I know Mothers day is round the corner and its that time of the year when we dig through old albums and photographs to find the most heartwarming picture of us with our moms. We may not have the best poses or the best clarity pictures, unlike the ones we pose for in our DPs and Instagram handles but they still are our favorites as they bring with them a warm, familiar, and safe feeling – the one we get from every time we hugged our moms when we were scared, or from the time when we held her hand tight as dad was about to scold us for poor marks in Math exams (no exam would tick my dad off as much as poor performance in the Math exam!), or when we just could not resist telling her the secret that our best friend had asked us not to- with the traditional pinky swear!
But this year, I am dedicating this mothers day to my “other mother” whom I got to know through my husband. My own mother has shown me great love and affection through the years, that it gives me the courage and encouragement to love my new mother without inhibitions or the fear of being judged.
My mother-in-law born as Ms. Vidya Srinivasan, was the youngest of the five siblings and the pampered daughter of her house. Being the youngest of all her sisters- she and her oldest sister are 20 years apart! (When I first heard this I was like Woah!). Young MIL, enjoyed her time with her sisters as much as she enjoyed the solitude of her own presence. Her time was split between learning classical music, singing with her sisters at various gatherings and painting the relics of Lord Krishna- her friend, philosopher and guide. She was a young bride when she married my father-in-law and became the mother of two wonderful sons. Although my husband and his brother are the apple of her eyes she always yearned for a daughter with whom she could share her inner most concerns, talk colors, discuss different dresses and matching accessories among other things.
Honestly, I had my own inhibitions and pre-conceived notions about mother-in-laws (MIL) thanks to the umpteen vilely and venemous MILs we have seen on TV shows and movies. The cunning kind- the one who would push her daughter-in-law down the long spiraling staircase, the nepotic kind – who would favor her children over her newly wed daughter-in-law (DIL) and the all time classic – the blaming kind – who would blame her DIL and not her son for not bearing her grandchildren. If my MIL had to audition for any of the above roles, unfortunately, she will not bag any of them nor fit the bill for making mean and foul expressions.
My MIL has been an amazing source of inspiration and encouragement from the day I have known her. She is incredible at painting and decoration, a voracious reader, a keen and attentive listener (which most of us are not these days as we are always multi-tasking on our phone).
When was the last time we had a phone conversation with someone without driving? Most of the time we call a friend/ relative just to kill time while driving. Or when was the last time we called someone without an agenda on mind or to get some information? I am not saying these are off beam things to do. But, now-a-days we hardly listen to others with rapt attention, including myself. We either zone off or cut them short with our own topics of concern.
My MIL gives me her 100% which makes me feel welcome to open upto her with ease. I have tried to be the daughter she never had but lets just say she is now one of my best confidante and my friend; cause you don’t share everything with mommy Do you? 😉 Whenever my husband and I would have our own share of bickering or quarrels she would always take my side so much so that I would end up feeling bad for him.
But the reason why I like her is quite self centered, one may think. I love her more since she takes the extra time and effort to read and analyze what I write. My own mother, Mrs. Lakshmi Ravi who always had a dream of being a journalist and pursued her degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and took classes in Delhi every other weekend when I was 7, encouraged me to write. As a child, I maintained my own bed time story book and read it to my dad every night. But my ‘other mother’ has become my best critic! Giving her time to our umpteen conversations and piquing my interest in topics which I was unaware of has given me a whole new source of ideas to tap and explore, as a budding writer. I was touched and overwhelmed when she created her first own e-mail id exclusively to receive the stories and blogs that I write.
Your own mother loves you unconditionally without choice and by natural instincts but the ‘the other mother’ make her your first choice.
Happy mothers day to all the lovely mothers and especially the new “mother-in-laws” who want to give their new daughters their ALL and MORE 🙂