Mummy goes to LEAF!

Mummy goes to LEAF!

Mothers' day is just around the corner. I came with the plan of talking about the word 'mother' in my L.E.A.F. (Learn English As Fun) class. "Miss! Tell us something you liked in USA", it was my L.E.A.F. class after the kids had finished their annual exams at school. They all looked very relaxed in their vacation moods. "In USA, second Sunday in the month of May is celebrated as Mothers' day. Children spend time with their mother on this special day and thank her for being there for them always. Also, people greet all mothers they meet on that day to appreciate their contribution to their families and in turn, to their communities.

Everyone can say something about mother. Mother is a female parent; the one who gives birth to and nurtures, comforts and protects an offspring", I started.
"Miss! In seahorses, it's the father who delivers a baby seahorse, not the mother", it was Raju correcting me with a mischevous spark in his eyes. "Yes, you are right! A seahorse father makes a good mother!", everyone laughed.

"I call my mom 'amma'. It's a Kannada word for mom. Mom is a palindrome (reads/spells the same from either side) in English and 'amma' is also a palindrome when transliterated to English", said Naman, who is very fond of palindromes.

'Amma' is used to address women as a form of respest in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It's also used as a title for a woman respected for her wisdom and age.

In fact, a Korean friend of mine told me that little children call their mom 'amma' in Korean and their dad 'appa'. Both sound very similar to what we have in Kannada!
While in Hindi it is 'maa', in Marathi it is 'aayi', Sanskrit it is 'maatru' and in English it is 'mummy'. Americans use 'mommy' or 'mom', while Italians use 'mama' for mother.
"Miss! In our convent, our principal is called 'Mother'. She is the head of a group of nuns", Suruchi continued. "She is very nice and is like a mother (as kind and affectionate as your own mother) to all of us! It really suits to call her Mother", Sugun added.
"Mother is synonimous with loving care and affection", said Snigdha. "My mother is an artist. She has painted pictures of Yashoda with baby Krishna and Mary with baby Jesus. Both are very beautiful and make you think of mother's love for a child."

"Yes! Yashoda comes to our mind as Krishna's mother even though, in reality, it was Devaki who gave birth to Krishna. Yashoda was the maternal love personified. As we know, Yashoda raised him from the day he was born whereas Jesus was born to Mother Mary." It was Susan who commented. Susan is our newest student at LEAF and is a voracious reader. She has such an oratorial skill at this early age, it is a pleasure to talk to her.

"A mother is a biological and/or social female parent of a child", I modified my definition of a mother. "My mom cooks such wonderful food everyday. I love her very much! You know, she works so hard all through the day, but if someone asks whether she is working, she says 'NO'!" it was Sudeep, Susan's little brother who had accompanied her to our LEAF session.

Suddenly we heard sobs; Sumana was crying bitterly. Her mom passed away a few months ago with cancer. It was, indeed, a delicate matter to talk to a little girl who is grieving. My eyes were full thinking of my own mom who left us 23 years ago. Even though the grief is different now, I very clearly remember the orphan feeling I got when that happened. It stayed with me for several years. "Your mom is with God now Sumana. She would always be with you in spirit. I'm sure she would be your guarding angel for ever", Susan tried to console. It was, indeed, such a timely response from a peer. Sumana's eyes lighted up even in tears when she heard what Susan said, especially with the tone with which the message came.

We changed our attention to some famous mothers (women) of the world. "Mother Teresa got Nobel prize for peace", quiz whiz Vivek said.

Agatha Christie is the mother of all (most notable example of) mystery novels.  Marie Curie's discovery of radium made the mother (the source or the origin) of atomic age.'Necessity is the mother of invention' is a very popular saying. Here 'mother' means a condition that inspires an unusual creativity.

"The central printed circuit board (PCB) in many modern computers which holds many of the crucial components of the system and provides connectors for other peripherals is called a motherboard. A motherboard specifically refers to a printed circuit with the capability to add or extend its performance." Partha, who came to our class soon after his computer class, read this out from his notebook.

Sometimes mothers yell at kids for not thinking/doing right. As a mother she knows what you are or what you could be. She always expects you to be good and hopes that the world would recognize your qualities. Whether you meet her expectations or not, mother's love is everpresent for her children. Whether your mom hugs or scolds, remember that she loves you all the time for what you are. Mother is like no other in the whole world. Enjoy a 'Happy Mothers' Day' with your mom. Appreciate everything she does for you and also help her with her chores. You would see what fun it is to see her happy and I'm sure you'd love it too.

In case you can not be with your mom on this special day, let it not keep you from thinking of her. Thinking of all the nice things she did for you is also a way of celebrating Mothers' day. The very feeling you get by doing so is serene. I bet you'd tell me that it made you happy and you felt her blessings as well!

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