Monday, October 26, 2009

Confessions of a Mother

I see that the children we have are miracles like any other. Like the bluish green tinge of the backwaters, like the blazing mighty sun taking its daily dip, far out in the sea, like meteors from space falling, sparing skyscrapers infested with all kinds of people, like the many acts of kindness that is bestowed upon us each day, we have nothing do with creating them: our children. Our job is to stand and wonder. Our job is to marvel and love. What has been given to us, as an ultimate act of mercy.
Today, my son walks up to me and hugs me tight, and said "Amma, I like you." His arms went around my waist and his cheeks rested on my stomach. He is all of five years. There in his eyes was a look of undivided, unadulterated, love. Just admiration and gratitude. As my eyes welled up, looking down at him, I wondered, do I deserve this. Like flashes. Quick repeated flashes, I remembered the moments I failed him. Failed him so completely. Like the time he came to me with his water colour painting of the scary deep sea monster, I looked at the pool of paint on the floor and big stain on my durrie, instead and said, can’t you be more careful. Or the time he came and said "amma, I want to take flowers for my teacher, she hugged me for naming all the animals", a pang of sheer jealousy and insecurity of the attention getting divided, I dismissed the act telling him, that she’s just doing her job. And many other thoughtless, cruel acts later, here is my son, hugging me and telling me I am the best.
My son is a good-looking child, well-behaved, courteous, loving and selfless. I look at myself everyday and wonder where he got all this from. Not from me. Not even from my husband. I look up heavenward again with tears and in silent awe, do I deserve this? I ask again. Then in an instant I get the answer. It doesn’t matter if I am worthy, it’s all love. My son loves me; it doesn’t matter if I am worthy. He loves me because the hand that made him is love itself. And today I saw the face of my God in him.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Telomeres of a different kind.

Some of the most amazing moments in life are the moments spent with friends. At least it’s been that way for me. Some say you rely on friends when you don’t have much of a family to hold on to. TRRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIING, I disagree. Both are different equations. I would say you need your friends as much as your family. I think, to become a wholesome person, good friendships are essential.
All that gyan apart, I am here to talk about a person I stumbled upon virtually. Literally virtually. Through the World Wide Web. Besides from the fact that our relationship grew from being just ‘chat’ acquaintances to deeper levels of understanding, she has today become an indispensable part of my life. All this happened at frightening pace of just over three months. But as she became my shoulder to cry on, my soul/sole confidante, my reason for existence on some days...I learned over time that besides from being this generous human being, she had a side to herself which she(I quote another special person here) “ tries best to hide from the rest of the world”:her sheer brilliance! Her work in the field of science. Her road to accomplishment was a bumpy ride by any standards, both physically and emotionally, and today she has arrived. She is a scientist. We have a zillion of those in the world as she always makes it a point to remind me. Maybe there is, I don’t know and I don’t care. For I know only one. And this one surely made a difference in my life and I am glad to know she’s contributing to science as well.
‘Beautiful Mind’, worked on the enzyme Telomeres, which has gained popularity among the science illiterates as well. For which we have the media to thank for. It has been in the papers now for some time, about the noble prize in the field of medicine, going to the ‘richly deserving’ female duo Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Grieder. Their collaborative effort has solved one of the greatest mysteries of our time-how chromosomes are protected from degeneration as they divide continuously. They discovered that telomeres, the protective caps found at both ends of the enzyme prevent it from degradation. Pretty much like how the plastic caps at the end of the shoelace protects it from spreading apart. So this is where my friend ‘beautiful mind’ comes in. She worked on this very same enzyme, during her stint in cancer research. From what I understand, as she very patiently tried to explain to me, it is this discovery which helps us comprehend the nature of malignancies(cancer) as well.
I am in awe of my friend ‘Beautiful Mind’, fiercely proud of her. And more than anything humbled by her modesty. Beautiful Mind is not just another one more of a science nerd. Besides from being brilliant and successful, she has over and over proved to be a person who is not just good to her friends but to all who come in touch with her. Through several of her mails from our daily correspondence, I can see that her young life is filled with experiences and acts of kindness bestowed on all those who have come in contact with her. Even when storms brewed within, experiences haven’t hardened her, she continued to be spontaneous, fun, chirpy, gorgeous, fashionable, and last but not the least a pilot of tour de gastronomia (fabulous cook). Can you ever imagine a scientist being all that...She has redefined my image of a science freak. I realise that they can also be engagingly charming, heart-warmingly benign and out-of-the boxly fun. But only my friend here can be all that and even a sophisticated chic with a golden heart. She breaks all proverbial stereotypes. That of a science nerd being arrogant. Of a beauty being a dunce. Of an absent minded professor being a fashion disaster.
Kudos to you my lovely lovely friend. May your kind prosper and thrive and fill the earth with the fragrance you so bring in to the room you walk into. (She literally does that. A fan of Lush products, she smells heavenly too) Thank you for your gentle kindness, thank you for understanding. And most of all thank heavens you are a scientist, you sure manage to save their faces and make them glamorous. May you inspire many to join you, whereby saving mankind from degeneration like a chromosome would without telomeres. You are my telomeres of a different kind. Hugs and Muah!