mother’s day 2021 Life & Style

These Mother’s Day letters from all over the world offer strength in a time of long-distance love

Priyam Saharia with mother Dhira Saharia   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Priyam Saharia, founder of Rhyme N Reason, Singapore to her mother, Dhira Saharia

Yes, I will get you Estee Lauder’s anti-wrinkle serum when I come home next. The last time I spoke with you on video call, you looked perfectly beautiful to me. When I see you in your starched cotton saree with your golden-rimmed spectacles, hair neatly tucked into a bun, I feel relieved that despite the chaos outside, you still remain the same. You are my constant. You give stability to my world.

I know you can’t go to Barua aunty’s house for your afternoon tea, you can’t wear your lovely paat silk mekhela chadars to weddings, you can’t even bargain with the vegetable vendors peacefully! But I am proud of you for going through this period of isolation with patience and resilience.

Your grandson told me today, “Why can’t Amma come for my fourth birthday?” If you were here, you would have probably cooked enough to feed the whole neighbourhood.

Lockdown has significantly improved my cooking skills. Remember how much you harassed me during my teenage years that I should at least learn to make tea. Now, I am making biryani and caramel pudding ! I miss your cooking, Ma.

Everything reminds me of you. When I cook, when I potter around my little garden, when I obsess about changing the pillowcases frequently and when I put extra sheets on my son at night. How I miss you my Mamasaurus, my Nirupa Roy, my Mother India! When I meet you next, I will find a nice new nickname for you. Until then, all I ask of you is, don’t grow old!

As told to Prabalika M Borah

Nina Sivan, audiologist, Ireland, to her mother, Mini Vasudevan, founder-director of Sure Events

Nina Sivan with her mother Mini Vasudevan

Nina Sivan with her mother Mini Vasudevan   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

I have lived away from home since the age of 18, when I left for college. Ten years have passed. Now I am in a different continent. Yet home is still where you are, mom.

We are more like best friends than a mother-daughter duo. You have so many quirks that I love like your obsession for kitchen utensils, or your ability to fall asleep even before the credits of the movie starts! You always make me sit in the kitchen while you cook, but you never let me help you. All you expect is for me to be your radio. You have really funny nicknames for me, mostly you call me vava (regardless of my current age), gudiya, or ‘Neenu peanut’ in a sing-song manner. And of course, you call me this in public no matter how many times I tell you not to!

I miss you, mom. But I am looking forward to coming home and spending time with you, and do all this again. Until then, we will continue our banter over phone calls. Happy Mother’s Day, and thanks for being my one true friend.

As told to Saraswathy Nagarajan

Shilpa Nair, advertising professional, Dubai, to her mother Girija Nair

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. But this adage does not apply to the relationship with you. The pandemic may keep me physically away from you, but technology has helped us stay connected.

It pains me to hear your frustration at being home-bound for several months at a stretch. But the fact that you are safe makes me realise that we are among the fortunate lot. Although Zoom calls keep me updated about your health, I miss your gentle touch, warm hug, welcoming smile, your inimitable spirit, and of course your astute commentary on politics and cinema, and your trademark delicacies.

The prospect of being so far apart seems daunting, but I try and put on a brave face to cheer you up. If I were with you on Mothers’ Day, I would have spoiled you with the best sarees, treat you to Mohanlal movies, and accompany you on your temple visits.

You are a superwoman. You manage the house, office, kitchen, family, bank account, investments and much more. More power to you! They say love makes the world go round. I’d instead say mothers make life worth living.

As told to K Jeshi

Udayan Bose, CEO of NetElixir, New Jersey, USA to his mother, Niyati Bose

Udayan Bose with his mother Niyati Bose

Udayan Bose with his mother Niyati Bose   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

This is the first time in the last two decades I have not met you and Baba in person for over nine months. Every morning, I wake up thinking about your health and wish we were all together now.

I yearn to hear you say, “Hobe na maane?, Nischoi aamra parbo. Aaro beshi cheshta korte hobe” (What do you mean it is not possible? Of course we can do it. We have to try harder). You have always encouraged me and my brother with these words and I realise how it helped surmount seemingly impossible challenges.

