I have always said this so many times in the past. I really wish we didn’t have to have a Mother’s Day to remind us, on the value of a mother. I wish we never have to have a Father’s Day to remind ourselves of what a father does, a Teacher’s Day for us to feel for a teacher. But in a world where we get so lost, and sometimes we don’t know what is today’s date! So, I’m happy that at least there is something there in the calendar that reminds us of these. I’m not speaking about the glory of a mother,
I think all of you know that. I’m not speaking about who a mother is. I think all of you know this. I have a very different appeal, as I stand here to address all of you. I think culturally, especially in an Indian society, many of the mothers had lived a very sacrificial life. She probably sacrificed herself for her family she was born into, the family she is married into. Maybe some of her aspirations. If many husbands sitting here are absolutely honest with yourself, you’ll know that your wife is as much, if not more potential than you.
But culturally, you probably found avenues by which you can actualize and maximize your potential a lot more than your woman is about to… able to do it. Vishal, by virtue of playing a role in building himself into a thousand crore company, can excuse himself of some of his parenting responsibilities. No matter what role Keerthi plays in building that into a thousand crore company along with Vishal, she cannot still excuse herself of her parenting responsibilities. What her children become will still be her responsibility!
And probably, we’re talking about a time, I know, in my case, with the sort of potential that she has, if my mother was probably born in some culture, in some society, which gave her the opportunities and exposure that were required, she would have been chairman and managing director of a company. And yet, all I think that woman has done in her entire life is, served her family, served the family she was married into. Served her husband, served her children. Today, serve her grandchildren.
And I’m not even saying that there is any regrets. She has done this with great fulfillment. She has… She probably feels more fulfilled with her life, than probably many people, whatever they would have achieved. That’s not the question. But the question is, I know the deprivations she has deprived herself of, in the entire process. You know how many of your mothers must be going through this even today, serving the food for all of you? Hot, hot roti. Hot, hot dal rice, kadhi.
And after everybody eats and we go into our own business, what is left over, is probably what she’s eating, and maybe sabzi is not left. And she would not if not enough sabzi is left for you, she’ll cook for you. But if not enough sabzi is left for her, she is not going to cook for herself. Maybe she is just going to use pickle and roll in two rotis and finish it off. There is never been any one of us to sit next to mother and find out what she’s eating!
Father has back pain. Mother would press it. Mother has back pain, who in the house has volunteered to press her back for that? She has to probably spray something on her own back and lie down. Because even if you want to do it for her, she will not allow you to do, because she thinks she is born to take care of all of you. And she feels guilty if anybody else takes care of her. Maybe mother has a desire to go to Kashmir. Maybe she wants to go on a trip to Singapore. It has never happened because father feels it’s a waste of money.
Chances are! There are lot of things that is never part of her life because dad did not believe it’s worth it. The family did not believe it’s worth it, or she grew up in a culture where she felt guilty if she did anything for herself. I want all of you to reflect it, I’m not asking you to listen to this as a philosophy. I want you to feel one with your mother and listen to what I’m saying. Culturally, it did not permit mothers to do something for herself, should feel guilty doing it.
In fact, even today, if probably anybody else in the house is sick, you know you’re going to be taken care because mummy is around. It’s scary even to think if mummy lies down what’ll happen to the rest of the family because we don’t even know where salt is there, or sugar is there, or from where milk is coming, we don’t even know that. My appeal is only this, on Mother’s Day, I don’t want to keep talking about motherhood and glory of motherhood. My appeal is this.
In more than ninety percent of the cases sitting here, probably your mother never had the life that she deserved. Maybe many of her desires never got fulfilled. So much so, that she has learned to suppress, chances are she doesn’t even communicate to you anymore. You means, to anybody in the world. She doesn’t even communicate what her desires are. Simple thing I’ll tell you, you can reflect. Can your mother sit in front of television and keep watching something, and continue to watch that after you come?
Not possible. Doesn’t matter what she’s watching. Anyone of you sitting here, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, daughter-in-law, what is your first move when the old lady is watching television when you come? The remote control will shift hands, and you’ll shift to the channel you want to watch. She can either continue to sit and watch. She has to get up and go. But I don’t think, even that choice for her to watch what she wants, even that choice does not exist.
