On Mother’s Love: A Story & Poem

Every man or woman who is sane, every man or woman who has the feeling of being a person in the world, and for whom the world means something, every happy person, is in infinite debt to a woman.

Donald Winnicott


As a young child, I remember vividly, when my mother kept telling me this story, it left a very powerful impression on me. It seized me so powerfully, I could not stop thinking about it – up till today. What was in it? Was it the ability of the story to grasp in no uncertain way, the very essence of the incredible mother’s love to her child? This essence was so strong it is shaking me even today. It is only a story, but in it there is the actual spirit of that transcendental love, which is unconceivable by regular mind.

(There is an incident in which a mother has lifted a whole bus from above her child laying injured, underneath).

And now here is the story, now in an Indian style: 

The Story

“Once upon a time, in Calcutta, a boy fell deeply in love with a girl. But he waited. He finished college, got a job and said, ‘Ok, now I can take care of you, let’s get married.’
The girl said, ‘no. I cannot marry you, because you live with your mother and she controls you. I don’t want to live with a mother-in-law who is always going to control me. I will always have fights with her. I don’t want to marry you.’
‘okay,’ said the boy. ‘I will talk to my mother.’ So he does, and he comes back to the girl the next day and tells her, ‘Okay, I can live separately in an apartment with you and she won’t disturb us.’ ‘No,no’says the girl. ‘she will come. Every mother controls her son in India.’
‘Okay, then we will move to another state,’ the boy offers.
‘No,’ the girl replies, ‘she will come.’ Exasperated, the boy asks, ‘What do you want me to do?’
The girl thinks a moment, then replies, ‘I will make you a deal. If you kill your mother, then I will marry you. And to prove it, you have to bring me her heart on a plate.’
‘How can you be so cruel and heartless?’ the boy exclaims. Later, he goes to see his mother, He is clearly very sad, and his mother asks, ‘Son, what happened to you? Tell me.’
So the boy tells his mother the whole story. The mother laughs. ‘That’s all? Why didn’t you tell me before? Your happiness is my happiness. Your life is my life. I’ll do anything for you. Because I love you, happily I will die. I will lie down and you can cut my heart out. Here’s the knife; now get to work!’
Together, the mother and son do this thing. The boy takes the still-warm heart and runs as fast as he can back to his girlfriend. Just as he is almost to her door, he slips and falls. The heart flies in the air, but he manages to catch it with the plate. He looks down at his mother’s heart and it says to him, ‘Son, are you okay? Did you hurt yourself?’ “

Retold by Bikram Choudhury

The Poem

Our Mother’s Love

Our mother’s love is beyond our comprehension.
Beyond all loves.
Never expects, never gets disappointed,
Never put any conditions.
Total and Absolute.

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