Years pass by and we look back and wonder if in between…
The yummy lunch boxes she packed for us. The classes she picked us up from. The exams she helped us prepare for. The teenage heartbreaks she nursed. The outfits she chose for us and dressed us in. The phone calls she made when we forgot to return her call. The patience she showed when we threw tantrums. The hugs she engulfed us in even when we were wrong. The tears she swallowed to make us believe that all was well. The goodbyes she said, which made her very sad. The praises she showered when we took our first step & later got our first job. The pain she hid when we hurt her. THE TRUMPET BLOWERS EDITORIAL FIONA PATERSON KASHMIRA PATEL ART AVI GOEL KAMAINI MITTAL SOCIAL MEDIA NAMRATA MANGHNANI COMMUNICATION
Rights: All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and photography contained herein may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of The Indian Trumpet. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of The Indian Trumpet. All efforts have been made while compiling the content of the magazine but we assume no responsibility for the effects arising there from. We take no responsibility of the availability of the products mentioned in the various sections of the magazine. Reprints as a whole or in part can be done only with written permission from The Indian Trumpet quoting “The Indian Trumpet magazine” for texts and pictorial material. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor. No responsibility can be taken for the loss of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Contacts: Purva Grover, founder & editor theindiantrumpet.com All queries to be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org The Indian Trumpet Magazine is released six times a year. It is available to the readers absolutely free of cost on the portal theindiantrumpet.com.
The pillar she became when we felt everything was falling apart. … Did we ever tell her how honoured we are to have had the chance to love her, know her and being nurtured in her arms? This MAA special edition is for each one of us who want to tell their mums how much they mean to us. Yes, this is for you and your maa, amma, mata, ammijaan, mummy, maa-go, mommy, ammi, mama, pabbo and maujo. And before I sign off, here’s what I want to tell to my mother. You taught me how to run after butterflies and dreams, how to fight fears and egos, how to give & receive love, how to cook and feed, how to pray and believe, how to learn and grow, how to give and accept forgiveness, how to hug and mean it, how to fall and stand, how to play & work, and most importantly how to live each day & be thankful for it.
Thanks mummy, for teaching me the importance of a beautiful heart, for letting me play silly, for encouraging me to follow my heart, for helping me overcome my fears, for looking after me, my sister & dad, for believing in me, for being the perfect example of an independent, strong & loving individual: and most importantly for being in my life. You have made me who I am and who I will be. Love you, mummy. Till we meet next, happy tooting.
Purva founder & editor email@example.com
love you mummy...
Dear Ms. Poorva, First of all I would like to extend my greetings and warm wishes on the first birthday of your baby “The Indian Trumpet”. Honestly speaking, I have never seen the celebration of “FIRST” or “NUMBER ONE” they way you gathered memories to collect significance of number one in our life. In fact, this issue is a unique document of “number one” collection. In fact all the previous issues witness your creativity and mastery in gathering ideas. I am a regular reader of The Indian Trumpet from its first issue. I look forward to reading your future issues. Best wishes and kind regards. Mohammed Saifuddin Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ............................................................... Dear Editor, I am a Punjabi, who has never been to Punjab so you can imagine my surprise and happiness when I came across your Punjab special. It was full of things that my grandmother and mother often talk about from phulkari to lassi, shaadi to langar, gurudwara to butter chicken & poetry to cinema. I loved each and every article in the edition. It is surely one edition that I am going to keep safe to show it to my kids! Thanks for taking me to my home, Punjab.
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Ramneek Kaur Australia ............................................................... I am a huge fan of the illustrations, images and designs in your editions! What lovely visuals! Sonali Sharma, India ...............................................................
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How does one celebrate MAA? This time around we had a tough time trying to figure out how do we celebrate the eternal relationship of love, care and sacrifice. You’ll agree that 100 pages are too little to pay a tribute to the Indian Maa: the epitome of tenderness & strength, adoration & devotion, sacrifice & forgiveness. By the end of it we were teary-eyed. We hope that after reading this edition each one of you take out a minute to tell your mothers how much you love them. Here’s a small little ode to you, maa. We’re honoured to have you in our lives.
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12 70mm MERE PAAS MAA HAI! The maa in Indian cinema continues to change and evolve. 18
MAA KE HAATH KE KHANE KA SWAD Most Indian mums are obsessed with cooking and feeding their families, especially their children. We all have shared stories on how most of mumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waking thoughts are about the next meal sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll cook. We reminisce a few such special moments.
MERI MAA, PYAARI MAA... No matter how you address your mother, the relationship stays eternal and global! A mum is a mum called maa, amma, maiya, mata, mommy & more.
MOMS & TEARS I cry, therefore I am & I heart, I cry: Why mothers cry? We unravel the mystery, emotion and melodrama behind the tears.
follow the noise
LALLA LALLA LORI DOODH KI KATORI The bond, song & love behind each lullaby that a mother sings to her child. LETTERS: BETWEEN DAUGHTERS AND MOTHERS A mother writes a letter to her daughters: fearing if she taught them all they’d need to live & grow. A daughter writes a letter to her mum: attempting to decode the bond, the love, the faith. MAA, DADI MAA AND NANI MAA A mother, now a grandmother talks of changing roles, dymanics and relationships. Says she cherishes both the titles! THE OTHER MOTHERS Mothers, they appear in our lives in different avatars: Sometimes as eptiomes of selfless love, other times as goddesses, a few times as fathers, many times as a mysterious tale of sacrifice, and a couple of times as mothers who we never had. BHARAT MATA For most of us Indians, patriotism is limited to just two days in a year yet we all agree on the epithet: Mother India. Our country is our motherland, matribhoomi, ma. DEAR DADDY Sometimes men think that parenthood is the same for both partners. It isn’t says this new mommy (firmly). A rebuttal in a letter. MAA, THE INDIAN SUPERHERO The Superhero in each household does not wear a cape, but instead it’s a saree or a dupatta or if there are too many crises in the world, the superhero caves in and is seen in action in bedclothes! Who is this you ask?
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A few of our favourite things for your adorable angels
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MAA TUJHE SALAAM An ode to Maa, Mummy, Mother, Amma. fashion fry
V FOR VINTAGE Does the glitter of the timeworn fade over time when it comes to wedding outfits or does it too speak of the glimmer of the past?
over a cup of chai
The screaming headlines on gang rapes have got us fuming. Each issue, we bring to you our readers views on the topic of womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safety, security & respect. SOLO MISSION A girl who learnt how to ride a scooter from her father is now a professional biker: challenging twists & turns on the path, organising biking tours, motivating more women to don the helmet and more. Her message: Hey, woman, you can do it all!
follow the noise
MAA My mother: a poem: my love, my saviour & more.
t n e r e f f i D trokes ath S by Manoj N
Art | Graphics | Illustrations
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KYA ISI DIN KE LIYE TUJHE PAA
BETA, YEH WAHI DARINDA HAI JISNE TERE D
MERA AASHIRWAD HAMESH
MERE DOODH KA KARZ CHUKANE
MAIN TERI MAA
HEY BHAGWAN, MERE BE MERE
MAA IN INDIAN CINEMA CONT
words FARH artwork MA
N ZAROOR AYENGE
AL-POS KE BADA KIYA THA!!!
DEVTA SAMAAN PITA KA KHOON KIYA THA.
HA TERE SATH HAI BETA...
E KA WAQT AA GAYA HAI BETA...
A HOON BETA...
ETE KI RAKSHA KARNA. PAAS
TINUES TO CHANGE & EVOLVE.
HANA AHMED ANOJ NATH
Whatever is typically Indian has been treated and reflected well in Bollywood since long. The sensibilities, the tastes of the majority, the life in the village chowks and urban mohallas, chai, shaadi and melas, the obsession for songs and dances — all and everything Indian is portrayed brilliantly in Bollywood. As mothers occupy a central thought in the Indian psyche, this integral member of a family is also treated from various angles in Bollywood. In the hundred years of Indian cinema, mothers have evolved from traditional homemakers to bold single mothers — representing the continuous dynamism of this female role on the silver screen just as we notice it in our ever-changing world.
Like many stereotypes associated with Bollywood, the role of mother, or Maa, is one that has defined Indian sensibilities through cinema. In most of the earlier movies, Maa is always an old lady, possibly a widow, dressed in white whose routine work revolves around regular prayers and blessing her son on various occasions — going abroad for studies, on the first day of his job, etc. as her sons ask Maa, mujhe ashirwad de. This Maa is not a decision maker in the family; she only refers to the divine instructions on doing or not doing certain acts.
of Maa in Bollywood—an image still celebrated as a typical Bollywood stereotype. It all began with Yash Chopra’s Deewar (1975), which redefined motherhood in Bollywood with Salim-Javed’s iconic dialogue: Mere paas Maa hai. Here Maa is everything. The material success obtained by one son through illegal means paled in comparison to honest do waqt ki roti earned by the other son. Here the Maa, epitomised by Nirupa Roy, like Radha in Mother India represents high moral principle in abandoning her son who has gone astray. She also bemoans before her wrongdoing son: Tu abhi itna ameer nahi huwa beta ki apni maa ko kharid sake, echoing the priceless bond between a mother and the child.
Maa as a central figure in a cinema was perhaps first brought by Mehboob Khan’s Aurat (1940), which was later remade as Mother India (1957). Here the mother’s character Radha is a metonymic representation of an Indian woman who reflects high moral values and the concept of what it means to be a mother to society through self-sacrifice — killing her own son for upholding that value. Here Maa became a metaphor— both as a biological mother of children and also of a nation.
This image of the Maa persisted throughout the 1970s and 1980s — a mother who sews throughout the night to earn money for her son’s school fees, fasting and praying continuously for several days in a temple for the cure of her ailing son and asking her son/s for revenge for her husband’s murder and welcoming the wannabe daughters-in-law visiting with her son/s. The sons recover from coma and say — Maa, main ab dekh sakta hoon. In Yash Chopra’s Trishul (1978), Nirupa Roy as Amitabh’s mother works as a labourer in high rise constructions, in Prakash Mehra’s Muqaddar Ka Sikandar(1978) Amitabh names a building after his adopted mother, again played by Nirupa Roy. The same actress plays Bharat Mata in real sense of the term in Manmohan Desai’s Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) embracing her three separated sons who had been raised as a Hindu, a Muslim and a Christian — a mother image still unmatched in Bollywood, where a blinded Maa regains her sight at the blessings of Sai Baba of Shirdi where Akbar, one of her sons, sings devotional songs.
Later on throughout the 1960s the role of Maa in Bollywood was minimal as her sons were involved mostly in romances in scenic Kashmir, Shimla or in the Alps. The beginning of 1970s brought a new treatment towards Bollywood mothers. The eventful decade started with the success of Shakti Samanta’s Aradhana (1969) — where an unmarried mother faces the trials and tribulations to help her son lead a prosperous life in an adopted family for fear of backlash till the end. However the arrival of Amitabh Bachchan as the angry young man of silver screen, reconstructed the image
This Maa also cooks food for her sons and likes to feed them with her own hands though they have grown up enough to fly a helicopter or fire shots while riding a speeding horse — Mere Raja bête ko aaj main apne haatho se khilaungi. The pampered sons thus accept it as Maa ke haath ke khaaney mey jo mazaa hai wo kahin aur kahaan?/ Maa, tum kitni achchi ho! This Maa sometimes becomes angry with her sons or develops a wrong notion towards him, courtesy propaganda by her ill-wishing family members forcing her to pronounce — Tu paida hote hi mar kyun nahi gaya.
