Mother's emotional agony. The only son settles in USA, leaving mother in India. Mother writes a letter to her son about her emotional wanting. A near real description of any parent whose loving kids are away from them..
My dear son,
I have received the card, greeting me on ‘Mother’s Day’. Beautifully printed on high quality paper, the card contained a ready-made message full of emotions. On looking at it, I remembered your childhood.
Then you were studying in fourth standard of your primary education. Your class-teacher had assigned you writing an essay on ‘my mother’, as your ‘home work’. On arriving home, you had asked me, “What should I write, mom?” I had replied, “It is your test, my dear. You should write whatever you can think of about your mother. If I guide you in writing, the words would be mine, may be about my mother, not yours.” You were not happy with my reply. You had walked away silently! But you had written something and shown it to your teacher. When I met your class-teacher in teachers’ room (I also worked as teacher in the same school), she had told me, “your son has written excellent essay on ‘mother’, you should read it.” She had shown the essay to me. Reading it, I could not control my emotions and I cried. I had taken that page from your class-teacher and preserved it like treasure. Even today, when I feel like being with you, I open that paper, read and satisfy my emotions, motherly love. While reading it, innocent face of a 9-10 years boy appear before my eyes!
You made very bright career throughout; became engineer, got good job, married to a beautiful woman and then migrated to USA for better job. I was happy with your progress. However, I had become selfish and did not approve your decision to go away to a foreign country. Your father was also not in favor of letting you go away. But we did not reveal our displeasure and gladly bid you farewell.
“Birds feed their young ones till they start flying. Once they are on their own, they leave the nest. Our bird has also left the nest. We hope sometimes we get to see our bird, when it comes flying this side, like a migratory bird.” Your father had consoled me with these words, when I was crying, after returning from airport. I saw the reality. So, mentally, we had written you off from our life.
Your father was lucky to have his cremation and other rites done at your hands, when he died after some time. You had come rushing when you got the news. I felt good, but also thought it would have been better, if you could come with family. I understand it was difficult because of hurry. While returning you had invited me to USA. And you had, after following necessary formalities of visa etc. called me there.
You had expected that I should teach ‘our culture’ (Indian) to your children, because you thought it was better than the western culture. I could not do so. I could not mould them into our culture. I had many limitations in that society and environment. I myself felt difficult to get adjusted there. We had talked about it, and you had appreciated my viewpoint. I had told you, “culture can not be taught from outside. One is molded into the culture in which he/she is living. Surrounding society and situation has major roll to play in it. Moreover, please do not make a mistake to believe that ‘our’ (eastern) culture is only a good culture. Humanity, as it develops in one’s behavior is the only good culture. All other virtues follow humanity.” You had not appreciated my point. But the culture as I witnessed there confirmed my arguments. I remember one incident distinctly.
We had gone to a restaurant for dinner with your friends. One beautiful and smart girl was serving our table. Her appearance, including outfit was not ‘cultured’ according our standards, as she was wearing short skirt, tight T shirt and like that which we consider as ‘vulgur’. You were all busy in talking and laughing while eating. Because of my trembling hands, a spoon fell down spraying some soup on my clothes with it. Your wife had noticed it and saying ‘be careful, mom’, she rejoined your talks. But the girl had rushed to me. She had removed whatever had fallen on my clothes on a tissue and returning back, she had helped me cleaning stains from my saree. On completion of dinner, you all had got up quickly and started moving out. But I had trouble in getting up because of trouble in my knee. Without bothering about looking at what you had left as ‘tip’, the girl helped me in getting up and keeping one hand of mine on her shoulder, she walked me several steps, like I used to help you walking when you learned to walk! When she was satisfied that I was able to walk, she had acknowledged sense of thanks in my looks with a smile and returned to her work. Is this not ‘culture’?
I had several other experiences of similar type. When we used to visit some friends and relations, they called their kids from their rooms. They were telling them ‘please say ‘hi’ to uncle (or aunty.).’ The kids obeyed formally, without any feeling or warmth on their face. When we were out in shopping malls or other places and our eyes meet even strangers, they greeted us with a smile or ‘hi’. I compared it with our tradition. We appear rude in this respect!
You were surprised when, after several months, I told you “I wish to go back”. You had asked me, “What will you do there?” I wanted to reply, “What am I doing here?” but I could not. I had given you simple reply, “I am feeling home-sickness.” You did not argue much and arranged for my return. When you both came on the airport to bid me farewell, your eyes were filled with tears and they conveyed your real feelings. I had returned to my nest, from yours.
Thereafter you came here several times. I received you and your family like guests. Inside me I desired that I prepare delicious meals for your children and feed them with my own hands, like I used to do with you, thereby satisfying my emotions as a loving grandmother. But you thought I am troubling myself. So you connived some excuses and most of times arranged eating outside. You took me with you for dinner or lunch outside or while visiting friends. When I was not with you, you brought something for me. Whatever period you stayed here, you remained busy in shopping, meeting people, travelling etc. You had no time at home sitting and talking small things with me, so that I can show my feelings. I craved for chatting with you and your family and talk about everything and nothing, just to enjoy the time, and be with you all for long. But you could not give me chance for that. Your vacation ended soon, taking you back to your nest.
On seeing your card today, ‘Mother’s Day’, I felt happy thinking that you remember me. But my son, (please do not take me wrong) instead of sending me such an expensive and beautiful but formal card, if you had written a few words in your own hands, I could have been more happy and touched. I have, however, that paper, on which you had written about your mother. I am opening it and reading as if you have written it today, “My mom loves me very much. I do not like to get up in the morning, but my mom lifts me up from bed to wake me up. I hold my hands around her neck and kiss her. She forces me to brush and get ready. I wish I get some tea with my mom-dad, but she pushes a bowl full of milk to me and forces me to drink. But later she gives me some tea! Now I am grown up, but still she comes to the bathroom to bathe me well. Then she helps me with my school uniform. My mom also comes to the same school with me, but she gets ready quickly. If more time is taken in feeding me breakfast, she hurries up her breakfast to rush to school quickly. While sleeping me at night, she tells me tales of fairies and sings songs. My mom loves me a lot. My mom is the best mom in the world!”
Bye son. My love to you both and blessings for children.