Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Futuristic moms

Ahmedabad. 2002. A small house with worn out blue paint, ethnic furniture and a giant swing in the living room. A woman in her 70s in a cream bandhani sari worn in gujarati style sitting on the swing cutting veggies and indulging in afternoon soaps for women. A fashionable woman in early 50s wearing designer shades walking in with pencil heels. Pencil heels approaches woman on the swing, greets, ferrets out what looks like a Hallmark card from her giant purse, hands it to the old woman and says "Happy Mothers Day". The look on the old woman's face, priceless. The look on my face, even more priceless. p.s. Does Hallmark make gujju cards?

Think I must have been behind on life because it tends to shock me every step of the way. The invasion of a variety of international days in India might have been an old story but the adaptation of it has left little doubt that we're flexible and eager to incorporate new concepts in our already saturated lives. I for one believed the Indian social framework needed no special days to remind people how much they appreciated their folks. But my argument for or against is irrelevant at this point because its adaptation has more to do with marketing gimmicks than emotions behind it. Or may be not. Either way, it's too late to do anything about it.

The world celebrated Mother's Day on May 8th. At brunch with my mom and all the new moms in the family, looking at the beautiful floral bouquets we'd all received, I had a thought. If I gather a heterogeneous sample of moms across the world, chances are 8/10 would be struggling with it. It's an incredibly tuff job that doesn't come predefined with a set job description. In fact the job description is all encompassing. And the underlying threat for those who can spot it is to kiss good bye to your own life. It’s incredibly rewarding as well but lets save that for later. The much hyped concept of urban moms who's able to magically strike a beautiful work-life balance is an oxymoron. At least in theory. I bet some execute it flawlessly but it isn’t the norm. If you take that one step further and think about futuristic moms, it makes the case for being an oxymoron even stronger.

Of the many conclusions I’ve come to since my first born, an important one is to ensure that a child falls into the parent's world and not the other way round where parent’s lives revolve around their child’s. This is especially applicable to the moms who often treat themselves to a series of sacrifices to treat her kids with love, care, education and security. Any species in the world can provide their kids with love and care but in this day and age, if one wants to impart the best education and make her kids feel secure, confident and ambitious, one often has to set that example. Security, confidence and ambition are deeply interlinked and are a function of each other. Setting goals other than things that involve household and child related chores and accomplishing them is vital to one’s own growth as well as the growth of the family. If a man is dynamic and self-motivated, it’ll take him ahead in life but if a woman is the same, her entire family will thrive. For it might be the man who makes financial decisions but it is her who takes every tiny decision every step of the way in her child’s life and the difference in her perspective will create the difference between the earth and the sky in her child’s life. Primary education, now being compulsory in India is a step in the right direction but it is every family’s responsibility to ensure this goes a few steps further to ensure every girl is independent in her life.

Moms, lets pick up the pace shall we? And dads, mind making us those specials meals once in a while coz we need all the strength and support we can get. Yay for mommy power!

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