(Clockwise) The iconic Bollywood Maas: Nargis, Sushma Seth, Nirupa Roy & Reema Lagoo
When the son fails to fulfill her expectations, Maa becomes devastated and bemoans — Kya isi din ke liye tujhe paal-pos kar bada kiya tha? But when this son’s innocence comes out too lately, the same Maa cries in desperation — Ek bar mujhe maa kahke pukaro beta. During this relatively easy-go-lucky phase of Bollywood, many dialogues and phrases associated with Maa became popular and cinematic. In most of the scenes, when the hero confronts a hiding villain he usually makes this war cry: Agar maa ka doodh piya hai to samne aa. The villain often considers the hero’s mother to be his ultimate weakness and keeps her as hostage — Ab tumhari maa hamare kabze main hai. In numerous movies of the 1970s, con men like Ajit and Madan Puri often say about the hero’s mother and sister to be kept as hostage to invite him to their den, making strategies to entrap him — Uski koi kamzori hogi, koi maa ya behan? In Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Gol Maal (1979), we find an altogether new mother when seasoned actress Dina Pathak played the role of Maa for hero Amol Palekar, a motherless guy to save his love. The mother image transformed itself into a female Hitler wielding her invisible stick of rules and discipline as portrayed by Dina Pathak in another one of Mukherjee’s film, the super hit and super entertaining Khubsoorat (1980). In Shekhar Kapur’s Masoom (1983) Shabana Azmi plays the part of a reluctant step-mother to her husband’s illegitimate son, an unconventional role often ignored in cinema discourses in India. So is the pain and anguish of the mother played by Rakhi in Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti (1982) where she is helplessly sandwiched between her loyalty towards her husband and her love for her son. In Rakesh Roshan’s Khoon Bhari Maang (1988) a betrayed mother Rekha returns for vengeance after undergoing plastic surgery.
From 1990s the image of Maa began to change in Bollywood when heroes started calling her Mom instead of Maa. It all began with Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) in which Reema Lagoo brought a new image of the Bollywood mother, who is
accommodating of her son’s romances. Reema Lagoo then goes on as mother in Aashiqui (1990) and other hits playing similar roles. For his mother’s sufferings, played by Rakhee, Shah Rukh Khan destroys the life of his beloved’s father in Baazigar (1993). Farida Jalal in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) appears to be a more independent thinking mother who helps her suppressed daughter unite with her lover boy, all within the limits of the traditional family values by offering her pair of wedding bangles to Shah Rukh Khan. In Partner (2007) and My Name is Khan (2010), single mothers marry the heroes of the film after courtship and romance. Kalpana Lajmi’s Darmiyaan: In Between (1997) shows the mother, a glamorous actress of Hindi cinema, refusing to acknowledge her only child as her natural offspring less because he is a hermaphrodite and more so because she does not wish to identify herself with the image of a mother in real life. In Sardari Begum (1996), Shyam Benegal raises questions about a mother’s brutal repression of her daughter’s love life. In Basu Bhattacharya’s Aastha: In the Prison of Spring (1997) Rekha, the mother of a school-going girl and the wife of a professor with modest means steps into — prostitution triggered by her daughter’s desire for a pair of expensive Nike shoes. Strangely, this does not change the status quo of her marriage even when her husband learns what she has been doing on the sly. In Vinay Shukla’s Godmother (1999) Shabana Azmi plays a mafia Godmother, which is a totally different characterisation of the mother in Indian cinema. In Hum Tum (2004) Rati Agnihotri plays the mother of the hero Saif Ali Khan, a glamorous, upbeat and modern woman separated from her husband, who organises affluent wedding events for a living. Now Kirron Kher, Suhasini Mulay, and others play the roles of mothers who are beautiful, glamourous and women of substance, thus continuing the portrayal of Maa in Bollywood.
Farhana Ahmed is a crazy nature lover. She is passionate about the blue sky, the wild ducks, the little finch, the silent rivers, the reeds and the orchids. Celluloid is in her blood and the black-n-white screen in her eyes. She is an eternal Dev Anand fan and loves to write about cinema. Besides having published two books on cinema, she is a fashionable interior designer who hates politics. She is presently working as a journalist in a prestigious daily from Assam.
Manoj Nath is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Bengaluru. Currently, he is working with Hewlett Packard as a Marcomm Designer. He is an avid reader and a big fan of R.D. Burman, and can play his best tunes with his harmonica. A pinch hitter in cricket, this Bong loves punning with words as much as he loves his sweets and fish curry! Although he confesses that he is a die-hard fan of North Indian cuisine too! He can be found at manojnath.com.
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MOST INDIAN MOMS ARE OBSESSED WITH COOKING AND FEEDING THEIR FAMILIES, ESPECIALLY THEIR CHILDREN. WE ALL HAVE SHARED STORIES OF HOW MOST OF MUM’S WAKING THOUGHTS ARE ABOUT THE NEXT MEAL SHE WILL COOK! HERE’S OUR FOOD EDITOR REMINISCING ABOUT HER MUM AND HER SPECIAL, LOVING TOUCH TO ALL THAT SHE COOKS FOR HER CHILDREN! words PRACHI GROVER
Last month I went home for a slightly longish vacation and I came back with four kilos of excess baggage on my already expanding girth. Points to note: 1. I did not go crazy eating out on the pretext of “I-am-on-holiday”. In fact most of my meals were home cooked 2. I didn’t eat the forbidden stuff, the not so good stuff you know (Okay, I am lying I did cheat a bit but hey I was on a holiday). I simply ate what my mum cooked. I need to mention that mum is very careful about what she makes and how she makes and I largely ate vegetarian because my parents are vegetarian. Even then, I had that unwanted excess baggage - because I just couldn’t get enough of it. I was a woman on a mission with a list in my hand. A list carrying the names of all the favourite dishes that I grew up eating, yet my heart was longing for, because when we moved countries, we moved away from the source of all that goodness – Momma! For no one can
cook like Momma. Period. Isn’t this the story of all our lives? What is it with mums and what they get on the dinner table? How come when we try the very same recipe handed down by them we can never replicate the same taste? How come there are certain things that only mums can make right? The only logical explanation that I can come up with is that they put a little bit of their heart in each and every meal they make for us; their children. And that is what makes “our” mothers the best. We all have our favourites from our mum’s kitchen. A bowl of rajma, a plate of macher jhol, that handi containing biryani or that yakhni pulao, a dhokla for snack or makhane ki kheer for a sweet ending; some complicated, some easy, some taking hours behind the stove and some that she conjures up in a jiffy. And then there are some ubiquitous ones that are made across the
Kheer: A creamy magic potion of milk, cream, sugar and rice served hot or cold, that makes our taste buds do a happy dance and makes ordinary days extraordinary. “Geography has got nothing to do with where one lives but is all about where one’s heart is,” says Chef Vikas Khanna. What say, all you NRIs?
(Top to bottom) Peeli Dal, Aam ka Aachar & Khichdhi
breadth and length of our country that all the mums make but each one treats it very differently. So here is our list of generic ones that we think we all heart and only “our” mum can make it perfect.
Peeli Dal: This “lentil stew” is what elevates the status of a bowl of plain steamed rice or a roti (Indian flatbread) straight from the tava (flat pan) from a simple dish to a meal fit for any occasion. It is strictly something we eat at home. No restaurant can ever come close to “my” mom’s tadka (tempering). For the tempering can either make or break a dal. It could be toor (yellow pigeon peas), chana (made from removing the outer skin of chickpeas), moong dhuli (split moong beans) or masoor malka (split red lentils). Each of these begins with boiling single or mix of lentils in water with turmeric and salt. Sometimes tomatoes/tamarind or an unripe mango is added as well. Then comes the tadka/chaunk/baghar that lends it that mother’s touch. Depending on the dal and mum’s mood the tadka differs. Cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, dried red chillies, roasted coconut pieces, raisins, coriander powder, garam masala, (special spice mix) sliced onions, et al; it could be one or a combination of many. The ingredients of the tadka are fried for a few seconds and then poured over the dal. It is this special tadka which now makes its way into the lentil soup and lends uniqueness and taste to the dal.
Paranthas: From Punjab’s stuffed aaloo parantha (stuffed potato flatbread) accompanied by dollops of makhan (white butter) to the Malabar porotta (flaky and multilayered flatbread) used to wipe off all that exquisite crab curry: paranthas/paratha/porotta or paronthay are made in one form or another all over India. Call it by any name but this unleavened flatbread that is made by frying either with ghee or oil wins the palates of many. My childhood memories are of summers spent chowing down numerous tikone ajwain wale paranthe (triangular flatbread seasoned with carom seeds) with homemade chunda (Mango chutney) for company. The stuffing is the soul of the paratha, and only “your” mum knows the right combination of ingredients and the right quantity to put inside the peda (ball of kneaded flour) and make it just the way that her child likes. Please note the child can be anywhere between the ages of one to fifty. The stuffing could be vegetables like potato, radish, cauliflower, fenugreek or paneer commonly used in Punjab or non-vegetarian like the famous Mughlai paratha (a deep fried stuffed paratha filled with egg and minced meat) from Uttar Pradesh, or Sattu ka paratha (roasted gram flour) from Bihar to Keema paratha (stuffed with minced meat usually mutton) from Andhra Pradesh and more. These when had with right curry and yogurt can be lip-smacking good. Only butter and cream works well too. Khichdhi: That combination of rice and dal (lentils) and ghee (clarified butter) in its various avatars that only mums can get right. A comforting concoction that not only the baby in us appreciates (it is almost like a baby’s mashed up food and hence thought to provide child like comfort to the person eating it) but which also calms our hearts and souls when all in our little world seems to be coming to an end. It is widely popular across the country (especially Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Bengal) and had with a variety of pickles, papads
Paranthas/paratha/porotta or parantoy call it by any name but this unleavened flat bread that is made by frying either with ghee or oil wins the palates of many.
