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You're my blessing
You're the reason I believe, you're the reason I sing
You're the reason angels tangle me in heavenly things
It's been a long road, so hard and cold
But you keepin' me warm with your heart of gold

-Angel by Flipsyde

MY mother is currently posted in Sherpur. She's the Additional District Judge there. This means one really big change in the lives of the poor people she left behind: the significant decrease in quality edible material during the weekdays. We're reduced to alu vaji, dal, a veggie [cooked in the morning, it starts to smell by the time it reaches the dinner table] and a fish curry, which is slightly better than the veggie. There is better side to the coin though: the weekends seem like feasts in comparison.

Of course, this isn't the only problem posed by her absence. Our family seems strangely lop-sided without her. For example, none of us know where our medicines are. We forget the place where they are kept the moment we are cured. That's just the physical aspect. There is no one who watches corny Indian-Bangla movies, thus no real competition for the remote. No complaints about how demanding we all are, how we can't do the simplest things for ourselves, like tidy our room, without someone having to shout us into doing so. There is no one to talk patiently to grandpa about happenings back in village and explaining certain things. Dad's not good at talking to grandpa about serious matters. Overall, there is no one in command of the household and we all tend to end up slightly bent by the vacuum in household order. The sight of dad moping around the house with a sad look on his face is proof enough of that.

Six months after I was born, my mother was posted to Harirampur, a place that took a lot of time to get to with lot of vehicle-switching in between. Obviously, she had to take me along. And who's to look after me while she's at work? Why, my grandpa of course. Imagine traveling with a baby, the baby's things, your own things, your father-in-law and with worries about all the things that can go wrong on the way. This routine continued up until I was 5 years old. Of course, the destinations changed. Daudkandi, Comilla, places where there were floods and mosquitoes and diseases for a baby was easily available. And it didn't help that I performed some of my antics as well, like slipping and getting cut in the back of my head [required three stitches which can still be felt].

But she handled it all. She is still handling traveling between two cities [alright, one city and one town] and taking care of her family, her job and her life. But honestly, how much of her life is left after all this? Take a look at your own mothers. How much of their life are you taking up? And how much appreciation is she getting from you? You talk about feminism and equal rights to women and use big SAT words, but have you ever cooked a meal by yourself and given her time off so she could do whatever she pleased? Have you ever turned around and hugged her and said I love you ma? You know what, scratch that last part of the sentence. The hug will be enough; don't ruin it with cheap words written in cards. She gave birth to you. She's known you longer than you've known yourself. She'll understand what you are trying to say. They always do. Because they are angels.

By Kazim Ibn Sadique

Mothering the world

ALL the endless neekami, the eternal fear of getting caught on the charge of stealing money from her purse and the nonstop whining when you don't have your clothes ironed are only fun when she is around. Some like to cuddle her whenever they spot her, and some like to freak her out (ahem). Some does not care, and some can't stop thinking about what she is doing. But all of them love her like anything, and anywhere in your heart you will see her name, because she is your beloved mother!

From beginning till the end, she was there to hold you in your embrace, to love you when you got hurt, to thrash you when you did anything wrong. No matter how much you feel like blaring at her and cursing her under your breath, in the end you will come back to her and realize how much you love her. The power of the word 'Ma' is so immense that it can cure any wound, its intensity is so profound that it can heal any venom that sprouts out, and it can do the impossible.

The Ideal Mother
Every dawn Nazia woke up with the clattering noises in the kitchen. He mother used to wake up at five in the morning to make breakfast, iron her clothes, and prepare her for school. Her mother took her to school and gave a soft peck on her cheeks every time she whimpered and screamed and refused to go. When the last bell was rung she used to run outside and found her mother smiling at her advent. She used to get treats from her mother every time she did something good. In the evening it was time for her mother's special baked cookies, and at night she was sent to the chimerical world of fantasy by her mother's songs.

Nazia grew up, but her ideal mother remained ideal. She was now in the stars where her fantasy tale creatures lived.

