With three noisy sons scampering around the house with never ending energy to drive anyone crazy, it must have been a harrowing time for her. To raise three sons just a year apart who could conjure ways to indulge in all pranks, fight, create ruckus must have been a daunting task. Still she never lost her cool or patience. When I look back, I realize how much of time she devoted in raising us and for having made gentlemen out of little devils. Since we had no sister at home, she ensured that we did not turn into men who do not respect the women later in our lives. She would get us occupied with things that were never considered to be a boys domain. We played Cricket, Football and also ‘Pittho’ with the neighboring girls. When tired and filthy after returning home, she would involve us in chores like peeling boiled potatoes, chopping lady fingers to assist her in cooking. It was these small things that taught all of us the basics of cooking. We did make many mistakes, sometimes hurt ourselves but she stood by our side and explained with patience how to do things correctly. As we belonged to a middle class family, our parents ensured that we get the best of education and sent us to good schools. To earn the extra income she travelled by bus each day to a school away from our house. She never failed to feed us well in the morning and packing scrumptious lunch box every day.
During the vacations she would spend time with us to teach small things like tidying up the house, serving guests, and praised us in front of the others so that the self-esteem never took a knock. By the time we reached our teens we had pretty much learnt to be self-sufficient in terms of going to schools located at other end of the city in public transport, and maintaining our uniforms. Small lessons in stitching to mend our shirt buttons, stitch a hook on the pants when it came off, has served all of us well.
Mother was an excellent cook and would make all sweets and savories at home. She made pickles during the changing seasons with mangoes, lemons, carrots, and cauliflower. We would just gather around and watch her intently to learn the small tricks to preserve these.
She never allowed any unruly behavior and we did get smacked for misdemeanors but it was just being corrective.
It is said that as god could not be everywhere he created mothers. She was a friend, philosopher and guide. She would read the scriptures and narrate stories from the epic’ Ramayana and Mahabharata. She stitched our clothes on festivals and purchased story books to get us interested in reading. I got a princely sum of Rs 3/ every month to buy an Enid Blyton which I still have kept as a treasure and passed on to my daughter. It would not be an understatement to thank mother for what I am today and for teaching me lessons on self-reliance which have served me well in life!
PS: This post is my entry for the Godrej/Indiblogger sponsored contest ’ My First Expert’ http://godrejexpert.com/single_used_pack.php