“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139:13(NIV)
Handful of joy is celebrating the month of May as a month dedicated to mothers.Though for me,most of what I cook everyday is inspired by my mom and in a way I celebrate mother’s day moment every time I cook.So..
Let me begin by saying what I call my mom..
…And it is NOT mom.In Hindi,most popular way to address mother is ‘Mummie’, ‘Mumee”.Kind of like you take ‘Mum’ from British and add lots of love on ‘E’ and stretch it out tad bit when you say it.Though interchangeably I call my mother “Maa” with a fading sound of ‘n’ in the end..Hindi script “Devanagari‘ have 52 symbols,it is hard sometime to translate all those symbols and sounds to its English equivalent.But This is not it.My south Indian friends call their mom ‘Amma’.My muslim friends called their mom ‘Ammi’ or ‘Ammijan’.My mom,called her mom ‘Mai-yaa’.In pure formal hindi we say ‘Mata’ or ‘Mataji’.In sanskrit,it is ‘Matre’…Many add ‘ji’ at the end as visible sign of respect,so ‘Maa’ becomes ‘Maa-ji’.Mostly reserved for mother-in-law.’
Then I met ‘Mother’s day’..
I came to know about Mother’s day after coming here.Excitement and anticipation among the ladies I worked with was fascinating to me.Indians celebrate lots of festivals,more so Hindus.Most of these festivity have ancient roots.Those which have modern roots happen to be the likes of president’s day, children’s day celebrated after prominent figures of Indian history.To celebrate a day dedicated to ‘mother’ and ‘father’, ‘grandparents’, as I saw the pattern,appeared very ‘superfluous’ to me,since it didn’t fit the stereotype, I was accustomed to.Ideas of flower,gifts,cards and special dinner sounded ludicrous.Just thought another day to party here in US, since they don’t have as many festivals as Indians do.
After I got married,we celebrated ‘Mother’s Day’ with my mother-in-law which basically involved having lunch/dinner,cards,may be a gift or two for her.It was nice.I thought,whats wrong in having a tradition which celebrates and honor ‘motherhood’.It is very well deserved.Though real kick came in when I became ‘mom’ for the first time.And the day became ‘pompous’ to ‘precious’.
I miss my mom dearly as we are oceans apart,so I invite her to my kitchen every time I cook.Keep checking the posts this month to get a glimpse of some special memories..