I doubt anyone else has had a greater impact on my life than my mother. But I’m sure that’s true for most people. Mothers, in general, tend to have a deep impact on lives, both of their children and everyone else in the family. So yeah, this story is not unique. But this story is about a special woman, and it deserves to be told.
It would be an understatement if I called my mother a strong woman. Consider this: She got married young into a joint family in a small town in Bihar, managed to get a masters degree in Political Science while raising two brats (me and my brother), got a fine-arts degree on the side, started a successful arts school, and still solves the big and small problems for the two brats in her life and for my dad. And she has managed to do all this without practically breaking a sweat. It’s been 25 years since she’s been married to my Dad, and she’s done this every single day, selflessly. This has taken a toll on her body, but she doesn’t care. Because that’s a mother for you.
I often think about how little appreciation mothers get for all the work they’ve done and continue to do without anyone asking for it. I’ve been guilty of the same. Rarely have I told my mother how much I appreciate all that she’s done for me, for all that she’s continuing to do for me even if I’m supposed to be this responsible adult person living two thousand kilometers away from her. She’s still the first person I call when my mind’s not at peace, and she knows it before I’ve had the chance to even tell her.
I’ve often sneakily caught her beaming with pride while telling her friends about my own exploits and achievements — which are not very much of a big deal for anyone else except her. But I have realized that probably I’ve never stopped for a moment and appreciated all of her achievements, all of her exploits.
So this is me, beaming with pride, for having the fortune of being raised by you, Mother. You are the strongest, most determined and hard-working woman I’ve ever known in my life. You have set the example for what excellence means for me. Whatever I might do in life, wherever I might reach — all my successes would be attributed to you.
You have imparted some great values in your children — of integrity, honesty, and respect for other human beings. Traits that you possess yourself naturally.
You have taught me to never shy away from dreaming big regardless of the adversities staring at me,
You have taught me that there’s no alternative for success other than working hard, working honestly, and always getting back up after a failure.
You have taught me to never succumb to dogma or follow the herd, to be radically open-minded and think independently.
You have taught me that being happy is more important than being successful. And that chasing happiness will eventually bring success.
In retrospect, I think all this would have come naturally to you because you, Mother, have been a teacher first. You have changed lives of hundreds of your students. And you have changed mine.
Happy birthday, Mother.