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Mother’s day always makes me miss my mom more than I generally do. May be because there are so many heart warming videos and commercials about mothers on TV around this time that it compells me to be able to feel her touch, her embrace and that ever promising smile. There are disavantages of living away from your home country, not having mom around being the biggest one. And no matter how may roses my husband brings me and how many cards my daughter makes for me, there is no compensating for it. I want my own mom to celebrate :(.

Remember when you were the little five year old, standing right in front of that big building with a giant mouth called School. I don’t remember what I saw or felt there, but if I did, I am sure it would be something like– What the F***. It can be scary, looking at those ant like kids going in and coming out. Your eyes scan endlessly to spot that one familiar or even friendly face that you can pass that smile to. But all you see is the mean face, the bully face, the ugly face, the “no clue” face, the “why are you here” face ants. If you are lucky, you might be able to spot that one ant which is like you. New and Scared.

Wish we were born with an “Entering the world for dummies” book in our hands when we popped out. But we didn’t. Rather we were born with something better. A mother. She is everything we need, she teaches us how to enter the world and live in it (offcourse when she is not changing diapers or feeding us or putting us to sleep, we do get over that in a few years. Phew!!). And how you feel on that first day of your school, or any other firsts in your life, or the seconds, thirds, depends very much on what you have learnt at home, what kind of examples you mom set, sometimes dad too.

My mother is my role model. She is everything to me, my teacher, my caretaker, my advisor, my friend, my daughter. She made me what I am today and I am very happy with what I am. It is hard to list every lesson I have learnt about life from her, but there are some that have appeared over and over again in pretty much every difficult situation I had to deal with and what’s better than sharing a good life lesson –

  • Everything big was small someday – Rome wasn’t built in a day, someone had to put the first brick. If you want to be big, you have to start small. You would want to find shortcuts, and do take them if you find one as long as it is morally the right shortcut. But don’t get frustrated if you don’t. Be ready to do the hard work if you want to grow and do something extraordinary.
  • If something is hurting in your body, go to the doctor or stop complaining – If there is one thing that can set my mom off, it’s whining, complaining. She encouraged us to learn, fail, fall, get hurt, succeed, smile. But she never put up with complaining. I could never go home and tell her that I was not happy with what I was doing because I knew what her answer will be – Then do what will make you happy. It is because of this that I constantly Reflect- Revive-Change.
  • Darkness only scares those who have always lived in light – You’re scared of the things you haven’t seen, done or felt. The only way to take that fear out is by experiencing it. Try it, learn it, master it and the fear will be gone. I was 16 when I came out to live alone, spent many nights sleepless because I was scared to be alone. But those years would rank highest in my life graph on the number of things I learnt about life.
  • Good things happen to you when you are generally helping people – She brought home homeless people with chickenpox, street dogs that were pregnant, motherless kids with alcoholic fathers, and anyone in general who said they needed help. She never judged a person that came to her door asking for help. And she didn’t punish the one in need because another one had lied. Living in an urban setting, I can probably never be so non-judgmental about helping others. But I have a soft corner for the less fortunate and I will help them if such an opportunity comes because now I know that God is happier to see you helping others than sitting in the temple praying.
  • Compliance is a choice – You don’t have to comply with every rule the society has created for you. Believe in your own judgment of a situation or a person. And if there is someone that does not agree with that judgment, it is their problem, not yours. If you are clear in your goal, then the only person accountable to meet that goal is you. And the only person who can stop you from meeting that goal is you. I am a compliant person by nature, and if it wasn’t for her being such a strong believer in situational non-compliance, I would probably have never spoken up for anything I believe in. I am still learning this lesson as life presents it to me.
  • The worst that can happen is not worse than going about life not learning anything – Need I say more about this. She always emphasized on the importance of learning rather than being safe. I don’t remember if she ever showed us any disappointment when we failed. She always cheered for the lesson no matter what the result. And that is where I get my curiosity and a constant need to learn because as she says – You’re never too old to be curious. Keep learning.
  • Assumption is the mother of all troubles – She told me mythological stories about how assumptions led people into things that may never exist. Assuming someone is ill-wishing for you, assuming the motives in conversations, even assuming someone likes you too much, is all bad. Never assume. How it helped me, I am able to not take things personal when they don’t need to be. It helps me be rational in my thinking because I know Life is bigger than any single person’s opinion. Give others a chance, don’t assume.
  • Keep your heart light – “Holding a grudge against someone only eats you, not them. Forgive at every chance you get. People change. Believe me they do. “- is what she told me when I had my high school friend come back to me and apologize for something she had said earlier. I was so hurt with her that I didn’t want to talk to her. Ever. I did, after hearing these words. And was surprised that she actually had changed. Mom was right. And I have managed to live light hearted all the three decades of my life. It feels great.
  • Connect, don’t socialize – You will be surprised at how many people are similar to you if you actually talk to them beyond the formal greeting. My mom is pretty much against hosting formal plastic dinners where people hardly end up knowing each other beyond the surface level. She always emphasizes on the importance of having good strong friendships than having a circle for the heck of popularity. It has helped me so far in life. Seeing her building those few but strong relationships taught me the importance of connecting. And I feel so rich to have my own few but strong relationships because Quality, not quantity, is what matters.
  • Life is too short to be taken seriously – My mom likes to laugh in general and disguises pretty much everyone who tries to be too serious about life. Her motto in life has been to live freely, do what you feel like doing, take the lesson and move on. Growing up, this attitude helped me not get stressed about every little thing in life. While my friend sat and sweated in the final exams repeatedly saying she is going to forget all the answers, I repeatedly kept telling her – so what, it’s just an exam. No problem is ever solved by stressing about it. Live a little, laugh a little.