A few months after an industrialist’s death, his wife sent a letter to the head of their religious sect, stating that she wished to make a substantial donation in her husband’s memory, and requested the religious head to identify the cause to which she could make the donation.
A couple of weeks later, her son received a letter from the religious head, identifying the cause to which the donation could be made.
Extremely upset that the religious head had refrained from writing to their mother because she was a widow and hence considered ‘inauspicious’, the industrialist’s son and daughter told their mother, “Mom, if our religious sect will not give due respect to you, we strongly suggest that we should not make any donation; instead we suggest that you identify another organisation to donate to and to decide the amount to be donated!” The mother’s silence was her consent.
Such children don’t need to celebrate Mother’s Day because, for them, every day is Mother’s Day!
This post, based on a true incident, is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. (Prompt: Mother’s Day special! Your post must contain the word Mom and you have just 5 sentences to complete your story.)
Yes, we have this strange ‘system’, if you can call it, of keeping aside women who have lost their husbands (I hate the term ‘widows’). I remember four of Mumbai’s women whose husbands were well known and now these ladies doing a lot of good work, including one being a co-trustee with me in the cause of education, called on the pontiff of their religious sect. The pontiff was gracious enough to say that he has no objections whatsoever in meeting with them – thus removing the taboo! Our man-made practices need to be revisited and scrapped.
While appreciating the pontiff’s gracious gesture, I would like to ask:
1. Was this a one-off incident, or have things changed for good?
2. If it has changed for good, has it changed only for the wealthy or for all?
Very true. . Each day is mothers day .. because we are here in this world thanks to our mom’s.
What I find funny is each country seems to have its own mothers day, here in uk the day was celebrated a few months ago.. How can it be different in different countries.. mothers are mothers ..How does it matter what country they are from. ..
Let Mother’s Day be celebrated on different days in different countries. The point is, are mothers to be remembered only on Mother’s Day and forgotten for the rest of the year? (The same is true of Fathers Day, Teachers Day, etc.)
true.. every day is mother’s day
Yes, every day is mother’s day – well said!
About this story you share here…as much as I am against any discrimination of this type, I am also wondering if the family confirmed with the religious head his reason for writing to the son and not to the mother. Just a question that came to mind as I read this, especially after reading that this is based on a true story.
I don’t think any such confirmation was sought. (In fact, in traditional religious sects, such a question may be treated as a challenge to the authority of the head.)
It was a conclusion arrived at after considering all possible reasons.
I have always stated that evryday is mother’s day for me…because parents are not meant for one day, they need day to day care, and unless we can do that everything else is meaningless….
As for widows being considered inauspicious, for me its totally abhorrent ..whether they are mother or not..I have nevr practiced it in my home ..even in marriages , I never made a distinction between a widow and married.
It is good that you do not discriminate against any woman on the basis of marital status!
Each one of us must resist any form of discrimination, whether it’s based on marital status, gender, caste, economic status, etc.
This is a true incident!!:o Can’t believe a person will not even write to a woman because she is a widow!! It’s appalling. Truly said..its mother’s day…everyday. .We need to respect and care for our parents as a part of our life…and not allot one day to remember them and shower affection on them. I don’t remember celebrating such days when I was young…We did just fine.
Sales of flowers/bouquets, greeting cards, cakes/pastries/chocolates obviously increase on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc., so the biggest beneficiaries are the manufacturers and sellers of these items! I sometimes wonder whether these ‘Days’ were created by such people!!
The first question I had in my mind on reading this was “Is it a real incident?”. But yes, then I thought of a recent incident which I witnessed. It was the engagement function of a boy and his mother was a widow. Very educated and modern family I should say. In their custom, mother would adorn her with a bangle. Everything was ready and then his mothers sister suggested that instead of the mother, the boys sister should do this. The argument was this was the girls first auspicious event in her life and a widow doing this wont be that fine at least for some of the family members of the girl.Mother was in a dilemma, but the daughter insisted that only her mother would do it, since it was she who was welcoming the girl to the new home. So this happens everywhere.It is not the society to be blamed. Each individual has to think and fine tune their mindset.
Sorry for a lengthier comment..
Thank you for the detailed comment. It is good that you have shared a positive incident witnessed by you.
You are absolutely correct: each individual must think and must do the correct thing. Only then will society start changing.
The incident described in my post is a true incident. I have made some small changes to protect the identities of the persons involved.
I will be honest and say this is a tough one for me. I’m not Indian and, especially with my nation’s guilty past, I feel it totally inappropriate for me to comment or criticize another culture’s customs.
On the other hand, as a humanitarian, I can’t bear the idea of any person or peoples being turned away, ignored, abused or disrespected on the basis of their birth or situation rather than their worth as an individual.
It seems to me an impossible challenge to balance these two opposing ways of thinking…
I agree that it is generally inappropriate for anybody to comment on or criticize another culture’s customs. I wish more people understand and practise this.
I wish more people oppose all forms of discrimination, irrespective of whether or not they or their loved ones are victims.
I find it very encouraging that at least some people try to balance these two opposing ways of thinking!
I certainly try – but alas I suspect I fail more often than not. It is easy to come across as belligerent or, in trying not to, to be completely ineffectual against injustice.
Not writing to a woman because she is a widow is weird. Glad that the children took the step in the right direction. And well said, every day is a Mother’s Day!
It’s sad that such incidents happen, but when the love is strong, no external force can break the love the every family member has for each other.
Thank god, the discrimination between widow and sumangali is slowly going out of our society, I notice. I don’t believe in removing teeka from our forehead…we had been placing teeka from our childhood. Why to remove it when the husband is no more, I don’t understand. I am happy that it is not followed anymore…well this practice is nearly extinct!
Mother is mother always!
Well written! Love how you’ve highlighted our society’s failure in respecting its most valued member-a mom
Still living under old customs and traditions! Ignoring such people is a nice solution.
MOM – Master Of all Matters
Creator Of The Creators
It is a shame that such practices still exist and followed by people. But it is also true that changing people’s mindset is not easy.
I appreciate that the son and daughter took a firm stand for their mother and chosen the other organisation for donation.
I feel pity on the thinking of that religious head who does not have a mind which contains clarity. His level of thinking is too low…
May God bless them with what they don’t have….
Nice take on Mother’s Day….
Some of these behavior by such religious people is what is not understandable. A widow can do all the work, but is prohibited from family functions, social gatherings or religious forums. Wish more people like the son and daughter make up the society.
I agree every day is mother’s day if you have such children. There are so many ways of celebrating and expressing our love, even if we don’t sing and dance about it in front of others. Well written.
Some people term that creation of a mother’s day is a by-product of consumerism. While I agree that every day can be mother’s day, a special day dedicated for mothers and all motherly figures feels good.
Ha! My Mom faced that all her life, and she wasn’t even a widow. The “inauspicious” nonsense doesn’t apply to favors and hard work.
Oh yes, for me every day is Mother’s Day!
Celebrate only if you can continue to respect and love your mother every single day!