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My Mother! (in Law)

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by mithila kannan, May 9, 2010.

  1. mithila kannan

    mithila kannan Gold IL'ite

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    My Mother! (in Law)

    I am sitting in my room waiting for my lunch to be served.My daughter, whose mission in life offlate seems to be to spoil me thoroughly,brings me my lunch in a tray.I taste the food and as k her,”Did you add fenugreek powder in the tomoto subji?”

    “No,ma!I simply forgot”,said Sangheetha.

    “Then I don’t want tomato subji,”said I with remorse.

    “:Amma,that is very bad.So what If I have not added fenugreek powder? You are sounding just like patti.She also was very particular about how her food was prepared.”Sangheetha went to the kitchen,added fenugreek powder to the subji and brought it back.I finished eating my lunch.

    I was relaxing in myr oom when my thoughts were occupied by the woman who played a dominant role in my life till an year back.Yes,it was my MIL.I got married and went to my MIL’s place to start my new life in a new family.

    I could see that the house was run like a well oiled machine and my mother in law called the shots.Her daughters ie my sisters in law were very efficient.They studied in college,they sewed their own blouses,they learnt carnatic music and they were well versed in doing all the household work, including cooking.Well, my mother in law was responsible for their being so efficient.They deferred to her for everything.

    After a couple of days,my MIL asked me,”Aren’t you surprised that your sisters in law are so efficient?”
    I said,”Yes”.

    :Don’t worry.Just listen to me and do as I say,you will also become like them.”said she.Well my intention was not to become somebody else.I was happy being myself,I never used to tremble in my mother’s presence in my home and I never deferred to her for taking simple decisions.So I simply smiled and kept quiet.

    But I must admit one thing.It was my mother in law who taught me cooking.She taught me cooking from ABCD.Today if I make reasonably good ,tasty food, I owe it to my MIL who taught me the basic principles of cooking.

    I got married on May 11<SUP>th</SUP> and on May 30<SUP>th</SUP> my husband,I and my MIL left for Bhuvaneshwar where my husband was posted.It was in Bhuvaneshwr that she taught me cooking without herself entering thekitchen even once.She gave me directions sitting in the hall and I would follow her instructions to the T.Slowly I learnt cooking.I ought to acknowledge the following things about my MIL.

    She never made fun of me or ridiculed me ,even once for my ignorance in the field of cooking,in not knowing the difference between the various dhals and masalas.She would explain to me very patiently.

    She never lost her patience or got angry with me even once while she taught me this finest of fine arts.

    She taught me how to keep the kitchen platform clean.,even while cooking by not cluttering the platform with utensils.

    She used to tell me,”You don’t need expensive ingredients to cook tasty meals.All you have to do is to use the ingredients available in your kitchen judiciously, to cook good meals.Suppose some guests come home unexpectedly,you should be able to make some thing nice for them,without rushing to the shop to buy omething or other.”My FIL being diabetic she used very little cocoanut in her cooking,but compensated for lack of cocoanut with roasted channa dhal,seeragam etc.One could never make out the absence of cocoanut in her cooking.

    She made a master lit of all the groceries I needed in my kitchen.I know the list by heart and I have it with me .My daughters use the same list.


    My MIL never attended school,she got married at a young age as was the custom those days.If only she had finished her schooling and if she had done Home Science as her PG course,she would have become the head of the department very fast.

    What were her other strengths that I admired in her?
    She delegated works to every one in the family.Each sister in law of mine knew what work she had to complee before leaving for college.Once she delegated responsibility,she gave them the authority also,the hall marks of a good manager.

