Mama’s birthday


The month of September saw a grand feast day – the birthday of our blessed Mother Mary. For us in Bandra (Mumbai), in the days when I still had hair, this day ranked right up there with Christmas and Easter. Especially for the lunch my Mum would prepare. Cousins and relatives would troop in after visiting the Mount and would stagger out, belts loosened to the max.

The Fair had its charms too and as kids we’d have to get the mandatory bubbles, wooden swords, toys, knick-knacks… even a cane which Dad would use to leave a delicate imprint on our posteriors when we misbehaved. And the rides, the freak shows, the music, the smell of roasting popcorn will never fade from memory.

Yes, we had to say hello to Mother Mary first, jostling in the endless line, to get a three-second glimpse of her and whisper a prayer, before the tsunami of the crowd shoved you out of the church. What fascinated me were the candles they sold – you had to choose the shape to match your petition. I guess it was a very, very busy time for Mother Mary, so this helped her decipher our prayers faster, and she could Green Channel them to the Father.

I haven’t gone to the Fair in years. Rowdy crowds and commercialism have taken away the charm. I know Mother Mary is happy to see any and every one who drops in for her birthday party – though I’d prefer going at a quieter time. We’d get enough time together – to talk and pray, without having to hurry along and getting a wax finger poked in my eye.

As I type this, I look at a souvenir from the Mount on my desk – a pic of Mother Mary with Baby Jesus. It’s good to have her right in front of my face – so I can pray right to her when I’m stuck for an idea (like this article). And she’s there to discipline me too, when I want to rant in the worst possible way about a client and what he’s doing to my writing. Her calming presence, and an aura of motherly love comes through. Try keeping her on your desk too; you’re sure to see the benefits.

This was written on my mother’s birthday, and were catching up that evening. Yup, two mothers’ birthdays in the same month; so I’ve got a double blessing. Maybe you want to catch up with your mother too, today. Spend some time, chat, enjoy each other’s company… especially if you haven’t done it in a long time. She’s always close – to you and to your heart, just like Mother Mary.

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