A Tribute to my mother – Rudyard Kipling : “God could not be everywhere,  and therefore he made mothers”

Raj Khooblall

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 This morning as usual I was sitting in my favourite armchair with my cup of tea trying to look outside as the rain hit the windowpane. At this early hour of the day, the timid rays of the sun gave a lovely scenery through the tea field and memories of my childhood came to my mind.

I still remember my mom’s soft voice, the way she would call my name when it was time for me to get up and get ready to go to the primary school of our locality. I would slowly get out of the bed, rubbing my eyes. But my mother’s cheerful smile and gentle words always made my day. Her love and care for me were evident in everything she would do from preparing my breakfast to helping me dress up. Although we were from a modest background, she would carefully select my cloth, ensuring they were clean. I remember how I felt a sense of pride as she would put on my shirt.

The cooking of faratha

 Before getting ready, it had become a morning ritual for me to sit by her side as she cooked farathas on the tawa placed on the traditional stove with burning firewood.

It was fascinating to watch as she skilfully pressed the flour dough into small balls, rolled it flat with the rolling pin, fold it into a square, creating layers and cooking it on the hot tawa, flipping it over until it was golden brown. I can still feel the aroma of the freshly cooked roti. As a kid, the sound of the rolling pin on the wooden rolling board was music to my ears, and the smell of the crispy faratha was mouth-watering. She would give me half of the roti with melting butter on it while keeping the other half just in case I wanted to eat more. That was delicious and refreshing experience, as she knew the right combination of flour, water, salt, and oil.

That tasty roti was more than just a satisfying meal for me, it was a symbol of my culture and a reminder of the love and care of my mother. Even today, whenever we cook faratha, I can still feel her presence in the kitchen, guiding me through the process with her love and expertise.

Helping mom in the tea field

 I still remember as an adolescent I used to help my mother in the tea field as this was the only revenue for the family at that time. It was a time when most of the children of my village normally help their parents in the plucking of tea leaves before attending their secondary schools. When coming back from the tea field with my mother, I could pick up, on the way, some Goyaves de Chine and Zamalak (java apple) in the summer season.

I was very fond of trees and the green environment.  To me, almost every species of trees in our backyard had its own feature and importance. At the passing of the wind, I could hear the melodic whistle from the trees as if the trees wanted to express themselves in their own way and with their own peculiar gesture. And then in winter, it was sad for me to see these trees losing their leaves, but they never lost their individuality.  I was always very happy to listen the birds whistling in the early morning from their nests which they had made on the edge of the bamboo plants not far from my room.

My love for my mother

 In many ways, my success in life is the result of my mother’s love and sacrifice. When all of us were well settled, it was our turn to take care of mom in her old age. On the late evening of 6 November 2001, she had a long chat with my sister, and she had a glass of warm water before going to bed. She died peacefully in her sleep that night. It was a heart-breaking departure of my beloved mother, affecting the tranquillity and creating a profound void in my heart.

Yet, I keep good souvenir of her, her gentle voice and unconditional love for her children. Even today, she remains as a guiding light that encourages me to find comfort in her cherished memories.

Ending note

As long I will live, the memory of my mother will always be a cherished part of my life. It will be a reminder of the importance of family, tradition, and the simple pleasures of life.

Looking back on those childhood days, I realize how fortunate I was to have a mother who cared so deeply for me. Her love and affection gave me the confidence to face the challenges of life, and her memories give me my identity.

Even now, many years later, I can still feel the warmth of my mother’s love as she helped me get ready for school. Her memory remains a source of inspiration and comfort to me, reminding me of the power of a mother’s love in a family.

As I put down my empty cup on the small table, wipe my tears and take a deep breath, I feel happy to have written this blog in the context of Mother’s Day. Finally, it brought a big smile to my face and shines a light as I share this story. It is a way to honour my mom legacy, and to carry her love within me, forever carved in the depth of my heart. ‘I love you Maa’.

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