Morals and Values When mama was a little girl………. Deepti Sawhney I vividly remember the day, when my mother got sick and could not do the housework. My sisters and I decided to work on a strategy. We would work on the principle of division of labour. But, at the same time, we would entrust each other only that job which was liked by that person. The task was not difficult. My elder sister liked to deal with money, so she got the account ready and made a list of things to be acquired from the shops that day. My younger sister had a passion for cleaning up things and decorating. So, in no time, the linen was changed and the house looked ready for an inspection by the barrack sergeant! My first love is cooking. I set about the task of innovating for the three meals for the day. And since, I wanted to thank everyone around for the good work done that day, I carefully planned desserts after every meal. Everything went off well, like a train on well-oiled tracks. We all gathered in the courtyard after the day was done. Those summer months are embedded so deeply in my mind- the gentle breeze, the dark sky and the distant hooting of the owl. My father usually sat with the three of us everyday and heard from us the stories we had to tell. Some of them were funny and some were told with great precaution, usually leaving out the part where one of us were either reprimanded or scolded by our teachers. Now I realize that probably my father guessed the part that was not so effectively hidden away. But nevertheless, he never gave away his expression other than a slight upturn of the lips and then urged us to carry on. We all started talking about the day and my father heard the proceedings of the day from each one of us and praised us individually, one by one for the great work we had orchestrated.
My parents had this quality of making each one of us believe that she was the extra special one. Even though nothing was said verbally, but the message was clear- I am the special one and each one of us thought that! Just as we were talking, a thought struck me. Here we were, people who had done the housework for a day and the whole work had been divided between the three of us. We were anxiously waiting for my father’s attention and praise. Our mother worked for all of us, effortlessly and without any complaint. It was then that I realized that ma carried out the mundane tasks of the day without a whimper. Most of us have mothers who stay at home, and even if they are working, they make our life so very comfortable for us. The clothes come back to the cupboards, after being washed and ironed. There is hot, steaming food on the table at every meal time. Who is ready with a love filled hug when we scrape our knees and elbows? Remember the nights when you are burning in fever, no matter what time of the night you get up, there is a hand stroking your forehead. The comforting squeeze at the dentist’s belongs to your mom as well. As I embark towards motherhood, I want my son to know that I will try and be that mother. The same kind of mother that my mother is.