Sunday, 8 May 2016

One More Mother's Day

*warning- lengthy post*

One more Mother's Day. Motherhood celebrated as diamonds, flowers and cards. Emotions flowing turbulent than a hundred rivers. "I worship her. I love my mom. My mom is the greatest". Ah! So far, so nice.

It was a hot day in April as we both staggered to the bus stand of our nearby town. She was bone weary, under treatment for her menopause and we both stood waiting for the bus in the sweltering heat. She was not her usual chirpy self. We had been running all over the hospital for more than half a day and the heat wasn't helping us either. I coaxed her to take a taxi back to our village and she refused vehemently. She can be at her stubborn worst some days.

As we clambered from the dusty bus that dropped us back home, she was silent. I too was engrossed in my thoughts, of how to get her back to normal. I was about 18 years then, awaiting my appointment in railways. The moment we entered the house, she threw up. Literally all over the hall. I held her, patted her back and took her to the bedroom, helped her to bed and came back to the messy hall.

I started cleaning and mopping the place and there she came back sitting on the wooden chair, her face full of remorse and eyes glistening with unshed tears. I scowled, made faces and tried to send her back to bed, but no, she wouldn't budge. "See, I made my daughter clean up this mess!", she was saying repeatedly. Those were the worst days and worser days followed. She could sing like a lark. She learnt Carnatic music. She was a fashionista. She spoke and wrote impeccable English. She was a great orator and a wonderful teacher.

I'd have rather wanted her to sing an album some day. She could have penned a book. She could have written a play. She could have been, but she wasn't. She never got beyond the walls of a home. A home that was built to confine her. To curb her. To chortle her dreams. Children who always looked up to her for advice, for guiding their lives and there was her husband who was totally dependent on her. The home, the family- they clipped her wings. Oh we loved her. Never doubt that. She loved us back with equal vigour. True that.

If a person's dreams are realised, understood and cherished, they just blossom. It is like fine polishing a rock and discovering the diamond underneath. Love does that. Scraps the finery. Sheds the ordinary and brings the lustre. We never do that. Do we? By the single word 'Mother' we smother her. We kill her creativity. We suck her time. She is pulled into our delectable web of family and love that she forgets her identity. She ceases to exist as an individual. She is 'someone's wife', 'someone's mom'. She is never 'her'. There is nothing about 'her'.

And when she eternally sleeps in the ornate grave, I remind myself that I shouldn't be her replica. I regret having never understood the diamond we had amidst us as a rock. Mothers aren't destined to give Horlicks and boost to the kids. We aren't destined to rot away in the kitchens. We aren't meant to do ninth standard home work and sixth standard charts. No one shall gather a rock, kiss it and polish it. It's the rock that has to withstand the weather. It has to prove its worth. It has to remember all along that it is a diamond. Cherishing your mother and giving her enough space to just be herself, discovering her path and treading on it- pledge that on Mother's Day. Bring out her hidden talent. Pat her back everytime she tries to please you. Acknowledge her. Help her bloom. Or it might be very late.

As for the vibrant and independent mothers out there- a shout out to you girls. Dream more. Hunt for your paths. Stop not till you find the real you! Don't be bound by 'duty'. It's your life, baby! Live it. Every day is our day👍😊

Wednesday, 4 May 2016


Every time it happens
We keep moving, nevertheless,
Hanging our heads in shame.

She is someone
She was someone- a daughter
A sister, a friend may be.

As she walked alone,
Sat shut down,
Her heart must have bled.

What knives didn't pierce
Was the heart that beat
Crying for help, that no one heard.

With intestines pulled out,
Thirty stabs later and an iron rod
Inside of her- she must have wept.

Weep she did, wail she did,
Not in physical agony
But for us the people, who are dead.

It's not you who is dead-
It is us the silent ones...
Shame on us- we failed again.

Grave after grave is dug,
We walk past unfazed
It's someone's daughter- not mine!

Candle marches, silent vigils
Media circus and few days ahead
India's daughter- gets a new face.

Ban the documentaries, hang the dogmas
Release the juveniles, change the laws
That doesn't change is you and me.

p.s: 30 year old law student,  Jisha of Perumbavoor, Kerala was brutally murdered by un identified assailants. This poem in memory of Jisha and our overbearing silence on rapes and such brutal murders.