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Dear Shoba, How are you? We are fine here. Take your medicines regularly.Don’t worry about your exams. Eat well. It is boring here. We are eagerly waiting to see you.

All my mother’s letters had more or less the same format. When we were studying, there were no cell phones. Even STDs were a bliss. There was no phone in our hostel. We had to travel a few blocks and place a trunk call. Our college was on a hillock , very much away from the main city. The only medium of communication with parents was through inland letters or postcards. I have saved every single one of the letters I received during my college days, from mom,dad and sisters. Thanksgiving day seemed like the perfect day to browse all of them which brought back old memories.

I am a sister, wife, daughter but not a mother. When I started my career, I had plans of adopting a child and be a revolutionary single mother. But, life takes surprising turns and you follow the path that is laid out in front. Do I regret not being a mother? Maybe, sometimes,but definitely not enough to brood over it. I think a mother should first be a woman and then a mother. There are different kinds of mothers, the insecure , needy, protective, calm, strong,aggressive,impatient, but one feature that unites them all is their love for the offspring. Call it maternal instinct or womanly sacrifice, they do work a tad bit more towards their child’s care and I guess that makes them a bit possessive too. They don’t divide their love between children, rather multiply it.They may not make great mothers-in-law but they are always excellent mothers. My mother is a woman first and I love her for just who she is. She might be outspoken, but the beauty in those angry words is that she speaks her heart and is not a hypocrite. She is very practical and calls it as she sees it. She accepts and says that her children studied and came up in life on their own with her duty being they were well fed and clean. Sometimes, I feel it is a thankless job as the children might take it as a norm . My mother was married at an early age, just one day before she turned 18 and has been cooking food every single day ever since. I have been cooking, maybe not every day, for the past 10 years and I am already exhausted. Imagine doing that for 48 years without a break. Yes, tomorrow is her 66th birthday and I wish I were with her . When I was in college,my trip to hostel consisted of pulikachal(puliyogare mix),menthiyada hittu(dhal powders),pickle,dates with honey and other snacks. Things have not changed much now. I bring seven different varieties of spice mixes on my trip from India. All homemade, thanks to my mom. My eldest sister is going through a tough phase with her health and mom goes to temple every single day. When my other sister had tough times, every single call was filled with her news. When I was diagnosed with chronic renal failure, the mother in her readily accepted to donate her kidney which has given me a new lease of life though the woman in her was actually frightened. Mothers become strong when their children need them. Most mothers all over the world are the same. Every one will have similar stories about their mother. What better day than thanksgiving and my mother’s birthday to salute all the mothers and a special salute to my dear mother.

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