She irritates me with her philosophy that MARRIAGE is the ultimate destination of life. Her belief in GOD gets on my nerves. I get annoyed when she treats herself as an impure being when she is on her period…
Yes, I can write pages on what I hate about her.
Yet, I love her.
I love her, not just because I don’t have any other option rather than to love her; not just because she is the one who has made me who I am today. I love her for her rebelliousness.
Don’t you think it’s ironic?
How can my traditional mom also be unorthodox?
And, to answer this as well, I can dedicate several pages of my notebook. But, I guess, only a part of her life would be enough to justify her nonconformist nature.
My mom had always been interested in music. She had always fantasized playing musical instruments, particularly Madal (Nepali folk musical instrument). Unfortunately, she was born in a very conservative family where a female playing a musical instrument was a far cry. She wasn’t even sent to school -- just for being a female. She was the one who went to school at the age of ten only for the reason that my grandparents wanted someone to look after my paju (maternal uncle). Interestingly, my mom completed her schooling in her early twenties when my paju dropped out even before he reached his secondary level. We can only imagine what she had to go through just to finish her school. However, she had to get married just after that and again learning music was a catch 22 for her, juggling between husband, children, and in-laws.
I have never ever enjoyed bhajan. But this Dashain, I contemplated over how bhajan could be so creative and how moments could be entrapped in those verses.
Yes, it was my mom again forcing me to ponder over it. I was amazed to see her happily playing madal and singing bhajan written by herself. I wondered how she was able to do that automatically.
My curiosity turned into astonishment when she shared that she learned it by looking at others play, and with practice, a hell lot of practice.
She was so passionate that she bought a madal for herself. Then joined a bhajan mandali so that she could watch others play, observe minutely their hand movements, listen to the beat, come home and then practice.
At our thulo buwa's house, she irritates him all the time by asking him to teach her
Whenever she was confused she would ask for someone who is good, and learn from them.
She is yet to become a proficient madal player but when she plays the beats and sings bhajan written by herself, I can see a tigress enjoying her ferocity. I can observe the beauty of her victory over her own fate and I can see an orthodox middle-aged woman winning at her childhood aspirations.
Her transformation during her late forties, when I am in my mid-twenties, reminds me to learn from my traditional mom. She has taught me that it is willpower that will motivate us to work. It's our practice that makes us perfect. It's our passion that will make us thrive.
Dear mom, thanks for being a rebel.
Thanks for giving me another reason to rebel against all your old philosophies of life, when you yourself are in a journey of transformation.