    She was a courageous person and she had great presence of mind.I remember an incident that shows her capability in rising to the occasion.We had purchased our flat and the Grihapravesam was fixed for a certain date.My daughter’s Bangle ceremony(valaikappu)was to take place the very next day. I was taking care of everything myself.Both my daughters were not in a position to attend te function (The bangle ceremony was that of my brother in law’s daughter,whom I consider as my youngest daughter) My sisters in law were coming only for the function.The purohits wanted quite a few things for the grihapravesam.For the bangle ceremony we had to buy lot of bangles in different sizes and also new sarees for the girl and others .My husband whose responsibility it was to buy the things ,bought all the things required for both the functions and dumped them in one room.I took one look at them and my head began to spin.”How am I going to arrange for celebrating both the functions one after the other,smoothly?”was the thought that bothered me.


    My MIL, I think, read my mind,she called me and said,”Bring two big card board boxes.”I brought them.She made me write grihapravesam on one box and bangle ceremony on the other box.Now I went about gathering the things that were required for both the functions and put them in the boxes meant for those functions.The things were organized in no time at all.In the evening both I and my MIL sat and tied the bangles,four or six together and kept them ready.

    My sisters in law came the night before Grihapravesam.My MIL told hem,”Your manni(bhabi) has taken care of all arrangements,now it is your turn.You people have to take over from here.I sat next to my MIL during both the functions as befitting the eldest DIL of the family,the functions went off very well,courtesy my MIL and her presence of mind.

    She also taught me how to take work from the maids,how to treat them well and at the same time have control over them.
    “Give them the corrct salary.In whatever you give them,draw a line somewhere and don’t go beyond that.If you think that ,by giving too much money,lending them money whenever they ask you ,you can make thembe very loyal to you,you are mistaken.They should know that you value money.Then only they will do their work diligently”. Was her advice that I follow even today.

    She was a very neat and clean person and she wanted to be self sufficient in taking care of her personal needs herself.

    She was a very cheerful person by nature,ws an excellent mimic ,would mimic me and the way I smile very often much to my irritation sometimes and sometimes I used to be the one to laugh aloud.

    She would watch the cricket matches with great intrest.The comments that she gave during the matches were always more interesting than the comments given by the expert commentators on tv.
    “Oh,Gambhir,why are you lifting the ball when you hit it?Why don’t you hit it on the ground level.Learn from the other team.How nicely they are playing?”she would admonish Gambhir.

    Once a football math was being aired on tv.My DH and I had to go out on some urgent work.My MIL said that she was bored.My DH sat by her side,explained the basic rules of the game to her and told her,”Amma,this is how the goal would be put,ok?This man Ronaldo is a great player.When he put s the goal,please ring me up on my mobile.”By this time she was an expert in using the mobile.We were in our beach house in an hour,supervising the painting work,when my DH got a call from his mother.
    “Kanna,Ronaldo has put the goal.Everybody is clapping”she was excited.My husband’s eyes had moistened,not because of Ronaldo’s feat,but because his mother had understood the game at such short notice and was enjoying it.

    Even in her old age she was a healthy person.She was not diabetic,but she would not eat any root vegetable.She was a frugal eater and maintained her health till her last moment.It was a pleasure to watch her doing small simple exercises,lying on her bed.

    She used to tell me,”Mythili,I don’t want to be a nuisance to my children in my old age.I don’t want to trouble anyone.I want to go away peacefully,even when Iam healthy.”
    God must have listened to her sincere prayer.On September 30<SUP>th</SUP>,2008,she passed awy as per he wish,without troubling anyone.

    All of her childen,her sons ,her DILs,her daughters and her son in laws and the grandchildren miss this courageous,,cheerful, little woman who had a great zest for life.I on my part ,miss her ,I learnt a lot from her and now I realize that her influence on me is greater than what I thought it was.



     
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
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  2. Sabitha_K

    Sabitha_K Gold IL'ite

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    Dearest Mithila ,

    That was a great post paying homage to your MIL.

    I have read elsewhere in the forum where you spoke about her with reverence and the influence she had on you.Blessed are the souls who enter the marital bliss flanked by a caring husband and understanding MIL.

    I always enjoy reading your memoirs and they bring a smile and feeling of cozy love permeating heart and mind.