(popadums), or like the Gujaratis like it, with kadhi (yoghurt and chickpea flour soup) and is generously seasoned with ghee. Bissibelle Bhaath from Karnataka and Pongal from Tamil Nadu are two very similar and equally popular dishes. Whether you are feeling slightly ill or life is treating you badly or you simply need to warm your fingers on a cold and rainy day holding a bowl of khichdhi makes the silver lining on the clouds clearer. Aam ka Achaar: Every Indian mum has at least one special “handed over through the generations” recipe of aam ka achaar (mango pickle) and just thinking about it makes us salivate. This is one recipe that you don’t want to share. You want to trade for it with another friend’s mum who can give a recipe in return; one that is at par with your mum’s. Yes I am talking about those special jars she packed for you when you left for the hostel just so that the mess food becomes bearable and you don’t miss home; or when that one time you left home for work and mum gave you a box saying even if you don’t have time to cook this will make the simple chapathi a complete meal. Aam ka achaar (with hing and mustard oil ) from Punjab, Maavadu (with castor oil) from Tamil Nadu, Jeerige midi (dehydrated mango and salt) from Karnataka or the Hyderabadi mango pickle
(combination of mango, carrot and lime), Gol Keri (raw mangoes marinated in salt and cooked with jaggery and spices) from Gujarat, and more. Each mum puts her heritage, her magic and her own special masala into it. Kheer: A creamy magic potion of milk, cream, sugar and steamed rice, served hot or cold, that makes our taste buds do a happy dance and makes ordinary days extraordinary. The one that a mum makes whether there is a birth in the family or a wedding, for guests expected and not expected, to celebrate a first rank or to give to her child going for an exam; kheer (rice pudding) is considered auspicious and is a must for feasts and festivals. Once again its “my” mother’s recipe that is the finest. Thin or thick, gur (jaggery) or khoya (condensed milk), almonds or pistachios, cow’s milk/coconut milk, basmati rice/ glutinous rice, saffron/cardamom powder cooked over low heat or short cut with evaporated milk; each payasaam/ payas/payoxh/rasiya/kheer tastes unique and it is easy to know which is the one made by “my” mum. For she has very own special way to do it and it is the only holy way (pun intended) to mark auspicious occasions and make “her” children content. And on this sweet note, I shall head into my kitchen and try out some recipes I learned from mum, after all I hope
Prachi Grover is a food maniac (read: food blogger and consultant). On days she’s not able to cook a lavish meal large enough to feed friends and family she suffers a migraine. Design is her other obsession: her home turns a new leaf every few days making you want to re-visit for inspiration. She can be found at orangekitchens.blogspot.com and purplehomes.blogspot.com.
WE CALL HER BY DIFFERENT NAMES – MAA OR AMMA IN HINDI, MAA-GO IN BENGALI, AMMIJAAN IN URDU, AAYI IN MARATHI, MAI IN BHOJPURI, PABBO IN PUNJABI, MAUJO IN KASHMIRI, SOME CALL HER MUMMY WHILE SOME MOM – THE NAMES CHANGE BUT HER CHARACTERISTICS DOESN’T. words AMIT GUPTA
MAA, MERI MAA, PYAARI MAA…
The being who first gets to know that a new life is about to be born, the being who carries a child in her womb for nine months, the being who is the happiest when the baby is born, and the being who never fails to love and care for you three-sixty-five days a year and twenty-four hours a day – is the Mother.
A child feels pain; and his or her mother comes to her child’s aid in a flash of a second; except God she is the only one who loves unconditionally and cares selflessly. We call her by different names – Maa or Amma in Hindi, Maa-go in Bengali, Ammijaan in Urdu, Aayi in Marathi, Mai in Bhojpuri, Pabbo in Punjabi, Maujo in Kashmiri, some call her Mummy while some Mom – the names change but her characteristics doesn’t. She is the only being who universally is the only one who knows exactly what you are going through at any given point of time; no matter if you tell her or not, whether she is in a different town or city or country or in the next room. A small kid in Bihar when accidently bangs his head on the door, runs to his mother and cries, “Mai-re, mai-re, bahut zor se lag gail humke, bahut darad karata. Kaise sahi Mai-re?” The same kid in Bengal cries, “Maa-go, maa-go amar khoob jore lege geche, khub betha korche. Ki kore sohibo Maa-go?”
In Punjab the small little girl cries, “Pabbo, badi jor di lag gai minnu, badi peedh ho rai hai. Kidda sawaan main?” The same girl in Lucknow would run to her mother and cry, “Ammijaan, ammijaan, bahut tez thes lag gayi hume, bahut dard ho raha hai. Kaise sahen hum Ammijaan, kaise?” We are a country of different cultures; we call our Mothers with different names, and we are taught by none other than God, on how to call her depending on the culture we belong to; He puts her name on our lips as the first word we learn. Isn’t that divine! And all the Mothers, whom we call by different names, would do but one thing upon hearing her child’s outcry; she will first love her child, will sing or tell a story so that the child stops crying and then will do first-aid. And in a minute by her love and care the child starts smiling and becomes playful once again; and the pain vanishes. Often in life when we are lost, defeated, and when we lose faith in God, when we find Him refusing to listen to our call, when darkness treats us like a stranger, and when sleep deprives us from its silence; our Mothers are the only being who comfort us with their divine love. In the entire world the only safe place to be, is the Mother’s embrace.
Amit Gupta plays the corporate guy, but at heart he’s a poet, writing secretly for a decade and longing to be where all horizons meet. Right now he’s acting the auteur with three plays under his belt, and penning lyrics for a friend who puts them to music. He loves freezing time with his camera and dreams of taking his piano on a global recital tour.
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mo and t
i cry, therefore i am words ARCHANA R SINGH artwork SONU SULTANIA
It’s been a couple of months today since we left her at the college hostel. She waved goodbye and went inside. Brave-faced, strong-willed, tiny little girl. I (mother to two beautiful girls) watched her go and tears started to roll down my face. My husband, ever the pragmatist, couldn’t fathom the reason. “She’s been admitted to the course she wanted; she’s happy; we are happy for her; she isn’t crying: why are you?” Well, I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad, I cry when the children return home, I cry when they leave again, I cry at weddings and I cry watching movies. I just cry. Why do I cry? I don’t know. The ducts and the glands must have hatched a conspiracy. The tears flow without consultation as if my cheeks were their designated pathways. It’s a mystery, this phenomenon. When I don’t understand something I look into the treasure trove of my experiences, all the way back to childhood. My early years provide some explanation. I recall an instance from the third standard in school. As the school bell rang, all of us 7-year-olds rushed out of our class. I saw a classmate in a corner, crying because no one had arrived to pick her up. I offered to walk home with her: it was on the way to our house. Leaning on my confidence she agreed. After dropping her off I calmly and
happily imagined my mother feeling proud of me: I’d helped a `friend in need’. Meanwhile, there was alarm in the Shukla (my parent’s home) household and my parents began searching all over the neighbourhood for me. They went to the school, later all the friends joined in the search. On reaching home I was shocked at the goings-on. My mother ran flabbergasted towards me, arms out stretched, tears rolling down her face, sobs turning into hiccups. She hugged me tight as she cried, then delivered a tight slap on my cheek. My dadi’s (paternal grandmother) voice in the background rings in my ears as I recall this, “Ma hai, royegi hi (She is a mother, she will cry)!” This situation foreshadows my tendency to tears. She was crying because she was angry, worried, panicking and nervous: a mother. As I recall her tear-streaked face, I’m not ashamed to cry. Just thinking about my children makes me smile and choke up at the same time. Mothers will understand this. When a mother’s tears flow, they carry with them the love that’s trying to burst forth from the recesses of the heart. Tears don’t make mothers weak: they only act as a tonic. They cleanse, purify, and are the nectar of the soul. After all, “Ma hai, royegi hi!”
Dr Archana R Singh has taught at the School of Communications at Panjab University for 14 years, recently taking a break from her work as School chairperson to research new media. A gold medallist throughout her career she has a book, 47 presentations and 21 global publications to her credit, and actively promotes Mass Communications research.
Powered by vivid imagination and aesthetic vision Sonu Sultania uses her brush to experiment and put her thoughts on canvas. Colours and textures have always been her best companions. She works primarily in concept based and expressive paintings around the themes of women: their journeys and emotions. She has participated in many UAE exhibitions; at Pro Art Gallery, DUCTAC, e Dhabi Art Hub and so on. Her works can be found here: facebook.com/SonuSultania
i heart, i cry
words NAMRATA MANGHNANI artwork SONU SULTANIA Mothers are so strong, yet so fragile... their tears are benevolent, awe-inspiring and heart-rending. Moms hold a special place in our hearts, but there are times when their emotional venting is nothing short of a melodramatic episode. Here’s how mothers shed tears at the slightest, and sometimes silliest, of things... but never fail to pull at our heartstrings.
help but cry. Why? Well, she’s waited nine months to hold the child; she’s shocked and scared not only at the out-of-body experience (pun intended) but also at the baby’s tiny size: it’s unimaginable how such a small thing could have such a huge impact. She feels lucky and blessed to be able to take care of another human being she can call her own.
To the Streaming Tears
There’s no pinpointing a single reason as to why a mother cries. She winces when the baby in her womb kicks her. She obsesses when her child clings to her at the school gates during the first month at school, then sighs when they skip away without a backwards glance. She can’t bear to give away the baby clothes. She sheds a tear when her child is injured, and another at the suffering of fever; she pleads when food won’t be eaten, and weeps silently at any lack of support, or, God forbid,
Of My Mother’s Heart To the Brimming Smiles Of My Mother’s Soul - Madal From the very beginning, when a woman becomes a mother and sees her baby for the first time, she cannot
And endless worry if there’s been an accident 15,000,000 kilometres away from the child! I’ve even seen a mother shed a tear when she senses her child’s presence (Hint: the film, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham)! Sometimes, I feel that when a mother doesn’t know how to react to something, she cries. But what’s there to say? “Maa hasti hi aisi hoti hai (Mothers are made like that)! ” But there are some wonderful moments, or should I say ‘sobs’ captured in Hindi cinema, which depict the unconditional love of a Bollywood maa. For instance, it’s commendable to see Nargis in the movie Mother India, carrying a plough in the scorching heat while singing Duniya mein aaye hai toh jeena hi padega... Even though she sheds a tear while working in the fields, she remains gutsy and spirited, battling against overwhelming odds to teach her children to work hard in the face of all life’s hardships.
abandonment in old age. Moms are the closest things to our hearts: it’s hard to function without them. But it must be admitted that, at times, Indian moms can act with outrageous, unbelievable drama. They sob whether they’re angry, happy or irritated. Their tear glands are passed on from one generation to another like family heirlooms. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that moms are Bollywood’s greatest inspiration. Indian mothers cry when their little children say something mature: how big they’ve become and how right it is. There’s fasting and praying and whining until children pass or score well in class. And then the shedding of khushi ke aansu (tears of joy) at a school award. But if there’s a fall from a swing, it’s: “Haii! Shayad mere bacche ko kisi ki nazar lag gayi hai (An evil eye has been cast on my child!)!” And whimpering if a child doesn’t finish the contents of their lunchbox and arrives home with an empty stomach.
In Wake Up Sid and English Vinglish respectively, we see the mother sobbing when her child doesn’t accept her flaws and mocks her inability to speak English. In Taare Zameen Par, there’s a mother who understands her child and weeps silently in support, but is helpless in the face of a demanding, authoritarian father. In the movie Rang De Basanti, the mother of a Flight Lieutenant in the Indian Air Force quietly grieves over the loss of her son: she’s has been mentally prepared for the worst from the moment her son joined the service. But when she weeps to the sound of the song Lukka chuppi, the audience mourns for all the mothers who’ve lost their sons in battle. Regardless of all the silly or inexplicable reasons behind a mother’s tears, one thing’s for certain: crying’s as cathartic as a mother’s love. The word Maa itself, is such an endearing, tranquil, comforting term. When we listen to all the beautiful songs dedicated to mothers in Bollywood, it’s our turn to shed a few tears. And tears become mother to the emotion, rather than the other way round. Youngsters make their mom’s clothes wet, and grown-ups moisten her eyes. But she seems to handle having her heart walk outside her body with utmost ease. No wonder: mothers are wonder women. To the world they appear to be mothers; to their families they’re the whole world! So hug your mother if she cries when you tell her she’s the second most beautiful person in the world; the first being her again, but only when she’s smiling!
