From the time I was born, I knew love and compassion by looking at her face. Always brave about showing her emotions — a frown, never lasts on her face more than a fleeting moment. She might even have a tear drop lingering on her long lashes from some hurtful words, but she wipes away her sorrow not with a harsh retort but an optimistic laugh. I have seen my mother’s face lacking makeup but never lacking a smile. Still remember her fingers over my forehead, trying to straighten out the scrunched skin. She will not have me frown!

She does not have a lot of advanced degrees to prove it but she has a super intelligent brain. She is very perceptive about people’s behavior. She lives and breathes thinking out of the box, experimentation and innovation and applies them to daily problems. She does that with enthusiasm and a few occasional failures never dampens her spirit.

She is the Florence Nightingale I know. She has cared for my sick grandparents better than professional nurses. She also acquired a significant knowledge about Homeopathic medicines, through caring for my brother, who suffered from asthma at a very young age. Besides, she happens to have a melodious voice of a nightingale!

She was a pillar that supported me through the most trying times when I was growing up. Yet she is not blind in her compassion. When the time came, she let me go explore the world as an adult. She has honest feedback for me that is never sugar-coated. It feels harsh but helps me grow. My parents made me what I am today.

Last week I prepared a favorite Indian snack, for my kids. The two high schoolers munched happily, talking about their day. I resisted the question “Do you like it?” In my mind I had countless images of my mother cooking for us, mixing her love and innovation in her delicious creations. My brother and I had relished them, often forgetting to acknowledge the gastronomic party it created in our mouth.

Most human beings find their mother to be the most beautiful lady in the world. I know it is a reality, in my case. When she was bedridden with a bout of debilitating sickness, I feared I had lost her. Fortunately, she recovered well and is still going strong with her indomitable spirit. I drew a sketch that captured the picture etched in my mind. Here it is – presenting my Mother:

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