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The Sassy Side of Sixty: Mother’s Day

by Aiden

Dolly Koghar gives her generation’s take on poignant moments with their mothers.

Ever since 1950, when Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother ascended the throne, 12th August has meant Mother’s Day to us in Amazing Thailand. Nevertheless, there was no fanfare back in our days for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Teacher’s Day, or Senior’s Day; nor did we need to be nudged to treat any of them with respect and courtesy on those circled dates. They deserved to be treated that way, every day, for as long as they lived, because amongst them, were those to whom we owed our very existence; those who had made it their primary duty to keep us safe and cared for; and others to whom we remain indebted to, for teaching us how to survive and thrive on our own two feet.

Consequentially, almost everybody I talked to couldn’t recall anything drastically different or special about Mother’s Day, but what it did do was invoke plenty of mushy and poignant memories from the carefree days of a childhood of long ago:

  • This friend lost her mum in her late teens, and the memory she holds dear to her heart is, “The seemingly-ordinary tradition of cooking together with my mum, simple meals – fried rice, pizza or even a pronthee, and then sharing it in front of the TV, watching an Indian movie or daytime soaps.”

  • This lady’s shared short years with her Bijee (mum) before she succumbed to an illness and what she recollects most, is of herself being very naughty and troublesome; but then, which child isn’t?

  • Yet another reminisces that she’d probably let her mother down by failing to meet her expectations.

  • Hospitalised and having been told by the doctor of an invasive procedure needed, with a deadpan face her mother muttered in her mother-tongue, that she’d like to kick the doctor; which made both mother and daughter burst out laughing, much to the confusion of the doctor.

  • This femme is often seen elegantly draped in saris, a reflection her fondest memories of watching her mum so effortlessly draping saris on herself.

  • This friend cherishes the short time shared with her newly-widowed mum in her upcountry home, and the soap phuangmalai she presented to her dear mother on a chanced Mother’s Day during that trip. The day continued with a night bazaar escapade, where they so exhausted themselves and sat on the sidewalk panting but happy.

  • This woman remembers as fresh as if it was yesterday an evening walk, soon after marriage, with her mother, who then expanded on some verses from the Sukhmani prayers.

  • This no-nonsense woman feels that honouring mums on one special day is like ticking a to-do box, and today, she’d give anything for that warm hug and a kiss on the head that her mum used to give on returning from her travels.

  • This daughter warmly remembers the day when she and her mum, who was widowed young, became little girls playing dress-up with the pearl necklaces that she’d brought along to entertain her mum with. Then that mesmerised look on Mummy dearest’s face when she was wheelchaired through Central’s annual Flower Show on that singular Mother’s Day.

  • This homey lady had a special memory of Mother’s Day on her mum’s visit to Bangkok, and how enthralled and excited she was with their visit to Wat Pho.

  • The gentleman’s poignant memory is how his mother, though suffering from back and knee pains, forged a special bond with his children from the time they came home swaddled from hospital. Her cooing and the soothing lori she sang to them reminded him so much of his own amazing childhood, which he hopes to bequeath to his children.

  • For this other gentleman, it was the simple and mundane early morning routine at taking turns to brew his mum’s special tea recipe, and the unforgettable morning when she said he’d finally perfected it.

  • Breathing his last, the mighty Alexander the Great or Sikandar to us Indians, wanted nothing more than a last chance to see his beloved mother, Olympias.

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