Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mother's day in lockdown 2.0

Just as we had begun to let our guard down in the assumption of a safer and pandemic-free 2021, it seems like we are back to square one again, with the onset of a deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Apart from the concerns of health and safety, every day we are confronted with doomsday-spelling local television channels, horror stories of suffering and the difficulty in finding hospital beds or shocking casualties on account of shortage of oxygen, and countless WhatsApp forwards by self-anointed gurus and life coaches on “what to do and what not to do” during what now seems like a time-warp, with a repeat of the 2020 lockdown era! Amidst all the surrounding doom and being surrounded by the constant fear of falling sick, while being confined indoors with continuous domestic responsibilities, this may hardly be a time a to celebrate Mother’s day…right? 

In fact, it didn’t occur to me until I saw our favourite Independent Book store, Funky Rainbow's FB post on the upcoming “Saturday morning live” Buzzaar with Mother’s day theme, titled “Mum’s the word”! Having moved to my parents’ farm in Dharmasthala over two weeks ago, I got to watch the weekly book recommendations revolving around mothers at the Book Buzzaar with my mother on the eve of mother’s day, and this was indeed special. As is the norm, the second half of Book Buzzaar featured a chat with Dr. Tanu Shree Singh, author, psychology professor, founder of FB group Reading Raccoons, a bibliophile who owns and supports many libraries in Faridabad and Himachal Pradesh (How we would love to visit a library in the hills!) Dr. Tanu Shree Singh drew out words of wisdom from her experience and her book “Keep calm and Mommy on” which was felt like a soothing balm on the harried and hassled minds of mothers who are trying hard to keep it together and retain their sanity especially in these troubled times, and frankly, we couldn’t have asked for a better mothers’ day present! There were a lot of takeaways from the interesting conversation between the unstoppable Vidya Mani of Funky Rainbow who is fondly known as Editoramma and Dr Tanu Shree Singh who was spoke from her professional and personal experience as a mother of two, including how it is impossible and unreal to live up to the expectation of a “supermom” and not to stress too much on excelling as parents as it is an evolving journey with its own highs and lows, laughs and cries, and the key being keeping the line of communication open. No matter what, its never too late to sit back, reset and reboot….and to mommy on..! 

Its also true that we end up empathising with our mothers a lot more than before after having becomes moms ourselves. There may have been times during my own turbulent teen years, (which I swear, was nothing compared to what I am going through now with my teenage son) when I’d sworn never to follow my mom on certain irritant aspects of her parenting approach, only to realise that I have unknowingly turned into my mom on those very aspects! So no matter how old you are…..moms always get to say with glee “I told you so!” 😊 

This year’s mother’s day has been special in the sense that I have been able to spend quality time with her in her unhurried world of nature walks, gardening, reading, online shopping, chanting of shlokas in the evening and of course dishing out delicious ‘oota from our thota” not only for our brood but also for our large farm family (including our farm workers!) Thank you amma for having us over!
On the occasion of Mother’s day, amongst various recommendations from Funky Rainbow, we read “A Saree for Ammi” a Tulika publication by Mamta Nainy and pictures by Sandhya Prabhat. As always, Tulika brings wonderfully nuanced stories from various corners of India showcasing the unique cultural milieu of the place and it people brought out in the story and its characters. This vibrantly illustrated Tulika story comes from a family of weavers in Kota, Rajasthan. Narrated in first person, a little girl watches her mother weave the most beautiful sarees and sell them in the local haat (marketplace) but never don any of them and decides to find out why. The innocent little girl that she is, she is left puzzled with her mother’s reply “If we keep sarees, how will we eat?” So she persuades her sister Sadaf to help her gift their Ammi a sari which had taken Ammi almost a month to weave. From breaking open their gullaks (piggy-banks) to doing odd jobs for Amina Khala, read on as the siblings embark on their heart-warming adventure to fund their special gesture for their loving Ammi! A touching tribute to a child’s love for their hard working mother, beautifully complemented by the illustrations that bring alive the bright hues and designs of the handloom weaves, and vividly portray the environment, community life and culture of the traditional weaving community life in Rajasthan ...... making it a delightful read on Mother’s day! Happy Mother’s day to all the mothers!

No comments:

Post a Comment