By Pratishtha Dobhal
I’m sending this to you on watsapp, although I know you are upset with Zuckerberg for sending you payment plan reminders and temporarily blocking you. But look, there’s always Viber, (like you pointed out) 😉 You’re reading this while I am out because I wanted it to be a surprise. Although by the time you should read this, I would have ‘press’-ed these words: immortalized my declaration of unconditional love for you. I don’t champion pre-determined ‘celebrating a relationship’ days, hallmarked as an excuse for consumerism and mindless advertising, but I caved in 😦
How couldn’t I? I’d thought of doing this on your birthday but the epic procrastinator I can be, stumped me. And even though this is two and a half months late, I had to do it/ I am doing it.
Maa, I love you and even though you keep me on the edge, you never let me fall. Thank you. No one can ever take your place; no emotion can ever replace how I feel for you. And no way can anyone have an opinion that’s even remotely scathing of you. ‘I’, alone, reserve the right and complete authority on swinging on the hammock of war and peace with you, feeling aggressive and staying passive; infuriated and argumentative, because no matter how long I stay at the line of control, love wins over.
Remember the ‘peace or annihilation’ t-shirt you used to wear? Ermm… you wearing a metal-heads tee, tottering about, always cracked me up, especially when we fought (can’t find it!!). Now I see you wearing my boyfriends’ t-shirt, not knowing that it’s his and it makes me laugh out loud in the gut. I bought it and it’s snug on me and him, so you can have it… for now (till a few kilos slide off miraculously). And no, I am not telling you which one it is. I can’t pass up on being thoroughly entertained.
A few years ago, I remember how a colleague and a senior told me I should consider moving to another city to cut the umbilical cord. I found it absurd. You can cut the cord, but you can never cut the ties you most cherish. You allowed me whatever my proclivities desired. It’s another thing that science is insisting on cutting and keeping the cord in deep freeze now—urban dictionary works in mysterious/mischievous ways 😉
I am sorry for saying the most asinine things which I have immediately regretted. I am also sorry for losing all your precious silver jewellery over the years and ruining all those Neil Diamond and Cohen cassettes, I am not soo sorry however for being a tempered brat. Thanks for taking my attention deficit-ness in your stride and over-looking my continent-load of white lies. It’s kept you engaged, entertained, worried, mystified, and on my learning curve. Thanks for tolerating all of me, fighting me, challenging me, evolving me, all in good humour—all in a way only a mother can, for her child.
Growing up helps, and being able to see you as a woman and not just as a mother makes me love you even more. Being validated has always been an overbearing part of my relationship with you. I used to wonder that perhaps I was being too dependent on it, but your affirmation and relentless support makes me feel like a super-heroine… I guess there must be some deep rooted science to it that we are still oblivious of. And you know what’s remarkable? In seeing you as my mother, the woman that you’re—part endearingly flawed, part perfect, part inspiration, part heroine, part remarkable—I feel all warm and fuzzy.
Interjecting this with apology; may make you momentarily forget I put ‘endearingly flawed’ and ‘remarkable’ in the same sentence while speaking of you.
Sorry for the phone bills and nasty boy calls growing up. Sorry for laughing at you for killing the plant you so loved and nurtured while I was busy playing basketball inside the house. Thank you for reading my 7 page letter explaining and understanding why I had to do what I did on the travelling café. Thank you for believing I can do anything I desire.
Stubborn, opinionated, childlike, beautiful, spirited, intelligent—you are my goddess and nothing makes me happy more than seeing you happy and at peace. There’s so much more to be said, but if I let everything out all at once what am I going to say, year-after-year, in the next 100 or so years?
Love you Maa, and in the all too familiar millennial way—Happy Mother’s Day.