Namrata Manghnani believes she’s a permanent tourist: she loves to explore the world and gets fascinated by the little things in life. Born and brought up in Dubai, she graduated in Finance from Manchester, and changed career paths, recently. She enjoys writing about emotions, dances for inspiration, and aspires to be an author. She possesses an eye for detail: would never miss a fluttering butterfly or a grammatical error. She is now freelancing for magazines and newspapers, and growing as a writer with each word she pens down.
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LORI DOODH KI KATORI DOODH MEN BATASHAA, MUNNI KARE TAMAASHAA
LORI DOODH KI KATORI DOODH MEN BATASHAA, MUNNI KARE TAMAASHAA
words ROSEMARY FERNADES
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When mama sings. I still call myself a new mom. My little girl is a just over a year and a half. She’s the most amazing bubble of giggles, frowns and jumbled up words. I lost my heart to her the day she was born and life hasn’t been the same since. Over the last year, I’ve found that she’s at her cutest at bedtime. She’s a bit like a mix of some of my favourite dwarfs: Happy, Dopey, Sleepy and Bashful! She sings random songs in between yawns, pretends to frown and then erupts into fits of giggles. She goes over everything that happened during the day, connecting random words, people and teddy bears... it’s the most precious thing. Bedtime usually takes a good hour, but it all eventually calms down, with her wanting to sing. Or, her wanting me to sing. And her request list will consist of a medley of all the nursery rhymes I’ve been singing to her since the day she arrived. She’ll snuggle up to me, as close as she possibly can, then one of us must sing. Softly, just for the two of us. We go over the favourites like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Rock A Bye Baby, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Ding Dong Bells and the rest. I remember when she was born, her dad and I wondered whether we’d remember all those rhymes… it’s amazing how everything child-like, simple and genuine, floods back to memory when you hold a newborn in your arms. Some nights, we sing everything I can remember and then we chat about which one she wants next. This usually takes a while, given the multiple distractions her Winnie the Pooh pillow, clown carousel, bunny rabbit and not to mention Barney the dinosaur soft toy, pose. They all have names, need blankies, simply MUST sing the lullabies too…yes, I only have myself to blame for this bit! I often find that I drift towards songs and rhymes that my mother sang for me as a child. Little religious hymns, old country tunes: it’s quite random sometimes. For close to a month, all I sang was ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas’! But I’ve realised that we have a little pattern, my girl and I. Perhaps it’s from the nine months, that it was just her and me; on the inside. I used to sing a lot then as well. You see, I’m a softie, and the sentimental stuff gets to me, especially when it’s musical. And I’ve realised that the tunes that make me a little teary-eyed, or have a message, a story, a memory, are the ones she likes the most as well. I’ve noticed that I sing them to her with a little more… feelings perhaps?
well close them after telling her at least
But I feel her hug me back. As I look at her through barely open eyes (well I can’t very
Rosemary, the author of the piece, with her daughter, Leah
ten times to keep hers shut, now can I?!) I see a little smile on her face as she looks up at me. Even if it’s a really old Jim Reeves song that I’m singing, she seems to get it too.
each other. She’s not only my reflection, but a reflection of
This time that I get to spend with her is probably my favourite bit of the whole day. It’s just the two of us: our special time.
always, so much love.
There’s no world, there’s no noise, there’s no worry, there’s no fear. In those moments, as I watch her fall asleep singing softly to her, I remember her tiny fingers, toes, a button nose: exactly what she was like when she was just born. I remember being overwhelmed with love for this little person. Worrying about whether we’d be all she needed. Whether we’d be enough, for each other and for her.
When a mother sings at bedtime, it’s never just singing. It’s remembering the amazing moments life has blessed you with. years of love before I met her father. She’s a looking glass into the future where I see happiness, hope, dreams and
When a mother sings at bedtime, it’s never just singing. It’s remembering the amazing moments life has blessed you with. It’s loving your child and everyone else you care about. It’s praying for health, happiness, togetherness, bliss. It’s overcoming fears. It’s peace. More peace than I feel my heart has ever known before.
Sometimes I sing to her when she’s sick. And I pray and vow and hold her, only wanting to make her a little more comfortable.
One of the nicest things is that, thanks to technology, we
I’m often worried and scared, as is normal in this volatile world of ours. But when we sing to each other, I look at her and realise that we’re going to be OK, that we have each other and nothing’s more important.
imagine the smiles her baby voice brings, singing some of
I see bits of my husband and my own parents in her eyes, her smile, her cheeks. All the people I love. We ALL have
No, it’s never just singing. It’s the joy of history and the
can record her singing alone or one of our duets and send it across the globe, for her grandparents to hear. I can the old, well-loved songs that have moved slowly, lovingly, carefully, from generation to generation.
wonder of the future all rolled into one amazing moment.
Rosemary Fernandes is a banker by profession but her first love has always been writing. She’s happiest surrounded by books, her family and a hot cuppa. Ever the optimist, this lover of musicals and doodler of cuboids can be found at countingsheepinmysleep.blogspot.com. Drop by, she promises beanbags and cookies.
At Orange Kitchens we believe that children who are more involved in preparing food are more likely to try out new flavours on their plates, respect their food, respect where the food that they eat comes from and in the process wipe their plates clean. When we teach them â&#x20AC;&#x153;realâ&#x20AC;? cooking we talk about where that dish came from (history & geography & learning about different food habits), we follow a certain method (science and following instructions), we are measuring (maths), we are trying to choose the right ingredients (lessons on nutrition and using fresh produce), we share how our elders would always make it or how each Diwali/Christmas/Eid our parents would eat this as a kid (getting to know their family and their traditions better) and of course each time we cook we encourage them to add their special little touch to it... replace that chive with basil, chocolate chips instead of vanilla, serve it differently (getting creative and adventurous)... now that is quite a lot of learning while putting together just one simple dish. While the kids think we are just here in for some fun! For all this and more, send your kidlets to become a part of the food lessons at Orange Kitchens.
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A mother writes a letter to her daughters: fearing if she taught them all theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d need to grow & live.
A daughter writes a letter to her mom: attempting to decode the bond, the love, the faith.
Dear beta, This is the last thing you expect. In the era of e-mails and WhatsApp, Skype and FaceTime, I decide to write you a letter in longhand. Yet I’m sure you know how old-fashioned I am about the things close to my heart. You, dear people, are the closest: hence the letter. There’s always so much to say, and so little time. The modern era so involves us in the business of living that deeper values such as cultural heritage are passed from one generation to the next through things never articulated. You kept on leading your life: waking up in the morning, going to school, doing activities in the evening, finishing homework, making friends, partying till it was time to move on to a new career, new city, new lifestyle. I kept on leading my life, packing lunch boxes, waiting for school buses, supervising homework, ferrying from tuitions and activity classes, attending PTMs, planning birthday parties and dreaming of you growing up into responsible young ladies. There were so many things I wanted to tell you but never did. There was never any time to tell you about our sanskriti (culture) and sanskar (values), which I hope you’ve absorbed through your experience as part of this family. There was never an opportunity for a discussion on ethics and values, which I hope you’ve formed through observation of your parents’ standards. As I write this, I fear I’ve left the most important responsibilities of a parent to chance! Well, not really. You grasped things when I didn’t say them; you looked at me with intelligent eyes even when you were a baby and couldn’t speak! Perhaps you understood, instinctively picking up nuances, but we always had knowledge of each other’s hearts and minds. That’s how mothers and daughters are.
I’m writing this letter as a checklist that I hope you’d like to keep with you as you grow. At various stages in life, new challenges will be thrown your way. The art of living is to take these on and emerge victorious. Society sometimes blurs the basic feelings all of us experience, so I’m hoping this letter will come in handy when you’re facing confusion. I’ll begin with the most basic and profound feeling: happiness, life’s ultimate aim. We strive hard to find it; some seek it in money, others in material objects: an endless array of the latest gadgets, cars, electronic devices, branded clothes, diamonds and food. The first challenge is to arrive at an appropriate definition of happiness. Never confuse another person’s concept of happiness with your own. Often, we struggle through mediocre existences because we never really learnt to earn life’s most important aim. What is happiness? It’s found everyday in things you enjoy, sometimes for yourself, sometimes for others. For me, waking you up early in the morning with a glass of milk was happiness. For you, it was riding the scooter with me, singing our favourite road song. It’s found in little things, every day. Don’t wait for some sublime moment of joy, a life-changing event or tomorrow.
Choose to be happy every day, move towards the things that make you happy, and other things will follow. What other things? Success, marriage, family, friends, career… these are by-products of happiness. A happy person attracts friends, keeps a happy family, views success as an achievable target, and bases their career on their best capabilities and talents. If we learn to view everything as either a source or a result of happiness, life would be much simpler. How does this work? Here are some rules I’ve followed; you may find them useful: A career is something I’ve worked at all my life. It’s never complete; it never ends. Retirement doesn’t mark the end of a career. I know this because I made a career out of happiness. Each research paper I wrote and each lecture I delivered had to make me happy. Every professional dimension had to pass my happiness test.
t co bad throu strong
So, how go hand i activities to Physical stre favourite exer for a kind heart This may appear to be selfish: to do everything that makes you mind deserve th happy. But look closely. Can you be happy, if your actions harm find happiness.
other people? If you achieve success by treading on other Work hard, without people’s toes? If you deliver a shoddy lecture to a class full keeping a comfortab of enthusiastic learners? If you plagiarise someone else’s people around you sm academic work and present it as your own in a subnever killed anyone” to standard journal or conference? Well, you know the answer. I can only talk in terms of my experience; you’ll has to be in context. A ha well adjusted children, a ha have to adapt it to yours. If you keep your happiness performing students, and a in view, you’ll never lag behind in your career, be a happy clients and good busin dishonest employee or employer, a cheat, a liar or otherwise hurtful person. Just keep happiness in Everyone loves a hard-working sight.
who gets up to run errands in the
Heartbreak is another thing you’ll go through: to complete an assignment at wor extracurricular activities, who’s happ deception from people you love. I can’t say “forgive and forget” because it’s the easiest work load if the need arises. Hard wo
(L-R) Archana (the author of the piece) with her daughter, Sowmya. Archana with both her daughters. Archana with her daughter, Pallavi.
thing to say and the toughest to follow. But I will say that what’s not meant to be has its own way of getting out of your life. Heartbreak is the lowest point of life. Things can only improve, one day at a time. Improve they will. While times change, you evolve as a person. Everyone around you also evolves. Each of us is an individual and evolves differently. So, your friends and partners may evolve differently from you. The new personalities may not gel because evolution is about the survival of the fittest. I didn’t make up that theory: it’s proven fact.