Think about it. How many times have we gone and asked a mother, that tonight we are going out for dinner. Where do you want to go? It’s always a communication to her. In fact, you can tell, “I’m planning to go to Sangeetha.”, and father will say, “No, we are going to Saravana Bhavan.”. But, have you ever asked mom where you want to have dinner today? That’s all. My appeal on Mother’s Day is very simple. I don’t know how many more years are left. For those of you where the mother is still around. I’m just expecting this one change from you.
You will go out of your way to understand what your mother needs. Which she may not express, but you will find a way to understand. And take care of whatever years that are left in her in fulfilling those dreams of hers. That’s it. You will just go out of your way. It means, she wants to be taken to a doctor’s place. How many times, in whatever years, let’s say she is there for another twenty years, twenty-five, thirty, whatever let be the age.
How many times you think she’ll go to a doctor’s place? Can you find the time, that instead of a driver taking her to the doctor’s place, it’ll be you who’ll take her to the doctor’s place? Just for that feeling, because she never sent you as a child to the doctor’s place with a servant, she took you personally to the doctor’s place. Can you do that in return? Can you just make that one phone call which you’ve never failed to make to your friends, in a course of the day, to say hi to them?
Can you just make that one phone call to your mom on a daily basis, and just ask her, ” Mother, did you eat? Have you finished eating? How are you?”. Just one… Can you, before you go to sleep at the end of the day, just give her that quality? I know, there is tremendous demand on your time. Not the time to remind you. But if I don’t remind you now, I don’t get another time to remind you. People who cry the loudest in the funeral are always those who did not express and demonstrate their love enough when the other one was still alive.
I just do not want anyone of you sitting here to be the loudest one to cry in a funeral of a mother. Instead of saying all the things that you would say when she can no more hear, can you say all the things that you must say when she can still hear you? Can you go out of your way? Now, mother says she doesn’t want anything! That’s what she will say. But it’s not difficult for you to find out. What she has sacrificed. Yes, she’s definitely going to say, “I don’t need.”. In fact, when you buy two sarees to her and give it to her, she’s going to say, “Why you are buying all these things?
I don’t have even time to wear the existing sarees, so why you have to buy?”, she’s going to say, but don’t you know that she is going to wear those two sarees in the times to come, and go and tell at least hundred people, “My son bought it for me, my daughter bought it for me!”? And can we create that fulfillment? Could we do a little things, could we probably sit and tailor-make exclusive songs which your mother will enjoy, and create an iPod out of it, and give it to her so that she can listen to the music that she enjoys listening to? Can we invest the time and effort and do it for her?
Exclusive entertainment for her? Could we probably buy another small television and add it to parents’ bedroom, so that they can watch? So much you’re spending, one more television? And so that let them watch what they want to watch, you keep watching your… So they do not have to continue to sacrifice even at this age? Maybe she doesn’t get excited about you talking about Singapore and Switzerland and European holiday, but probably is it going to be difficult for you to arrange for an exclusive cab and taking her to Tirupati, which she wants to go and bring her back, or to Nagoor and bring her back?
A pilgrimage trip, which probably will mean a lot to her. Do what you have to do. Arrange what you have to arrange. Maybe she wants to just go and trek up to that Vaishnava… No, at her age, she can’t trek! Let’s get two people to carry her up. Give her that experience and bring her. And for her, probably that will be Jannat. That will be her salvation. That’ll be her fulfillment. I’m just indicating a direction to you. Probably, she is one woman, who has cried more for you than anybody else has cried, for the wrong reasons.
Can we ensure she no more cries because of us? Can we bring respect in the tone? I know you have great freedom when you speak to your mother. If in that one relationship, you can’t take that freedom, where will you take? But can we bring that respect and affection and the tone of our voice in the way we speak to the mother? In a single sentence, whatever years that are left, can we take care of her, like you take care of an angel? Can we listen to her once, before she goes? I don’t remember all the ways I have cared for you all these years, but I do remember all the ways you cared for me.
In these years. Can we start parenting our mother, rather than just remaining a child? Can we mother the mother, independent of whether you are a son or a daughter, or a daughter-in-law, or a grandchild? Can we mother the mother? I think your way of celebrating your Mother’s Day, will be to ensure that you recognize that lady has not got the life she probably deserved, and you’re going to do everything in your capacity in the days ahead of you, in gifting her a life that she truly deserves.