By Vijay Shah (with contribution from Arjun Shah)
Today is the Sunday 10th March 2013, and here in the United Kingdom, it is designated on the calendar as Mother’s Day. It’s a once-a-year chance for sons and daughters to show extra appreciation and love for that special woman who helped bring them into the world, who clothed them, fed them and soothed them when they fell and gashed their knees in the garden. A mother is everything. She is an alarm clock, a best friend, a guide, a teacher, a helper, a shoulder to cry on, a foundation of support and much, much more. Being a mother is full-time work, with few holidays and round-the-clock working hours. She does not get paid any salary for what she does, but that does not make what Mum does any less important. Her salary is not cold hard cash, it is the love of her children – knowing that they will always be there for her. Watching her offspring grow from tiny newborns, to toddlers and teenagers…and beyond. She loves her kids with all her heart and cries deeply when they fly the nest. As we have all observed, the maternal (and paternal) bond is one of the strongest bonds in human society. It is tougher than titanium and more precious than diamonds. Mother’s Day, as much as it has been heavily commercialised these days, is still a celebration of that profound and unbreakable bond with the special lady who held you warm and protected in her womb for nine months.
My Mum is very special to me. Not just because she clothed and fed me and my siblings, but as she is the bedrock of our family. While things have not always been perfect between us and our Mother, with there having been arguments and falling-outs, she still is the epicentre of our family. She is never afraid to have a laugh and joke with us, just like a best friend…just as she can shout at us and tell us off if we step out of line. She tries her best to guide us and give us advice in any problems or new situations we pass through. She comes out with the corniest jokes and even sound effects and always leaves us in stitches!!. She is accepting and understanding, even if sometimes it takes a while. She is always ready to listen and often narrates us stories from her life. Mum is so hardworking, always up to her arms in housework and responsibilities, yet hardly ever complains. Even when we try to pitch in, she will usually refuse. That is how tough and solid she is. A toughness that feels me with awe and humility.
Her cooking is legendary. Even now, I cannot forget the tasty and made-with-love dinners she always prepared for us. Her signature dishes are always varied. Dishes like her delicious chicken and spinach curry, chilli con carne, kingfish with rice, beans and scrambled eggs, among many others. She has such a talent with food and possesses a global repertoire of recipes, each one made to that “only the best for my family” standard of care. Just thinking about her cooking makes my mouth water.
She had a very difficult life, as did we. Yet despite all the problems we faced in our lives as a family, she did her best to be a Mother, and I salute and give her my utmost respect for all that she did for us. She always came to our school Parents’ Evenings and took us out food shopping, even when money was tight. She never discouraged us from making our own lives and always offered her support and love. She is an irreplaceable mother, and I owe a lot of myself to her. I have her solid determination to take life by the horns, no matter what it throws at me. I have her stubbornness and her drive to get the job done. I get my internal strength and a lot of my own character from Mum as well. My existence itself is because of her.
Thank you Mum…I wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day and no matter where I am and what I do, I will never forget you and what you have done for us.
In marking Mother’s Day, I thought of sharing this poem with you. It comes from a card that my youngest brother Arjun made for our Mum at school I think…..
” Today’s your day,
So listen up!
Just sit right there
And don’t get up!
You’ve earned the right
To stay in bed,
And not get
Or comb your head!
Just take it easy,
Don’t feel bad.
If you need anything
Just call “DAD” !!!”