Sunday, May 9, 2010
Mother’s Day Every Day- Finding Surrogate Mothers
I have a request- whoever read this posting, please see the two Youtube links also. I have posted them in FB. Even if you don’t understand the language, the visuals will tell you why I linked them up here.
For the last three days I have been driving around in Delhi for my meetings and was listening to the FM Channels’ efforts to enlighten their listeners about the importance of Mother’s Day. First two days I tried to ignore it by changing channels and going only for music. But today, I couldn’t avoid the onslaught of Mother’s Day festivities not only in the FM Channels but also in Face Book.
Though Sunday, I was busy throughout the day with meetings etc. Once back at my desk, curiosity took me to Wikipedia. I just wanted to know about Mothers’ Day.
So here it is for you. The concept of mother worship is there in every culture. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe, an American activist, made the ‘Mother’s Day Proclamation’ as pacifist reaction to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. Howe was a proto-feminist and believed that women had a responsible role in the society as conscious political beings. The phrases ‘Second Sunday of May’ and ‘Mother’s Day’ were in her proclamation and she was instrumental in forming the Mothers’ Day International Association.
I am not a scholar and whatever I said is very much there in Wikipedia and you may see details for yourself.
However, seeing the unprecedented madness for ‘mothers’ and ‘Mother’s Day’, I realized one thing; mother has also become a commodity. The malls have been sending out bit notices along with morning newspapers and were attracting the people to buy stuff for ‘mothers’.
Yesterday evening I visited one of the biggest malls in Faridabad, Haryana and the ‘mother’s day madness’ was quite palpable there. Fat mothers in salwar-kurtas were wobbling behind their jeans and T-shirt called ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ who were flaunting their newly acquired riches by buying and buying for mothers as wells as for themselves. The young mothers accompanied by their trophy husbands and prize kids were feeling very special as husband was shelling out money as the kids were demanding presents for their beloved mothers.
I was amused and still am amused because I don’t believe in these kinds of ‘days’ specially designed for your mothers and fathers. You love them unconditionally (if property disputes are not involved) and they love you the same way.
Here, a bit of reality check. I don’t like my mother at times. She reads newspapers and watches a lot of news channels and calls me every other day and asks me whether I was alright or not. She is anxious because she has seen some news in the television regarding a bomb alert in Delhi or the rising temperature in the north or a robbery in some ATM counter or an accident. She thinks that in all these events her son is involved directly and of course as a victim.
That’s the way mothers behave.
I get irritated on my mother when she treats me like a child. Also I pull all my hairs out when I explain certain things to her, however educated she is, she pretends as if she doesn’t understand a bit.
You try to be patient and caring. And even question your own hypocrisy of treating others’ mothers with a lot of respect and rubbish your own mother.
But still you love her unconditionally. And I don’t think you need a special day to call her and tell her, ‘I love you.’
I have this feeling that as we grow old we create a safe emotional distance with our mothers. Instead of emotional intensity that makes them too dependent (on you) you create a logical relationship with her through which you make her feel she is still important in your life.
But you cannot run away from the emotional attachment that you have with your mother. So you find out aesthetic mediums to connect with your imaginary association with your mother, which any Freudian might say, is partially sexual. And that is true to certain extent.
During my late teen days I had found a couple of surrogate mothers in movies. In movies sons are ready to do anything for their mothers.
Mannan, a Rajani Kant starrer, has a great scene in which the hero (Rajani Kant) takes care of his disabled mother. And the emotional attachment between the son and mother is explained through a song. And while watching this scene you wish your mother be disabled so that you could take care of her like this.
In ‘Thoongathe Thambi Thoongathe’ (Don’t Sleep Brother, Don’t Sleep), Kamal Haasan becomes a drug addict and he is saved through the loving treatment by his illiterate mother. One day he sings a song for his mother and you wish you be a drug addict so that you could be saved by a mother like her.
I find these two song sequences as the paramount examples of Mother-Son relationship in Indian screen. May be you have more examples to provide, of course more compelling, moving and engaging than these two.
However, when I think about my mother and convert my emotions into logical reasoning, deep within my mind, I sing these songs and I see myself as Rajani Kant and Kamal Haasan.