Mom is baking my birthday cake and I am sitting on the kitchen counter chatting with her. Smell of my favourite food is lingering in the kitchen. I am happily laughing. ‘Are you listening?’ My manager questions me. Oh!! I was day dreaming. I come back to reality of conference room and try to mumble something to my manager. Today is my birthday and here I am struck in a foreign country away from family attending meetings running from one conference room to another with laptop in hand. Worst of all today is Monday (Thanks for your Sympathy. It means a lot to me). Birthday on Monday is worst combination ever.
My work is done and I am walking back to my apartment. The feeling of spending birthday evening alone is not so appealing. I open my apartment door and see there is pile of post lying on the floor. Letters from council, marketing promotions and in the end of the pile I see a cover addressed to me with familiar handwriting. ‘To my daughter with love’, it reads. What!!!!! My mom wrote me a letter!!! I spoke to her today morning she dint mention regarding writing a letter to me. I curiously open the letter. I see that on right side top corner of the letter she has mentioned date, time and place.
‘Dear Daughter, I wish you a very happy birthday. I know you are alone there today, missing US. I felt few feelings are best shared through hand written letters rather than emails or phone calls’ (I hope she does not say on this birthday I want to reveal that you are adopted). I focus back on letter and continue to read. ‘I was cleaning our attic today and found your dance dress and anklets. Your passion for dance, you dance programs and how beautiful you looked when dressed as dancer flashed in front of my eyes. Did I tell you how proud I feel about you always? I know you are an independent woman today leading your life but for me you will always remain my baby who I used to hold in my hands. I still remember the day you are born, the joy you gave to me and daddy ‘. At the end of the page I see that mom has drawn some drawings resembling a small girl and she even named it with my name. I smile and continue reading the letter.
‘You know what I like most about you, it is your smile. I once told you in childhood that you should always keep smiling whatever it may come in your way and you always continued to do the same. Dear child I know as you grow older there will be lots of hardships that will come in your way but just remember even the brightest star SUN has eclipse after all we are humans.As eclipse passes of and brightness comes back in same way hardships pass away and there will be light again. I was looking through old photos one afternoon and saw many photos of your childhood. Many good memories passed through my mind. How you and your brother used to set up Ganapati in our garden during Ganesh Chaturthi. How your cousins and friends used to spend summer holidays in our house. How you at every chance given used to jump to dance. Once you could not wait till I opened new nail polish bottle and you broke the lid with stone. I was so angry on you that day. I laugh when I think about those days. How my silly little girl is grown into an independent woman today’.
‘Daughters are mother’s eyes to see the world. I was born again the day you are born. I grew up with you. I laughed when you laughed, I cried when you cried, I suffered when you are in pain. I fiercely protected you so that you are never hurt for anything. The first time you went on stage to perform, I was nervous. The day you gave your board exams, I was awake with you every night and studied along with you. The day came when you have to fly with your new found wings I was felt as if I was flying. Whenever you travelled to new place and shared the memories with me, I felt as if I am seeing the world through your eyes. You introduced me to technology, helped me learn things. We mothers protect, support, teach, and take care of you daughters, eventually the process is reversed as you daughters protect, teach and take care of us. I am sure every mother will agree with me
I look away from letter. I feel all heavy suddenly. All the memories cross in front of eyes. How she has encouraged me to be what I am today, my confession box, my GO TO person whenever I am confused what to do. Many a times I have taken her for granted (As many of us do, taking mother for granted). My eyes are filled with tears, I continue reading the letter.
‘Dear Daughter’, my mom writes, ‘on this day I want to tell you few things which I want you to practice in life. When you want to estimate other person’s behaviour, you note down their negative and positive points. You behaviour should always be on the other person positive points. Try to see positive in every person and mould your behaviour accordingly. If you ever feel angry or upset on anything just write your feelings down on a paper. This will help you sort your thoughts and let go. Letting go is what I want you to learn’.
I look away from the letter and get lost in my thoughts how rightly said letting go is what we all have to learn in life. Else we will be stuck in past and never be able to progress in life. I gather my thoughts and focus back on my letter.
‘Whenever you face a problem in life, if you are scared then the problem will win over you and trouble to the greatest extent. The moment you stop getting scared and turn around to face it, the problem will run away from you. Dear child, whenever life is hard on you, just put a brave face and flash your ravishing smile then see how life will take a turn and everything will turn in your favour. I am always there with you. Remember in life where ever you are, whatever it is I Love you a lot. I am your greatest fan and always proud of you. My love will always protect you. I wish you a very happy birthday child’.
By the time I reach the end of letter my eyes are filled with tears. I see at the end of letter my mom has drawn pictures of us and named each of them. My picture is smiling the most. Warmth has spread around me as I hug the letter and feel as if I am in my mom’s hug. The letter smells of my mom’s perfume. I guess she has sprayed her perfume on the letter. I am not alone after all on this birthday. The letter from my mother has filled me with lots of energy. This is the best birthday gift ever. A hand written letter carries so much emotion than email or phone messages. I take my note pad and start writing reply to my mom.
When was the last time you wrote a letter to your mother? Or when was the last time you got a letter from your mother? Why don’t you write one now and feel the happiness I felt today. And yes, don’t forget to spray your favourite perfume on the letter
Whenever I am low, my mother’s words echo in my ears ‘whenever life is hard on you, just put a brave face and flash your ravishing smile’. That is it I just flash my smile and everything is under control J J