4 Invaluable Gifts That A Mother Can Give

Happy Mother's Day

Mother – the first caretaker, the first emotional anchor, the first teacher and the only real Angel in the life of a child. She has to live up to all these expectations.

As a baby opens his eyes, it is the mother’s face that fascinates him, it is the mother’s heartbeat he can hear, it is the mother’s tender touch that she can recognize, the same touch that gives a feeling of security, a unique bonding that is created in the womb and always remains special.

With her unconditional love, intuitive understanding and selfless sacrifices, she makes an indelible impression on the minds of her children. She is the sustaining force of a home and fills it with color and candor.

Guided by God Himself, she possesses divine instincts and therefore a mother’s influence is eternal and infinite…more effective than that of a father.

“It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character. Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness. How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!”― Ezra Taft Benson

Besides love and understanding, a mother can give some priceless gifts:Motherhood quote

Quality time: Can there be a better gift than spending time with our children? Time is the most significant factor and it fleets faster than our wishes. Mothers who spend quality time with their toddlers by giving them undivided attention could make a lasting impression on their minds. Reading books, painting, flying paper planes, floating paper boats and playing imaginative games with the kids makes everlasting memories.

As they grow older and their interests’ change, you have to adapt according to their choices but remember to do things together, whether it is cooking, baking or folding laundry or learning to play guitar, children love to get involved in all activities.

Positivity: A positive attitude is reflected in our behavior and way of living. When a mother knows how to be positive, she passes on that approach to her children effortlessly. Even little hurts of friends who don’t care can be interpreted in a positive manner by telling the kids that it is okay to forget, that the hurt was unintentional.

Respect: When children grow up with respect around them, they learn this value quite early. Observation is the most effective teacher and children learn from what they see. Make sure that you respect the desires and demands of your children. Empty promises or manipulations convey a wrong message. A mother who respects the father of her children and talks about his positive qualities even if he is not around, inculcates that respect lies at the basis of all relationships.

Independence: As mothers, the best gift which you can give to your children is to let them think freely and take their own decisions after they cross the most impressionable age. Mothers who tie their adult sons and daughters to the strings of their apron often create unnecessary problems for them. If you let them fly freely, they soar higher than your expectations.

No mother wants to be remembered as a bad mother. Human imperfections keep raising their ugly head to give a bad name to the unconditional love, which all mothers have in their heart.

What kind of a mother are you? Do you agree that a mother’s role is more crucial in raising a responsible individual? Please share your reflections.
Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.
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Balroop Singh.

When Grief Transports You Back…

friendsLast week I received shocking news, which transported me back into time…those pleasant days of sitting for hours in the company of friends, those carefree moments that seemed to suggest life is blissful. We basked in its glory, oblivious of the fact that we would go our own way, get busy with the nuances of life only to meet occasionally and that too if we made special efforts to synchronize our visits to our home city.

Time is ephemeral, but we keep drifting back into it whenever it exhibits its tyranny!

This tyrant snatched away those insouciant moments we still treasure. Ironically… it brings back those whiffs of friendly fragrance more at such times of bereavement.

Happier times pass by complacently, with the thoughts that all is well and we have all the time in the world to meet.

Could we ever imagine that a day will come when we would be far away from each other, yearning to be together in the grief of one of us?

Could we ever reflect that we would be placed thousands of miles away and the word ‘friendship’ would stand before us in a questioning mode?

Could we ever think that one of our most effervescent and vivacious friends would be the first one to face the biggest setback of life…losing her husband and that too at such a stage when life starts afresh?

I always thought that I have become impervious to setbacks, having the experience of facing them since childhood but each one brings new emotions and memories. This one jolted me out of my illusionary world of thinking ‘everyone has to go and so must I.’

I often say I am ready to go, unmindful of the sentiments of my dear ones. I preach selflessness but in the process forget certain emotions that are vital to heart despite detachment. Today these emotions are hitting me hard from a new angle. They remind me that detachment is a mere word…a delusion to keep us occupied to deal with the struggles and realities of this world.

friends

Real detachment is painful and the laceration never heals as it is eternal…it is like amputating one part of the body.

Recently I came across an interesting perspective about time – “Time does not heal, it just teaches us how to live with the pain.” This outlook appealed to me and as I look back, I nod to myself how true it is as time has blurred my agony and hurts and I have learnt to live with them.

I know my wishful thinking can never put us in the same boat of blissful friendship we shared but we can provide solace with our words. We cannot bridge the distances but we can be with each other in spirit.

As I grieve over the loss and loneliness of my dear friend, the words of a famous poet come to my mind: “If moments were birds, I could have caged them, nurtured them with care, fed them with pearls and kept them close to my heart…”

Moments do get entrapped in our hearts and we can revisit them through our “inward eye.”

