My brother once jokingly remarked that even if Mom planted something upside down, it would still grow. We used to laugh over it, but it is true that my Mom’s love for plants and flowers is enormous, that it seems magical to see anything and everything grow at the touch of her hands. If we couldn’t find her anywhere else, we always knew where to get her. She would be in the kitchen garden, lovingly tending to vegetable plants or totally engrossing herself in the numerous flower pots at home.
Sometimes, one of my siblings would say, she loves her garden more than she loves us. That, of course isn’t true because we also know deep down that her love for plants is just one of the many manifestations of her love for us. She has always led the exemplary life even if it means we, her children are still short of the rich values she taught us through her simple ways.
But, because of her, we are what we are today. I am glad that at least we have learnt not to waste our food because she has always strongly insisted that we should never waste the grains of rice being served on our platter. She has taught us the judicious use of everything that our hands get hold of- money, clothes, materials, just anything at all. It’s like she would always find a purpose for something we have stopped putting to use.
When I was younger, it didn’t seem so much of a miracle to see all the love that Mom puts into every tiny detail of what she does. Now, I actually see and wonder at her strength, her passion and endurance, her patience, just her unconditional love that surpasses everything else that is ugly.
I never knew home would feel completely hollow if she wasn’t around for a single day. That, we would run out of ideas about what to cook for one single meal and then I wonder how she manages to make every meal so sumptuous for the rest of the many 300 something days in a year. It’s like all the fresh vegetables, meat and other spices keep following her around and desert us, as and when she goes out of station.
With Mom, nothing seems impossible. The fact that she is a carpenter’s daughter is even more convincing when she puts a carpenter’s tools to use. Yes, she has been instrumental...actually no, she has been the driving force in not only building the house we live in today but also making it a home. It was her idea to choose a site in the outskirt about 30 years ago when my parents moved to Kohima. Who knew then, that the residential peace we have around our place would be so priceless today?
I believe her love for us that has been translated in several ways over the years has reaped fruits today. She has endured the excruciating pain of working so hard, so we could all study. Yes, the seven siblings, who would otherwise be nowhere had she not taken extra care (as she does even today) to make us what we have become. She has allowed, and encouraged us to pursue what we wanted in life. At least for me, I know that I am living my dream. My other siblings seem content in their respective fields -two of them as doctors, and the rest as an engineer, educationist, and one into accounting, so I know they are happy with what they have become too. And I think our little successes and triumphs are definitely fruits of her labour because she has toiled so hard for the comfort that we have today.
When we were growing up, she made sure that we learn and experience working in the fields. I remember visiting my grandparents in the village especially during summer breaks and joining them in all the activities, that till date, we are still familiar with throwing of seeds, planting them on terrace fields, harvesting or carrying paddy home.
If supermoms existed, then she isn’t short of being one. The woman behind all the things we learnt and the skills we picked up, was a school teacher and a government employee later, but she never forgot her roots that is embedded with culture and dignity. Yes, she had paddy fields that she passionately tended to, even after we moved to Kohima, and she weaved most of the traditional attires that we own just as she knitted our every school uniform sweater back during our school days. Like that wasn’t enough to keep her busy and occupy her mind, she reared pigs, and showed outmost care for our pets at home.
I thought she would have lesser things to do after she retired from government service. But that hardly happened because she still finds 101 things to do. It amazes us because she’s got her hands full everyday. The road home after a long day or a long journey is always comforting because we know that she will be waiting at the end of the day. It’s just the feeling of her presence that makes home so warm and special, and no words can quite express the joy that comes from having such a mother.
I know for a fact that every mother is special for so many reasons. The measure of a mother’s love always amazes me. I wonder how they do it- how they endure so much like they actually find pleasure in it. Their patience amazes me- the patience with which they groom and bring up a child. A single child, let alone two or more, and just how efficiently they play their roles as mothers. Here’s to our amazing, amazing mothers, who make a difference in our lives everyday!