When things go wrong, evolve! You have to be the fittest to survive. A wrong career move, a cheating partner, a noticed. Sometimes you’re showered with gratefulness. When you’re away, you’re missed, onniving colleague, a dominating boss, a financial crisis, a remembered and wished for! It’s great to be popular and loved by all but remember that d hair day: these are all things that will keep happening people with a pleasant disposition aren’t always taken seriously. Grumpy people, filled with ughout your life. Rise above them all and stay fit and self-importance, are often perceived as more intelligent and competent. I don’t advocate g. That’s the key to survival: Darwin told us long ago. being ill-tempered to appear wise but I’d strongly advise the use of patience. Survivors don’t
w to stay fit? Physical fitness and emotional fitness work to win small daily battles, every argument for its own sake, petty disagreements to satisfy in hand. In order to be able to perform your daily their egos. They work to win eventually. In an argument, if you’re wrong, learn. Learn quickly and o the best of your abilities, you’ll need strength. set right. However, if you’re right, there’s no point in arguing, is there? ength can’t be compromised, so chose your This letter can never end. After all, a mother wants the world for her children and even the best is not rcise and work out. A fit body is a good place enough. When you were born I’d kiss your little feet and promise I’d keep you away from all sorrows. t and a strong mind to stay. Your heart and That was a mother’s way of saying that I’d make you so capable that disappointments would fear to his. A lazy body and dull mind can never
fuss. This mantra goes a long way in ble home, a workable office and the miling. I’ve always said “hard work everyone I’ve met. Of course, this ard-working mother has healthy, ard-working teacher has well hard-working professional has ness.
With lots of love, Mamma. Dr Archana R Singh has taught at the School of Communications at Panjab University for 14 years, recently taking a break from her work as School chairperson to research new media. A gold medallist throughout her career she has a book, 47 presentations and 21 global publications to her credit, and actively promotes Mass Communications research.
person. Be the person e house, who volunteers rk, who participates in py to share a colleague’s ork always gets you
cross your path and you’d have the strength to travel the world and make decisions on your own. I still haven’t told you about the rules around friendship, marriage, honesty, fair play and the beauty of the soul. I haven’t warned you about the loss of loved ones, and the toll it can take. I haven’t dwelt on charity, spirituality and religion. There’s so much I haven’t said, and as I end this letter I’m filled with apprehension: that I’ve left the most important responsibilities of a parent to chance. Well, maybe not: that’s how mothers and daughters are!
Dear Mumma, When my senses came alive inside you, I could feel your heart pulsing near my soul. And I found my very first game; to sync our heart beats. When I debuted into this world, I was looking for you among all the doctors and nurses. And when you finally snuggled me close, I felt I was in the arms I was meant to be in. Then Papa spoke to me and his voice attracted me instantly. What a handsome man, I must say! When family and friends came to see me, you asked them first to wash their hands and speak softly; all to keep me safe and cosy. I felt like a princess, like I was the center of the universe! I still don’t know why - you were sombre every time I cried.
Soon I started kicking, crawling, falling and finally walking. And my babble became coherent words. I learnt nursery rhymes and sang them a trillion times every day. And every time you quipped happily, ‘very good’ (even when you were half-asleep). I still don’t know why – you gave me the tastier crust of a samosa and happily ate the spicy stuffing I left for you. What makes you so selfless is a rebounding question as I pen this. Now that I had my social skills in place, I was ready to hit school. Daily at the school gate, you promised to be back in a few hours. I observed, played, studied and collected stories from school, to tell you once I was home. It weren’t my silly stories but your ‘then what happened’, which made our discussions animated. It is what made me feel special and cherished. I still don’t know why – there was pain in your eyes when I bruised my knees at school every now and then. I still don’t know why your heart was crushed when some unsuspecting child hurt my feelings.
You were busy with home, work and family and still found time to look into my homework. Sometimes I felt, you were some superwoman. Only your cape was missing. I still don’t know how you had so much patience to answer my uncountable questions. Had I been you, I probably would have lost it by then. You let me grow-up and be with my friends; and also cajoled Papa for all permissions; and became my single-window clearance for everything. Your life had been uphill and strenuous, but I still don’t know how you gave me my wings. Soon I finished school, and I was ready to bungee-jump into a new life. I was striving to succeed and you were my safety net. I was free-falling, but I had ropes of your love and care keeping me safe. Many a times, I came back home upset and disheartened. But your magic hug made everything OK in microseconds. I think I know why your touch is so special to me. When I started to work, it was a demanding 12 hours a day. And you were working with me too. You called me before I got up, slept after I was back. You still heard my stories with your ‘then what happened’; only this time about my bosses. I still don’t know why – why is your soul is akin to mine, like no other? When I plunged the deep seas of business, your eyes had the shiniest spark. You were more certain of my success than I was. You were not just my launch-pad, but also a buffer to fall back on. I still don’t know why you invested all your faith in
(L-R) Ishana (the author of the piece) with her mother, Seema.Ishana with her twin sisters, Ragini and Damini. Ishana as a child.
me. It would take me a lifetime to unscramble this mystery. When the waters were troubled, the tides were high, you held me steady. Your smile was reassuring that we would see the shore soon. I still don’t know why you always beamed when your heart was forlorn too. I asked you time and again, “what makes you, YOU?” You sighed only to say that, I would know when I become a mother one day. I’m unable to decode this bond, this love. But I do have a little secret to share. From the infant that I once was, to the young woman I am now, I still feel like a baby who has outgrown your lap just a little. Whether I am here or on the moon, whether I breathe or I don’t; Mumma, I only crave to make you proud, to see you smile!
With love, A part of your soul
Ishana Luthra loves to write, dream and travel: she adores her mountain dwelling, craves beaches and lives for the holidays. A workaholic in the meantime, she runs a company called Pattraco, which designs marketing content for businesses globally. An experimental cook, she loves to be with family: embracing the company of children and the elderly defines joy for her. She pens her thoughts at thesunshinepen.wordpress.com.
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Mridula Mohan has played the so-called innings of her life and now sits happily on the fence soaking in new experiences and mulling over old ones. A mother of two (grandmom of one) and an Army wife, Mridula has been a teacher most of her life and these days sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back to indulging in her first love,writing. She writes both prose and poetry and derives her inspirations from her lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s travels and the impressions along the way. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WE’D ASKED OUR READERS A SIMPLE QUESTION ABOUT DELHI MARKETS. THE CORRECT ANSWER: CHHABRI NAGAR THE WINNER’S NAME: SHARWAN SINGH SHEKHAWAT CONGRATS, YOU’VE WON YOURSELF A FOOD VOUCHER WORTH INR 1000 FROM CAFE DELHI HEIGHTS. Please note: The winner was selected via Random Name Picker, more details on our Facebook page.The winner will be contacted soon. If the winner happens to be at a location other than for what the contest was then the winner will be re-selected and contacted.
the other mothers
MOTHERS, THEY APPEAR IN OUR LIVES IN DIFFERENT AVATARS: MANY TIMES AS MYSTERIOUS TALES OF SACRIFICE, OTHER TIMES AS GODDESSES, A FEW TIMES AS FATHERS, AND A COUPLE OF TIMES AS ADOPTIVE MUMS.
MOTHERS, WE WORSHIP: GODDESSES LIKE DURGA MA, MA SARASWATI, VAISHNO MA; DHARTI MAA; BHARAT MATA; GANGA MA AND MORE words CHHAVI BHATIA
The most famous words of well-known English writer and Nobel Prize winner Rudyard Kipling are perhaps these: God could not be everywhere, so he made mothers. And so true they ring for everyone at all stages of life. Our mother, the very reason of our existence, is the most cherished person in our life. Sometimes we forget this, but eventually, everyone acknowledges the fact that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. And we Indians, extend the motherhood sentiment to our goddesses too. Which is why all our goddesses are prefixed or suffixed with ‘ma’, say, for instance, Ma Durga, Vaishno Ma, Ma Saraswati etc. If this speaks volumes about how revered and loved mothers are in our lives, it also tells us that in spite of the invasion of Western culture and the Gen Y losing all sense of respect for their Indianness and mata-pita (mother-father) and the ilk, deep down, our roots remain firm and we are as sentimental as they come. Goddesses have a special place in the Hindu religion, as rarely do we come across a god being addressed as pita. If Ma Laxmi conjures up deep faith and emotion, Pita Shiv or Krishna Pita just draws stares, chiding the ‘culprit’ for having no respect for the god or being plain foolish. Gods have their aliases or nicknames, which devotees use with very comfortable ease, for instance, Lord Shiva is Bholenath, Lord Krishna is Makhan Chor. We would hardly come across anyone seeking blessings from a goddess using an AKA other than Ma, further reinforcing the significance of motherly feelings in us. This might also mean that deep down we feel closer, more intimate with the goddesses than with the gods, just like we are more often closer to our moms than to our dads. We have goddesses for everything…Ma Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge, Ma Laxmi is the goddess of prosperity, Ma Durga is our saviour from all things evil. Exactly how our moms look after our well being, our
education, and protective like our own mothers are. We worship our Ma all year round. Twice a year we have nine days specially devoted to the nine goddesses as Navratra. So much is the devotion and the festival so sacred that consumption of alcohol, non-vegetarian food, even onions is akin to blasphemy. So we appease the nine forms of Ma Durga, from Bhadrakali to Chandi to Bhairavi to Mookambika during the nine days. Devout Hindus abstain from eating any taamsik food, so much so that onion and garlic, staple of any Indian home completely vanishes from the kitchen during Navratras. Then there are other goddesses too who are nothing less than ‘ma’ for us. Dharti Ma or goddess earth is one, river Ganga or Ganga Ma is another example. The unflinching trust in goddesses extends from temples to daily lives too. For instance, it is common practice to name trade units, superstores, even mineral water brands after the goddesses. So billboards with ‘Jai Ma Provision Store’, ‘Ma Durga Stationers’, ‘Ma Laxmi Sweets’ in a neighbourhood market are familiar sights. Another common sight is trucks that zoom on the highway imparting “precious” gyaan, and also thanking their goddesses for keeping them safe by writing graffiti such as ‘Ma Ka Ashirwaad’, ‘Ma Ka Pyaar’, ‘Ma Ka Laadla’, expressing love for the superpower and the more mortal mother at one go. That we are an emotional race has been established beyond doubt. We unabashedly cry in cinema halls when the hero dies, we cheer our cricketers from our drawing rooms when they hit a six against their arch rivals, and we build temples in the name of our favourite movie stars. In a similar vein, mothers are seen as ‘bhagwan ka avtaar’ and goddesses remain the ‘Ma’ we go to when we have a tiff with our mother. So, here is to the epitome of unconditional love and supreme sacrifice, the mother.
Chhavi Bhatia ventured into journalism early on life; after many years working on leading English dailies, she realised the profession is more about the proverbial nose for news than being creative. She now indulges in poetry, some serious blogging, music, cooking and buying books, which gives her a far better high than the yellow metal.
MOTHER, OUR CREATOR: A MOTHER MAKES ENDLESS SACRIFICES FOR HER CHILD. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MOTHER & CHILD IS ETERNAL.
words MRIDULA MOHAN
Mridula Mohan has played the so-called innings of her life and now sits happily on the fence soaking in new experiences and mulling over old ones. A mother of two (grandmom of two) and an Army wife, Mridula has been a teacher most of her life and these days she’s back to indulging in her first love,writing. She writes both prose and poetry and derives her inspirations from her life’s travels and the impressions along the way. You can reach her at email@example.com.
