Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mom's Turiya Nu Shaak with thoughts on Motherhood from a daughter who became a mother

My Mother, Heena Munshaw and me
It really doesn’t matter how old one is, if one marries, becomes a mother oneself, TWICE, sets up one’s own business and (hopefully) goes on to conquer the world, one’s mother is always the source of infinite patience and calm. My husband still needles me because, no matter what decision I need to make I need to talk to my mother. And a bowl of her patented dal soup or Turiya nu Shaak has the power to fill up those holes caused by pain or fright that life brings. A sign that 'Mom is around and all is well with the world' .Or will be if she has anything to do with it!

I remember rolling my eyes whenever someone said “you will know what it is to be a parent when you have your own child”. Words that came back to ring in my years the first time I held my son in my arms. My mother stood by me, feeling every scream of pain, as my flesh tore and a piece of me separated from me. And until that precise moment – when that little bundle of weight nuzzled up to my breast , bringing the realization that I now have to be responsible for a whole new life – I didn’t REALLY know (you just don’t) what being a mother is. And as the realization hit, I turned to the one person who could make it all go away, my mother. And like always, she did.

On the way to or from South Mumbai, just before the turn off to Andheri from Bandra there is a sculpture of a mother and child on display with the words 'With the birth of a child a mother is born.' That is so true. I thought I had learnt the meaning of loving someone after I met and married Shekhar. I didn’t. Loving someone as any other relationship in our life, is vastly different from loving a child. From the moment of the child's conception, for the rest of our lives, being a parent is demanding, exhilarating, exhausting and humbling. Love for children, from the moment they are just a dot in the womb, makes us strong enough to fight the world for our child and yet vulnerable in the most infinite way because our child has a grip on your heart that will only tighten with each moment of its existence.

Being a mother means sleepless nights, stinky diapers, varied projectiles coming your way, giving up on wearing white, expensive jewelry, never going to the bathroom alone, never getting a moment alone (the day Aman started school I went and got myself a facial at the parlour next door!). Tremendous worry when your baby falls ill and constant worry even otherwise. Motherhood also brings the 'Not Me', the root of all mischief into your life.

Being a mother means accepting that he will never stop being your baby, even when he grows too big to fit in your lap and tall enough for you to rest your arm around his shoulder at social occasions. It also means living with the infinite awareness that you have to let him go and grow up and accept his life decisions, even if you disagree. It means watching him make his own mistakes no matter how much you want to protect him. It means tough love, losing your temper but living with it and being strong when he says 'I hate you.' Because he doesn’t know the meaning of what he is saying.

My kids, Aman and Natasha
Being a mother means you exhilarate in their wins and bite down on YOUR pain at their hurt because they need you to tell them it's okay. It means craving quiet but missing the noise when it is. Being a mother also means that you catch yourself saying the same things your mother said to you 'don’t talk with your mouth full, eat your veggies, put cream'; you know, the things you swore you'd never say and the return of studying subjects you thought were gone from your life forever. Being a mother means you no longer have a life.
But for all the sacrifice and pain Motherhood brings, it also brings back your childhood.  It means you can play with toys without people thinking you are weird, sing silly songs, watch cartoons (and  Shinchan yet again!!!), travel to imaginary worlds. It means hearing gems from the mouths of babes, endless hugs and kisses, beautiful smiles that brighten your worst moments, infinite love of the purest kind. You discover that between your arms is a safe haven and in you is an endless strength. It makes you ‘yummy super mummy’ (nope I kid you not, my daughter tells me that all the time!) and the most beautiful perfect woman in their eyes at least. It also means watching them sleep, even when they're big because and asking time fly a little slowly….

Most of all motherhood makes us appreciate out mothers so much more. Thank you Ma, for everything, especially the Turiya nu Shaak!

Mom's Turiya Nu Shaak - Ridge Gourd stew  Time: 20 minutes; Serves: 3 to 4

This is a simple home-style preparation my mother makes that I love. Traditionally served as a vegetable, it can also pass off as a chunky soup. Ridge Gourd is an indiginous Indian gourd vegetable that is very good to eat in this hot summer weather. For best results, cook just before serving and do not cover while cooking. I like to eat this with just steamed rice. 

1 tbsp / 30 ml oil
½ tsp / 2 gms asafoetida
½ tsp / 2 gms mustard seeds 
1 to 2 / 2 gms green chillies, slit 
1 kg ridge gourd, peeles halved lengthwise and cut into inch long pieces 
1 tsp / 5 gms soda bicarbonate
1 cup /250 ml water
Salt to taste 

Heat oil in a pan, add the asafoetida and mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add the green chillies and the ridge gourd. Add the Soda Bicarb and stir well. Add salt and water  and cook uncovered or cover with water on the lid (this spreads the heat and when the water is reduced, it means the food is cooked). Cook till the gourd is tender and has let forth its juices.


Rajshree said...

Rush, reading this I had a lump in my throat...and my heart swelling with pride ! You have so beautifully echoed the sentiments of all women who realise the true meaning of motherhood....and the place a holds in our life. I read somewhere that it is becoz God could not be there for everybody everywhere, he created the Mother. Happy mother's day!

Niveditha said...

I came across your blog and couldn't get over how amazingly well-written this post is. It tugged at my heartstrings. It made me crave for those years of childhood spent with my mom and my eyes welled-up at how well you brought out the emotions of a mother. It is so heartfelt that I immediately forwarded it to my friends. Something so touching had to be shared and appreciated. I love your passion and love for food and towards your children/mom. Looking forward to many more posts from you.

Pinky said...

Hi Rushina,

being a mother myself i could relate so much to what u have written down..i could never express my feelings in the words u have done.........Hail to all the mothers in the world.

Anonymous said...


Came across your blog through today's newspaper.. lovely blog!
And such a lovely post. I'm not a mother yet but yes my elder sister does keep telling me that after being a mother she can understand how we made our mom's life so difficult :D

Yesterday when I went vegetable shopping, I picked up torai just like that even though I have never made it before. Was thinking of callingf my mom to ask how to make it but I guess will now follow your mom's recipe :)!

Thanks for sharing


Anonymous said...


I reached your blog after reading about it in the newspaper article...and I'm so glad I did! :)

Lovely post and a lovely blog! I'm not a mother yet, but my elder sister keeps telling me how after being a mother of two she realises how we both made life so difficult for mom! :P

Yesterday when I went for vegetable shopping, I picked up torai just like that. I have never made it before and was just thinking of calling my mom for a recipe but Iguess now I will try your mom's recipe! :)

thanks.. tell her her recipe has gone from our daughter's kitchen to another's!