For the past twenty years I’ve been trying to unravel a mystery. Why, just why, does my mother love to see me dance on virtually every occasion? Be it a wedding, an engagement or a simple kirtan, somehow, it isn’t complete until I put in a thumka or two. Yesterday, while attending my younger brother’s first annual day function, I think I got my answer.
My brother is due to complete his third revolution round the sun next month. Yesterday was his first stage performance. Seeing him in his dance costume, I couldn’t resist but pull his cheeks. It was such an ‘Aww’ moment.
When we reached the venue, I could see tiny tots all around... dressed in the rainbow of colorful costumes. The school was celebrating the spirit of Unity in Diversity. I could see the traditional dresses of Kashmir, Kerala, Uttar Pradhesh, Rajasthan and Punjab. Walking around in their assumed State- identities… these kids exuded confidence and joy.
When these young performers took to the stage, imitating their teacher’s dance steps, I couldn’t help but smile from ear-to-ear. And this smile didn’t fade for the next two hours. One after the other, groups of confident younglings came and delighted me. While some cried from stage-fright, the others danced with a carefree attitude known only to children.
Seeing my little brother dance on stage, I felt proud at being his sister. Waving his hands, and tapping his feet, he looked like an adorable dumpling of joy. Mind you, the girl next to him danced with way more energy and enthusiasm. When the performances ended, there were excited calls from all around.
The kids, drunk on their success, went berserk. Dancing off the stage or just play fighting with their friends, they really made my day. Somewhere, I understood the reason for my mother’s strongest wish. Just like I was happy to see my brother do well, my mother is ecstatic when I do something similar. It isn’t about dance. She just wants me to do well in life. And if somehow, my dance makes people praise me, then she wants it that way.
Parents, I believe, feel the best when someone praises their child. They keep their personal ambitions aside when it comes to their kid. My mother, she sacrificed her career so that my brother and I could get a good upbringing. She has worked hard with us, to make us who we are. If I were a stone, she’d be my sculptor… carving me out into a beautiful person.
Our mothers, they do so much for us, without ever letting us know. They want us to excel at what we do well and get better at what we don’t. No matter the problems they are going through... they are always there for us, willing to listen to every story, every complaint, every nightmare. They soothe us when we're scared, cheer us on when we need support, encourage us when we are unsure and love us when we feel alone. Yet I won’t be wrong if I say that all of us have belittled her efforts some time or the other. We have been impatient with her, been rude to her. We have taken her for granted.
I know it is not Mother’s Day yet. But I just want to thank my mum (mummy as I call her). I know she doesn’t read my blog. She is far too busy dealing with the mess that we create. So this silent wish goes out to all the mothers… thank you for being who you are and nurturing us the way you do.
Love you Mum