My role as a mother is central to who I am. Day-to-day interactions with children make up the texture of any mother-child relationship.
Everyday, there are a number of things that I learn from my children. Just the other day, a drive to India Gate became a great learning experience for me when my son bought empty shells of pani puri and a few creamy ice creams with his pocket money to feed the stray dogs in the area. I am ashamed to admit that I never had such compassion for animals.
When the home delivery boy comes to deliver food, I never ask him if he wants water. My son, on the other hand, has never let any delivery boy go without giving him water and a tip. Just the other day, he brought me flowers because he wanted to help a child at the traffic interjection to ‘earn a living’.
There is no denying that his music gives me headache, his sartorial sense makes me cringe, his erratic timings make me go mad; but his compassion for those less fortunate and his ability to take the highs and lows with equanimity gives me great joy.
My daughter made me realise a profound truth by way of example the other day. “Ma, what is music to our ears is noise to yours to a degree that it infuriates you. Tell me how can two responses to the same thing be so different? Obviously, the thing in question does not itself have any intrinsic attribute or we would have been in total agreement. It is the way we interpret it which gives it particular qualities, which further leads to difference in opinion. So, Ma, learn to be empathetic.”
Pondering on this truth was a moment of awakening for me. Isn’t this true for everything in life? We interpret things according to our own experiences and conditioning. There are no absolutes in life. These priceless moments spent with them are moments of epiphany for me.