This one was all Nani. While I knew (and know) it is incorrect and rude to reply with "ya" when you are called upon, on certain days my sense of courtesy flies out the window. On one such day, when I was needed a lot around the house, my Father called out for me. The first time I didn't reply. The second time, I screamed, "Ya!" Frustrated by being in demand, I scowled. My Nani, who heard me, pulled me aside and said to me, "You know better than that Roshni. It’s bad mannered, un-ladylike and wrong to respond with 'ya'; especially when you are responding to your Father. Next time, 'yes' or 'haan ji', I want to hear." On a normal day, I'd be fuming mad at being told what to say but my Grandmother is one person who will pull you aside and tell you exactly what you need to hear because her tone is so loving and tender. Lesson learned. Till date, I never respond to anyone who calls on me with anything but a 'yes' or 'haan ji'.
Falling Down is A-Okay
You remember how when you would fall down as a kid and your Mother would rush to your side to baby you? Yeah, my Mother never did that. She would look to us when we fell, watch us get up and then tell us, "Nothing happened. You're fine." A few times, I remember my Aunts questioning her lack of concern. She would reply, "They need to learn to be strong. Falling down will teach them how to get back up every time they tumble." But this wasn't just falling physically. This was a lesson my Mother taught us for life. The amount of times "life" has happened to us has been numerous. This lesson taught us that you will fall in life; you gotta get up and going.
It REALLY is About Loving Your Family
I hated having to give up Friday nights with my friends to go for yet another family dinner. I remember mumbling to myself numerously about how we lived in the same gosh darn house; we ate together every evening too! Why on earth did I need to give up my Friday night for yet another family rendezvous? And then my parents divorced. Before I knew it, I craved for family get-togethers. I would have happily given up nights out for family dinners but they were so scarce and far that it hurt. So now, every opportunity we get to spend time together, I jump on it. And it was my Mother who instilled this "love your family" value. We stand united, even though apart. A commodity has become a novelty but my family is as together as it can be.
Yeh Jo Des Hain Tera
Mother India has made me into one helluva patriot. She nourishes and nurtures me from afar but her lessons never fail me. Today, I stand a proud Indian who adores her heritage– for better or worse, can't fathom being anything else but Indian and will, in the future, give back to her country. I pray and hope. Mother India has instilled values in me that has framed my soul. I may lose my dignity, my integrity and even my veracity, but my Indian pride, never. It's just far too deeply etched in my soul for it to be erased or taken from me.
L.O.S.E.R.: You Are Not!
The one lesson that all three of my Mother's have taught me is that I can do whatever I set my heart to. All three of my Mother's have reiterated this one message over and over again. My Mother and Grandmother have taught me this through their own lives while Mother India, through history. They've failed, sure, but they always get back up and get on with it. Failure is and has never been a part of their agenda. And this is perhaps the biggest, most prominent lesson they have taught me. Every time I falter, I fail, I fall, I know by default, I must get up and march on. If my Mother's can do it, so can I!
We often forget that Mothers are people and this is particularly because they act like such super-heroines! There is nothing a Mother cannot do. And so, on this day dedicated to Mothers, I stand and salute them all. Maa Tujhe Salaam!