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Today is not a Mother’s Day which is celebrated internationally. But, in my mind, everyday is a Mother’s Day. Dhwani Joshi, a Gujarati Blogger, has expressed her feelings towards her mother in figurative style of narration that the ink of an ink-pot as big as an earth and a sheet of paper as wide as the sky may be deficient to praise the obligations of the mother. But, a mother should qualify herself as an ideal mother while bringing up her offspring. It is the grace of the Almighty Creator that the woman has been favored with the feelings of motherhood by nature. Mothering is not a subject that may need to be taught to mothers, even though we can have the plentiful literature and counseling centers both professional and charitable now-a-days.
But, here in my today’s post, I am going to represent the real story of our senior mother, old mother, first mother, guardian mother; still more optional addressing(s) I can write, but not at all a ‘Step-mother’ as in special case of ours. The word ‘Step’ can’t figure in our vocabulary just to prevent us not to make any injustice to the Late our Malukmaa, the main character of this blog-post. The narration of the merits of our M’maa excessively, here, does not mean that our real mother (biological mother), the Late Noorimaa did not love us. We were equally the heart pieces of our N’maa also. The praise of our M’maa is not for any publicity of her, but is as a model of Step-mothering for all Step-mothers worldwide.
Keeping in my mind the moderate size of the Article, I would like to mention in brief how all we eleven (!) brothers-sisters, born from N’maa, became M’maa’s step-children. M’maa was our father’s first wife and she had given birth to seven children, but not a single could survive hardly more than 2 or 3 years. Lately, my youngest brother, the Late Dr. Alimohmad Musa who was a doctor in U.S.A. and died at age of 41 had judged out the genetic reason that both our M’maa and our father might have been carrying blood defects of Thalasemia Minor (a genetic blood disorder) and all the seven children might have born with Thalasemia Major and hence they could not survive any longer.
Our father remained in grief with this misfortune of childlessness, but he had made up his mind to obey to the will of the Creator. But, M’maa was insistent of having children anyhow and she compelled our father to re-marry at his middle-age and he became bigamy husband. Here, we can see our M’maa’s generosity and preparedness of being an alternate mother of the children that might take birth with our father’s second marriage in future.
Throughout the world in most of communities, it is the established belief that Step-mothers are always evil and cruel towards the step-children. Such relationship is regarded as natural and an unavoidable fact. There may be thousands of Step-mothers like M’maa in the world, but surrounding people will never appreciate their sacrifice because they are labeled as ‘Step’. In fairy tales, literature, TV serials and Movies, the Step-mothers are portrayed as selfish, cruel, unfair and insane women and thus such noble Step-mothers are also misunderstood. Being Step-mother is a very tough job full of frustration, love and pain which is not sharply defined and realized honestly by the people.
Now, I come to parenting style of our M’maa. She was illiterate and had not learnt any lessons of motherhood from anywhere. We all were brought up in her lap under her high ranked nursing. She took our individual care and never allowed us to cry for anything. She rubbed our backs to remove dirt while taking bath. When any of our brother or sister fell sick, she became so much disturbed that sometimes she cried out loudly. She remained in charge of our kitchen for years and tried to satisfy us individually for our tastes and varieties of food. Though she was illiterate, she sat with us when we were doing our school homework. She sometimes told us to read some lessons loudly just to encourage and show us her full interest in our studies
When our father expired in 1957, we were nine brothers and sisters alive. Our youngest sister was two years old and youngest brother Dr. Alimohmad was four years old. After the demise of our father, our M’maa was established as our father in our family. In 1973, our N’maa also died and further for more seven years she remained in double role of both our father and mother and at last she died in 1980 and for the first time, we felt that we had become orphans.
She was credulous (straight forward) by nature but at the same time she had a very sharp intellect also. Psychologists draft various tests to measure IQs of various groups of people. IQ is such a thing which has no concern with education or illiteracy.
We are proud of our M’maa’s IQ. Once she interviewed one of our relative’s son. His half marriage (engagement) was done, but he was not got married. His fiancée was studying in a residential college. Dialogues between both M’maa and the guy were as follows:
“Where is our daughter-in-law studying, my son?”
“At …..” was the reply.
“If I want to visit her college, how can I go?”
“By bus or train, as you like.”
“What are the fares of a bus and a train?”
“So and so; so and so.”
“ How much time does a bus or a train take?”
“So and so hours by bus; so and so hours by train.”
“How could you know all these things, my child?” said she, with meaningful smile on her face.
The last question confused the poor fellow. He was ashamed and remained speechless as if he had swallowed his tongue. Then, in convincing tone of speech and love, she counseled him to maintain social discipline and not to disturb her by paying frequent visits to see her until her study is over and as long as both are got married.
While putting an end of this Article, I remember her last days of her life. She sacrificed her whole life serving and bringing up us-all, but she gave us a very little chance of serving her. She remained sick only for five days and out of which she was in comma for the last two days.
The curtain falling episode of her life, her death was so severe tear-jerker to all of us that about three decades have passed and we still miss her great beyond words.
– Valibhai Musa