Friday, June 4, 2010
"The formative period for building a character for eternity is in the nursery.The mother is the queen of that realm and sways a scepter more potent than that of kings and priests." Author unknown
Joaquin Miller (1839-1913)
The bravest battle that ever was fought!
Shall I tell you where and when?
On the maps of the world you will find it not;
'Twas fought by the mother of men.
Nay not with the cannon of battle-shot,
With a sword or noble pen;
Nay,not with eloquent words or thought
From mouth of wonderful men!
But deep in a walled-up woman's heart--
Of a woman that would not yield,
But bravely,silently bore her part--
Lo,there is the battlefield!
No marshalling troops,nor bivouc song,
No banner to gleam and wave;
But oh! those battles,they last so long--
From babyhood to the grave.
Yet,faithful still as a bridge of stars,
She fights in her walled-up town--
Fights on and on in her endless wars
Then silent, unseen goes down.
Oh, ye with banners and battle -shot,
And soldiers to shout and paise!
I tell you the kingliest victories fought
Were fought in those silent ways.
O spotless women in a world of shame,
With splendid and silent scorn,
Go back to God as white as you came--
The kingliest warrior born!
What prompted me to this was an SMS by a friend which said something like this about a child making his statement to the world. He said," I can conquer the whole world with one hand if my mother holds the other."
i have been listening to a lot of modern interpretations on motherhood and how it is now been trashed both by the modern mothers who strongly believe as they stand now high and mighty in their careers that it is something that has been unduly glorified and by their offsprings who shrug it off exclaiming ,"No big deal! after all it is their duty if they have given birth."
It is sad how education has not served it's real purpose and has gone ahead in twisting our minds to such an extent that something that needs no questioning, something that should be revered, something that is supposed to be a foundation for responsible citizenship has come to achieve such a status.
Why are we hell bent on destroying instead of nurturing?
Who is to blame?
What evil forces are corrupting us?
What can we do about it? Or can we do anything about it?
Many a times the answer lies in the question itself.
While i am shocked at these utterances like,''Shut up Ma! what nonsense are you saying?'' i am torn when i see a mother busy chatting incessantly online too busy with her not so important job at hand to cook a decent meal for her child who has just returned from school and is hungry. Such mothers brand the other caring mothers as 'helicopter moms' and snigger behind their backs and worse still consider these as Behenjis (rustic and not modern) not fit enough to be invited to their kitty parties.And mind you i am not talking about the pencil skirted CEO moms who have no other way but, well placed, at home moms who have made their lives too busy socialising/networking.And these moms have something interesting to say about their nurturing and it will sound something like this," I want my kid to be independant and understand that moms need their own space too." These are the ones who crib the most about mothers being the vacationless class. Hah!
''Nothing comes out of nothing and nothing ever will...for some where in my youth or childhood...i must've done something good." Just remembering this song from the film 'Sound of Music' which makes so much sense now.The distorted corrupted images of kids that i see now has not come out of nowhere.
All our tolerance levels dwindled, the sense of sacrifice gone to the dogs it is not surprising that the loss that has surfaced in parental values is a catalyst to loss of family values in kids.i sensed this as a teacher and i sense this as a parent.
The most notorious kids branded as 'rascals' belonged to homes whose Dad's were busy minting money and moms too busy socialising.The child had nothing else to flaunt but his most expensive gizmos (which of course were confiscated on being discovered by the school authorities) and all his disturbing pranks which would be his rebellious cry to grab attention and nothing else.They were not as evil as they meted out to be.
i must mention my friend who is not one of those one step in London and one step in Tokyo and is at ease doing some freelancing occasionally and yet she is restless the entire day tweeting/facebooking and staying online during the day and also into late nights just to check who retweeted on what she just said untill she is too exhausted to just roll.Once among company of friends she brags about her 7th grader owning an I Pad and i smell and tolerate all her gas as i remember how when the kid was just 3 or 4 she would be ordering her cook to do everything for the kid while she sat with her laptop in the balcony facing Joggers park not doing much but just having umpteen big mugs of tea and checking her mails.
''Suresh jaakar deko agar bacha uth gaya hai toh use tayyar karo aur nasta kara do!!''(Suresh go and see if the child is awake,then get him ready and give him breakfast).She would say in an authoritative tone and just sit down in the balcony with her laptop.
i kept looking at her with consternation and dared not say anything because the previous night she had already introduced me to strangers as being one hell of a helicopter mom.Still fighting tears in my stinging eyes i just watched as Suresh entered the kids room to do as he was told.
Since when did all these chores that i suppose were natural instincts of mother become branded?
Jobs of parents cannot be an excuse i say.Specially when you see such blatant detachment in homes where moms are very much available and consider domestic chores to be something below their standard and childcare to be done by cooks or aayahs ( Maidservants).
i silently pray that being unwifely she survived but should realise her responsibilities as mother or one day she will become childless and very alone.She should know better because from her life i know she had a wonderful mother who took all her liberated ideas sportingly and silently took care of all her needs.
i wish i could control this mutation.This shift of focus to the self which wants so desperately to be young again.
i wish i could tell her,"When a woman is twenty, a child deforms her, when she is thirty,he preserves her, and when she is forty, he makes her young again." as said so truly by Leon Blum.
As a parent i look back in time and see that i tried my level best to give my kid what i got as a child only to discover that so far as endurance and sacrifice is concerned i can be best dubbed as my mom's poor copy.
But i feel an enormous pride in being a mother and i do not endorse branding all these jobs as vacationless. For me it is a natural instinct and yes in as much i would want my child to be independant i would be more pleased and very happy if he comes home and says,"Ma bahut bhook lagi hai...aaj khane mein kya hai ?''(Ma i am very hungry and what is for food today?)
Ma is an embodiment of unconditional love and she should remain so if society is to progress.This is true nature.Look towards the trees and see that they give us everything and do not ask anything but a little care.It is the nature of trees...to give shade, fruits, even timber when needed and when they die they mix with the soil to make it more fertile. So i see Ma...and all these new Ma's who are calling it a vacationless class i have nothing to say but this, ''When your Ma woke up nights, washed your laundry, cooked for you , nursed you to fitness when you were sick, took care of all your needs right from the cradle to bring you to what you are today, then did you consider her to be a vacationless class?'' Wasn't she a warrior for you then.How come then today you have a new name for her.Stop the blasphemy and look inside.Stop messing with your own basic instincts.
Stop! before it's too late!''
To all those who take a career an option over anything else i would like to remind quoting what Mildred B Vermont has said about this tough job which is,"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs...since the payment is pure love."
To those who are at home and blessed but getting swayed by all this concept of women's liberation/ emancipation blah blah i would say get emancipated but not in this way.Use your education to save your child and impart correct values instead of desperately looking for space and more space or else you will be left with nothing but space.
''Women's liberation is just a lot of foolishness.It's the men who are discriminated against.They can't bear children.And no one's likely to do anything about that.''~Golda Meir
And think about this as Meryl Streep has beautifully said, "Motherhood has a very humanizing effect.Everything gets reduced to essentials."
Image courtesy: Photographs by Shabbir Ferdous at Flickr.com
Posted by shivani singh at 6:34 AM