“A friend is what the heart needs all the time.” Henry Van Dyke

‘The greatest gift of life is friendship’…Have you received it?

Thank you for reading this amalgamation of emotions. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 

My First Flight…The Most Memorable One!

my-first-flight

I have taken many flights of fantasy but this was a real one. I can still feel that sensation, that ecstasy and elation.

I still remember the way I announced…‘We are going to Srinagar by air’ as if I was already on cloud nine! And the beaming face of my mother is etched in my memory.

I could never write about it as the feeling is inexplicable, the rapture of delight is unfathomable…words can never describe some emotions yet I want to record them in whatever words I can find.

Married off at 23, I didn’t expect much as I had no idea what a blissful relationship it could be. Prejudiced against this overrated institution or ignorant about it… I was totally confused and carried on with all the traditions and rituals mutely.

One aspect was very clear in my mind that there would be what people called ‘honeymoon’ though this word too was obscure. I associated it with dream locations and picturesque surroundings.

I was given the opportunity to choose my favorite locale and I chose Srinagar.

Oh! The excitement. The preparations. The plans within my mind! The intensity of emotions that encompassed me kept me awake for long hours.

I was going to fly for the first time! Whatever travel I had known till then was either by bus or on motorbike. The thought of flying had never crossed my mind.

Those were the times when there were no online bookings and no smart phones. We boarded a train to Delhi, walked into the airline office to book our tickets, which were dirt-cheap, less than the tariff we paid for staying in a luxurious houseboat.5130140_12_z

Houseboats are dream houses, popularized by movies of those times and were preferred over hotels.

Next morning was the flight. I had nobody around me to share my overflowing emotions. A person of few words, my husband appeared to be very calm as if he had been travelling by air for all the 24 years of his life!

I asked him how was he feeling and he gave me a blank look. He didn’t even ask what I meant.

I told myself he doesn’t know me. Well, Mr. Calm…this is the beginning!

I told him I wanted the window seat and I did get it. All the time I was looking out of the little window (I wondered why do they design such small holes!)

You can’t imagine my amazement of watching the earth from above! No wonder people associate heaven with azure blue!

photo-2The clouds looked more like bales of cotton or soft snow, the sky peeping through pristine white sheet with hues of varied blues and the movement of clouds was mesmerizingly noticeable. My eyes ached but I couldn’t take them off from this ethereal experience.

Those were the days when snacks were offered free even for a one-hour flight but I had no interest in what the smiling airhostess was asking.

Lost in my thoughts, I was thinking about the birds who experience this feeling each time they fly, every single day. I was wondering what could be the thoughts of Wright brothers. I could almost feel their pride and deep down in my heart, there was a tinge of gratitude.

I got shaken out of my reverie when my husband shook me as he thought it was rude not to answer the question of the airhostess. Now each time we fly, he knows he has to tell my preference for a drink on my behalf also.

I have taken many flights after this. I must have flown many hours yet my penchant for a window seat has never waned and my wonder of looking at the clouds, the ocean, the roads and cars, which seem to be transported from the land of Lilliputians has never been quelled.

Today we are celebrating 39 years of flying together.

I wonder how people can sit on the aisle seat and bury their heads into their devices, oblivious of the beauty that sky offers from the windows of an airplane!

One of my friends doesn’t find flying fascinating. Fear grips her as soon as she enters a plane; she feels nauseated and therefore avoids flying!

Do you think flights can be enthralling? What emotions do they arouse?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

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My Friend ‘Five’ Still Loves Me Despite My Dislike For Her

Beauty of dawn

There was a time when “Five” was my dearest friend or a compulsive pal…she always chimed in as a loud, musical buddy, trying to remind me that I couldn’t survive without her, I would deeply regret if I disregarded her and therefore I had to share my steaming cup of tea with her.

No longer so! I dumped and divorced her and found my freedom. She continued to arrive even when I snapped off the musical chords she loved. I know I was callous but I had found another friend – ‘Eight’ who believed in liberation, who accosted and accompanied me into all those cool corridors of the dream world.

I owe a deep gratitude towards my dear friend “Five” for making me what I am today, for all those reflections she shared, all those words of caution she spilled around me and the plans she made for me to keep myself and my family happy and healthy, providing me with enough time to step outside and walk in the beauty of the first rays of the sun before I could rush to my work.

Isn’t that what we expect from friends? A true companion, who gave priority to my needs, caressed me when my limbs refused to leave the comfort of bed, reminding me that the moment I move my butt, I would be happier!

She taught me forbearance, calmness and patience. She walked hand in hand with me to the milestone of punctuality, acquainted me with the virtue called self-discipline. She impressed upon me the value of time but I detested her each morning for coming too early, yearning to shun her. She was quite understanding, as she gave me a breather on weekends!

