Almost all religions in the World preach "Sacrifice is the greatest virtue". My mom, my Aai says "Make others Happy, Happiness will return to you manifold". My Aai is an Expert Human Being and she does not need to wear a "Being Human" T-shirt to understand what "Being Human" is all about.
Almost all people say that their moms are the expert cooks. Everybody goes gaga over their mothers' cooking expertise ... They say, "Nobody cooks Gajar ka Halwa / Butter chicken / Methi Thepla, Dhokla / Machcher Zol, Mishti doi / Idlee, Dosai, Vada / Puran-Poli, Alu-vadi / Makke di Roti , Sarson da saag / Dum Biryani, Rogan josh / Payasam, Avial etc. like my mom".
I say,"My Aai cooks most delicious Varan, Bhaat, Bhaji, Chapati ( Dal, Rice, Subzi, Roti ) under the Sun, over the Earth. So what? So nothing. My mom is the First Expert in simple, everyday routine life.
In the early Eighties, when television was the most sought-after luxury in Mumbai' middle-class homes. My mother decided "Instead of a TV set we need a Godrej refrigerator". My father asked "Craving for a refrigerator is fine but why Godrej"?. My mother cast an admiring look at our second generation Godrej storewell and uttered "Godrej means Trust, Godrej means Quality. None can beat Godrej". Bowled over by my Mom's Expert common-sense my father bought the Godrej refrigerator.
We were the 1st family in the whole Municipal-colony to enjoy the Godrej-made Mango ice-cream that summer. Summer never felt so cool and glamorous. My mother was happy to share her Godrej with neighbors, by storing their assorted vegetables, fruits, milk, ice-creams in our refrigerator. All the guests were treated to cool water, fruit slices in general and Aam Panhe, Kokam sarbat especially in Summer.
"Health is Wealth" is my mom's Expert Mantra. Our Godrej refrigerator kept our fruits, vegetables, milk, curd , eggs etc. fresh and cool. Our everyday meals became healthier and fancier due to mom's decision to buy a refrigerator instead of an Idiot Box.
Later, we did buy a Television set, but mom decided which content-rich edutainment TV programs to watch and which stupid serials to switch off. Mom had a simple rule. If any of us watched a TV program, banned by her, she will not talk to us for a whole day.
Just imagine, mom not talking to us for 24 hours ! Out of those 24 hours, 8 were sleeping hours, 5 were school hours plus 1 play hour. Still there were 10 BIG hours remaining, when Mom won't be talking. What horrible suffering just for a stupid TV program!. As we grew up, we stopped watching TV altogether and enjoyed reading thousands of books from our in-house library. Our father donated the TV set to an orphanage in Vikramgarh, while our neighbors grumbled about their children wasting time in front TV and low grades in exams.
Some people say , " NO TV ? How boring, How do you spend time?". We answer, "We have just enough time to read so many wonderful books, magazines. We have subscribed to 10 newspapers daily. We have 24 hours Internet-connectivity through which we get instant news, whatever happening all over the world is just a click away. Plus we don't have enough patience to mull over the never-ending Saas-Bahu sagas".
My Mom's strictness regarding TV watching magnetized us towards the brilliant books, saved our eye-sights, nurtured our creative talents and focused our mindsets. Due to NO TV , we gained more time to play, paint pictures, write letters to penfriends and study. Most importantly instead of being Couch Potatoes we became Apples of Aai's Eyes.