People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 19

May 08, 2011




G Mamatha


AMMA, I wish you a happy Mother's Day. I know the day means nothing to you, because officially you are not yet a mother. But for me, you are my mother. Of course, I was not there when the census people had come to count our family. I was then safely tucked in your stomach. Oh, such a warm and cosy place it was! How I enjoyed being there, listening to all the voices with whom you were talking. The sweetest, without doubt was yours and would you believe me how thoroughly I had enjoyed listening to you – speak, laugh and giggle. Don't you believe me? When Abhimanyu could listen to Arjuna, safely tucked in the womb of Subhadra and learn the art of piercing the Chakravyuha, why couldn't I do the same? Moreover, didn't I let you know my happiness by patting your belly? I know how happy you felt immediately afterwards, because those were the only few moments you would laugh heartily.


Amma, how stupid I was, I could not understand why you were sad most of the time. Yes, I tried to make sense of what you and your friends talk about each others lives. I never understood why only you should do all the work. I know you go to office, just like father. Yes, I even remember how angry you used to get and cry in your heart, while travelling to work in the city bus. Common amma, I know that, because I was inside and part of you. I heard your friends too sharing similar experiences with you. Why amma? Why should anyone touch you, grope and pass such nasty comments? I heard that it is written in zoos, ‘do not tease animals'. Are you worse than animals in this society? I heard that human beings always tell, ‘do not cry my child, do not cry'. How is it that they do not want the children to cry, but make their mother cry? Is it only you, my mother whom they make cry, or do they make their own mothers cry too? I am sure anyone who makes my mother unhappy, will certainly make his mother unhappy too. Because a mother for one, is a mother for all, isn't it?


I know how tired you would get, coming back from office after those horrible journeys and also that work in the office. Mother, I know how hard it is for you in office. I am so privileged to be with you all the time and observe you so closely – 24x7. Why does your boss always shout at you? He knows that you are putting your best efforts and not wasting your time in the office. Is it because he is afraid that people will come to know how talented you are and, how, in spite of that he became the boss instead of you, by stealing your promotion? Why mother, even in the office, where you are working amongst your equals, you would always be sitting head bowed and adjusting your dress, even when you know that nothing is wrong with the dress? Why are you so uncomfortable with their looks, mother? Aren't you too a human being just like them? I always used to think, why should they stare at my mother, when they too have their mothers?


Mother, why don't you share these problems with father? Oh, yes, I remember, once you were telling your friend what he had said when you tried. How can he blame you mother, when I know you did nothing wrong? Why doesn't he understand that it has got nothing with your dress or your behaviour? When somebody steals a purse, the thief is blamed, when somebody beats a person, the one who beats is blamed, but why is that always you are blamed even for what you have not done and are not responsible for? I can understand if somebody else blames you, but why father, who used to say he loves you so much?


Mother, why don't you take rest even for a while? You cook breakfast, lunch and dinner. You clean the house, wash the clothes, iron them and put them in their proper places. You dust the cupboards, put the things in their designated places, arrange them in order and make the bed. Above it, you go to the market, buy vegetables, milk, groceries and do all the shopping. He watches all these, does not help you in any, but always shouts, even when he cannot find something he had misplaced. Why is this mother? Are all fathers like this? Mother, I feel very sad, when he scolds you and later blames it on stress. Why is that it is always he who gets tired and stressed returning from office, and you don't? Or is it that mothers are not expected to tire, stressed and share their feelings? I heard that bees do their work together, ants work together, but why doesn't father share the daily chores mother?


I know grandmother and grandfather are from village and are not so rich. I know that they have taught you many things in life, apart from allowing you to study, till you wished. Yes, mother, I know about your childhood too. I know how ashamed you felt attending to your nature calls in the open, by the side of roads, as our house did not have a toilet. I know how bad you felt when people going by that road passed obscene comments. Yes, you even told your friend about how embarrassing it was for you to take bath in your own house, because that 'bathroom' did neither have a roof nor a door. Yes, you also told how happy you were when a toilet was constructed and a door fitted to the bathroom. You said, it was your Taj Mahal! I remember your friends too sharing similar experiences. Yes mother, I heard you all sadly recounting how you were harassed in your school, college, by those in your village, on the road, in the bus stops and everywhere. Amma, I am sorry, but am unable to stop myself from asking this question: is there something wrong with your body, for that matter the bodies of all the mothers? Why is it that only you are subjected to these kinds of tortures and fathers are not?


I have one more reason for asking this question. The other day you were reading a newspaper. For that matter, I was observing this for the past one month or more. Everyday you were reading about rapes and gangrapes. I don't know what they mean, but I can clearly understand that no woman is safe from that attack. You were reading about months babies to old women who were raped, not only by strangers but also by people who are known to them. You cannot blame babies for their dress, behaviour and certainly they have not 'invited' this upon them. So, if these are not the real reasons, then what are the real reasons? Why are they made to suffer? Who are responsible? You were discussing that many people do not even report this crime. Why are they afraid mother, when something wrong is done to them? Is there nobody who can punish those who had done this wrong? Above all, why should anybody do this? Mother, what sort of people are they who are happy, when, because of their actions others are suffering? Can they be called humans, because as I understand humanity means something else!


Mother, I was very sad and angry the day you had gone to the doctor. In fact, I should have been happy because you got an opportunity to have a first look at me, but I was not. Why was father so upset on seeing me and why were his parents (I don't feel like calling them grandparents)? Why did they want to separate you and me? What wrong did I do, sitting in the womb, for them to hate me? Yes, I know mother that you were crying when they asked you to get rid of me. Why is that you cannot take any decision concerning your life – I am your life, isn't it? Why did you not fight for me? Why did you not tell father that, but for his mother, he would not be here? Why did you not remind his mother who she is, and his father - how he had come?


Why were you afraid mother? Were you afraid of what would happen to me? Comparing with your life, did you think that even if I live, my life would not be worth it?  Were you afraid that I too would be commented, harassed and exploited? Were you not confident of all these people who talk a lot, write a lot and even light candles against my killing? They might not have talked, written or lit candles today, but together we could have forced them! I am sure there would be many who would join us – not everyone is bad, isn't it?


Mother, I am sad, not because I could not see your face or for that matter, you mine. I am sad because you denied me an opportunity to join you in fighting these wrong-doers. Why did you not think mother that if I had been alive, you and me would have become ‘we’?


Amma, I am not there with you today, but wake-up and join the fight before it is too late. Don't cry over losing me mother, I am always there in the fight – the fight to change this world – to make it a better place for you and me and the entire human race.