The word ‘impossible’ never existed in your dictionary and with an indomitable spirit you have fought every challenge in our lives. In our recent conversations, I sensed frustration creeping up in you. Please, don’t let this pandemic eat into your buoyant spirit.

I am hoping we will soon make up for all the lost time and occasions with celebrations in Jaipur. Not necessarily a big one, but those simple, leisurely evening strolls to Statue Circle for our all-time favourite tangy pani puri and a chilled glass of ganne ka ras (sugarcane juice). Your grand kids are waiting for that lingering taste of payesh, pathishapta and puli-pithe you make during festivals.

I more often turn to the pages of our old albums for some solace. I gaze at a black and white picture of yours receiving the Best Teacher’s Award and the day you became the vice-principal of your school. That pride of raising so many successful students, whom you treated as your own, makes us so proud of you.I miss the warmth of your embrace, Ma. Keep your trademark smile going for us; soon we will relive those blissful days and enjoy the sunshine together.

As told to Soma Basu

Revathy Menon, Independent writer and editor, Luxembourg, to her mother, Parvathy Menon

Revathy with her mother Parvathy Menon

Revathy with her mother Parvathy Menon   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

I speak to you every day, hear your strong, unfaltering voice through the phone, see your face on video call — pixelated, but always honest and smiling. I know how you are.

You are missing your children, sad that we cannot meet, worried about the pandemic, hurting from the surgery, aching to hold your grandchildren, anxious to never become a burden, wishing with all your heart that things were how they used to be.

When I left India, my heart was filled with hope and excitement. No place was too far away. Of course, I would visit you every summer, I said — this was not a promise, it was an obvious fact. I was actually brimming with excitement in January last year, because the summer was going to be perfect. The kids and I would talk excitedly about eating ammamma’s delicious food again. You and I were making plans over the phone. You were already gathering all the stuff you wanted to send back with me. Then the pandemic hit us.

We exchanged stories of how someone in the neighbourhood, someone’s friend or a faraway relative had succumbed to the virus. With each call, hopes diminished and anxiety grew. But we still laughed and joked. Your lilting laughter, like your fierce love, always feels well-earned.

In March, you fell. Again. My heart broke with the sound of shattering bones. This time I could not be there. I felt lucky and deeply grateful for my brother’s committed care, for dad’s calm optimism. Together, the three of us wept and wept because we couldn’t ease your pain. And then slowly we watched in awe as you walked again, a little more broken but always our champ.

All the while, my fragile relief was ever threatened by the virus, still lurking, growing unchecked. Then it exploded. All hell broke loose.

The pandemic’s second catastrophic wave in India has drawn a new deep chasm. My simple yearning for your loving presence has become a desperation. But we cannot meet yet ma. Not yet. This Mother’s Day, I can only repeat, what I tell you every day. I love you. Stay safe. I live now to come home and embrace you.

As told to K Jeshi

Neetika Kapani, working for Australian Energy Market Operator, Perth, to her mother, Anu Kapani

Neetika Kapani with her mother Anu Kapani

Neetika Kapani with her mother Anu Kapani   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

It is two years since we last met. It feels strange considering we try and see each other at least twice a year. Since the borders are closed, and I don’t have any superpowers to be able to teleport myself to Bengaluru, here is my little love note to you.

You will never know what you mean to me because words can never do justice. It tugs at my heart that I can’t be with you to give you a hug, wish you Happy Mother’s Day, and be wrapped in your warm embrace .

My sense of resilience comes from you; you have taught me to be strong yet empathetic. I thank you for putting up with my tantrums, for calming my intense spirit when I struggle to see reason. I don’t know where you get the reservoir of energy to love me unconditionally, but I thank God every day for blessing me with a mother like you... my best friend.

I wish I could buy you the lilies you like, and take you to China Bistro. I wish I could massage your feet and kiss you a million times, and indulge in our silly banter which would usually end with me saying, ‘But seriously ma, I love you for all that you do for me, for inspiring me to be the best version of myself, for not giving up on me even when I feel there is no hope, and for being my strongest rock.’

As told to Shilpa Nair Anand

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 6:09:47 PM |

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