What does she mean to you? The world? The galaxy? The whole universe? Honestly, mommies (or mummies, or, to be more exact, mothers) should mean more. However, we never realise how much they mean to us, do we?
I lost mine when I wasn’t even 13! It was back then that one of my teachers taught me something, and I respect her to this day for that one piece of advice she gave me. She told me that (especially in Bengali) we call our female relatives mashima (mausi, or mother’s sister), pishima (bua or father’s sister), mamima (mami, or mother’s brother’s wife), kakima (chachi or father’s younger brother’s wife) or even jethima (taai, or father’s elder brother’s wife).
In each case, there is a ‘ma’ as a prefix, my teacher had told me. It meant that every female relative of mine was a mother in one way or the other! It also meant that instead of pining over the loss of my mother, I should look to these ladies for some motherly treatment. And though they did not know it, and most of them don’t realise it till date, many of them did contribute to being my surrogate mother, even if only for a little time! Each one of them was a mother figure to me for a small period of time, and I am grateful!
What does a mother do? My father had lost his mother when he was just two-and-a-half years old, and he used t tell me how strong a mother’s love can be. “There was once this boy who loved a girl, but the girl wanted to ‘test’ his love,” he would tell me when I was only a child.
“That’s why she, the selfish girl, asked him to get her his mother’s heart if she really loved him.” Please don’t get into analysing the girl’s character right now, folks! “He was hesitant at first, but he steeled himself,” my father would tell me.
“He went home, attacked his mother from behind, ripped off her heart from her body, and was running down the road with it when he tripped and fell. The moment he landed on the ground, his mother’s heart talked to him, ‘You aren’t heart, are you, my boy?’ That’s how much a mother loves you!”
He would end it there, leaving me imagining the miracle of a mother’s love. Only when I lost it did I understand its full power. Years later, I have found it again, and yearn for it more than I let on. However circumstances prevent me. But that’s just with me.
Give your mother a hug today, people. Try to think of all the things she has done, all that she has sacrificed for you. Reminisce of all the times she has been there for you when you never even expected her to! This one is for the mothers, folks!
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