Mothers are wonderful creatures. Or they should be.
They epitomise everything which is sacred and pure.
I feel that a lot of it is stereo typing. Not every woman is cut out to be a mother. Some have mother hood thrust on them.

Mine is one of those who was forced to become a mother.

My mother is from an orthodox aristocratic Asian family. She has had a very strict Muslim upbringing. Never allowed to go out on her own or do anything without the permission of her parents, or being chaperoned.
And then she was married off to my father. Who has just returned from England, full of western culture, and the freedom it provided. On his return to India he had joined the army as an officer.

My mother when she was married, was just a beautiful woman who has not been exposed to fashion or any outside influence. She had very long black hair, which was simply plaited, and laid on her back. Once married, my father introduced her to freedom and style. Her hair was cut and permed. She dressed in the most latest of fashion. And her life became a whirl of clubs and dinner parties. She was having the time of her life.

And then, within moths of this lovely freedom she was pregnant, expecting me!
She has said this many times that she did try desperately to abort this pregnancy.
In her ignorance, she tried throwing herself from heights, drinking Gin, ad trying any suggestion to get rid of the obstacle.

Alas, to no avail!
And nine months later she was presented with this baby. A girl, and dark skinned which horrified her. At least if it had been a boy, then it might have been different. In Indian society blessed are the women whose first child is a boy. It is like wining a lottery!
You don’t have to keep trying for one, and then you can relax a bit in between having other children.
So being a mother was not something which she has craved. I understand it now. But when I was growing up it was quite a puzzle to me.
I was an only child until the age of twelve, when my sister was born.
I assumed it was the norm that you saw your mother may be once a day. I had two Nannies, or Ayahs as they were called. I was fed, washed and clothed by them. But they were not allowed to give me a cuddle. They were poor people, it was not their place to show me love and affection. And my parents were too busy in their social lives. They had a very big circle of friends, who kept them busy in parties and outings.

I remember trying to be with my mother in the early part of the day. After my father has left for office and, she would be instructing the cook ad other servants. Or when she will sit in front of her large dressing table, Applying make up, or styling her hair. Those were the only times I could intrude in her life. She never objected to me standing and staring at her, while she made herself look beautiful. My memories are not of any cuddles or open affection, but of just trying to be as un obtrusive as possible. Am sure she loved me, being a mother myself I can not imagine that any mother can not love her child. But I grew up wanting her to show me even a glimpse of that love. I suppose that was the norm, in those days. None of this touchy feely attitudes. As I left home quite early, we remained distanced. But once I came to England, married and had my own children, our relationship mellowed a bit. I stopped being angry for being ignored all my life, and I think my parents came to the conclusion that this was it. This daughter of theirs was not going to be anyone special.
We settled in a sort of relationship.

My mother wrote poetry, and was a regular guest on the radio. She spent her time writing, reading novels and enjoying her life and freedom. I now look back at it and think that she was ahead of her time. She did her own thing. In a culture which can be so oppressive for women. So what if she was not there reading us stories and tucking me in bed. She was out doing her own thing. Which was a very courageous thing to do. And today when she is old and frail, she has the satisfaction that she lived her life her own way.

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