Reflections on Mother’s Day

By Published On: 7 May '22Last Updated: 6 Jun '22

When the special day for mothers comes around every May, it brings with it many memories of the past. Every April/May my garden is full of pink camelias, and I remember my mother even more strongly than usual. Born with green fingers, she loved flowers of any kind but her most favourite flowers were colourful roses (loved to grow and admire them), Udupi Jasmine (Shankarapura Mallige – loved wearing on her hair) and abolim (small orange flowers – used to grow them at home).

Today, I pause and give thanks to God and share memories of my mother. Today I take some intentional time and celebrate my mother and grandmother who have both shaped me.

roses, Udupi jasmine and abolim

Yellow roses

PINK ROSES

champagne roses

Udupi Jasmine before they are bloomed

Udupi Jasmine

Abolim

but who needs a mother’s day to honour the woman who gave me life?

My mother was born in Belman (Belmannu), a small town in Karkala Taluk of Udupi District, in India. She grew in a simple household where values of faith, compassion and service were ingrained in her from childhood.

I was blessed to be raised by a Catholic mother. I am the baby of the family, being the fifth and the last child of my parents.

My mother was an amazing woman – loving, kind, compassionate and not sophisticated. She had only eight years of schooling because when my mother was growing up at the turn of the 20th century, girls were not given much education, but if she had been educated, she could have gone a long way, especially as a teacher or a nurse. Although she had limited education, she gave me the gift of education, her love of animals, singing, cooking, and wreath making (although my mother made wreaths only with fresh ferns and flowers). My mother made sure we had everything we needed when we were growing up.

My mother made sure we had supplies for school. She insisted that we do our homework and try our best. She led us to church and volunteered for St Vincent De Paul, visiting homes of the poor. She was a pious woman and she along with our grandmother taught us to walk with our religion.

I was blessed to have a Catholic grandmother. She loved us and adored us. We always looked up to our grandma (Alice Coelho). She was down to earth and very intelligent. She always complimented us when we got good results in our exams. She shaped our lives by always being there to make recommendations on how to improve. Her capacity for appreciation was boundless. There are so many memories and stories of my grandma.

My mother passed on her love of animals to me and I have taught the love of animals to my son, who adores animals of any kind. Budgies, cockatoos, dogs, fish and many more. Here’s some gorgeous photos of our pets to share!

PRINCE enjoying a cuddle with his buddy

Prince enjoying a cuddle with me

Our son, with his pet PRINCE

PRINCE on my son’s 21st birthday

Prince looking smart for visitors

Prince playing chess with his buddy

Rainbow fish in the home fish tank

Flower Horn in the home fish tank

My husband, son and myself simply love cooking whether as a family or individually. Our cooking journey together has been amazing. I have little doubt that cooking and sharing cooked food is in the family and it is obvious from some of the images of our cooked food!! Enjoy the slide show of the food cooked by our son, my hubby and myself!

My mother’s life was an ocean of love and service, pouring constant comfort to her husband, young family and all who knew her. I am constantly in awe of my mother’s capacity to love even when most of her life was like a hurricane.

According to her, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about dancing in the rain” and dancing she did, from the time she was 16 (the age she got married) till January 2013 when she sadly passed away after a few months of battling the side effects of a massive stroke.

Having married at the tender age of 16, my mother learnt to be wise from the lessons of her life. A young mother of five and not having much by way of worldly possessions, she created a haven for us where we all felt safe. She taught her children to be decent, honest, to work-hard, to respect others and to have an ambition in life. She taught me to sew, sing and appreciate the most-simple things in life. Unfortunately, I can sew just to save myself and would not call myself a seamstress by any account!!

wreath decorating DURING CHRISTMAS

I enjoy creating wreaths and gifting them to my family and friends. Below are some good examples of wreaths I have created and shared. Thank you ma!

holiday at mai’s house (grandma)

My greatest treat as a child was when my mother took us for summer vacations to our Mai’s (Grand-mother’s) house in Belmannu or Belman. We would most often take a bus to get there but on many occasions my mother would hire a taxi to save time.

No sooner we sat in the taxi, my mother would ask us to sing, as she loved singing. Some of her favourite songs were “Edelweiss”, “She’ll be coming down the mountains when she comes…” or “Oh a Lady come from China, ting-a-ling-a-ling ting-ting-ting-ting”!! Occasionally, she would also ask me to sing “But you love me daddy” (which was my childhood favourite song) and some Konkani and Tulu songs too to round off the trip!! Eg., Aami dougi shezara, yethav kazarak!!

I felt so close to my mother then and I thought that my mother was the most wonderful woman in the world.

Wreath decorating workshop with friends during Christmas 2021 (me in the centre)

My mother had so little during her lifetime. An old-fashioned kitchen and no modern appliances that we take for granted today. No refrigerator hence the milk was propped up on a rope that hung from the ceiling to keep it safe from the cats. No washing machine but a large square block of jelly stone propped up on a concrete base, used as a scrubbing board and a hand-held plastic brush.

No fancy cooking appliances except for a small pressure cooker and she cooked the most delicious meals with mostly home grown produce and raised a big family.

There was no television of course, but we had a small brown leather cased portable transistor radio and all the family would gather around every morning at 7.30 am to listen to our favourite morning broadcast – the songs from the “Voice of the People” from Radio Ceylon (the first radio station in Asia) and we would sing along. My favourite was “ Rasputin” – Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian Queen” by Boney M. After all those years, believe me you, I still sing it!!!

The present name for Radio Ceylon is Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.

The four significant events in my life were getting a telephone, a gas stove, a refrigerator and a steel Godrej cupboard/wardrobe with an attached mirror and in-built compartments. The Godrej cupboard came right in my teenage years and dressing a saree in front of the full length mirror was life’s greatest joys then!!

“There is no role in life that is more essential than that of motherhood.”

—Elder M. Russell Ballard

Being a mother is not easy, and we are often our own worst critics but not a day goes by when I am not proud of my son.

Life moves on but not a day goes by without thinking of my mother in some context.

I have taught my son to appreciate and enjoy the food that my mother used to cook for me.

Everything changes, except for the flavour of love that I still taste in the food I cook from her recipes.

I have travelled the world and changed countries, but I still find myself using many of her expressions in my daily life.

I have achieved things my mother never dreamed of, but I see her image when I look in the mirror upon my every achievement.

Life moves on, everything changes, yet what always remains constant is a MOTHER’S LOVE!

Most of us have been blessed by a mother or someone like a mother in our lives. Mother’s Day is a time to pause, remember, give thanks to God and share our gratitude with those who have shaped us.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in my life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the ‘to be mums’.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the grandmothers, stepmothers, mothers-in-law and God mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day to my sisters, sisters-in-law, aunts and all the women who love with a mother’s heart!!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mother in heaven, who I always admire, appreciate and love!

Lavina with Deliciously Indian

Hi, I’m Catherine!

I’m all about creating tasty Indian dishes with whatever’s on hand, even when I’m short on time or budget. I love turning simple ingredients into flavorful delights. Join me on this culinary adventure where we’ll explore the magic of Indian cuisine, one delicious dish at a time!