Mother’s Day is upon us and it is the time of the year when you are supposed to listen to your mother officially. On all other days, you must unofficially listen to her while proclaiming how independent she has made you publicly. I am reminded of the dialogue by Jill Taylor in Home Improvement when she says “Who better than his mother to make a young boy independent?”. To which I can only respond “Who better than Lex Luthor to be Superman’s best friend?”
Jill Taylor in 'Home Improvement' and (right) Superman with super villain Lex Luthor
One of the biggest challenges of Mother’s Day is trying to decide what gift to bring. Mainly because it should look good on Instagram. Father’s Day, on the other hand, is a much simpler affair as you only need to know which half friend/guy you hate you need to shake down to get daru from duty-free.
In Marwari households, a mother’s main job is to sabotage every attempt of her children to escape it. Mainly so that the symmetry of the dinner table is not broken. Like a grandmaster arranges his chess pieces, a Marwari mother arranges the members of her family on the dinner table. So often the best Mother’s Day gift is a centrepiece for the dinner table.
According to Wikipedia, the American version of Mother’s Day has been criticised for having become too commercialised. Luckily, we have no such issues with Durga Puja. The origin of Mother’s Day came from ‘Mother's Day for Peace’, where mothers would ask that their husbands and sons were no longer killed in wars. Today their daughters are putting up angry memes about “men used to go to war”. So perhaps feminism is only regressing.
Mothers have also featured extensively in comedy sitcoms, one of the most notable being Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond. In one of the episodes, Marie finally gets Raymond to admit that her cooking is the only reason Raymond keeps a relationship with her. Given that most of GenZ seems clueless about cooking up anything except new genders and pronouns, perhaps this is enough to keep the relationship going.
Mothers have also featured extensively in comedy sitcoms, one of the most notable being Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond
Brands, of course, have lapped up Mother’s Day like Starbucks lapped up ESG investor funds with their new woke ad. I came across the following hashtag on Twitter #maakaehsaas. I presume the hashtag on xhamster would have been #stepmaakaehsaas. The hashtag was followed by ‘Kyunki Khana Sirf Khana Nahi Hota, Maa ki mamta ka ehsaas bhi hota hai’. I think I can understand now why I got baingan and karela in my tiffin the day after I skipped dinner at home to go out with friends.
No mention of Mother’s Day can end without our representation of mothers in Bollywood
But perhaps no mention of Mother’s Day can end without our representation of mothers in Bollywood. From Jaya Bachchan’s helicopter radar detector in K3G to Kirron Kher’s Bollywood within Bollywood role in Om Shanti Om, Indian mothers have blurred the line between Bollywood drama and family melodrama since time immemorial. So to the Jennifer of Kal Ho na Ho (Jaya Bachchan), to the eponymous Rakhi of Mere Karan Arjun aayenge and the hapless Maya Awasthi (Tisca Chopra) of Taare Zameen Par, wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day, now where do I keep the centrepiece?
The author, Vikram Poddar, is a Marwari investment banker turned corporate comedian
[The views expressed in this article are the author's own]