Sometimes, as children, we forget that our parents are human. They have the same tendency to be happy, and sad, joyful, and otherwise as we have. It’s tough to see our parents as the children they once were. But as time passes by, those naughty children they once were peek out of our parents’ personalities more than we care to notice.

              There is an endearing quality about my mother and that is her child-like enthusiasm about things that matter to her. All mothers are endearing in their own ways. Mine accepts her child-like enthusiasm without any reservations even at 60.

              She was a working mother, and so, we have always seen our mother being very busy, and constantly on her toes. She was the helicopter mom, even before the term ‘helicopter mom’ was invented. We had one complaint from her when we were kids that she refused to let us eat delicious samosas from the school canteen, and always made sure to pack our tiffin boxes with fresh food instead, and never with biscuits, or chips that were available in the market. She would wake up at 5 AM to make breakfast number 1 and number 2 (for school recess) for us. After sending us off to school around 7.30, she would start preparing lunch for the family, and then after sending my father off to his work, she would start getting ready for her job, which was a Government job that lasted till 6 pm. After returning, she would barely get time to sit as she would be expected to immediately start cooking dinner, after which she was so tired that she could barely keep her eyes open, but she never slept before making us study for a while before she actually retired for the day.

As kids, we loved our mother, sure, but boy, was she strict! A pure disciplinarian. I was, I am, and will always be more scared of my mother than of my father.  Her disappointed pout was our nightmare. She kept me in line despite all my teenage rebellion. We were terrified of her as kids.

And then gradually, as we started settling down in our lives, she started to relax a little. Then some more, and then more. And then the roles started getting reversed, as Nature would have it.

Now, she plays games on her phone while eating, and I scold her to put the phone down and concentrate on the food. She keeps herself crazily active on social media, and I get irritated by all the screen time she is consuming. When one of her videos went viral, I made sure that no one was making fun of her in the comments. She loves talking to people and loves watching crime shows. She cries very easily, and now she has likes and dislikes when it comes to food. The woman who taught me never, ever to make faces at people we don’t like, now makes childish faces at people she doesn’t like, right in front of them.  She laughs easily, and heartily, and is somehow getting kinder and more compassionate with each passing day, just like a child. 

At 35, I see my own childhood in the face of my 60-year-old mother. Life, indeed, does come in circles.

A few years ago, we had a chance to visit the sets of Kaun Banega Crorepati as audience members (thanks to my mother). My mother had only one thing on her mind that day: to sit in the first row, and shake hands with Mr.Bachchan. When the coordinator was organizing the seating, my mother went up to him and said in the most, direct manner that ‘I want to shake the hands of Mr.Bachchan, let me sit on the first row!’  Though a little taken aback, the kind co-ordinator obliged. As we settled, Mr.Bachchan entered from the end of our row, all the while shaking hands with all the fans sitting in the first row. I was excited, but not even 10% of how excited my mother was! She couldn’t sit still and kept getting up, bobbling her head in excitement, with a crazy, child-like grin splashing across her face. She was literally shaking with excitement, jumping up and down. She couldn’t wait for Mr.Bachchan to come near and shake her hand. As he approached, she gave the widest smile that she has ever given to anyone, and shook his hands using both her hands. Mr.Bachchan too was kind and exchanged a few words with her, a conversation she doesn’t remember because she was too excited like a child would be. 

As kids, our parents might have been strict, but they never let anyone or anything destroy our childhood. They always protected us. And now, as life has taken a u-turn for them, it’s our adult hands that should protect the parents.

After all, like parents, like children!