How hard could writing a letter be? And that too to a toddler?! I started writing one to Madhav about, wait, 4 days ago, and haven’t finished it yet! Every time I jot a sentence down, it comes out clunky, shallow and I have to scratch it out. Something’s been bothering me lately, and I’m unable to figure out what it is. There’s so much going on around and within me, that I’m finding it difficult to function normally. As I write this, I hear my neighbors fighting; I listen to family members hurling abuses on one another, women screaming and men shouting. I go outside to check what’s happening. I decide to call the police when the sounds of a whip thrashing falls on my ears. But my family restrains me- The man next door is notorious and it’s a family matter and we better mind our own business, they tell me. Apparently, when something like this happened in the past and someone threatened to call the police, it didn’t work out as hoped. My legs still shaking with fear and anger, I return to my notepad.
Soon, the noises subside… I guess the knuckleheads realized their drama was being watched by the entire neighborhood!
Familial disputes aside, there’s worse happening around the world- people killing other people in the name of religion, kids shooting at other kids in schools, natural phenomenons like rainfalls exacerbated by excessive development, kidnappings, beheading…. Ugh!!!! Enough already! And just the other day I (and so were other parents) was shocked to hear about the death of a child on an elevator at a reputed school around here. I couldn’t stop thinking about her parents for a long time- the pain they must be suffering every single minute of their lives! I wish I could hug them, comfort them, wipe their tears away. I long to hold tight every bereaved mother there is and tell her, “I understand your pain. I know there can be no bliss, no joy after something like this. But please let me lighten your burden, your heavy heart for a while.”. I know this will not help. My husband thinks I’d be making things worse by sitting beside, crying. Hmmm… Maybe. But that’s exactly what I wish to do.
And when you read about such things everyday in the newspapers, whatsapp forwards and on TV, what’s a mom to do? Shut her family up and never let them out of sight? Mock me if you want to, but I’ve had such notions for sometime now- to gather my loved ones, lock them up in a big room and keep them safe. But would that be called living? And… and… GOD FORBID, what if that house comes crumbling down!?! There will be no end to worries if you pause to brood. So what can I do, what can WE ALL do, when life becomes more and more unpredictable? We could be over-cautious, avoiding public places, not taking risks, teaching kids to be distrustful of everything and everyone around, and staying safe all the time.
Or, we could live BIG, no matter how short or big our duration on earth is. We could love fiercely and give freely. We could teach our kids to be kind and compassionate, to go deep down (within themselves), to soar high. We could show them how to practice gratitude. We could teach our kids what “religion” truly means- a source of comfort in pain, a fount of joy and knowledge. We could teach them to have faith in themselves and on a higher power. We could teach them good from bad.
Mothers, in these hard times we have the toughest job there is- to show our children the path from darkness to light, from anger and hatred towards love- pure, forgiving, joyful LOVE. So pull yourselves up and get working…