In the fall of 2018, I moved from Mumbai to Boston for my MBA. This was the first time I moved out of my parents’ house. Of course, the MBA was intense, demanding, and kept me occupied 24*7.
Amidst all that I was trying to manage, it became increasingly difficult to talk to Mom thrice a day. I mean, I get that she is emotional and attached, but I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Why does she have to talk about the same things all day? Come on, I had my lunch, I drove safely, and I also connected with that random relative you wanted me to speak with.’
I kept telling her that I’m busy, and she kept adjusting her sleep cycle to speak with me at 2/3/4am. So one day, I sat down and thought about it.
I realized that for Mumma, having those three calls (15 minutes each) were the happiest moments of her day. She spent the rest of the day waiting for my call. Afraid that she’d miss my call and I’d call some random friend, she never kept her phone on silent. She hung up on her friends as soon as she realized I was calling. She pretended to be awake at odd hours, just so I don’t feel bad for breaking her sleep. Even in the remaining 23-odd hours that she had, she spent most of it sharing my progress with her sisters and friends.
And here I was, wondering why I was ‘wasting’ 45 minutes everyday talking about the same things. For a moment there, I felt weak at my knees. Thereafter, I decided to set my priorities straight. I decided to make myself available when Mumma wants to talk, to share every important detail with her, to ask her how her day was, and to respect her time as much as I respect mine.
She probably didn’t even notice the difference because mother’s never care about these ‘little’ things, do they? But it made me feel a little better about myself.
If you are away from home, know that without you, your mom doesn’t feel at home either. Pick up the phone and tell her what you cooked today (except if it’s Maggi). I promise it’ll make her day.