“My Heart is aching. I don’t know how to explain to you my situation.”
It was the beginning of a long distance phone call between Soumya & I.
She is my College-mate. Soumya is a bubbly character. Her face all lighted up with a big smile, is what comes to my mind when I think about her. She doesn’t need much to start the laughter. She is very humble and kind. I enjoyed her company a lot. When she walks into a gloomy room, she can light up the whole room with her simple laughter. Her happiness is contagious. Without any persuasion from her side, all around her will start feeling the same state of happiness.
So when Soumya started talking about her heart-ache, I was concerned.
“So tell me, I am all ears.” I said.
“My son wrote me an email saying that his parents may be the worst parents in the whole world. I can’t believe, my son wrote to me like that. You know that financially we are self-sufficient. I don’t need any money from my kids. I don’t need anything from them, other than few words of love, a phone call once in a while…an occasional visit.”
I was searching my brain for proper words to console her. Something related to that situation. If she were near me, I would have given her a Bear-hug.
Then I remembered something. I was only four years old. My mother might be in her late 30’s. My mother and I were travelling alone in a Boat.
Now I know that I was travelling through the Pamba River. Other than that I don’t remember the reason or anything else about that travel. There were other passengers in the Boat. It was almost full with passengers. I sat on my mother’s lap for sometime. Then she asked me to lay down on a Towel, she made for me on the floor.
One old woman was sitting near my mother. They were getting to know each other and a very interesting conversation was taking place. She had three children, boys, all grown up, married and had children of their own.
She was wearing a white “Rouka” (Blouse) which was tied at the bottom. A simple white “Mundu” for the waist and a small white shawl around her neck were the rest of her clothes. I could see the skinny folded stomach of her between her Rouka & Mundu. How many kids she would have carried in that folded stomach? She looked very graceful with her white hair tied up at the top of her head in a Bun. She was very thin & tall. She looked very classy to me. But her face was very sad and depressed. I was not paying much attention to their conversation. All of a sudden that Grandma started crying. Then I started listening to their conversation.
Tears were rolling down her cheeks. She was trying her best to hide her sorrow from other passengers.
My mother prodded her to talk about herself.
“My kid! You can’t imagine how cruel your kids can become when you become very old like me, when you can’t fend for yourself and when you need their help for everything.”
She wiped her eyes with the end of the shawl. Her eyes welled up with tears.
“Do you know something? Our enemies in our previous life are our children in this life. They make us learn to forgive and forget like Mother Earth. They will teach us to share. They will teach us how to love unconditionally.” She stopped to wipe her tears.
“Do you know what my son told me? He told me to get out of his house and he never wants to see me again.”
I was shocked to hear this.
My mother asked her, “What about your daughter-in-law? What did she say, when she heard this?”
“She joined with him. She threw my Box & clothing to the yard”, she sobbed.
“Thus she made it easier for me to pack my stuff.”
My eldest brother at that time was about twenty years old. He is still in College. I imagined him few years ahead after he becomes older & got married, then I tried to put him in that grandmother’s son’s position. It didn’t fit. I don’t think my eldest brother will ever throw my mother out like that son. I can’t imagine my brother in that position at all.
But I saw the pain of a mother for the first time. Still she didn’t curse her son even once. She cursed her fate for the heart-breaking things happening in her life.
How many times she would have given him bath, cleaned his bottom, wiped his face off his vomit, and fed him? What else she wouldn’t have done for her kid when he was growing up?
Later, (at that age of four) I asked my Mother, “Will it happen to you? Will my eldest brother throw you out one day like that old woman’s son did?”
“Oh, no! He wouldn’t do that to me.” My mother said.
She was immersed in her thoughts for some time. Then she added,
“People can change, I will never know!”
This incident I have never forgotten. Now I could see that Boat crowded with passengers, Towel on the floor, and that Grandma…
So I told Soumya:
“Soumya, I am also wondering why a son should write like that to his Mom? Even if the parents were bad, nobody says so directly.”
“Have you heard a saying in Kerala? Your children in this life are the reincarnation of your enemies in your last life. That makes sense. They teach us patience. They test our patience. We forgive them as if we have never forgiven anybody else. We do all kinds of sacrifices for them. We loose our sleep for them. We spend our time coaching them or helping them with their home work, even if we have other 101 things to do. We waste our time, transporting them from home to School, school to different playgrounds or places. We know that our kids are never going to become another Michael Jordan or K.J.Yesudas or Miley Cyrus, but still we take them to participate in all kinds of sports, send them to music and dance classes. We buy the best clothes & shoes we can afford to give our kids. We spend our hard earned money for the College fees… What else we don’t do for our kids? Even if our kids are the worst in the neighborhood and we know this truth, still we wouldn’t exchange them for the best”
“I know, I know… Let me ask you one question. Do you think we are the worst parents as he wrote? I loved & cared my kids more than my husband. Now I feel guilty about that. My husband is the one who gave me those wonderful kids. I tried to straighten out my kids when they failed. I tried to help them & direct them as I know, through the right path when they strayed. There is not any book to follow or to know the method of bringing up children correctly. I tried everything from my wisdom to educate them. I didn’t beat them up. But I had caned my kids to discipline them. Haven’t you?”
I couldn’t see Soumya’s face, but I know she was crying.
“Yes, I did too.” I admitted.
“You are not worst parents.” I didn’t know what else to say to console her.
I told her that I will pray.
Here is my prayer for all the mothers who are going through this kind of a situation:
Just praying to God to open the inner eyes of our kids to see the mother’s unconditional love for them… God, you can see our mind, our thoughts and everything. Please, God, don’t punish them for their behavior because if you punish them, it will hurt their mother’s Heart.
This is written by one Mother.
From the moment you were born my heart was yours
I looked in your eyes and saw all my hopes come alive in you.
I LOVE you more than you ever know,
For now for always .”
Almost all mothers think this way.
To all Kids,
Love your mother & father without any selfishness.
Tell them “I love you” any time you get a chance because you never know when they say the final Good Bye. Other wise you are the loser and when you regret later in your life for not expressing your love to them, then they will not be there to hug you and say “It is all right. I understand. Everything will be all right. You are mine, so how can I keep a grudge against you?”