Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M for Maternal love

Maternal love- The word that sums all bliss! How can the theme of love be complete without a mention of maternal love? Can there be a love purer than the love a mother has for her child? The love of a mother is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no boundaries.

Here’s a tale we have all listened to a hundred times before, and yet it never fails to fill our hearts with infinite love for Him. He, who is our master, and yet to her, he was only a child- a child she loved the most in the world. A tale of how her emotions see-saw between love and anger, then between anger and guilt, and again between guilt and love! 


“Mausi, why are you behind my son. If he says he did not steal, believe him,” says Yashoda, even as Kanhaiya peeks from behind his mother and sticks out his tongue at Jamuna Mausi.

 “Oh my God, look how he lies! Yashoda, I saw him stealing curd with my own eyes. My pot of curd is sitting right here,” says Jamuna, pulling Kanhaiya out from his hiding place and tapping his little tummy, “and on his face too. Look!”

Yashoda looks at Kanhaiya’s face and sure enough there’s a thick white moustache formed around his tiny mouth.

“Kanhaiya, why do you steal?” she asks, tears beginning to form at the rim of her eyes. Why couldn't he be truthful to her at least, had he been truthful, she might even have let him off. At least she wouldn't have to be humiliated by this wretched woman!

“Maiyya, I did not steal,” says little Kanhaiya, batting his eyelids and wiping her tears with his little hands.

The innocence in his deep black eyes and the softness in his voice begins to melt her heart. She looks away, lest she forget that she is supposed to be firm with him.

“Teach him a lesson, Yashoda, or your son will keep breaking into our houses for butter and curd.”

Feeling humiliated and in anger, she picks him up and carries him to the backyard. He continues to smile at her, his eyes sparkling with mischief. She fetches a rope and sets him down next to a heavy wooden pestle. Then she ties him firmly to the pestle by his waist.

“Let me see how you steal butter and curd again,” she says. But all the while, she avoids looking at her Kanhaiya in the eye. Kanhaiya observes how she is fighting hard to control the tears that threaten to roll out of her eyes. She bites her lips and turns her back to him, lest she is unable to leave him tied up thus.

With a heavy heart, Yashoda, goes back to the house and tries to concentrate on her work.

A little while later, Balarama comes running into the house.

“Mother, come soon,” he says, “Look at Kaanha.”

Her heart skips a beat. What could have happened to her dear Kanhaiya? Did she tie the rope too tight? Did he faint standing in the sun? How silly of her to have listened to old Jamuma Mausi. Why didn’t she believe her Kanhaiya? Didn’t he say, he did not steal the curd? What a wicked mother she was!

A thousand thoughts in her head, she rushes to the backyard. But Kanhaiya is nowhere to be seen.

“Where’s Kanhaiya?” she asks Balrama, her heart filled with fear.

“Come with me,” says Balarama leading her to the meadows.

Then she spots the huge pestle wedged between two trees that have been uprooted. Where was Kanhaiya?

“Oh, Kanhaiya…” she cries, “I have killed you, what a wretched mother I am,” she says, thinking her child has been crushed in between the trees and the pestle. The color drains from her face and she is about to faint. 

Just then, she spots him! 

There is her little child, playing with the cowherds. As she sees him, color returns to her cheeks and then, suddenly, she is shocked.

How did he come here? Didn’t she tie him up?

“Maiyya, Kaanha is eating mud,” says Balarama.

Yashoda closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. What a naughty child he is, she thinks. This time I will not spare him. I will not look into those eyes, she promises herself as she walks up to him.

“Kanhaiya, did you eat mud?”  

“No Maiyya, I did not eat mud, Dau is lying,” pleads Kanhaiya.

“Yes Kanhaiya, everyone except you is lying. Now, open your mouth”, she orders and then pressing his cheeks with her thumb and forefinger, she forces open his tightly clamped mouth.

“Open, Kanhaiya, open.” But the tiny mouth is tightly shut and she is suddenly scared she will hurt her little one.

As she loosens her grip, Kanhaiya smiles mischievously and then opens his mouth. 

As Yashoda peers inside, she sees not mud, but the entire cosmos. She sees the sun, the moon, the stars, the galaxies, the earth and the other planets, she sees the plants and all the living creatures that walk on the earth, she sees the past, the present and the future. And then everything turns into a big ball of fire.

She is terrified and faints, and when she wakes, her little one is in her arms, smothering her with his kisses, stroking her cheeks gently with his tiny plump hands, his cherubic face staring down at her.  

Not sure of what happened, she gathers him in her arms, laughing and crying at the same time, and hugging him ever so tight like she’d never let him go.


This day...last year....M for Miracles
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