On Mother’s Day, the day before yesterday, MUM was the word! On Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp – the app for the Digitally challenged – it was the Word of the Day! It was trending and in some cases heart rending, and heart bending. But not heart mending!
For #metoo! I know a lot about her because she is, sorry, she was me mum, but mum’s the word! And I’ll tell you why! I can tell the world about her, but they will not understand; what I felt about her, how I felt about what she did for me, and I can tell her too – but I didn’t and she’s not around. Not anymore. I yearn to change that, but I can’t say it aloud – so mum’s the word. In more ways than one! As you will see! Stay mum and read on!
It’s but a word, but it conjures up everything a magician can bring out of his hat. And it’s best not to be mum about it. But I am. I am MUM struck! Just as I was, when I did something wrong but rightly so – in my opinion! I would say, “but Mum, it didn’t strike me, to look at it that way,” and then she would strike me, so
I could look at it that way!
Was Mum dumb to have me? Sometimes I thought so! But she never thought so! I presume! She didn’t tell me that I was her first choice – but then neither did I; till she died! She endured the pain of my birth and would have endured / enjoyed the yield from my girth, because it was my prosperity she betted on – there was no IPL in those days – and promoted always.
Nursing and nurture came naturally to her till she was consigned to nature. She stood by me always, though in my teenage years, at a distance; but she was there at every instance – she was my Constance, my conscience, eager to forgive, to support, to build rapport and sometimes, rarely, report me too, and I didn’t even say thank you, except at her funeral service. By then it was too late and there was no 5G in heaven, though Huawei tried. Till then Mum was the word!
“Mum, where is this; Mum, where is that. Mum, why are you asking me; Mum, I don’t know, don’t irritate me; Mum, what’s for breakfast; Mum its paining; Mum, can you bring me a coffee? I’m falling asleep! Mum, I’m getting Married!” And when I had mumps, all I could say was MUM, because she was what I had!
Mum was the word when it came to asking her how she felt or a simple how was your day? can I help you with anything? Or just saying thank you for being there; mum was indeed the word! And now that she’s gone. Mum is a word I can no longer use, so mum’s the word.
Mum’s the word, when you feel pain, when you feel there is no gain, when you see the world differently from others. Not square; not round, but slightly elliptical? When glum’s more like it. What do you say? What can you say? Mum’s the word any which way!
Mum’s the word when you read the newspapers. It has to be. Dumb can be the word but saying it would be dumb. So, mum’s the word – but you don’t say it. You stay it. The headlines come in doses fit to snooze, snare, and even bamboozle a bull. And sometimes so much is Bull!! That’s why. Is this where the word Bulldoze came from? Or did it come from an actual Bulldozer – the machine invented by James Cummings and J. Earl McLeod in Morrowville, Kansas in 1923 that made construction easy because it could ensure destruction preceded it! It’s always on the front / Home page these days in the form of Joseph Cyril Bamford (JCB) branded machine! He’s an English man by the way and we Indians just love his machines for what they can do for us! Destroy our colonial baggage!
Or did it come from when Mum ransacked my cupboard for clues to my behaviour and all you could do was say MUM! That sounded seditious and there is a law against it – Section 124A in The Indian Penal Code – or stay mum!
Let me quote it for a better understanding in context! I don’t want to bulldoze or even put you in a doze!
“Sedition.—Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, 102 [***] the Government established by law in 103 [India], [***] shall be punished with 104 [imprisonment for life], to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine. Explanation 1.—The expression “disaffection” includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity. Explanation 2.—Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt, or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section. Explanation 3.—Comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt, or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.”
And MUM was the government! She handled the reins of power; she made the rules, no matter what Dad said. The other option was to stay mum. I often chose the latter so as not to be seditious. I couldn’t be disaffected, when all she did, was for me, my prosperity, out of affection! Even if she used the bulldozer to show it! See how I’ve prospered because she used it?
So, mum’s the word my friend. And I’ll stay that way until next week
But let me leave you with some food for thought so that you can stay mum too!
The ‘mum’ in the expression ‘mum’s the word’ is derived from the humming sound a closed mouth makes, indicating an inability or unwillingness to speak. The word ‘mum’ was first used by William Langland in his 1376 work Piers Plowman, and the expression itself became popular in the 16th century. You’ll find it in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2: “Seal up your lips and give no words but mum.”
Or MUM! If she’s still around!
This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.
Image by Tiểu Bảo Trương