|#365PerfectFoodles - 39 Mom's Turiya Nu Shaak|
|My Mother, Heena Munshaw and me|
I remember rolling my eyes whenever someone said “you will know what it is to be a parent when you have your own child”. Words that came back to ring in my years the first time I held my son in my arms. My mother stood by me, feeling every scream of pain, as my flesh tore and a piece of me separated from me. And until that precise moment – when that little bundle of weight nuzzled up to my breast , bringing the realization that I now have to be responsible for a whole new life – I didn’t REALLY know (you just don’t) what being a mother is. And as the realization hit, I turned to the one person who could make it all go away, my mother. And like always, she did.
On the way to or from South Mumbai, just before the turn off to Andheri from Bandra there is a sculpture of a mother and child on display with the words 'With the birth of a child a mother is born.' That is so true. I thought I had learnt the meaning of loving someone after I met and married Shekhar. I didn’t. Loving someone as any other relationship in our life, is vastly different from loving a child. From the moment of the child's conception, for the rest of our lives, being a parent is demanding, exhilarating, exhausting and humbling. Love for children, from the moment they are just a dot in the womb, makes us strong enough to fight the world for our child and yet vulnerable in the most infinite way because our child has a grip on your heart that will only tighten with each moment of its existence.
Being a mother means sleepless nights, stinky diapers, varied projectiles coming your way, giving up on wearing white, expensive jewelry, never going to the bathroom alone, never getting a moment alone (the day Aman started school I went and got myself a facial at the parlour next door!). Tremendous worry when your baby falls ill and constant worry even otherwise. Motherhood also brings the 'Not Me', the root of all mischief into your life.
Being a mother means accepting that he will never stop being your baby, even when he grows too big to fit in your lap and tall enough for you to rest your arm around his shoulder at social occasions. It also means living with the infinite awareness that you have to let him go and grow up and accept his life decisions, even if you disagree. It means watching him make his own mistakes no matter how much you want to protect him. It means tough love, losing your temper but living with it and being strong when he says 'I hate you.' Because he doesn’t know the meaning of what he is saying.
|My kids, Aman and Natasha|
But for all the sacrifice and pain Motherhood brings, it also brings back your childhood. It means you can play with toys without people thinking you are weird, sing silly songs, watch cartoons (and Shinchan yet again!!!), travel to imaginary worlds. It means hearing gems from the mouths of babes, endless hugs and kisses, beautiful smiles that brighten your worst moments, infinite love of the purest kind. You discover that between your arms is a safe haven and in you is an endless strength. It makes you ‘yummy super mummy’ (nope I kid you not, my daughter tells me that all the time!) and the most beautiful perfect woman in their eyes at least. It also means watching them sleep, even when they're big because and asking time fly a little slowly….
Most of all motherhood makes us appreciate out mothers so much more. Thank you Ma, for everything, especially the Turiya nu Shaak!
Mom's Turiya Nu Shaak - Ridge Gourd stew Time: 20 minutes; Serves: 3 to 4
This is a simple home-style preparation my mother makes that I love. Traditionally served as a vegetable, it can also pass off as a chunky soup. Ridge Gourd is an indiginous Indian gourd vegetable that is very good to eat in this hot summer weather. For best results, cook just before serving and do not cover while cooking. I like to eat this with just steamed rice.
1 tbsp / 30 ml oil
½ tsp / 2 gms asafoetida
½ tsp / 2 gms mustard seeds
1 to 2 / 2 gms green chillies, slit
1 kg ridge gourd, peeles halved lengthwise and cut into inch long pieces
1 tsp / 5 gms soda bicarbonate
1 cup /250 ml water
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan, add the asafoetida and mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add the green chillies and the ridge gourd. Add the Soda Bicarb and stir well. Add salt and water and cook uncovered or cover with water on the lid (this spreads the heat and when the water is reduced, it means the food is cooked). Cook till the gourd is tender and has let forth its juices.