'Mother gave me my life and my identity '
It was only when Harnoor Channi-Tiwary became a mother, she realised the importance of her mother in her life.
You never know the pains and pleasure of being a mother, till you become one.
Always the cynical one, when my mother would say something to that effect, I would often scoff and give a smart repartee about how it is for the parents' personal happiness that they bring a child into this world.
After all, didn't everyone have children? And when you plan to have one, it is really your own happiness you want to enhance and not that of a person who doesn't yet exist.
In the span of growing up, like all children, I often took my mother for granted. I threw tantrums when I wanted something, many a times was insensitive to how much my mother did for us with a smile.
The Tiffin box in school that had something innovative everyday, driving me across the city to drop me off at friends, supporting every dream of mine without a question; all these and more were just some of the tiny efforts that went unnoticed.
And then, I became a mother. In the short span of 5 weeks, my little daughter has shown me to my place. Completely dependent on me for her existence, she could be quite a handful!
The initial euphoria and wonderment gave way under the burden of sleepless nights and frayed nerves to constant crying.
Every day is a 24-hour long tryst to keep her entertained and in good spirits. The 'me' in my life suddenly has lost its significance.
Something as simple as taking a bath seems like a chore given that she usually decides that she needs me 60 seconds after I start my shower. And going out for something as mundane as a movie is a far-fetched dream.
And just when it gets too much, I look into her doe shaped eyes. She looks at me with pure innocence and trust that whatever this unfamiliar world throws up at her, I will protect her. She has nothing to give but her love and that in itself fills my heart with such ferocity that it sometimes seems like it may explode.
I hold her close, promising to soothe a bruised knee, to allow her to make her choices -- right or wrong, to heal her heart when it breaks and to give her the strength to love again. I do all this without a thought to myself, to the sacrifices that I make and will continue to do so. Whatever it may take, I promise myself, I will give my all to her.
Life comes a full circle. In the demanding life of a new mother, besides my sister, it is my mother who comes to my rescue.
To her, I am still her baby. Unlike everyone else who is most excited about the new addition to our family, my mother's foremost concern is my health and my emotional wellbeing.
So putting her life on hold and her needs aside, she helps me selflessly once again. And this is when I realise what had been staring at me all my life.
My mother is the backbone that held me together, made me who I am, applauded my achievements and forgave my follies. I may have been brought into this world for her happiness but every single day since her sole aim has been to ensure mine.
Mother's Day is a day out of the calendar, an excuse to appreciate the person who not only gives us life but also gives us our identity.
It took bringing in a new generation in this world, having my own child for me to realise what being a mother means. And to hope and pray that I may be half as good a mother to her as mine has been to me!
Harnoor Channi-Tiwary is the founder of Journey My Way, a personalised travel advisory firm journeymyway.com
Image: Harnoor (centre) with her mother (L), sister and her newborn baby girl