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"Hi Mom!" by Vidya Ramji

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Induslady, May 14, 2006.

  1. Induslady

    Induslady Administrator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    In the last twelve years that I have been away from my mother, most of our conversations start with a Hi! Mom. Calling mom is the best therapy to chase away blues. Be it a burnt cake or a wretched boss, mom has solutions and solace for every evil. Invariably, it would be a, ’this too will pass’ attitude, followed by gentle probing of what I did, and would always end with asking me to forget and forgive, and lose weight!

    This piece is dedicated to all such moms and such conversations. To acknowledge everything they give us, expecting nothing in return, but our happiness. And to the simple truth, that every woman is a mother - motherhood is not merely a physical state but an emotional state of being.

    Maybe the first gift our mothers give us is trust. A thrust and trust to leave the security of a peaceful womb and enter a noisy world. Apparently, when a woman is in labor, she secretes the hormone oxytocin. Now studies prove that when we trust someone, we feel good because we secrete more oxytocin, the ‘love and cuddle’ hormone (1).

    And once when we are out, mothers never stop giving and endowing. From rearing us, to being part of our physical and psychological lives - giving freely to her children is all in a day’s work for a mom. And sometimes in receiving, we forget about how hard the mother has to struggle to give.

    Mothers come in various packages, but the inside is the same. The gifts they give are different, how they give is the same. Mothering is inaccurate science. The first mother who comes to mind is Jabala, mother of the sage Satyakama. (2) Jabala tells her son, ‘Proclaim proudly and honestly that you are Satyakama Jabala- Satyakama, the son of his mother Jabala.’ The Chandogya Upanishad praises Satyakama Jabala- the Truthful one! Maybe there is only one gotra named after a woman! Modern day feminists have a slogan,’ maternity is a fact, paternity an opinion’. In Kerala, this concept forms the basis of the matrilineal system of succession.

    Looking ahead, we find many more mothers who have shaped our culture and history. Kunti, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Putlibai (3), mothers of all the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for India, wives of these brave men who had to be single mothers, and above all, mothers who left their children to struggle for our freedom. In lauding Bharat Mata, politicians often forget all these Matas who made Bharat possible and standing!

    And more mothers and Mothers. As Indians how can we ever forget, Mother Theresa who mothered the destitute and socially excluded. The ‘Hugging Mom of Kerala’- Mata Amritanandamayee who sobs with her devotes and kisses away their grief. And the Holy Mother of Pondicherry, who left her biological infant daughter behind to mother us in India.

    Which brings us to the moot point- how does one define mothers or motherhood? Life is a miracle, motherhood is a miracle twice blessed. It is said that holding a baby in your womb is a dynamic experience, like holding a fluttering sparrow in your closed palm (4). Mothers get to experience the quickening of life inside them. Mothers get to create new life.

    But are only those mothers, those who get to create new life? What about all those women who do not physically become mothers- yet hold the milk of human kindness in them? We have to honor the whole genre of step-mothers, foster moms, adoptive moms, the mothers of modern cyber world who e-mail recipes to unknown daughters, nurses who mother neo-natal clients, Catholic nuns who proudly say, ’you are my girl’! It is not just mothering that is inaccurate science. Mothers are an undefined breed.

    And that is what makes them special. Mothers are those who watch the news for the ‘night travelers’ (5); and then go back to making apple pies for their children. And mothers are those who watch the night travelers and leave their own children behind to work in Uganda. Mothers are those who give kidney and marrow to their children. And mothers are those like Andrea Yates (6), who do what they do because they hallucinate that it is best for their children.
    Mothers are those lesbians who accept mail order sperm, mothers are those who surrogate and rent their wombs, moms are those crack addicts who go into painful rehab to get child custody. Mothers can be a cat eating her kitten or mothers can be a Phoenix killing herself to nurture new life. Mothers can be a collective mother as the oldest she-elephant in a herd. Sometimes, a mother is a cuckoo who lays her eggs in another’s nest- just because that is what she does to ensure her race surviving.

