I love you, Ma — part 2

May 7, 2010

This is part two of a two-part essay dedicated to my mom. Read part one here.

Ma opted for voluntary retirement at the peak of her career.

After committing 28 years of her life to the bank she quit at the prime age of 48.

She said she needed to do it, so I could fly.

And when I wanted to come back, the nest would still be there.

She said that mattered more to her than any promotion.

For a woman who had been working tirelessly for close to three decades, to just give it all up mustn’t have been easy.

A professional myself now, I know how difficult it must have been to not take that next step in her career … to nip the bud before it had a chance to bloom.

Who knows what heights she could have been scaling?

As atypical as it was for her, she seemed content with her decision.

After 10 months at my new job in Mumbai, I quit, too. I wanted to fly higher. Study further … pursue my dream.

And in the time I had between quitting my job and packing my bags to come to the States, Ma and I relived 22 years of our lives.

I found myself narrating to her incidents that took place in my sixth standard, how I coped with exams in class VII, how I failed for the first and last time in maths, how much I worked as a prefect…

I took her back to my school — showed her my classrooms. She met some of my teachers and we went down memory lane together. We watched movies together. Did window-shopping on idle afternoons. Had impromptu lunches in up and coming cafes.

Ma and I bonded.

And then it was time for me to leave.

This time more permanently.

Ma hugged me a lot those days — for someone who’s not good at displaying affection, she was outdoing herself.

The next time I saw her was a year and a half later when she and dad flew to Iowa City for my graduation.

She didn’t cry like Daddy did. She just couldn’t stop smiling.

When I went up on stage to get my degree, she clapped the hardest, cheered the loudest, and told everyone sitting next to her, “That’s my daughter!”

Ma was there!

We celebrated later at the local Olive Garden and Ma just couldn’t take her eyes off of me.

Three years later she visited again. This time in California.

I had a job and a house. My own car.

She and I went on long walks in the evenings. She spent time at the library next to my office. We discussed books we’d read.

She made all my favorite things — and some of my husband’s.

She mingled with all our friends — heckling at them in poker and monopoly, staying up until 2 a.m. joking with us, packing us picnic lunches.

She was cool.

And this time, she was with me. She was the mom I always wanted.

We related with each other on a much different level now.

And I could finally put my teenage resentment to rest.

I could see how selfish I had been.

And for the first time I realized her selflessness.

All those years when I thought Ma never cared, I was oblivious to the extent to which she did.

I focused only on my needs, completely ignoring the demands on her.

I know now how difficult it is to shoulder the responsibilities of being a homemaker, a wife, and a stellar employee. On top of that — she was also a mother!

To give everything your all…to be on your toes all the time and also please everyone — it’s difficult, to say the least.

She stepped out of  her professional avatar the moment she stepped into the house. And she had to run everything like clockwork, lest something slip through the gaps.

She took care of all our needs as best she could.

I know now how much it hurt her not to be able to take time out to attend my scholastic events.

I understand now how much she wanted to be a part of all my achievements.

But she also had her dreams to follow.

Her career. Her achievements.

Her life.

I know Ma wanted to help me.

And she did.

By not making a beaded purse for me, she made me realize I should be responsible for my own work.

By not monitoring my studies, she made sure I honored my commitments myself.

By not pampering me with maternal indulgences, she made me wiser.

By not wiping my tears, she helped me become stronger.

By not interfering in my decisions, she prompted me to discover myself.

By not infringing upon my privacy, she taught me to respect everybody’s private lives.

By not telling me what I should do, she let me tap my potential.

And because she didn’t do all of that, she allowed me to take ownership of my achievements — they were the result of my own hard work.

With Ma in sub-zero temperatures, Tahoe 2008

Ma was always there.

It’s just that I was not mature enough to see her.

This mother’s day (even though it is a Hallmark-created celebration), I write this post to express my gratitude and love for my mom.

Words can’t express how much I’ve learned from you, Ma.

You have nourished me, encouraged me, been the wind beneath my wings.

