Today when I look back, I can’t but think of each and everything that my mother taught me and how it’s all helping me deal with my life today. Back then it was…. Oh Ma.. you always tell me this or that… how is it going to be useful to me? My times are different. Yet today, I realize that all the great things I learnt were from my mother- The first Guru for any child. Here are just 6 of them that I want to share with you.
1. Take everything that comes your way: Good or bad, happiness or sadness, hot or cold. Life offers us everything and if we take each one of these opposites with a pinch of salt, we will be happier. Happy times of being in hostel as against those times when it used to be tough and I would want to leave everything and go and stay with my family… I would remember what she would say… and that would make my heart feel lighter and I would tell myself… its just a few more days… and that would make it easier for me to deal with the tough times in my hostel.
2. Help others: Do whatever you can for others she used to say and she would always quote from the Bhagwad Gita … translating for us to do good to others and not expect anything in return. She would also quote “Manav Seva hi Madhav seva hai”. So at home, there were always extra mouths to feed and extra students to be educated. I had never seen my mom say NO to anyone for either food or education. What I saw my mother doing is what has also become my nature, I find joy in helping others, it would be the simplest of things, like cooking something for a friend when she / he is feeling low, taking a friend out as a surprise knowing how much she will love it just to see the joy on her face. I understood in time that I find happiness when I see my loved ones happy.
3. Khao Man Bhata Pehno Jag Bhata – Eat what you want to eat and wear what the world likes to see you in. She used to live by this and teach us the same. I used to eat what others ate… to “Fit In” and wear what I like to show my independence (rebellious). I obviously ended up eating the wrong food and and also wrong clothes and realized… I have stopped “Fitting” into clothes because of the wrong food I ate.
4. Be independent at 16 years: Travel independently; take responsibility for yourself – your well-being and safety. Don’t do anything that will attract unnecessary attention from ‘not very nice people’. She used to say when you travel, you should have the ticket in hand, address of where you are going and a little money, and even if you forget the rest its ok you can always buy it. There is no need to stress about it. One day I was suddenly expected to accompany my friend and had to stay overnight at her place. Realizing I had no clothes to stay over, I suddenly laughed…. Because all I had was my wallet… I remembered my mother’s words and went shopping.
5. Simple living & High thinking: Stressing on this point was almost an everyday thing for her. Each time we would want to buy something that was not necessary to us…. Especially those extra pair of shoes or a bag that was totally unnecessary… because we liked it. She would remind us to think “Do you really need it”? I look back at all those times I went shopping and stretched my hand to pick up a saree (which I most definitely did not need) and stopped just short because of what I had learnt as a youngster, makes me treasure all that I already have and am grateful for it.
6. Adjust: No one should be troubled because of you. You should not be the cause of anyone’s stress or distress. If someone is behaving badly with you, you will never do the same to them, you will only be nice and good to everyone. This keeps me on my guard even today and has helped me adjust with all the different types of people I have come across in life. Every time I meet someone really tough to deal with…my mother’s words come back to me… Adjust… just that one word keeps me going…. Just 2 days ago my elder brother and I were talking about someone in the family and my brother said “Adjust”
– Mallika Krishna