    When two divine moms create a baby - He is first and special. Think of our Dvimatreya Ganesha born of Parvathi and Ganga! Mothers can be anything from the Mother Goddess - the Shakti that drives us. To the mother in the poem, ‘welfare mom’ by Maya Angelou (7)- who give strength to her children saying, ‘They don’t give me welfare, I take it’.

    There are no bad or good mothers. Nature makes only mothers. It is standard quality.

    In my heart, the most touching call to a mother comes from Freddie Mercury of Queens. His last song goes, ‘don't want pity, just a safe place to hide Mama please, let me back inside, I'm coming home to my sweet mother love.’
    The last time I wrote about my mother, it was a five line composition in nursery school. It ended with a childish; ’I love my mother.’

    Little changes over a lifetime.

    I love my mother.

    Footnotes: (1) National Geographic (2) Satyakama wanted to learn the Vedas from Sage Gautama. Gautama agrees to teach him, if he could name his lineage. Satyakama asks his mother Jabala for his father’s name. Jabala, says,’, ‘In serving many, I do not know who your father is. Tell Gautama you are Satyakama Jabala- Satyakama, the son of his mother Jabala. (Chandogya Upanishad) (3) Mother of Gandhiji (4) Amrita Pritam (5) The ongoing civil conflict in Uganda has created havoc in the lives of families. Children (from toddlers to teens) in the country side are abducted at night, after their parents are killed or attacked by the LARDS Army. The boys are forced to become soldiers and the little girls are forced to be sex slaves. The UNESCO has now set up protected sleep shelters in schools and hospitals in the city, so that the children can sleep safely and peacefully. Children walk ten miles every night carrying their bedding and younger siblings, just to reach a safe sleeping spot. (6) Personal opinion of author, not Indusladies.com (7) Maya Angelou- Welfare Roll Mom’
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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2006

  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Your Mother Should Be Proud Of You, Vidya!

    Dear Vidya,
    Millions of daughters (and sons too, but I feel the love is greater in daughters than sons) the world over today hugged their mothers gave them some gift or other and wished them Happy Mothers day. And you did it in style, Vidya. In your own inimitable style.
    Just now read a poem on her mom by Ambika Ananth.
    As the words of the poem were still lingering in my mind in came your article. Yours is also a poem but you have just chosen the prose format.
    The style was great and simple at the same time, the diction admirable and the language impeccable.
    I learnt only from IL that when you write a review you have to mention at least some flaws in the work you review.
    Well here's yours. Your photograph is not there. When all of us, middle-aged writers have not hesitated to show our ugly faces, why you people are hiding yourselves, I don't know.
    I like the ending lines, Vidya. That could have been written only by a loving daughter.
    I envy your mother.
    Convey my regards to her.
  3. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    photo follows

    Dear Sridhar,

    Thanks for liking my article. Getting pass mark from a senior writer and good human being like you can be likened to 'Vashishtar Vaayal Brahmarishi'.

    Photo definitely follows. Could not find one in my PC and could not locate my husband who has some in his (he'd better!!). Did not want to snap a new one since time was short -abt ten minutes. Besides had an androgynous haircut in Iceland recently, so decided to wait.

    But photo definitely follows.

    Thanks again for the kind words.

    Warm regards

    PS: I liked your picture in Prathi's post. Never got round to mentioning it before. Infact, showed that and Mrs Chithra's photo to my mom today. She too was very appreciative of both.
    Last edited: May 14, 2006
  4. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Vidhya,

    I just loved this ....i feel so overwhelmed that i cannot find words to appreciate this! The first few lines were so appropriate and superb. your style was also fantastic.....so neat and articulate and clear in your thoughts! :clap

    And all those examples and references were too good....such an comprehensive write up on Mom, i have not read before! Are you by any chance a writer , i wonder?

    By the way did the arrival of your mom inspire you this much! Then thanks to her only!
    Now i am awaiting to see your photo! Great job on Mother's day! God bless you!
  5. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    A Diamond has many facets...