MOTHER, MY TWO SPECIAL MUMS: “YOU HAVE ANOTHER MUM, THE ONE WHO GAVE BIRTH TO YOU,” TOLD MY ADOPTIVE MUM. words KANIKA KALRA
Whenever anyone used to remark ‘You look just like your mother’, my mom and I used to turn and look at each other and exchange a smirk, the meaning of which only we understood the best. This remark followed by the smirk was not new to us: it was our secret. I still recall that one evening when I was seven and was running around the home with my brother, and my mom asked us to sit down for a ‘chat’. Oh, we sure did not like the word ‘chat’ it meant a long, boring conversation with underlying threats about finishing homework. But this chat was different. This chat was about how we were both special children with two sets of parents - one who raised us and the ones who gave birth to us. My mom convinced us that we were unique yet we were told not to talk about it with everyone. It was confusing, if we were unique then why not flaunt? We grew up, and moved from Dubai to India, where the social pressure surrounding the topic of adoption became more evident. People who knew of ‘the past’ would talk to us with a hint of pity in their voice followed by motivational words of how strong we were and how they respected our parents for taking such a noble decision. Being adopted never bothered me, yet there were times when I wondered what could have possibly happened to my birth parents - Did they die? Were they sick? Did they not want a girl child? But there are some questions, which are best left unanswered. The answers might be more hurtful than the questions, so I choose to leave them at that. As an adopted child, I feel confident about my individuality. I am not bound by the genetics/blood/
personality traits of the family. And my parents are the main reason that I have managed to live with the fact that I am adopted: they taught me that this wasn’t something I was to be ashamed of yet it was a family secret that was not to be shared with all. I still remember the day when my little brother was brought home. I looked at him and thought he was very fat! For me, he was the newest responsibility in my life. I was the ‘elder sister’. I was too young to wonder or question how my mom brought home a brother without getting fat or going to the hospital. All that mattered was the fact that I was now an elder sister! The fact that he too was adopted, never bothered me, and neither has it till date. All I remember is living a normal life with a brother: playing, fighting and spoiling him silly. Before I was adopted my parents decided to sponsor a child at a NGO in India. I met this girl a few times and almost wanted to tell her to come home and be the elder sister but mom explained to me that it wasn’t allowed. She is still as close as a sister could be! I interact with her often, she is married and is herself a mom now. She too is a part of our special family. I’ll say that things like adoption are tiny things when you look at the larger picture. I am grateful that I grew up in a supportive and wonderful family, who never used adoption as a threat or as a reason to love me less or spoil me rotten. In the end, when I look back I have happy memories of a family that was destined to be together, grow together and love together. I love my adoptive mum and dad, and would do anything to be their daughter, and yes also to be an elder sister to my brother.
Kanika Kalra discovered the magic of shadows and hues, accidentally. She has recently got herself a camera to play with and spends time collecting memories and moments. Based out of Bengaluru, this public relations manager aspires to grow with each picture and conversation.
MOTHER, MY DEAR PAPA: “I HAVE BEEN NURTURED IN THE ARMS OF MY FATHER, WHO IS PLAYING THE DOUBLE ROLE (MUM/DAD) WONDERFULLY.” words PUJA RAINA MAHALDAR
I just can remember my mother, Angels one, took her away, You took her place with a smile on your face, That why I’m happy to say: Daddy, dear old daddy, You’ve been a mother to me…. Fred Fisher
The brightest star in the sky was mine. I watched it every day, spoke to it every hour and minute but it never responded. I knew the star up above loved me and wanted to reply but sometimes things are not in our hands when destiny acts. As we honour the love and connect of a mother I would like all of you to keep in mind that the word Mother is not patented for women. Fathers can ‘mother’ their children too, and I can say with pride that I am one of the few fortunate kids who has been nurtured in the arms of a Father. Our society often portrays a Father as the backbone of the family: the one who keeps every family member safe from dangers and economically stable, thus prompting the kids to exclaim “My Daddy Strongest”. And the fostering of kids is deemed as a mother’s domain by societal conventions. There is an apparent constraint that one should be a woman in order to be a mother, and this serves as a living example of the ways in which our patriarchal society has clogged our minds about what genders are capable of achieving. The society continues to position motherhood and fatherhood as completely different from each other but in my case my father changed the rule of thumb by dual role playing: being a mom at home and dad at work.
Loss of mom in teens was a very hard phase for us two sisters. It was unfortunate for us as the loss of a mother is irrevocable for a child, but we felt blessed to have a father who would pamper and encourage us just like our mother did. He’d comfort us when we got hurt, be it physical pain or emotional; cook for us when we came back home from the hostel and more recently, from our in-laws’ place; he’d accompany us when we’d go shopping for girls’ stuff like bangles, bags, dresses, shoes, as well as nappies and diapers for our babies; our father even gave us lessons on sanitation, and always remembered to hug and kiss us often; he’d stay up the entire night when we fell sick or when our babies cried, and even helped in changing their nappies and sang lullabies for them. My father has broken the prevalent belief that mothers are more committed to parenting than fathers. He stepped into motherhood in our teens and is playing the double role wonderfully. We believe that pregnancy and the experience of giving birth to a child establishes a special connection between a woman and her child, which in turn creates the divine essence of motherhood. However, if we were to accept this belief, we’d have to question the love and care showered on children by an adopted mother and/or grandparents. This journey of life with my motherly father taught me that Motherhood is not about genders; instead, it is about how one loves. It’s a feeling that needs to be cherished and celebrated rather than being categorised by gender. My Father made me preserve the words “Mother” and “Motherhood” as a verb rather than as a noun in my personal vocabulary. The world may continue to think that only women can be mothers. But I think otherwise.
Puja Raina Mahaldar hails from the land of mystic beauty, Kashmir. When she was growing up, she surrounded herself with her father’s medical journals and huge collection of books. She loved to flip through one of her dad’s favourite books in particular, O Jerusalem! Known as a chatter box amongst her friends and family, these days she is busy playing mommy to her two boys, 5 and two-months old. When not running after them, she can be found freelancing for magazines, newspapers, portals and more.
Indian Trumpet Loud, louder, loudest... Let's make some noise! We'd love to hear from you. Write in to us with your suggestions at
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FOR MOST OF US INDIANS PATRIOTISM IS LIMITED TO JUST TWO DAYS IN A YEAR YET WE ALL AGREE ON THE EPITHET: MOTHER INDIA. OUR COUNTRY IS OUR MOTHERLAND, MATRIBHOOMI, MA. words CHHAVI BHATIA artwork SONU SULTANIA
India is our motherland. Bharat is our matribhoomi. These sentences sound like the opening lines of a Social Science book from class IV or V. Many grew up reading similar lessons on the subject and used ‘motherland’ or ‘matribhoomi’ in language assignments involving sentence creation.
Apart from being on the school syllabus, and the subject of conversations about the country, these concepts exemplify that for Indians, the nation is akin to mother or ma. Indian love sentimentally extends to the nation and even if patriotism surges to the fore only twice a year (on Independence Day and Republic Day), there’s agreement on the epithet ‘Mother’ India. The name India was derived from the River Indus (now in Pakistan), which has its origins in the Persian word Hindus. Since rivers are revered as female shakti in the culture, ‘India’ automatically became categorised as feminine. The nation’s diverse and rich history is reflected in the fact that India has a masculine derivative too, Bharat, and both are mentioned in the introduction of the Constitution. It’s said that the name Bharat refers to a theological emperor, King Bharat, stepbrother of Lord Rama. India is one of few countries in the world with different co-existing names reflecting multi-cultural diversity. It’s also known as Hindustan, land of the Hindus.
India: the nation is akin to Mother or Ma. Chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai are frequently chorused here.
India’s great leaders paid homage to Bharat Mata, the beloved motherland concept. Jawahar Lal Nehru in his speech ‘Tryst with Destiny’ addressed India as ‘she’. “Bharat Mata ki Jai” was frequently chorused
Powered by vivid imagination and aesthetic vision Sonu Sultania uses her brush to experiment and put her thoughts on canvas. Colours and textures have always been her best companions. She works primarily in concept based and expressive paintings around the themes of women: their journeys and emotions. She has participated in many UAE exhibitions; at Pro Art Gallery, DUCTAC, e Dhabi Art Hub and so on. Her works can be found here: facebook.com/SonuSultania
As the country alters for better or worse, and mothers don new hats every few years, the heartfelt feeling that the word ‘ma’ conjures up remains the same: unadulterated and priceless.
during the Freedom Struggle and the feeling has remained across the generations, with valiant soldiers’ war cries at border posts vowing to protect the honour of their Bharat Ma or Mata. India as a mother is also deeply etched in the collective psyche. Girls dress up as Bharat Mata at school fancy dress competitions, complete with saree and golden crown, whereas Bharat Pita or boys dressed up as Hindustan are not in evidence. Bollywood famously saluted the matribhoomi in the classic movie Mother India, which had Nargis playing the role of a feisty mother, a metaphor for India’s inherent strength despite external and internal onslaughts. However, as the nation became gripped by social evils like corruption and foeticide, reverence for Mother India transformed into a more cynical emotion. The latest song Bharat Mata ki Jai from the movie Shanghai, starring Emraan Hashmi, lacks refinement/ intelligence to say the least. It glorifies all the worst things ailing the beloved country: poverty, disease, corruption and so on. Talk about changing times!
Dr. Veena Kakkar, a sociologist based in Gurgaon comments: “A populace troubled by everrising food prices, and broken by inflation and unemployment, is unable to find warmth or respect for its motherland. While cries of Bharat Mata Ki Jai may border on jingoism now, it doesn’t invoke the same overwhelming, chokedin-the-throat patriotism in people these days as it used to in the 1940s-1960s.”
love and values they instill in their
The role of mothers has also changed over time. They remain the epitome of love and affection, and gather as much respect as mothers have since inception of humanity, but generational shifts have seen them turned more into friends. As well as the selfless
Change, as they say, is the only
children, modern mothers bring home vast worldly knowledge, garnered from their professional lives. They understand the need to communicate with their children, rather than spending the entire day in the kitchen. Today’s mothers are adept at juggling 9-5 careers full of board meetings while keeping up with school grades and family ‘quality time’.
constant. As the country alters for better or worse, and mothers don new hats every few years, the heartfelt feeling that the word ‘ma’ conjures up remains the same: unadulterated and priceless.
Chhavi Bhatia ventured into journalism early on life; after many years working on leading English dailies, she realised the profession is more about the proverbial nose for news than being creative. She now indulges in poetry, some serious blogging, music, cooking and buying books, which gives her a far better high than the yellow metal.
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of my little angel SOMETIMES MEN THINK THAT PARENTHOOD IS THE SAME FOR BOTH PARTNERS. IT ISN’T SAYS THIS NEW MOMMY (FIRMLY) HERE’S HER REBUTTAL IN A LETTER. words NASRIN MODAK SIDDIQI Like men and women, like sun and moon, like earth and sky, and like you and me, motherhood and fatherhood are different…not similar, not even close…just plain different. To begin with, I haven’t had it as easy as you. Unlike holding a readymade baby in your arms, my body survived several pregnancy related pains, pukes, sleepless nights and that infamous labour pain to savour that feeling for a few minutes before postpartum hit. Check yourself in the mirror tomorrow and my good guess is, there won’t be any ugly stretch marks on your tummy either. While you made the best of your paternity leave by completing pending chores and catching up with old friends, my maternity leave was purely meant for nursing and changing diapers and guess what, I did just that. You can laugh about how I don’t miss any opportunity to take an afternoon doze, or squeeze in a catnap whenever possible, but then you would never know what’s it like to wake up every two hours and to try going back to sleep after that. And just when you have managed to catch a wink, it’s time to change the nappy again. Tadaaaa!
