Work 24x7x365, with no breaks. No holidays. No salary. This is the job desription for what is the world’s toughest assignment. Yes, toughest. And all of us undermine it. Mothers do that job.

I was led to writing on this issue after I saw an ad that went viral on Facebook. I even posted it on my wall, and got a couple of likes and comments. One of them wrote: “Awww”. Frankly, that’s the only non-lexical filler I could utter after watching the video. 

So, after the video my mind started a slideshow of all things my mom did for me. Staying awake for consecutive nights when I was sick, bearing the brunt of my father’s anger when I did something wrong, wiping my excreta and throw-up (I was too young back then, you see). And now I scold her, shouting: “Mom! You don’t understand!” Don’t understand what? She understood my emotions when I was nothing but a bag of flesh and bones that only produced meaningless sounds. But that is different, right? 

The slideshow continued. She was there at the best times of my life. When I scored distinction in my board examinations, and when I was out of home for a two-night camp, and when I got placed in Goldman Sachs. She was there at the worst times also: when I scored amazingly low in IIT-JEE and CAT. Of course even dad was with me all along (I’m certainly not underestimating his role). But yes, somewhere I have a special place for my mom. 

They say, you don’t understand things fully if you can’t express them in words. Well, I can’t understand my mom. She gives me all that paneer sabzi and I happily gorge on it. Then does she come with chapati and pickle. I ask her, “why?”, referring to the paneer sabzi. She replies, “Oh, I know you like paneer so much. I am fine with pickle.” I doubt if I’d do the same if I were in her place. Selfless is the least virtuous word you can use to describe her. 

Then I look out of the window, and see mothers everywhere. A cow feeding its calf, a bird feeding its offspring with pre-digested food, a day labourer toiling all day and getting her son a bar of chocolate... Words fail me beyond that point. I wish I could tell the entire universe that my mom is the best! No, not just ‘my’ mom. Every mom is the best! My soul shouted, “Maaa!” The cow mooed along with me. 

I was muttering to myself these words when I fell asleep on the couch, with a bag of pop-corn in hand and a laptop over my belly.

I wake up the next day — in my bedroom, with the pop-corn bag emptied in an air-tight container, and the laptop neatly kept for charging (with the lid on and the keyboard covered, lest dust collect on it). I smirked: magic does exist in this world.

vivek.dadhich@hotmail.com

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