Preeti Rao Lali. Many people claim to know her and her story, but most of you really don’t. One day, I will wrote a book about her and her journey, because it’s a tale worth telling people about. But today, I’m going to shine some light on one of the many faces of the uncut diamond that she is.
I don’t think most people know what an amazing mother Preeti Lali is. Other than those who are close to me and her, no one gets to hear all the antics she and I get up to or the amount of bullshit we take from each other.
Relationships may come and go, but for everyone, their relationship with one’s mother is a never ending journey. And I am not talking only about the unconditional love that parents are capable of. I am talking about the relationship between two growing individuals who happen to be bound by the sacred bond of unconditional love.
She and I had a rough start, I basically hated her, well as much as any 6 year old can hate his/her mother. She was, for all intents and purposes, a single mother raising a 5 year old pathological liar in a foreign country, couldn't really blame her for being hard on me. Oh but I did blame her, for a long time. It was when I turned 13 and started showing signs of being emotionally closed off and non-communicating, that my mother decided to really sit up and change our relationship. And within the year, our relationship had gone from mother-daughter daily tantrums, to being each other’s closest confidants.
My mother takes the parenting style of ‘learning from her mistakes’ very seriously. That’s why, at an early age, she told me about all of her biggest mistakes. If I was not already mature by the age of 13 that sure did the trick. It may not have prevented me from making almost the exact same mistakes, but it gave me the comfort of knowing that the woman I idolized today, had gone through something similar and that made her approachable. Because contrary to most teenage beliefs, I knew she meant it when she said ‘I understand.’
At the age of 51, my mother is the most modern and forward thinking mother I have met till date. She is liberal, vocal and unbiased. She talks about things that were tabooed in her time, such as alcohol, smoking, drugs, sex, homosexuality or colour and gender discrimination. She and I have extremely honest and open discussions about these topics and our personal experiences related to them. And at the end of them, we have this weird sensation because we realize that according to the norm, the things we have shared with each other, are highly inappropriate, given the nature of our relationship that is. I have yet to come across a mother-daughter relationship as honest as ours.
My mom, my amma, is my best friend. She is my task manager and my trouble-shooter. She knows something is wrong the minute she hears my voice over the phone and she will always want to talk about it endlessly. I am thankful for our relationship no matter how inappropriate some people might deem it. I am glad that the minute I have career or relationship problems, I can come to you with them. I am even happier that I can do the same for you, because that is the unique thing about you and me, I am your best friend too.
We fight, say nasty things to each other which are horribly effective because we know one another’s weak spots, but then with each fight, we grow and understand each other better. We have helped one another grow more than we realize. And with each passing day, our relationship dynamics change ever so slightly, but never for the worse. I have watched you become the beautiful human being you are today, and I watch you better yourself every single day. The strength and determination you have shown in your life is commendable, and I can only hope that when people say, “You’re so much like your mom.” that they’re right.
Happy Mother’s Day.