    ....dear Vidya, and so have you. You are a 'vairam'! Your mom must be really proud of you. That was also my first thought upon reading your article.
    I sent a wish to all moms today on IL. Even as I wrote it, I was thinking of all the 'real' mothers, not just those who are biological moms. But then, I was rushing to go out and wanted to get my greeting in. I was not satisfied with my message and compromised. But your article pays tribute to all those noble women who are the real mothers. Well done.
    So, you are a writer too?! Keep them coming Vidya. It was immensely satisfying to read. Nice to know your mother is with you. Enjoy.
    Yes, would really love to see your pic.

    L, Kamla
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Vidya, your post made me cry !

    Dear Vidya,
    God bless your mother - she could not have got a better welcome from her daughter!
    I have my mother in her eighties & ofcourse, I am a mother as well. My heart just melts when I hear my mom's voice over the phone even today.
    Your article is so beautifully written. Yes, about the feminists' view you had expressed, my father always used to say " Mother is truth and Father is faith" !
    However much old I grow, I know my heart is warm, my arms are ever open for my children to run into, my shoulder is there for them to cry upon, my thoughts are full of love for them & the mother in me is my best expression.
    I am eagerly waiting to see my net-daughter's photo !
    Love & regards,
  7. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    that was unique,

    dear vidya,
    as usual ur unique and come out with an article with all its elements tapping all mothers heart beat into a thudd making them realise yes there r voices outside who reckon u and ur services....thanku for the nice write up i pray a lot to ambal to grant ur innermost wish to become a mother soon to experience the same flutter in u....regards sunkan
  8. purnima_2k

    purnima_2k Senior IL'ite

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    Years of writing shows!


    You have an art of playing with words. Your lucid style of writing has a charm of its own -- All ur writings display a lot of practicality, not too dramatic , no too rigid, a proper mix of both?, thats what i really like about your writing. Why dont you start writing stories too? I am sure , all ILites would agree with me in this suggestion.

    Mom is such a beautiful word. The very word brings out a lot of warm feelings in a person and you have bought out that truth from the Ancient Medival times onto the morden era very gracefully.!

    Let me take this opportunity to say "Mama i love you very much!" ...

    Great article Vidhya!
    Last edited: May 15, 2006
  9. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    Mother is the Greatest Gift from God!!!!!!!

    Dear Vidya,

    Very well written. One of the best article to read on a special day like 14th May.
    I was moved reading your article. I was already emotional with Deepu wishing me & reading your article I just couldn't control my tears flow. Deepu is still with my Mom; she called me yesterday - wished me, sent a flyin kiss and after a chat, made me wish my Mom too.

    I specially liked your tribute to all the different mothers - from the Divine Moms to the Mother Nuns to Roll Mom & the lesbians, crack addicts, surrogates - shows your broader outlook.

    You have this beautiful gift vidya - your writing is so realistic & so very clear; your words so natural without any make-up; easy to understand ; never self-centred.
    Reading your words will cool the hottest day & will calm down the readers - it has such a special effect. its the flow of words - so simple & touches our heart very softly (like the caressing of a gentle breeze)

    The song, mama, I'm coming home, is my favourite song toooo.

    I don't even have to wait for your photograph, vidya. You must be the most beautiful girl on earth. Your beauty is scattered all over the article for us to see. Keep writing more & more - and on this special day remember my wish to you. hope that one wish comes true & makes your life more fulfilling.

    Before I finish, I like to wish the most loved Mother of Indus Ladies - Chitvish.
    She makes each day so bright like the sun itself & finds so much joy in sharing;
    she's always giving & laughing & caring so deeply;
    Chitra, You are such an Inspiration to me & sure to all of us here ...

    Happy Mother's Day to a Beautiful YOU & to all the Mother's out there.......

  10. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    mother is love!

    dear vidya,
    it's all about all the mothers..
    it wouldn't be sufficient if i comment..
    the first paragraph made my heart reaching my mother,
    i wish to hear her words whenever i face problems,
    that gives me comfort,
    when happiness comes,
    i share with her first.
    my mother is very lucky,
    than what life gave her to make her happy,
    i love her somuch..

    welcome your articles...why don't you write , you have an ability to play with words in a rhythmic way..
    i was thinking to ask a photograph of this broad minded personality, reaches everywhere in this site..to help...
    so me and farha are waiting to see u..

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