The Single Mother
Junayet saw his mother cry every night till she passed out. His father had left them in the streets with nothing, and being a rickshawala's son he and his mother got loathing wherever they went. They had to move to a new place; and even though the first months were tragic, they went through it. They did not get enough food to eat, but his mother always made sure he was not famished. Whenever he was sick, he found her beside him, nursing him with all her love. There were times he screamed at her for their ill fate, but she endured it all without saying a word. She made him get into a school, and tried giving him the best possible future that he was worth of.

Now that Junayet thinks about his mother, all he can say is he misses her like anything, and being abroad he can't stop thinking about the times he used to sit beside her and hear the stories…

The Troubled Mother
Redwan remembered the day his mother started acting eccentric, she stopped recognizing everyone and used to scream at anyone. After some days they got to know that she had a disease, and even though it killed them all they wanted to put her in a mental asylum. She would not agree anyhow, but when Redwan told her to go, all she agreed, but after a session of infinite crying. Despite of her disease, she sent him cards and letters, and made sure that he did not have any difficulties without her existence. One day Redwan went to the asylum to see his mother and he found her being in the same situation he left her. But when she saw him, there was a glow in her eyes, a glow that gave Redwan the hope that one day his mother will be back. The hope was from the love a mother has for her son…

The Working Mother
Sunita thought her mother never gave her any time. It was work that she loved the most. She was always busy, and eventually Sunita became busy with her own life. A barrier was built between them, and she failed to acknowledge everything her mother did for her. As she grew up, she started behaving badly with her mother, and used to scream at her every time something happened. One day, she found a note on her table which was from her mother. Her mother had left. She was pathetic enough to break her mother's heart and make her leave her own daughter. That day she realized how much she loved her mother, and how she broke her heart. Now she knew that she had to bring her mother back and say sorry and how much she loved her…

The Proud Mother
No matter what we do and who we are, our mother will always be proud of us, even though she will want us to become better and better…

So go tell the best mom in the world how happy you are being her child, cause I know I have the bestest Ammu in the whole wide world!

By Raida Kifait

Better late

SOMEONE has been pretty mad at me since the issue of RS on Mother's Day came out. Mad to the point of not looking at me in the eye. Mad to the point of not talking to me directly. Mad to the point of sighing out loud at the sight of me. Mad to the point of reciting out what her niece did for her mom on Mother's Day. And I, being the most ignorant and worthless of daughters, could not string some sentences of praise into an article for her! Call it ignorance or what!

Our affair of ignorance and thanklessness started with a dramatic rendezvous---my shrieking out in protest at having been called off from duty in heaven to service as a daughter this beautiful, petite woman on earth, who cried out with joy at the sight of me. We thought we had a good start, only to find anything but 'goodness' in our relationship later.

When was the last time I hugged mum, I dont remember, but I surely remember the last time I felt like throwing an iron at her. When was the last time she took a day-off from work to be with me, I remember not, but her latest trip abroad alone, I clearly reminisce. We never had a good heart-to-heart chat, but our shouting matches I doubt, if they'd ever come to a break-even. I am clueless when it comes to specifying the last time she cooked for me, but I can confirm that she couldn't care less about having a meal with me. I dont remember ever getting a word of praise to escape from mummy darling, but can vividly narrate all those moments when I worked my life off, to catch her attention. We agree on nothing except this---We couldn't detest each other more. We even contest on who dislikes whom more. Quite a pair, aren't we?

Every time I triumphantly brought home my report card to her, she'd puncture my euphoria by worrying over the not-so-numerous B's I received. If I framed one of her pre-marital photographs with my Dad as a gift, she'd cross-examine me to death for having selected that particular picture where she for one, looked horrible.

I knew I had had enough, when I told her I'd run away from home and she snorted out a “Finally!”

Were all mother-daughter relationships as bitter as ours? I often wondered. And one question kept cropping up---“If she knew she'd hate me so much, then why in the first place did she have me?”

I think it's time you answered my question mum. And then expect me to write something for you on Mother's Day. Well, if this does get printed, it'd be 2 days past your birthday. Here's wishing you a belated Happy Returns! You're not getting your present unless you tell me how old you turned! And READ this for heaven's sake, please.

By Reesana Sifat Siraj


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