One of the mothers

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One of the mothers

brotee mukhopadhyay

Her physique was slim and her eyes were deep and her height was less than average and still her fingers were slender and still longer. An ordinary housewife she was, and she had to remain engaged in different household jobs that sometimes seemed unending. I cannot recollect if I have noticed any signal of tiredness ever in her face. We had been in a little quarter in the railway colony of Kharagpur (the railway station with the longest platform in the world).

My mother had friends among the neighbors and what she used to prepare as food items would generally visit to the neighbors. I have seen her busy in taking the children of the next door, to place them under the shower for a bath so that they remain cleaned. And even she had the time to sit with the children of the locality to teach them what little she had learned. I have also seen her spending sleepless night by the bedside of one of my friends who had a high fever all night. She also attended all the religious programs with other people of the vicinity and seemed to be very much devoted to one whom people call Almighty.

Still, she was one of the mothers I have seen. Mothers in Bengal (India) generally loved and they had the habit of giving indulgence to their kids. In those days, our society was least developed and comforts were fewer and the absence of what was missing was compensated by the warmth of the heart and by the treasure of love and affection for which our mothers could take pride in. Generally in those days, there were very few women in any registered profession as earning members of the family.

The spectrum is different now. Nearly half of the women are now earning members, and therefore they have less time to attend the kids and other members of the family and because of their urgency to remain punctual and responsible in the centers of their services the element of motherhood inherent in them is being disturbed and this makes them tough and businesslike, and the glow of affection occupying their eyes has been missing. They even fail to take care of their own kids.

When I remember my mother I, at times, become skeptical if I am or we are happier than before, or if moving away from the warmth of the association of the mothers is a positive development or a mark of progress of our society at all. I am afraid, as I now know that centuries had elapsed in the earlier days after the emergence of Homo sapiens in the earth to reach to a social order where we had earned the much-needed bliss termed “mother”.


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