Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Salute to my Mother-

in-law (this part is inconsequential anyways :-)). Yes, I would like to dedicate this post to my Mom-in-law (whom I lovingly call Maami) because she is one helluva woman! I guess this is not something very common for a daughter-in-law to do but I think anybody in my place would have done the same. She is one unique woman and no, she is not very highly educated nor is she a hi-flying city-dweller.

She is a simple woman from one of the remotest village in Tamil Nadu but her qualities would put even a city lady to shame. I must say, she is the epitome of the Indian Woman. It is women like her who still weave love into India's fabric to this day. She has nerves of steel - rugged on the outside and soft as butter on the inside. She is not the one to be worried about her looks but she worries all the time about how well-groomed her children look. She makes sure that all the people in her family have had a satisfied meal before she even touches a morsel of food herself. She sacrifices like it is nobody's business. I am not sure if my words would do enough justice to her shining character but I am making an attempt.

From what I know of her, I must say she is one gutsy woman. She is totally and unconditionally selfless when it comes to herself but when it comes to her children she is the most selfish person, just like a Mother hen who protects her chickens... :-) She would smile and bear anything for their happiness. She would sleep on the bare floor but she would make sure that her children are sleeping on a silk-cushioned mattress. The most highest qualities of a Mother, she possesses.

Today's woman spends more time on her outer beauty but forget to nurture their inner qualities but we have to remember that outer beauty will wilt away very soon, it is our unique qualities as women which will shine through over time. I know this is beginning to sound like one of those forwards where all the ideal qualities of a woman are described, but I know of no other way of describing her and I am not even sure where I should start describing her.

She remembers all the little dialogues, all the little incidents, all the glances of her children and her relatives from years ago and relates them like it happened just a couple of hours ago. She does exaggerate a bit when it comes to her children but which Mother doesn't!

She has a steely resolve and when she wants to get something done nothing can stop her from it. You know life is not very easy in the villages and she isn't deterred by anything, be it the blistering Tamil Nadu summer afternoons, the highly musical mosquitoes, the nasty bug, the missing helping-hand, her painful backache or the occasional snake in the bush. The task has to get done and that's it and waking up at 4 am in the morning is just another normal daily routine for her.

She cares for her cows and goats like they were born of her and they respond to her in the same way. Rain or blazing Sun she makes sure that they are well-fed and well-watered. She can understand their calls better than anyone else and she nurtures them most with her love.

Love, is the main ingredient which makes her world go around and that is the only language she knows well. Love for her children, her relatives, her animals, her plants, her neighbors everybody who comes in contact with her. She believes in just giving, giving and more giving. She just keeps giving like the Goddess Lakshmi, there is just no end to her giving. I am not sure of what I can ever give her because I have no time to pause and think since I am so busy just taking from her, so much love she has to offer everyone! She hides her tears from her children so that they do not feel her pain and ends up hiding it from herself too...! She just loves unconditionally and doesn't expect back anything in return.

Her qualities have permeated into her children too and I am lucky to be married to one of her children. So, I have come to realize that the best way to make your children loving is to be loving yourself as children learn by imitation and the Mother is the first person they mimic. But being loving doesn't just come naturally to everyone. But if there is one woman like her in every home, there is no doubt that India would retain its long lost glory and be the shining beacon of hope and love to the whole world again.

All I want to say is that I am Oh-so-lucky to be her DIL atleast and if I can even manage to be 10% of what she is during my lifetime then my birth as a woman would be truly fulfilled. A most respectful salute to Mother India too who produces women of such awesome character. Also hope more DILs have such beautiful things to say about their MILs. Amen!