I am having mixed feelings as I begin to write this post. Afterall moms are worshipped all over as being next to God. Everyone must at some point have believed that God could not everywhere so He made moms. I am not sure I agree much with this adage when I watch Meredith Grey argue that she was raised by a surgeon and not a mom. The next moment I flip the channel to watch Maa Ki Daal where the anchor and his guests are busy worshiping moms and their culinary skills. This sets me thinking if moms are universally viewed as Gods or do viewpoints differ based on cultures?
Let me start with some context. Of late, I have been going through a rough patch in life dealing with abuse and subsequent abandonment, making me question a lot of things that I have taken for absolute truth. The one stand out question lingering on my mind is the role of parents in general and moms in particular.
Moms as most have seen, are the first teachers - they are responsible for imparting good values to sons and daughters, the confidante, the selfless nurturer, the punching bag, the treasure trove of love and many other good things. It is only the few of us unfortunate people who get to see the other evil face of a mother - as the evil mother-in-law who is ready to shatter the dreams of her kids so that her ego is satisfied. As the greedy mother who is ready is kill, brutally burn another young woman for her greed. As a self-centered person who wants her son married only and only because she will wants a maid. As a woman who is ready to kill her own daughter simply because her kid is a girl. How can any person who is able to commit any such heinous crime be anything but bad? How can anyone as selfish be labelled "selfless" or "Godly'? What good can they probably be wishing for their kids while committing these misdeeds?
The general mindset of a large section of the society seems to be give birth to a son and your life is set. He will be the "warriss", the heir who has the power to directly or indirectly fulfill all your dreams. Forget all about making him a responsible citizen or a good son, simply worry about him marrying the girl of your choice. Once married care only about how much profit you can derive from your son and his wife with scant respect towards their happiness. I feel that most Indian parents view their sons as an investment for future. Give birth to them, feed them, bring them up and marry them to the girl of your choice. The last being most important cos that will decide the rate at which these investments will reap dividends. And if you think the scenario is very different with urban, educated Indians, you should read some relationship forums where tech-savvy MILs rant about how their "sons wives" want to have a say on how they spend their own hard earned salaries and so should be gotten rid of. So much for having their sons best interests in mind although I fail to understand how on earth the son is going to benefit.
The saddest part here is not just what reality looks like but its about how an ideal mother is depicted as. In a recent TV awards program that awards characters (not actors playing them but screen characters), the character that won the award for favorite mom was a mother who is almost always verbally abusive to her sons wives, puts her regulations and restrictions before the shared dreams of her son and his wife and is on a path of breaking her sons marriage just because she does not agree with the love and dreams of her son and bahu. In short she is any persons nightmare for a mom; straight from hell. The thought that she is an ideal mother for the country makes me shiver.
If this is what mothers are supposed to be all about, then I must say I am exceptionally lucky to have the mother I have because now I know that not all mothers are gifts from God.