and emotionally exhausted?” I queried. She casually replied, “You will do it too.” We broke into a laugh, as this was a classic statement she always stated whenever we had petty arguments while I was adulting.
As we reminisced about my childhood, each instance made me realize how involved my mother has always been about my life and has supported me, always knowing what to say, and unassumingly being whoever her daughter needed her to be: a best friend, a love expert, a shopping partner, a problem solver, a study partner, a movie companion, a mentor or even a partner in crime. The sudden reminder of having moved out of home post-wedding for over 700 days inched in. How much I missed being around my Amma.
This distinctive afternoon brought back fond memories as we did a brief run-through of ‘hot fritters and rain’ episodes. We spoke about how my siblings and I battled for a fair share every time — I was reminded of how she always made sure there was enough for all of us but never worried if she got her share. We recollected how we would hurriedly leave for a long drive just to experience the showers while we munched her delicious fritters in the car.
In no time, the whiff of the crisp fritters now lingered in our kitchen. I was bursting with excitement until I heard a rhythmic hunger cry. I rushed the flight of stairs in my home that now seemed to be longer than usual and found my newborn wailing inside her crib. As I hurriedly prepared myself to sit on the glider and tend to my newborn, holding her in my arms, I could not help thinking that she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen! A few minutes later, my mother with her frail knees, slowly entered the room interrupting my thoughts with the now not-so-hot fritters in hand. She simply said, “You actually let go of your favorite snack the minute you heard your baby cry!”
This moment seemed like a Goldbach conjecture — how did I let go of my favorite snack? Had my ‘maternal instinct’ kicked in unknowingly? Is motherhood all about such joyous sacrifices, I wondered. My mother’s wise words “You will do it too” was ringing loud in my ears. The makeup of a mother’s heart now seemed like a soldier, always standing at attention, ready to give whatever it takes at the moment for her little one without a second thought. It dawned upon me that this was just the beginning of much more such candid and perhaps, not-so-candid sacrifices that I will probably be making in the future as a mother. And so, as I celebrate my first Mother’s Day, I feel motherhood is indeed a monumental feat and must be feted every single day!