You’ve been my anchor and my inspiration.

And even today, though you aren’t here physically, I know you are here with me.

Just like you always have.

I love you, Ma.

16081BD1A60533E0F1173D28DE4F0D3F I love you, Ma — part 2

dp seal trans 16x16 I love you, Ma — part 2Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mansi Bhatia

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19 Responses to I love you, Ma — part 2

  1. Shachi ThakkarNo Gravatar on May 7, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Absolutely brilliant! Love love loved it :)

    My mom comes today afternoon from India…..it’s her birthday this Sunday and Mother’s Day, and another special event of my life :) ….can’t wait to hug her tight!!!!

    • MansiNo Gravatar on May 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks, Shachi. Your mom and I share birthdays :-)
      Wish her a happy mother’s day for me, too!

  2. Shachi ThakkarNo Gravatar on May 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    WOW – happy happy birthday to you in advance! Wish you a great year ahead and a happy Mother’s Day to your wonderful mum…..

  3. TulikaNo Gravatar on May 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Hey…I found myself wiping my tears! :) Wishing all mothers a happy mothers day!

    • MansiNo Gravatar on May 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      Happy mother’s day to you, too, Tulika!

  4. RahulNo Gravatar on May 8, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Didn’t comment on the first part as i was waiting for the second part. Now after reading your post, i can just bow down to your mom, what a sacrifice !! Thats y i have said in my post ‘Mothers are above God’..Thanks for sharing your story.. Do drop in at my blog and read about my Mom.. :-)

  5. Indian HomemakerNo Gravatar on May 8, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Beautiful!! Loved it. Loved the way you took her to your school and told her all about the bits she had missed.

    Love the photographs too!! My best wishes to you for the contest!!

    • MansiNo Gravatar on May 11, 2010 at 5:22 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Truly appreciate them :-)

  6. SusanNo Gravatar on May 8, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Dear Mansi:

    First, happy birthday in advance. Incidentally today my mom turned 50!!! Surrounded by Taureans!

    Second, I don’t care if I sound quite senti but I did cry when I read part II of this. Splendid! What a lovely tribute to your mom on Mother’s day. I hope she gets to read this. I am sure she will cry as well.

    Mansi, your mother would be proud to have you and vice-versa.

    Cheers to our mothers and the mother-daughter relationship.

    Joy always,

    P. S: Reading through Part I again, I felt sheepish as I noticed the typos in my comment :(

    • MansiNo Gravatar on May 11, 2010 at 5:24 am

      Thanks, Susan. Have been traveling with intermittent net access, so couldn’t acknowledge earlier. I can’t believe the post moved you to tears…that humbles me.

  7. TomPierNo Gravatar on May 8, 2010 at 6:56 am

    great post as usual!

  8. SandhyaNo Gravatar on May 8, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Mansi, I enjoyed reading every bit of your posts…..very heart warming. My best wishes!

    • MansiNo Gravatar on May 11, 2010 at 5:17 am

      Thanks, Sandhya.

  9. RahulNo Gravatar on May 8, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Hi Mansi,
    Didn’t comment after reading the first part as was waiting for the second part.. Was really happy to read about your Mom..And what a sacrifice, I salute her for that…Thanks a lot for sharing this.. Guess i wasn’t wrong in placing Moms above God..Do visit my blog.. Thanks.

    • MansiNo Gravatar on May 11, 2010 at 5:20 am

      Thanks, Rahul. I am in vacation with intermittent net access…am only able to steal enough time to post comments and my daily blog posts for now…will certainly visit your bog when I get home :-)

  10. BillNo Gravatar on May 10, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Very nice Mansi a true tribute to a wonderful lady. Thanks for sharing. I wish you the best in all you do!!



    • MansiNo Gravatar on May 11, 2010 at 5:17 am

      Thanks, Bill.

  11. I love you, Ma — part 1 | First Impressions on June 17, 2010 at 7:39 am

    […] Come back for part two of this essay tomorrow — same place, same time […]


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