Remembering Mother’s Sadness This Mother’s Day

My mother was sad. She lived with a feeling of personal dissatisfaction and un-fulfillment. A lot of them. While the whole world would say Mita is so happy all the time, she is bursting with laughter always, deep inside she was sad and depressed which was visible only to us, her immediate family. “Why is mom so unhappy all the time?” we sisters would wonder. ” তুমি তো চীর দুঃখিনী সীতা, আমি তো তোমার জন্য কিছুই করিনি। (You are of course the ever unhappy Sita, I never did a thing for you it seems)” my father would often say in despair.

Many people live with a lot of un-fulfillment, which human is fully happy? We all live with so many broken dreams, we all have our own battles to fight. Learn to appreciate what you have got, instead of being sad about what you haven’t. Happiness is inside us, look inside and you will find your happiness.

This is a lesson my mother perhaps failed to learn. She struggled with her heart a lot to accept but she failed. I am not saying these out of my assumptions. There are words written in her diary to this effect.

নিজের সঙ্গে নিজের খণ্ড খণ্ড যুদ্ধ
কোথায় নিয়ে যাবে জানিনা
পংক্তিতে পংক্তিতে বদ্ধ বদ্ধ শব্দ
কার জন্ম দেবে জানিনা

A struggle beat by beat with my own self,
don’t know where it will lead.
Couplets after couplet, trapped silent words
Will give birth to what is beyond me.

Sadness makes us uncomfortable. We judge people for being sad as did I. I judged mother for being unhappy, because to my young mind, on the receiving end of her dissatisfaction was my father. My father whose whole world was she. My father is that version of Lord Shiva, for whom every Hindu girl keeps a fast praying she gets him as a husband. How can a woman have anything else but appreciation towards a man like my father. I thought my mother was ungrateful to life, life had given her so many good things. Coming from a violent childhood she got a new life on marriage, and she was still unhappy. Why? I never got it.

Her childhood pained me to the core like I cannot even begin to explain. I had no bigger ambition in life than to make her happy, heal her wounds. If I thought I have to work and earn it was not because I had a personal career goal, but because I wanted to give my mother a pocket money every month so that she could go to her music classes in a cab or auto. So that she could buy all those little things she wanted to buy for which my father won’t have any money. I started earning at 23.

By the time I reached my 40s, I was a tired, broken and defeated daughter for no matter what I did I couldn’t heal her. I couldn’t make her happy. I got angry at her for being sad. I yelled at her, “You will keep doing these whining even after my father dies. Even to your grand children you will say these same sad stories. Why can’t you accept?”

Sadness doesn’t go away. Happiness is something you simply cannot find within. My mother’s life, my own life are living examples. People who learn to be happy, good for them. But just because you have learnt to be happy against all odds doesn’t give you the right to judge those who failed. We struggled and we failed. My mother and I. In the end, death resolves all issues.

 

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