At 3 in the morning when I want to urgently pee, and our bundle of joy is wailing, he joins me to the trip inside the bathroom. If it was you…neither one of you would be bothered – he wouldn’t go in with you nor would you make that offer. I admit I am not perfect. No one is. I may not be able to fold clothes the right way (your way). If I missed wiping his poo one out of 100 times, remember that I’ve been perfect the other 99 times. Appreciate that! And while you are busy checking out the new menswear collection and secretly eyeing that Todd’s cufflink in the men’s magazines, I am busy looking for diaper deals online. God knows when I last flipped through my staple read of magazines. Nine out of 10 times when you think I am not attending to my baby and am busy on the phone, it is when I am turning to my friends and family for some mommy-related advice. And if its that one time, I guess I am allowed off-time*. Instead of fuming, please take over momentarily. It’s fine to carry that smirk when he looks for you to take him out for a walk or play. His lemon sized brain knows it’s you who will take him out but for everything else, he needs me and when he needs me, he needs me and no one else can pacify him. Not even you. And that’s how it will always be. You may be the one who teaches him to play cricket or to fly kites but I’d be the one he’ll run to for matters of the heart. Checkmate! There is a reason why people swear by ‘Ma Ki Mamta’, but there isn’t a term called ‘Baap Ki Baapta’…and with that, I rest my case!
Love, Mommy of our tiny tot ** P.S: There are no off-times for new mommies or mommies, anyway!
Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at continuumera.blogspot.com.
Carved by the writer of this piece, Ritu Dua: A sculpture that stands for her relationship with her mom, and that of her own with her sons.
the indian superhero,
THE SUPERHERO IN EACH HOUSEHOLD DOES NOT WEAR A CAPE, BUT INSTEAD IT’S A SAREE, OR A DUPATTA, DENIMS OR A DRESS, OR IF THERE ARE TOO MANY CRISIS IN THE WORLD, THE SUPERHERO CAVES IN AND IS SEEN IN ACTION IN BEDCLOTHES! WHO IS THIS YOU ASK? YOU KNOW, OF COURSE: THE ONE WITH ANSWERS TO ALL QUESTIONS, SOLUTIONS FOR ALL PROBLEMS & MEDICINES FOR ALL AILMENTS: THE ONE AND ONLY MAA! words RITU DUA artwork IMAGE OF A SCULPTURE CARVED BY RITU DUA
I recently read somewhere that a human body can bear up to 45 del (unit) of pain. I also read that at the time of giving birth, a mother feels up to 57 del (unit) of pain. This is comparable to 20 bones getting fractured, all at once. And yet, what is amazing is that the tremendous amount of love a mom feels for her newborn outweighs the pain she feels when giving birth. And being a mom to two wonderful boys I can vouch for that. Sitting here miles away from my mom and writing this piece gives me a chance to unfold my heart and give my emotions a voice. A typical Indian mom who does not get tired of asking questions like, “Beta khana khaya kya?”…”Kitna kamzor ho gaya hai mera raja beta”…”Kahan ho beta ghar kab aaoge?”…”Meri beti ko kisi ki nazar na lag jaye” is known well throughout the world, much to the chagrin of that “raja beta”. Thanks to the Indian Cinema and even more than that, Indian television. An advertisement running on TV these days shows a worldrenowned Indian cricketer coming home, complaining of muscle pain. He doesn’t go to a physical therapist or doctor, instead he goes to his mom who instinctively knows what is bothering him. He doesn’t even have to spell it out. She is an alarm clock, a personal dresser, a cook, a chauffeur, a counsellor, a doctor, a teacher & a warrior, who battles bacteria in the toilet and in your mouth! Every Indian mom knows the song in her child’s heart and can sing it 24 hours a day for all 365 days a year. Have you not sung the glory of the unmatchable taste of ‘Maa ke haath ka khana’? You might have been eager to eat out all the time as a kid, but you start missing mom’s cooking the very day you step out of home to go to a hostel for education, or to a faraway city for a new job. We are born with a sense of taste but it is she who cultivates and nourishes the tastebuds. With a pinch of spices and a big scoop of love she cooks sumptuous meals three times a day just to see that smile on our face. There is no food in the world like mom-made food. I was famous in school for my yummy lunch box…the aalu paranthas. Another distinguishing quality of an Indian mom, which
can never go unnoticed, is that she firmly believes that it is only she who has given birth to a gem. Yes, only her child is the sweetest of all, only her child is the next Bill Gates or Einstein and she is always perplexed why the others can’t notice the same. Let someone say a word against her child in front of her and he/ she would have had it. She will pray for her children more than they will ever know and value them more than anything else in the world. People in the other parts of the world may think that she is over-protective but the fact remains that Indian children, even those who are brought up outside of India, draw constant strength and learn lessons of courage from their mother whenever and wherever it is required. She plays a big role in pushing them gently out of the nest and watch them fly off to meet destiny and make their own living, while maintaining constant contact and watching with pride at the way they grow and handle the world. The traditional values that she instills in her kids from their childhood are the core of their foundation and help them scale new heights. Simultaneously, she is again busy making plans on what to cook to tickle their palate and fill their tummies and the best ways to pamper them on their next visit. Here is a quote that truly brings out the essence of who a mother is and I truly love it: “A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” – Washington Irving This was a glimpse of a typical Indian mom who has remained the same through ages and will remain so not bothered about the blood, sweat and tears she sheds in spite of the way she is mostly ignored in our society. It is the heart of a mother that makes the world spin. She truly is the sunshine of our days and the north star of our nights. After all, not all superheroes have to wear capes or carry shiny armours!
Ritu Dua, a banker and teacher, now focusses on what she enjoys most: art. Self-taught, her forte is mixed media. Besides her charity exhibitions, she’s worked with an NGO, shown underprivileged children how to turn recyclables into art, and volunteers at Dubai’s Al Noor School. She also celebrates all things delicious at beneathmyheartart.blogspot.
INSPIRATION FOR EVERY LITTLE CORNER OF YOUR HOME
House of Bath brings a bouquet of light to your living space. Adorn your house with these pretty tea light holders in the shape of roses: handmade petals and hand painted in three bright colours. Available at houseofbath.co.uk
This funky red clock has a clock face that is full of charm. The little whimsical woodland animals are a delightful edition to the design. This stylish red wall clock is supplied with white or black hands, so it will look good on light or dark coloured walls. The Koziol Pip wall clock is made from high quality moulded plastic and is 100% recyclable. It is also available in black. Available at homecandy.com
The cushion embodies textural quality and comfort. The sumptuous, rich black velvet is fabulously contrasted by the clean symmetry of the white stripes. The textural contrast is gorgeous to both look at and to touch. The Yin and Yang effect is elegantly chic and stylish, and works well on either light or dark furniture. Group this with other similarly finished cushions for an elegant, contemporary finish to any room. Available at kellyhoppen.com
You can now sleep in the beauty of nature from the comfort of your home with this eye-catching duvet set with a fresh and bold autumn floral print. Made with an easy care polycotton fabric, this set will keep you comfy throughout the year. Available at mando.com
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CHEF. CHEERLEADER. CHAUFFEUR. COUNSELLOR. PLAY-DATE CO-ORDINATOR. BIRTHDAY PARTY PLANNER. WEDDING EXPERT. SINGER. STYLIST. STORYTELLER. SUPERHERO. TOY REPAIR MANAGER. STAIN-REMOVAL EXPERT. TWO AM FRIEND. PIGGY BANK. PROTECTOR. PUPPETEER. PROFESSOR. MS. FIX-IT-ALL. KEEPER OF SECRETS. GIVER OF HUGS & KISSES. CREATOR. MANNERS EXPERT. TOOTH-BRUSHING INSTRUCTOR. LIFEGUARD. LISTENER. LIFELINE. MOM. MOTHER. MAA. AMMA. MUMMY.
words & artwork SANKET B JACK
Sanket B. Jack is an engineer by degree, MBA by profession and cartoonist by passion, portraying society’s idiosyncrasies and ignorance through his images. He believes as much in the power of a smile as he does in satire: ‘it takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile but only one to criticise’. Find him at facebook.com/Jackartoons
A FEW OF OUR FAVOURITE THINGS FOR YOUR ADORABLE ANGELS
Teach your child how to write in the traditional way – using a chalk and board! Let their hands get messy, as they learn how to write A B C on the mini blackboard and then rub it off with the duster! Available at dotcomgiftshop.com
The Airplane children spoon helps parents bring their child’s food to life. Parents can simulate the sound of an airplane while feeding their kid, and see the excitement on the little one’s face as the plane swoops towards them. It could prove to be a great gift for expectant parents or the birthday of the little ones. Available at thegiftoasis.com
Now your kid can customise a pair of trainers. With their own scribbling - and in their favourite colour. Best of all: A simple wipe with the wristband, and all is set to start from new. Oh, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve designed the shoe in a way that makes it super comfy to wear. Each shoe box comes with everything you need to start the scribbleadventure: Pack of six pens + wristband + pack of Skribbies monster stickers! Available at skribbies.com
Wrap your little baby boy in a blue starry jumpsuit, made from the softest organic cotton, and let him snore away to glory as he dreams of reaching the stars. Jelle Baby Organics offers sizes for boys aged 0-3 and 3-6 months. Available jelly-babe.com
We asked our readers to identify this stone. Yes, amethyst it is. Congrats Priyanka Arora, Shobika, Dipika Joshi, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve won yourself a gift voucher worth INR 500 each from 091 (ohnineone)! Please note: The winner was selected via Random Name Picker, more details on our Facebook page. The winner will be contacted soon. If the winner happens to be at a location other than for what the contest was then the winner will be re-selected and contacted.
