Love Letter to my Mother

4.8/5 (12)

One fine evening I had my German neighbours visiting my German home. We had invited them for a coffee which was quickly changed to a tea plan as we offered them an option to have chai. We were having a good conversation and they were enjoying their chai sips where in the middle of the conversation they were surprised to know that I don’t drink chai. They asked me in amusement why, and I was not sure what to answer, as even I didn’t know it. My husband then kindly offered an explanation that he thinks he knows the answer. The moment he gave that answer, it struck me and I went into reflecting on my relationship with my mother. So what did he say? He said that he thinks I don’t drink chai because growing up, I saw my mother drinking only coffee, and I picked it up from her. It was like an epiphanic moment for me, despite it being something as silly point as drinking a particular beverage. It made so much sense to me and now I also have the answer to the question of why I don’t drink tea.

My mother has always been a best friend to me. Mothers and daughters share a very unique relationship in different phases of life. I think the relationship starts from being a strict mom and then as the daughter grows older, strictness slowly phases away. Some eventually become friends and some grow apart from their mother. I was lucky enough to have this friend relationship right from childhood. My friends when they used to share some secrets, never used to warn me about not sharing with any other friend, instead, warnings were more about not telling my mother about it. Yes, I was that kid who would happily go back home from school and share every experience of my day with her. In my late teen years, when I was living in a hostel in Mumbai, I remember one of the girls had inquired to my roommate if I had a boyfriend. She had seen me many times in the corridor talking over a phone and laughing and giggling with someone. My roommate said she talks a lot with her mother. My mom has always been a great listener. A person one can open their heart with. I can tell her I think one day I would win the Nobel prize for some random thing that I would like in that phase of my life, and she would believe me. She just knows what would be the right response to any conversation.

I have a sister. So my mother has raised two daughters. They say most of the time, mothers are living their lives through their daughters, which they couldn’t live. I think it’s true in a way. I met my friend’s mother at my friend’s wedding, who was getting married to the person she loved. Her mom had seen her share of struggles in her marital relationship. Her mother was so happy that night. She met me and my husband and said, “tum bacchon ko dekhke khushi milti hai, apne apne partner choose kiye ho toh kitne khush ho saath saath (I feel happy looking at you kids who are so happy together as a couple since you chose your own life partners).” One could see her eyes beaming with pure happiness for her daughter that night, who was living a life that she couldn’t, and there was a sense of calmness on her face. I was thinking about my mother who was living so many of her unfulfilled dreams and desires through her daughters.

My mother never forced my sister and me to help her with household chores. For the longest time, she would say you would do these things as an adult and learn them when time demands. The important thing was, not even once she told us we had to learn to do it as an adult because we were women or after marriage, but simply because those were life skills. She was right about it. As we became adults and moved to different cities and countries eventually, we learned. My tryst with cooking has been a journey (another story in itself) but I think one thing I want is for my cooking to be exactly like my mom’s. I have so many voice notes on my phone titled Mom’s recipe for pav bhaji, Mom’s recipe for aloo sabji Diwali one and so on. These recipes are my holy grail for cooking and I keep on teasing my sister that if she ever needs them, she will have to pay me for them. 

One thing I admire most about my mother is the value of having self-respect. This is the value that she has passed on to me and my sister as well. She is a housewife and I am proud of the fact that she knows her value. There are some days now, where she feels she has not done much in her life, as she is not financially independent, but these are the times when my loving father, my sister, and I make sure to let her know her worth. She is truly the wind beneath our wings and I will never leave a chance to let her know about it.

Coming back to my coffee-loving mom, to be specific, Nescafe classic lover, she became my coffee partner growing up eventually. Even though I am living in a different continent, she still remains my coffee partner virtually on most days. It is just our time when we do our own coffee pe charcha and savor our time together. I recently told her that I was watching a scene from the movie English Vinglish where Sridevi orders a coffee when she visits a café in the US and they ask her which coffee and she says Nescafe. I told her this would be exactly her in such situations (given her obsession with Nescafe). And we both started laughing in splits.


Featured Image Credits: Pexel

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