The sound of “Om” is believed to pervade the universe for eternity, transcending time and space. Since the dawn of civilisation, the only other word that evokes the same profundity is “maa” in its varied avatars of mother, mom, mummy, mata ji, ammi jaan, baa.
The soft emotions connoted by this word bear testimony to the unconditional love and nurturing that mothers have unilaterally given cutting across nations, cultures, religions, races and histories. No wonder then that this is the first word that escapes a baby’s lips. It sends the mother into raptures that make every painful cramp of pregnancy and childbirth worthwhile.
The succour that mothers give when one is besieged by anguish, pain, loss, and failure makes it impossible to consider life without them! As she inched towards her end, my mother bravely wore a smile to mask her pain and the debility of terminal illness to convince us that “with each passing day, she is getting better and better in every way”.
Mothers instinctively know that they are the bulwark of the family. Given an option, they would like to live forever just to be there when the family needs them. Which is why losing them leaves a yawning vacuum that can never be filled. The only way I found to bridge it was to walk in her footsteps, fostering her memory and passing on this loving legacy to the next generation. It is no wonder that my father told us that we should bow to our mother even before we pray to God.