As I celebrated my first born’s 16th birthday yesterday, I experienced so many emotions with his coming of age or impending “maturity”. I wanted to share my favorite Indian story, of a Mother and Son….it makes me laugh and cry at the same time but it rings so true…..
Once upon a time, in Calcutta, a boy fell deeply in love with a girl. But he waited. He finished college, got a job and said, “Ok, now I can take care of you, Lets get married.”
The girl said, “no. I cannot marry you, because you live with your mother and she controls you. I don’t want to live with a mother-in-law who is always going to control me. I will always have fights with her. I don’t want to marry you.”
“okay, ” said the boy. “I will talk to my mother.” So he does, and he comes back to the girl the next day and tells her, “Okay, I can live separately in an apartment with you and she won’t disturb us.” No,no” says the girl. “she will come. Every mother controls her son in India.”
“Okay, then we will move to another state,” the boy offers.
“No,” the girl replies, she will come.” Exasperated, the boy asks, “What do you want me to do?”
The girl thinks a moment, then replies, “I will make you a deal. If you kill your mother, then I will marry you. And to prove it, you have to bring me her heart on a plate.”
“How can you be so cruel and heartless?” the boy exclaims. Later, he goes to see his mother, He is clearly very sad, and his mother asks, “Son, what happened to you? Tell me.”
So the boy tells his mother the whole story. The mother laughs. “That’s all? Why didn’t you tell me before? Your happiness is my happiness. Your life is my life. I’ll do anything for you. Because I love you, happily I will die. I will lie down and you can cut my heart out. Here’s the knife; now get to work!”
Together, the mother and son do this thing. The boy takes the still-warm heart and runs as fast as he can back to his girlfriend. Just as he is almost to her door, he slips and falls. The heart flies in the air, but he manages to catch it with the plate. He looks down at his mother’s heart and it says to him, “Son, are you okay? Did you hurt yourself?”
(retold by Bikram Choudhury)
My favorite part is when the Mother says “your happiness is my happiness your life is my life”! This is so true isn’t it? We can relax and enjoy when our children are OK and life takes a turn for the worse when they are ill or unhappy-
May all of you and your beautiful children be well today!