My Mother’s Gifts

Today is Mother’s Day. Wishing all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day. Today, we have a series of posts dedicated to our mothers and how they introduced us to the world of books.This post is dedicated to my mother Radhika.

Travelling down memory lane, there are several memories that stand out as I try to write this post. I can distinctly remember how my mother would narrate “The Three Little Pigs” for me. My favourite part would be when she would mimic the wolf and say “and he huffed…and he puffed.. and he blew the house down”. The story remains etched in my memory, and so does the soundtrack that goes along with it – the voice of my mother never tiring to tell the story yet another time.

My mother passed on her love for books to me. Books were gifts given on birthdays, Diwali, Christmas, New Year and just about any festival that was celebrated. If I had to pick any book from my childhood in my cupboard at this very moment, the chances of the first page being inscribed with a lovely message from my mother would be very high.

When you come from an army background, shifting from one place to another is inevitable. As we shifted from the south of India to the north, from the north to the east, from the east to the north, from the north to further north and then back to the south, my ever-growing collection of books travelled along in a big steel trunk. As my mother individually wrapped and carefully packed my books for these travels, I learnt that books were sacred. Summer vacations were spent in Bangalore and travelling from the north meant a train journey of two-three days. This meant I would get more books to read to keep me entertained during these journeys. ‘Yay’ was the state of mind.
But the one book that I truly treasure is a book of rhymes. As a small kid studying in U.K.G, I managed to lose my book of rhymes in school. We tried to purchase another book, but it wasn’t available anywhere. So, what do we do now? Well, when you have a mother like mine, you don’t really have to worry. She borrowed another child’s book and wrote down all the rhymes for me. She didn’t just write down all the poems, she painstakingly drew all the pictures in the book and coloured them in. What is a rhyme book without pictures after all? The book that has a zebra name label on its cover proudly states that I am the owner of this book and it is surely one of a kind. Just like my mother.

Happy Mother’s Day Ma.



  1. Anonymous May 11, 2009

    Oh how lovely, lovely, lovely. Brought a huge grin to my face, just reading this heartfelt post. Are we to assume that I conscientious poster Ms Maya, is the bright-eyed tot in the pic?

    I share a similar story about the love for books – passed on to me by my father and mother! Tales told lovingly for the tantrum throwing kiddum. Thank you maa, thank you paa, you guys are the best 🙂

    And thank you Pratham for being so honest and un-cliched 😀
    – furry byter


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