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ALPANA GHOSH

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 3/10/2015 |




MAGIC OF ‘MA’

I became very sad after watching a programme on TV chanel on female foeticide in Rajasthan, Bihar, Haryana and many other places. Statistics were given showing which state have the highest rate of female foeticide. I was not interested in the statistics, crust of the programme made me pensive.
                  
It is India where female are regarded as Goddess. All types of blessing which people want; bestowed upon by Goddess only. Wealth: Goddess Laxmi, learning: Goddess Saraswati and most important valor is given by Ma Durga. These forms are worshipped from ages, then why in this country female child are killed even before they are   born? What went wrong? From where then Shakti (Valour) will come? Who will look after home and let males to prosper? Who will bless males with learning?
                              
In ancient ages women were given proper respect, so we had learned women like  Gargi, Maitreyi, Lilavati and so on  . What has gone wrong? Why then people do not want to have girls in their home? Swami Vivekananda the great prophet said “ all nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women, That  country, that nation do not respect woman never become great, nor will ever be in future. Yes the ‘respect’ is the word that   seems to be fading fast into oblivion. There was a time when older people met young girls and used to address them in this way: ‘How are you, little mother’?

Years have passed since then. I grew up, went to school, and in the process learnt about the annoyances girls have to put up with while travelling. I became so conscious of my existence I wanted to keep myself at a safe distance from people around me, and it had almost become a reflex action with me. Through for   this attitude I have sometimes hurt innocent people, but I did not want to risk my honor at any cost.

One day, however, it so happened that I was travelling by local bus, an elderly man was making his way through the crowded bus, while I was standing near the exit. As I was preparing to make myself as safe as I could, I suddenly heard a voice: Can you move a bit, ma?’ I was so shocked; it was the first time in my life that I felt no need to use any defense mechanisms. This is the magic that the word ‘Ma’ carries. I choked, ashamed of myself; I stood motionless as if I had become a serpent quieted by the flute of a snake charmer. After that day I wished someone else would call me by that   name. Fortunately a lady in my neighborhood still calls me   by that name.

               
That event made me realize for the first time the importance of the word ‘Ma’, its strength, the respect and affection hidden in the word. But nowadays they are hardly ever heard anywhere, it seems  rather it is a trend to call girls ‘hot’, ‘sexy’, ‘chic’, and  even worse, the girls seem to enjoy it. Well, I do not blame them, because most of these children have never heard such an honorable and respectful way of addressing them as the one shown by that man in the bus; and even if they hear something similar today, they think it outdated.

The word ‘ma’ is so beautiful; it is associated with so much purity, sacrifice, love, affection and one-pointed devotion towards the child. It is a word that can light the hearts of both the caller and the called. Sri Ramakrishna worshipped Goddess Kali as mother and he merged in a relationship of mother and child throughout his life. The word ‘ma’ used to bring out the Divine Mother in him. Such is the power of that word. If it can bring divine joy to Sri Ramakrishna, can this word not bring purity in this mundane world of ours, can it not  put an end to all the evils done against women, the main cause of which is disrespect towards them?

Addressing a woman as ‘ma’ is, to me, the most beautiful way of calling a woman. When I hear this, I feel my soul elevating to a higher level; it is giving me the power to defend the honor and purity associated with it, at any cost ? Addressing a woman as ‘ma’ is, to me, the most beautiful way of calling a woman. The  word ‘ma’ seems to be a gift carrying the power of all the sacrifices done, all the love showered upon, all the dedication offered to children by all the mothers of the world. ‘Ma’, the word is more respectable than the word ‘respect’ itself.

Western ideal of womanhood is the wife, while the Eastern ideal is the mother. This is one   of the privileges that we have inherited by being born in the holy land of India, a privilege that anyone in the world can also enjoy by adhering to this powerful word ‘ma’, which can fill our planet with light and warmth.

I wonder what would happen if every man was capable of seeing women, beyond his wife, sister, and mother, as his own mother, as  Swami Vivekananda had suggested long ago? At least half the evils of the world would simply vanish. And, why only men? Women also have to remember their greatest identity, an identity that nothing in the world should take away, an identity bestowed upon them by nature, which comes at birth and goes only at death, if it goes at all. If a man is not married, he may never become a father, but a woman can never part with her motherly nature. Such an indivisible quality is this motherhood. It may be temporarily clouded by emotions, but it can never be completely erased from her character. It is such a powerful gift of nature that even animals cannot keep it at bay, what to say of humans?

Teach the world the name ‘Ma’. You have descended upon earth in the form of Ma. Let us realize the magic of this word, which will surely
come  to our rescue. Start from our home and from now.

[ALPANA GHOSH]





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