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Thursday, November 21, 2019


Ode to motherhood


My mother continues to be one of the most selfless and loving individuals I have known
TSI | Issue Dated: May 13, 2007
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Ode to motherhood Lushin Dubey

Actor, Producer & Director

Theatre & Films Irecollect the link that my mother had with her mother. My mother was a doctor and the daughter of a renowned doctor (my grandfather was the second Indian who was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, in the good ole’ British Raj) and was wedded to medicine since the age of 5. The Florence Nightingale in her continued, even when she went to live with her aunt at six.

How did she deal with the turbulent changes any girl faces during the bumpy ride from being a young girl to adolescence and her first crush? Did she have a tough time recollecting the joy, angst and fears? My mother was and still is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, though I have rarely seen her bedeck in anything more than a red tikka, with her alabaster-like skin reacting to it. My mother’s memory of her mother is that of one revered, whose presence was felt. I imagine their mother-daughter nexus had no expectations and one simply ‘grew up’.

The years rolled by and one metamorphosed from a little girl to a woman. My grandparents instilled in their children a ‘faith’ in God and the ‘Granth’. This faith is what kept the five sisters and the two brothers rooted firmly to the ground, mooring us to a unique existentialism, where the ‘self’ was secondary to ‘others’.

What is the equation that I enjoy with my mother? She was always and still is my best doctor and my earliest memories are of a beautiful ‘mummy’ feeding me. When I was young, she made sure that my elder sister oversaw my eating in school (never mind if Lillette rammed it down my throat)! We shared many experiences with her.

We cuddled up to her, with her laughing in embarrassment and shying away from physical demonstration of any kind. She still does, but continues to be one of the most selfless and loving individuals that I have ever known. Did I tell her my deepest secrets? No. I too, just ‘grew up’, through sheer osmosis, imbibing from the family. My father provided a special touch by his beliefs: That life must have a parallel role for all women, which is a passion, an interest, a love, that provides sustenance which our very being needs. If my father or anyone else chides me about being a workaholic, I lay the blame at his door, i.e. his genes, and enjoy the solace of his words.

My mother instinctively imparted the lessons she had learnt – an unshakeable faith in the Almighty – to her children and said that this is our driving force, the fuel that keeps us chugging. The seed that is sown remains with you for life, sometimes we feel the need to water it and somehow it rises, this giant bulwark of faith so deep and protective that it shakes and baffles you. I thank my mother for this.

What am I today? A mother who has imbibed from the unobtrusive mothers of yore? How do I cope and offer the best to the two that I love so dearly in this world – my daughters? How do I protect them and guide them towards the most desired and elusive thing in the world – ‘happiness’. In this world gone mad, I stand by the same ideals that my mother stood for.

I find myself at a crossroads and wonder whether peace and self control are workable in this fast track world, where the ‘I’ is bigger than the ‘WE’ and where instant gratification is the name of the game!

To my daughters I would say that there is always a new reality and definition, as we live in a world of change. To prove oneself in a man’s world, one need not desperately hang on to one’s feminine qualities and only one who can strike the right balance is a real woman. Men may find women complex, but it is this that draws them to us. When you sit next to a person who is self-effacing and humble, allow yourself to soak it in. When you sit next to one who is full of themselves, metamorphose into a patient listener. Womanhood is a celebration of the intrinsic grace we possess.

My daughter Ilina’s response to this is –

‘I want to laugh more than I want to cry

I want to embrace pride

I want to live a hundred times a day

I want to live up rather than say die’

Tara my younger one raises her voice in chorus.

And they both laugh!

Did I say they needed help?

A salute to Motherhood, Daughterhood and Womankind!
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017