Often lost in my ostensibly insubstantial world of dreams and imaginations, I come across this never-ending conflict between the two facets of love: a mother's love for her child, and his love for his spouse/lover. The utterly confused mind of a son and a lover ends up with his hands reaching up to pull out his hair in disgust and despair.
Years ago, my father used to tell me this story of a young man who loved a pretty girl very sincerely and could do anything for that beautiful smile on her face. Once he saw that smile missing .In utter distraught, he begged her to let him know what she wanted.
Boy: Why, Love, u seem to be gloomy! What is it that makes you sad?
Girl(throwing tantrums): You don't love me.
Boy: O' lady of my life! I can lay down my life for you ,don't you know that?
Girl: Everything is easier said than done! Can you prove your love?
Boy: Anything for you, sweetheart!
Girl: Okay ,I have this silly doubt in my mind that you love your mother more than you love me. It's freaking me out.
Boy: Hah! Yeah, it's true that I love my mother ,doesn't everyone? But it's of a different kind. How can you be jealous of my mother?
Girl: Whatever! If you really love me then show me your face again only if you come with your mother's heart in your hands!
The boy couldn't fight his tears anymore. Engulfed in this vortex of emotions, he came back home. Seeing the long drawn face of her beloved son, his distraught mother asked him the reason ,the lines of worry creasing her foreheads clearly. The boy didn't answer. After much cajoling and persuasion, he finally told her, shame running down from his eyes with tears.
Mother broke up into her wry smile and lovingly stroked his forehead ,"silly boy! For this stupid reason you are sad? Here, take this and show your mother that smile which brightens up her world". With this, she took her heart out and handed it over to her son. His face lit up instantly..and she fell down, dead!
Struck with grief, the boy started walking with his mother's heart in his hands towards his girlfriend's house, absent-minded. Accidentally ,his foot got stuck somewhere and he fell down. Instantly ,his mother's bleeding heart, almost a metre away, jerked with a huge "thud", asking worriedly ,"beta, kahin chot to nahi lagi(son ,did you get hurt)?".
A mother's love is divine. It is unmatched, unfathomable and unquestionable. She doesn't expect anything in return. For her ,love is giving every single bit of happiness she can to her child right from the moment she endures unbearable labor pain to give birth to her child.
Likewise ,I feel, is our Motherland. She, too, gives us everything-land, food, shelter, employment-just everything we need to live and prosper. But we horrendously selfish parasites keep on drawing her blood to quench our avarice. Analogically, our greed takes the place of the girlfriend in the story I narrated before. We don't even feel like doing the least bit for our motherland's happiness. And when this bespectacled, dhoti-wearing Mahatma gave us this gift of independence so that we could live happily and commemorate that day as Independence day, Mother India's happiness knew no bounds. She felt like dancing with joy ,for her every child would remember her that day, what if it'd be only for a single day?
The pity ,now ,is that her grateful sons remember the great day as a mere holiday to chill out with friends or to relax at home .The songs of Lata Mangeshkar and Mahendra kapoor must be thanked to remind us of the meaning this day holds. Mother India hides her agony from her children, refusing to let them get sad and disheartened after knowing this.
But she has silently and secretly been weeping. Over the years ,decades and centuries .And she continues to do so. If anyone has still any doubts over this ,kindly recall your geography lessons and concentrate on the Indian peninsula. And then you can understand why she's surrounded by water bodies on three sides-and quite salty ones at that! It's a wake-up call ,my brethren ,for our generation to make our mother smile! Otherwise ,we might end up with an island instead of a peninsula!!
Long Live Motherhood!
Long Live Mother India!