Food is the medium through which mothers, world over, express their love. Few people would disagree with that statement.
On the occasion of Mother’s Day, 2015, inspired by a campaign Sterling Holiday Resorts is running, I thought why not share a few anecdotes on how moms bring about a feeling of Tummy, Yummy, Mummy!
My own mother was a wonderful cook. And she loved feeding not just her kids, but anyone who happened to even knock on our door. My friends would demand her Puliyodharai*.
Her friends would frequently say, “Kamal, rasam* zaroor banna chahiye” (Kamal, you have to make rasam).
I must have been a pain in the ass for my mother because (a) I am not a foodie and (b) I have limited taste in food. Even so, on many an occasion, she would prepare the few dishes I was fond of (by the way, my choices weren’t a favourite with the rest of the family). On such days, my heart would expand, basking in her attention. Not to mention, I would eat more than usual and to my heart’s content. Now, you know why I have chosen to title this blog Tummy, Yummy, Mummy!
In her last few years, Amma would still head for the kitchen on the days when she felt a bit stronger. I would try and stop her but she would insist. She even burnt her arm a couple of times because by then she was so shaky on her feet. Not to mention the constant fighting against weakness in the body. The result? Her cooking wasn’t anywhere near what she was once famous for in our friends’ circles. But I would eat whatever she placed in front of me and not say a word.
One time, Aruna Trada was staying with us. Amma considered Aruna to be her third daughter. The feeling was obviously mutual because Anu would come every year to visit my mother, fearing that her time on this planet was drawing to an end. That year, like moms are wont to do, Amma trotted off to the kitchen to cook for Anu. Eating the food Amma had prepared, Anu quietly remarked, “She’s lost it in the kitchen.” I nodded and both of us went onto eat every morsel. So what if the food no longer evoked a response of ‘Tummy, Yummy, Mummy’? It had still been prepared with love!
After Amma passed away, her younger sisters and my own sister, Sudha Seshadri, do their best to ensure that I get to eat my favourite foods. My aunt, Jaya Iyer, rushes off to the kitchen the moment she hears I am going to visit. Like Amma, she, too, is cooking now with shaky hands. Noticing that, Sudha and I do our best to ensure that we are not causing her to strain herself in the kitchen. Here’s a photo of my aunt, who has tried to make up for my mother’s absence.
Her other two younger sisters are based in Bengaluru and fuss over me as much as they can as well. Imagine – I am not a foodie and I am spoilt for choice! Tummy, Yummy, Mummy! Four times over!
Writing on the subject today, I am wondering if my mom’s generation, comprising primarily of homemakers, drew their self-worth from their prowess in the kitchen. Was that the one big reason why they would often cook up a storm?
On the whole, though, I think moms will always express their love and care through food. After all, food is sustenance and mothering is about nurturing.
What do you think? Please let me know via your comments here. Or, you can respond by participating in Sterling Holidays’ Mom’s Magic campaign.
Author’s Note: I am currently still working in the capacity of Chief Marketing Officer for Sterling Holiday Resorts. However, I am retiring at the end of this month. You can read all about that in Reflections on approaching my sell-by date.
Thank you for reading this post. If you enjoyed the read and found value, do check out For you Amma, wherever you may be, A Hard Act to Follow, The Mother of all Influences and Angels with a stethoscope. May I also request that you help spread the good word in this post? All you need to do is take a second and click on any one of the Social Media buttons here. Of course, I would also be delighted if you subscribed to my blog site. Or connected with me via LinkedIn or Twitter where I regularly publish my posts on my feed:)
Featured Image Credit: Onam vannae by George Augustine (Flickr.com CC BY 2.0)
*Puliyodharai – A South Indian dish of tamarind based rice.
*Rasam – A South Indian curry (sometimes had as soup), traditionally prepared using tamarind juice as a base, with the addition of tomato, chili pepper and other ingredients.