    P.S: The best tribute one can slather mother with on this eve by immortalizing her in IL.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  3. shivachoubey

    shivachoubey IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Mithila,

    What a great post. I could see the whole episode playing in front of me. I have read your other posts and you are a great writer.

    Your MIL was a great woman. While reading the post I could but notice the mention of food. The art of cooking is the finest and the food does bond and connect us at some level.

    Lovely post, I enjoyed it very much.

    Have a great day ahead.

    regards
     
  4. SuganyaJawahar

    SuganyaJawahar Senior IL'ite

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    Mithila,
    Wonderful contribution for your MIL. Indeed, she is a great person from what you said. :thumbsup
     
  5. Amma15

    Amma15 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Mithila Mami,

    Wonderful tribute to your Mother ( in law ). Enjoyed reading.

    Love,
    Usha
     
  6. Soldier

    Soldier Gold IL'ite

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    Aunty!

    I loved your writing so much. How nicely you have remembered her aptly on this Mother's Day. Real tribute and respects paid to her through this post aunty.

    I used to think on similar lines about my Paati too (maternal grandmother). I should say that whatever I learnt was more by observing her than learning them direct from my mother. My mother also used to feel that my Paati has influenced me a lot. During my school days, we used to live in a joint family and hence had the opportunity of learning a lot from my granny.

    Now also on many festive occasions like Ganesh Chathurthi, Krishna Jayanthi, Kaarthikai Deepam etc. I remember her a lot. It was from her that I learnt to make choppus for modhaks even when I was in 8th Std. Likewise the padi kolams I learnt from her. Even as a school and college goer, I used to observe her tying the difficult madisar (9 yds) so much that by the time of my marriage, I myself learnt to tie the madisar for marriage too. I got so much used to tying this for occasions, that my SIL's daughter made a condition before hand that I should only tie the Madisar for her wedding (though it is customary that her SIL should tie it for her)

    Thank you for brining to me the sweet memories of my Paati!
     
  7. Arunarc

    Arunarc Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Mithila
    Enjoyed your post about the love between MIL and DIL.
    You learnt everything from your MIL but through your post we are getting to learn from you. So you are a mother to all of us here.
    Just enjoy reading your posts, they are full of love and effection and something always in store for people like us to learn.
    What better tribute can be then this one to your dear MIL.
    Even though you are still in bed and on Oxegen you still make it a point to share something with us. Love you Mithila.
     
  8. Padmini

    Padmini IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Mithila,
    In your wonderful narrating style you have paid tribute to your mother(in-law) I am very much moved by the way she handled every situation in a wise and nice manner.
    There is not a rational human being on this earth who does not want to be loved, valued and respected. And, without a doubt, that would definitely include a mother-in-law. It can be a very challenging task to be a good mother-in-law. First of all, society has painted a mostly bad, unfair picture of what a mother-in law is all about, through jokes.With just a little bit of effort and a whole lot of patience and forgiveness, the relationship between the mother in law and daughter in law can be so rewarding.It is shown in your write up. Thank you Mithila for rendering such a thoughtful post . How is your health ?
    with love
    pad
     
  9. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Mythili

    Everyone should have a will power like you. Even when you are in Oxygen you keep us entertained with your good writings and there is so much to learn from you

    You have given a wonderful tribute to your mother in law. She seems to be a loving lady. So lovingly she taught you everything. She is a good example to all Mother in laws. Her children must be very proud of her. How is your husband.

    Wish you good health and all the best dear

    love
    viji
     
  10. Tubelight

    Tubelight Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Mithila
    What a wonderfully warm, affectionate and moving tribute to the Mother you found upon marriage ! Its truly great of you to share these soulful reminiscences about your second mother as a Mother's Day offering.

    It takes effort from both sides to make the ideal MIL - DIL pair. Your Mother(I-L) comes across as a wonderfully wise, efficient, patient and compassionate human being and if ,as you say, you have imbibed most of your life lessons from her , you must be her worthy successor.

    Wishing you all the very best for regaining good health soon, dear Mithila.

    Great post :bowdown
     

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