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I love my mother..but I hate her more…..
A banker by profession, she was dedicated and absolutely sincere to her job, however that was just one of her many open ended jobs. Rushing each day to work, just so, to make it on time for the 8am local (train). She wasn’t trained to do everything from the beginning, yet her intentions were always right, hence the perfection she achieved in every task she took up made it look pretty easy. Waking up early to prepare for the day, breakfast on the table, readying us for school/college and then breezing through in under less than 10 minutes of draping her ever green and prized possessions, her cotton sarees and hardly spending time to even look into mirror, she is covered for the long haul. While we got on to doing our own stuff and taking life with a pinch of salt, her mind would be all over the place. Coming back home to only continue to where she had left was an everyday thing. Household chores, planning for the next day, ensuring our requirements are met if any and beyond.
She was an asthmatic, an acute one to express the gravity of it. Travelling in jam packed and hardly ventilated trains, gasping for breath through the journey was part of her normal. Getting transferred to various branches, given her conditions, she endured caused that is what made the house ran, that is what made her ran. That was the only thing apart from home, which kept her sane through the insanity. She worked for 25 years in the same manner, in between getting admitted and treated for her ailments, attending our open houses, sports day events, picking us up from the crèche and also ensuring our customary visits to our native places in the summer vacations.
Throughout my childhood, adolescent years, I could never gauge or interpret her daily grind, never understood why it is the way it is. Why would someone do this their entire life, that too for others? It hardly seemed painstaking as I wasn’t even close to reality. Always seemed she knew it all, as I didn’t bother to recognize how she got to that point. After all, mothers are the ones who hold the house together. She would finish every task she took up. She was punctual, she was pious, and she believed in charity and also contributed towards it. She ensured her presence wherever it was most important and required; be it for friends’ family or work. She was level headed, opinionated and never minced words. She was strict and never entertained dishonesty. So she was the ideal mother, but to me…..?
Fast forward to the present. I am today a mom to two beautiful children. I do things which I always imagined I would never do. Waking up early, preparing breakfast, tiffin, dropping kids to school and then preparing for the rest of the day. Yes, yes! It’s a daunting task. The challenges are different, the situation are different we now live in much convenient times, more accepting times. Our spouses are more supportive, our kids are evolving each day. Gadgets gizmos, malls movies, outings, eat outs, there are an ambit of options to break away from the madness. We have our say, we have our way, and being a mother can’t replace everything. Then one day, it hit me and how. I dared to look back in time and I screamed in my head “I HATE MY MOTHER!” in utter disbelief.
While no two mothers are the same and can’t be compared, I hated my mother for what she did and why she did. The realization came like a rude shock, I hated her because despite all the inconveniences she faced she continued like it was bed of roses. In spite of her hectic schedule which occupied half her lifetime, she would stand like a mountain, unbreakable. I hated her as she literally managed her illness like a lifelong companion and crossed each hurdle with it. I hated her as she gave herself the least importance so she could make time for us. I hated her beliefs because she kept her pleasures aside to accommodate ours. I hated her more because she never compromised on her principles and yet achieved milestones. I hated her caused she sacrificed her happiness her well-being in the hope of a better tomorrow. I hate her, because she too had options, yet she chose the long cuts.
Today as a mother myself I can’t imagine doing half the things she did. Not comparing, but acknowledging the standards she set, I hate her cause she has set the bar too high. My struggles seem insignificant to what she did and continues to do. I hate how she managed to make time for everything and I always supposed time is unfair to me. I don’t see myself where I saw my mother through the years. I hate her, she made it look all too uncomplicated, but now I could sense what it takes to make it look that way. It’s strange that I always convinced myself not to go through what my mom went through, not realizing what she went through wasn’t her plan either, it was life unfolding before her and she accepted, challenged and faced it each day. I hated her guts, her reasoning, her strength, and as today as I try to join the dots, it isn’t anywhere close to the rosy picture she put up. I hated my mother because she did the impossible for us and I can’t imagine, if she didn’t what would we look back to?
As I wrap up, the words of my favorite author Maya Angelou come to light..“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. I hate my mother is a testimony that my mother did, she lived and she survived because she believed and still continues to believe…. And I still….continue to hate her unfathomable spirit!