V FOR VINTAGE: DOES THE GLITTER OF THE TIMEWORN FADE OVER TIME WHEN IT COMES TO WEDDING OUTFITS OR DOES IT TOO SPEAK OF THE GLIMMER OF THE PAST?
words KANIKA MANCHANDA Old is gold: A phrase that features in the list of top ten clichéd ‘words of wisdom’ and yet struggles to find its place in the ‘must do’s’ of trousseau shopping. Sporting heirloom jewels is classy but does slipping into a hand-me-down lehenga earn the same respect? Does the glitter of the timeworn fade over time when it comes to outfits or does it too speak of the glimmer of the past? Can the grandma garment work its magic on the girl next door’s wedding? Can the blue-blooded royalty carry this charm? We explore the fine line between charm and class, sentiments and second-hand, and fabrics and fashion. In the recent past, Kareena Kapoor (Khan), Sania Mirza and Priyanka Gandhi (Vadra) wore those ghararas and lehengas for their weddings that had been worn by women in their lives. All three being celebrity brides could have picked up designer runway outfits without having to worry about the price tag yet they chose to go vintage. And it’s not just blue-blooded royalty that is digging into dusty trunks for the classy vintage pieces worn by their
mothers and grandmothers; the girl next door is doing that too. Yes, while the first instinct for most brides-to-be is to go through bridal fashion magazines and start pinning inspiration pictures from designer collections on their Pinterest board, quite a few brides are now opting to wear vintage outfits for at least one of the many wedding functions. Considering that 36% of Indian women wear their trousseau only once, reusing the bridal trousseau is definitely a nice fad! Kareena Kapoor wore the same gharara that her mother-in-law Sharmila Tagore had worn for her wedding to Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi in 1969. Back in the day when our great grandmothers got married, passing the bridal outfit from one generation to the next wasn’t a tradition limited to royalty. It was a norm to pass on the bridal shararas, lehengas, and sarees as family heirlooms from one generation to the next as these were seen as symbols of a coming-of-age of sorts for every bride. Prerna Goel, sister-in-law of fashion designer Surily Goel, and a socialite and exmodel, had expressed her love for vintage in these
words, “I’m an old soul by heart. I love the ethnicity of Abu-Sandeep, Anamika Khanna and Sabyasachi; the vintage gotas and shararas of Hyderabad and Kolkata; my mother’s pure gold and silver sarees that are in tatters now, which I have patched up and worn again.” Kritika, a design student at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York says, “Karigars back in the day used real gold and silver zari embroidery and spent days and nights on a single garment. Each garment was painstakingly embroidered and the fine workmanship of those days is incomparable. Today, it is very difficult if not impossible to find that quality of work since the art is dying with the artisans themselves. Machine work will never compare to the handwork and craftsmanship of the karigars of those days. It is not surprising that the wedding trousseau was just as valued as the family jewels themselves.”
Most brides agree. Ananya wore her grandmother’s Banarsi saree with real silver zari work for the pheras, “The zari work on the saree looks absolutely stunning even today and the workmanship from that time is unmatched. If I were to buy a similar saree today, it would be so expensive.” Delhi girl Megha Jain had worn her nani’s golden kheem khaab lehenga - which still looks as good as new - with a blouse that was picked to match. She says “I really wanted my bridal outfit to mean more than just a designer label and wearing my nani’s vintage lehenga was perfect. It was a little short for my height, but I decided to go without heels to compensate for my additional inches. I felt truly special wearing a piece of my family history on my wedding day.” Yes, the reason the brides-to-be are opting to re-use their family couture is not about saving money but sentiments, followed by the love for vintage style and workmanship that is difficult to find today. Yuvika Sharma says that her reasons for going vintage were both, “I have always loved the vintage style of the bygone era. I wore my mother’s lehenga on the mehndi, but after I had given it a more contemporary twist.” She modified the blouse into a corset and wore her mum’s traditional jewelry to retain the
vintage charm. “My reasons of wearing my mother’s lehenga were purely sentimental. One of the thoughts at the back of my head was the fact that my mother ‘crossed-over’ into married life in that dress and I wanted to wear the same outfit to signify my transition as well.” Like Yuvika, most of the brides add their element of creativity to the original vintage garment by using all or some of the original pieces and combining it with new pieces. Umang wore her mum’s vintage wedding
Kanika graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering and went on to develop her career in corporate consulting post an MBA from one of the top B-schools in India. She quit her corporate consulting job to pursue a full time career in design, fashion direction, styling and lifestyle blogging. Over the past four years, she has worked with noted designers and photographers on conceptual and commercial shoots. She recently shifted base to Dubai and is currently working on launching her design label KANIKA – KRITIKA with her sister who is a designer from FIT New York. Say hi to her here: kanikamanchanda.com
(Top row) Son of Sardaar. Heroes. (Middle row) Yamla Pagla Deewana. Border. Major Saab. (Bottom row) Dil Bole Hadippa.
chunni and worked the rest of the outfit around it. A little creativity can go a long way into turning a vintage piece into something that is beautiful, classy, and also appeals to the new-age brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s modern style sensibilities.
Our advice to all the brides looking for their wedding outfit: Before you take a shopping trip to brightly lit stores displaying expensive designer replicas: get your mum or grandmother to open the old trunk or Godrej Almirah to show you her vintage wedding dress. You might just find some treasures and even if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t end up wearing it, the conversation will definitely make for a tender trip down memory lane.
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WE’RE ANGRY AND WE DON’T WANT THIS ANGER TO DIE. WRITE TO US AT THEINDIANTRUMPET@GMAIL.COM. WE PLEDGE THAT WE WILL KEEP THE ANGER ALIVE IN EACH AND EVERY ISSUE OF THE INDIAN TRUMPET MAGAZINE.
as told to MEGHA SABHARWAL There are seasons. Natureholics note the differences between summer, autumn, spring and winter. Fashionholics fixate on Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall/PreFall collections. And Indians have come to expect the scam season, the rape season, the bomb season and the murder season… these seasons, too, shall pass? Unresolved? Once upon a time everyone in India was obsessed about kids falling into pits. The whole nation prayed for a child stuck in a pit as troops tried to save his life. Did no one fall in a pit after that? Were all the manholes covered over? Who knows? We all moved on. The obsession moved to incest victims. The newspapers splashed gruesome tales. Did hands cease straying where they shouldn’t, after that? We don’t remember. We all moved on. A 23-yearold was gang raped. The rape continued: a 6-year-old, then a 45-year-old, and now a 22-year-old. Soon we won’t remember them, either. We’ll just move on. But now should be the season of anger, and action. LET’S NOT MOVE ON. DON’T LET THIS SEASON PASS.
The very fabrication of the Indian society is one of the major drawbacks in terms of helping women grow. Women are suppressed and are made to follow rules; they cannot exercise any right or have the freedom to accomplish their dreams. The fear of condemnation also suppresses women from voicing out their concerns, fear of being discriminated from men, fear of being cornered by our narrow minded society and I can pen down a 100 more such reasons. But for how long can this debate or fight go on ? Can justice be given to our modern soulful naaris? I doubt but I can only hope for something to evolve. I’m in this fight whole-heartedly.
In ancient times, girls used to be killed even before they were born. The girls who were allowed to be born were forced to live a life of disrespect & neglect. This eventually made the girls kill themselves. Today in the 21st century when the world has become so advanced the condition of girl in a country like India continues to be the same. Although girls in urban socities are treated better and they even try to walk as equals with their male counterparts, the condition of girls in rural girls continues to be poor.
Kamal Jatika Girls today are aware about their rights and work hard to create an image of their own. Today’s woman is known by her own name instead of her father’s or husband’s name. In spite of all the accomplishments of girls the mindset of our society still remains the same. We can keep debating on the issue of ‘women protection’ for years but there’ll be never a solution till our mindset changes.
It gives me goosebumps to even think that in a country where a woman is supposed to be worshipped like a goddess she is treated so poorly. Unfortunately, we have one of the worst records in terms of women safety: a girl of 4 to an octogenarian, she can become a victim of rape, sexual assault and voyeurism. And while we have begun to react to the situation and fight it too, the number of such cases just keep increasing. The reason for this is illiteracy, patriarchal mindset & unawareness about laws among the masses. This country, the largest democracy in the world, has a long way to go.
(Please note: The views expressed by readers in this section are solely theirs and don’t reflect that of the editor or the publication. These are original pieces/words sent by the readers, and are being ‘printed’ as ‘submitted’. We don’t edit these 86 theindiantrumpet.com pieces to confirm to our views, writing styles, grammar rules & more.)
s lo A GIRL WHO LEARNT HOW TO RIDE A SCOOTER FROM HER FATHER IS NOW A PROFESSIONAL BIKER: CHALLENGING TWISTS & TURNS ON THE PATH, ORGANISING BIKING TOURS, MOTIVATING MORE WOMEN TO DON THE HELMET AND MORE. HER MESSAGE: HEY, WOMAN, YOU CAN DO IT ALL!
over a cup of chai
words SIDDHANT SADANGI
Moksha feels that the bikers across the world are a friendly lot. She loves meeting people while on the job & credits her daughter, Prachi, for encouraging her to follow her dream.
Professional bikers in India are few and far. Professional women bikers scarce. And professional women bikers in their fifties are a rarity. Meet Moksha Jetley (52) whose adventurous, courageous and inspiration journey will tempt & motivate you to grab the helmet, book a tour and taste the wind.
over a cup of chai
A single mother who was told that not only would it be impossible for her to be a biker but also that she’d not be able to face the challenges of raising a daughter alone is today an idol for many, including her daughter of course. Moksha lives in Manali (since 2007) and runs an adventure motor biking company, Back-n-Beyond Travels (set up in 2008). The biker is currently attempting to secure her name in the Limca Book of Records by undertaking a bike tour from Manali to Leh. In a short freewheeling chat with us she shares the twists & turns of her journey.
Beginning... Moksha has been biking since she was 15. She became interested in adventure biking
when she saw people travelling from Manali to Leh, and started taking solo rides with the encouragement of Connie, an American in her late forties who’d toured India alone on a Royal Enfield. Biking became Moksha’s passion, and she subsequently adopted it as a profession.
Background... ”My mother, Amrit Varsha, who passed away in 2012, was a great source of inspiration. I miss my dad a lot, too. If he was alive, he’d have been very proud of me. After all, everything began because of him. He was the one who taught me how to ride a scooter way back in the mid-70s.”
Challenges... “In the motor biking business, bike rental agencies and back-up services involving mechanics and helpers are of utmost importance. I had a tough time building up an efficient and sincere team. And as I was new to the business, I had to learn by leaps and bounds. I lead all my groups myself and every tour teaches me something or other that helps me give my clients even better experiences.”
Motivation... “The very fact that we as women have the ability to do anything & everything. I wish every woman could feel this way and that’s what keeps me going. I feel so blessed to have had the
Moksha has toured the entire Himalayan region, Kashmir, Rajasthan, South India, Goa & Maharashtra and parts of Uttar Pradesh
chance to turn my passion into my profession. I’ve been living my dream which feels great. My daughter encourages me a lot and takes pride in my work. I hope she always feels that way.”
Personal journey... Moksha was 26 (and her daughter, Prachi Jetley, 3) when she became a single mother. Everyone suggested remarriage, as they said it wasn’t possible for a single mother to survive in this male-dominated society. She was determined to follow her heart and prove them wrong, which she eventually did. “Whenever I find people preferring a son over a daughter and going for female foeticide I have this urge to spread my message loud and clear: a child is a child: a son or a daughter: both are a blessing. God has made women strong enough to lead their own lives, and I hope that
women abandon their conditioning and recognise their true potential.”
Achievements... Moksha recently attempted to bike from Leh to Manali in less than 24 hours. She managed this in 20 hours and 20 minutes. She describes this as her “most exciting and taxing” attempt, adding that the fact she could do it feels “unbelievable”.
Message... “We live once, have just one life. Whatever you want, do it now. Live in the moment, follow your heart. Age is never a barrier, it’s all in the mind. Live a meaningful life. Never stop learning, keep growing and stay happy.”
To know more: backnbeyond.com
A 20-year-old lad from India, Siddhant believes in the Gandhian philosophy of being the change you want to see. A vegetarian due to ethical reasons, he is very passionate about Mother Earth and writes mostly on topics related to the environment. Although an introvert, he loves interviewing people, whom he thinks are role models for the youth, and tries to bring their story out to the world. Apart from writing, he also loves quizzing. He also writes for an official UNESCO magazine.
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