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They can cook, clean, and turn leftovers into a feast. And, they believe a good cup of tea can cure anything! The South African Indian mother is in a class of her own. It is her unique quips and quirks, perfected with each passing year; that makes us love her even more. It is with sweet humour that we revisit some of these best-loved witticisms as they fade into memory, and new generations of mothers emerge. When the years roll by, it is these traits that we remember too, as we become mothers – or, watch our wives become mothers. Traits that echo through the greatest profession on earth… Motherhood!
Don’t forget, food equals curry - everything else is junk! Who can ignore the concept of “parcels”? From left-over food to urgently needed items, anything that has to go anywhere is a “parcel”. Garage Sales too, are an alien concept. Everything you don’t want goes into a “parcel” for somebody else. As for the ‘half-day fast’, this is a tradition peculiar to SA.
What about Housework? It’s something their mothers made them do; and their daughters would never be able to do half of! And, everybody knows that any hired help could never meet Mother’s high standards.
Clearly, husbands and in-laws are the sole excuse for everything wrong that the kids do. Life is, unfortunately, what they had before they got married and we all know how the neighbours become the extended grocery cupboard; spare toilet; additional parking facility; and boarding and lodging for any over-imposing guest.
Then there’s Newspapers. These are the things the husbands spend hours with; that the mothers then collect. They’re great for wrapping everything that has to go into the “parcel”. Undoubtedly, the plastic bag is a most valuable commodity; they need it for all the “parcels” they have to ‘tie’. Indian women never need to be told about recycling and re-using... they invented the concept. Indian mothers also invented the concept of paranoia. From dangerous to taboo, for an Indian mum, the world is a very large place - and something would definitely happen to her child if they stepped out the house.
Self-help books are never required - Indian mums are a storage vat of tried, tested and proven household hints and handy tips. And if anyone’s unwell, you can trust an Indian mother to have a stockpile of remedies that she will swear by (most do work, too).
Everybody knows that her way is the only way. Oh, and that Telkom is the provider of the after-7 ‘panchayat’ line - Indian mothers sure know how to make full use of that. And what about when they need to go somewhere for an extended period - they pack so many things for those few days that everybody wonders why they didn’t just stay home with all the comforts!
School happens to be somewhere the kids go to pass time and bring back results to make Ma proud. And for an Indian mother, there are only four professions that are acceptable… doctor, lawyer, teacher and accountant. Anything else is an unnecessary risk.
Weddings happen to be the occasion to show off how smart they are - and to find their offspring’s future spouse).
Evidently, their own children are not the only people that they will mother; all the children in the neighbourhood have the honour of their maternal instincts… once a mother, always a mother.
Nobody does loyalty quite like an SA Indian mum. If anybody dares to say anything against you, her precious child, she will be there to defend you within an inch of their own life, never mind all the threats and insults they might hurl at her in the process.
It is all these little things and so much more that makes our mothers who they are, and makes us love them even more. But above all, there is one thing that binds mothers the world over together; something that goes beyond class, culture and language. And that is the unfaltering, infinite love that they have for their offspring, a love that one can never find anywhere else.
You can count on her to be there, to respond to your every sound in your baby days; to kiss your cuts and bandage your sprains through your active childhood; to reprimand and forgive throughout your turbulent teens; and to finally be the ‘always- on-call’ babysitter, marriage counsellor and financial adviser of your adult life. You can count on her to save your share of supper, or go out of her way to prepare your favourite dish. You will never find anybody more proud of your achievements… and you should know she is mentioning your accomplishments to anybody that would half- listen, at every opportunity! (After she turns salt, that is). Your greatest critic and your biggest fan. Of such things are our mothers made of.
Happy Mother's Day!
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Last Updated (Sunday, 09 May 2010 18:04)