Mothers and Beloveds

Lily talks of the real, flesh-and- blood mother, not the flat, cardboard-like sentimental mother, depicted in films and songs. We fight the most with our mothers because we love her the most. Mommies are just big little girls! The author also sees the other side, the wife, and the beloved, in the mother and takes us through the fragrance of Punjab’s soil, quoting from Sufi and folk songs. A Different Truths special on Mother’s Day.

“An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy,” say the Spaniards Proverbs, and they’ve been around! Well, the lady who inspired the sentimental meri ma (my mother) brand of songs in Hindi films and  tear-jerking Punjabi songs about maa diyaan rotiyaan [mother makes roti (food)], is definitely not the caricature-like, perpetually coughing  and stitching clothes version presented to our catharsis-hungry souls. Mommies are just big little girls! The person whose hug lasts long after she lets go and the magical witch, who can peer right into the depths of your soul!

She came equipped, with an armoury, quite sensationally unique, don’t you think? It’s always, as Shah Hussain the Sufi writer says, “maaye ni main kinnu aakhaan, dard vichhode da haal (O mother,who should I tell the pain of separation to)”. Shiv Batalvi, who died young, says, “maaye ni maaye, mere geetaan de naina vich birhon di radak pave (Ache or pain of separation in the eyes of my songs, o mother). Whether it was a Shah Hussain or a Batalvi, the natural sharing of glee and grief is with the “mater”. The “Maa ke pairon mein Jannat” (heavens at the feet of mother) phenomena seems perfect.

All mothers were once young, nubile girls. They too had their boy-meet- girl moments. 

Woh aaye bazm mein, itna toh meer ne dekha! Phir uss ke baad chiragon mein roshni na rahi...” (Meer saw that she had arrived! Thereafter, there were no light in the lamps), the blinding, dazzling, blazing effect of that special presence in one’s life. The moment when the heartbeat stops for a second in eternity, the thhudd -thhudding of some alien sound in your whole being! Kya yehi pyaar hai? (Is this love?), ask both the cynics and wise men, alike.

Is it a once in a lifetime experience? Is it a junoon (craze) or merely a chemical locha (flaw)? I am wonder struck at the reams of paper, written on, this malady, called ‘ishq’ which made even Ghalib “nikamma” (worthless)!

These attractions of the jhalla dil (naïve heart), which makes one “kamli, yaar di kamli” (a Sufi song, I am madly in love. It’s for the lover and the god as a lover). It’s surely a powerful, potent, force. It actually defies laws of logic, for the loving heart will slip and fall anywhere and anytime. Ranjha, the legendary Punjabi lover, looked after buffaloes for twelve years; the yearning plea of “daachi waaleya mode muhaar ve, mainu lai chhal apne naal ve (The beloved requests her lover to kindly turn around his female camel and to take her along with him).” In another folk song, she says, “mainyo tere naal kattiyaan, hore koi katte vi naa.” Here, the woman tells her husband that only she was brave enough to live with him, no one else would have the guts to do so).

©Lily Swarn

Pix from Net.

Lily Swarn

Lily Swarn

Lily has published English poems in three anthologies. She was awarded Reuel international prize for poetry 2016. A postgraduate in English from Punjab University, she was awarded a gold medal for best all-round student and academics. She edited her college magazine and wrote middles for newspapers. Poetry blossomed after her young son's sudden demise. She writes in Hindi and English. Hailing from a defence family, she is settled in Chandigarh.
Lily Swarn