I appreciate her noble nature as she still comes uninvited with her reminders, pulling me out to gaze at the eastern horizon, inspiring me to lift the pen that I pick up at will, motivating me to record those lovely moments of mesmerizing meetings, minutes of which gleam in my poetry.

‘Eight’ has relieved me of all my worries, time crumbles at his feet and he takes me into self-appointed hours of joy…the grace that I have acquired in his company is inimitable, the emotions that he acquainted me with are exquisite…he doesn’t believe in accelerating the pace of the day…the serenity with which he moves forward is unparalleled.

The soft soliloquies of ‘Eight’ endow me with the elegance of moving forward. He shows me how to slow down, let go and detach discreetly.

My oldest friends joy and woe visit me quite less now because happiness wields all the power in my home. Their dissonance started due to the demanding nature of joy and it often clashed with the calmness of happiness. I also like her, as she possesses the potential to drive away agony, angst and fear.

Now I hang out with “Eight” and “Happiness” and let their nuances color my thoughts. They hold a strange power to guide me, the comfort of their company steers me into the positive corridors of life.

“Five” knows I have forgotten her but she continues to bestow her blessings on me by visiting me whenever I need her, whenever I lack inspiration and those are the times I get up early from my bed even now.

Goodness is forgotten so easily! Indifference and hatred distress us forever!

Forgiveness is so hard whereas goodness doesn’t even come to our mind when we think of one mean act of somebody. We need reminders for invoking amity and altruism.My friend Five

“Five” continues to shimmer in my heart albeit I dislike her placement on the clock. I know her friendship with me grew warmer only due to that placement!

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

Do you like waking up early in the morning?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

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Balroop Singh.

Why I Salute My Mother Silently Each Mother’s Day…

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My mother is a very simple, naïve and kind-hearted person. She has been forgiving everyone, without claiming to be angelic, without giving any credit to herself and her goodness.

As a child I couldn’t understand her, didn’t like the way she responded to my needs and desires. I didn’t like the way she let things be. I detested her lack of action against the atrocities she could tolerate.

She passed on mute messages. I am glad I could gather them.

Alas! I couldn’t appreciate her sterling qualities. My dominating and aggressive father had overshadowed her real characteristics and never let her grow into the kind of woman she could have been.

She became whatever circumstances demanded her to be. She adjusted to all kinds of situations, without any resentment. Probably she didn’t have a choice. She was conditioned to accept the unwritten norms of the society she lived in.

Her empty insensitive words could not affect me but her suffering and struggle did.

What she taught me, without telling me was more effective:

Love is not a trophy to exhibit:

I had a strange relationship with my mother till a particular age. I always thought she doesn’t love me as my focus was always on her unsavory comments she passed on my rebellious nature and me. Never did she say the word ‘love.’ Probably she herself had never been loved. Orphaned and married at 13, she had no exposure to finer emotions, which are picked up from a loving family.

The word ‘love’ always remained subdued in my life too as it had never been nurtured. I came to know it as a silent emotion, which could be felt deep down in our hearts…it was unconditional; it was listening and complying with all the diktats of the family and the society.

Self-love was taboo. It was being selfish.

Strength is the quality of the mind:

The impressionable years of my adolescence were molded in the cauldron of hostile circumstances when my mom struggled all alone to raise three children. Widowed at a very young age, she didn’t let the society pressurize her into giving in to depend on the hungry wolves, waiting to devour her and her husband’s property, her sole source of meager income.

Her resilience was worth emulating, her sacrifices sacrosanct and her courage inimitable. She became an incarnation of inspiration for me. Her strength left an indelible mark on my personality albeit I realized it much later in life.

Detachment is a way of life:

She has never been clingy and gave away all she had, without worrying about her own future welfare. She could detach most naturally though she is visibly shaken inside. She could never find enough words to express herself well but she made us capable of reading those repressed emotions. My gratitude goes to her for giving us the wings, for freedom of thought and expression, for never forcing anything down our throats.

Acceptance is not a sign of weakness:

It strengthens us mentally and emotionally; it acquaints us with our weaknesses, our failures and follies and renews our energy to deal with our emotions effectively.

Now I know why my mom accepted all that came her way.

Now I can see the value of each tear she shed alone and how it endowed her with greater toughness.

Now I can figure out why her words were so acerbic as they depicted her own pain, which I could not see at that phase of life.

I salute you dear mother, for making me what I am today.

I owe an apology to you for misunderstanding you; for underestimating your anguish and angst. I know it was your love for us, which made you toil day and night to give us an economically secure and brilliant future.

I wish you the best of opportunities and lot of love in your next life, if there is any.

I pray for your good health and happiness till your last journey, which I know has to be peaceful if God sees the truth.

Mother

Thank you for reading this. Please share your reflections about what you learnt from your mother.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.