Loving the mothers is loving love
T S Haokip
Mothers’ Day, an event celebrated first in 1908 by Anna Jarvis as a memorial for her mother is now observed annually to honour the mothers in the family and the role of mothers in the society. Nupi laan, Ima market, and Meira Paibis are the three keywords that could represent the hallmark of Manipur’s historic -political, economical and social movement respectively. If Nupi Laan, with predominant mother participants and Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919 that has seen notable participants of women-mainly mothers inspired many even today to stand up gallantly against any kind of oppressions, it is Ima Keithel that not just give employment to thousands of mothers but signifies the true characteristics of the mothers by ensuring the availability of a basic necessity- of having food to cook. Meira Paibis, like the Mothers’ Associations in the hills, have been the torchbearers, not just literally, and a beacon of hope, truth, and justice in the society. In the hills, the contribution of the mothers in controlling drug abuses, which have drastically brought down the once alarming rate of youths with drug addictions, and their initiatives, through women societies, that heralded a paradigm shift of religious activities are well regarded and the mothers could be credited for the existence of peace and harmony in the Hills.
A few years ago, during one of my travels from Imphal to Kolkata, I’d happened to be seated next to an Army man, who claimed to have served in almost all the North-eastern states. He said, “One peculiar fact I observed among people of North-Eastern India, unlike in mainland India is that while all the mothers are not only busy with their household chores and the works in the field but also in selling the field produces, the majority of fathers are seen mostly at hotels engaging in useless but seemingly alluring topics or leisurely associating in groups most of the times.” “Well, mothers are more empowered in this part of the land. They managed the house and works. These activities ensured that they are financially independent and the predominantly patriarchal societies of many tribes have now turned into a society where equality is not just preached but practiced,’ I said, trying my best to reasoned his doubt. Though my attempt was to avoid someone painting a bad picture of the fathers of the region, there is some truth in the Army man’s observation, which the fathers of the region can retrospect. If mothers are expected to cook the food, clean the house, groom the kids and work for the family, - that surely is not the empowerment they would cherish.
The role of mothers in the family is of paramount importance, which needs no elaboration but worth remembering over and again. Right from the moment in the womb to adulthood, the mother nurtures the child and even when the umbilical cord is cut; it gets replaced by irreplaceable cord of love and care towards the child. It is such a strange phenomenon that it took one to get married to truly understand the love of mothers and appreciate their sacrifices. Unlike as witnessed in movies, the labour room has restriction for male entry and I waited just next to the entry of the labour room even as my better half was moved in for the delivery of our Child. Minutes later, the scream and cries coming from the labour room were way beyond tolerance and I must admit with guilt, I walked to the waiting room, situated some 50 metres away, where families and well wishers were waiting in anticipation. ‘Oh! Such pain and agony they endure for their child,’ I said to myself. Then the Good news came of the birth of our first son and we all joined the mother of my son with tears in all our eyes, but different tears. Those tears of happiness won’t be possible without the tears of pains the mother had shed.
Since that day, I not only respect mothers but even young girls; the would-be-mothers-someday. Most importantly, I remember my mother and how I wished I’d understand her love much earlier. I believe women too feel the same, perhaps even more, about the love for their mothers and the understanding of their mother’s love, after marriage and especially after childbirth, for they personally endure physically what mothers have gone through. Of late, with the requirements of having to stay far away from home to sustain a living, many people are robbed of the precious opportunity to spend time with their mothers. The situation is far more tragic when narrated the other way round; of aging mothers, who have spent their prime days in bringing up their children, now without their children when they are needed most. Is it a natural phenomenon which we have to dealt with or can we, as children do something about it and steal some time, tendering the hands that once feed us?
If there is someone, who believes in us when the world doubt us; if there is someone who speaks to us with the same tone of love and affection no matter how badly we failed in life; if there is someone who cares little about anything in the world than our health; if there is someone who will constantly pray for our well being even when we are lost in our own busy world; if there is someone whose best days and times are spent for our development; if there is someone who bears scars, marks and wrinkles and endures the greatest pain on earth just for us to come into this world- it is God in the form of human; it is your mother and my mother. #HappyMothersDay to all the mothers.