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(C.3) Am I or am I not? (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
“I don’t understand, Vilminha. You made pretty clear to me that your parents always wanted to have a girl. They tried really hard. I am sure when they got you they were satisfied.”

“Perhaps at that time. But later when my mum realized that my nature was different, and I wasn’t the kind of girl she wanted me to be, I suppose she felt frustrated.”

“I still don’t believe it. Why?”

“Maybe I am wrong, I don’t know. There are just some things in me that I feel she never liked. I am more like my daddy, but I must admit, some things in me are similar to her as well. Oh, I don’t know anymore. I just remember that in my childhood I felt I wasn’t the girl she was so anxious to have as a daughter. I didn’t play with dolls, and if I did, I played that they were my students, and I was their teacher, I never played that I was their mother, never played that I was cooking, and my mother loves to cook.”

“You don’t know how to cook?”

“I do, but I didn’t learn it from her. I should have because my mum is such a good cook, and she tried to teach me, but I wasn’t interested in cooking at the time she was interested in teaching it. And this is why I say I disappointed her.”

“When did you learn how to cook, then?”

“I learned it at the time I joined my guru’s mission. As I said, I had joined the only religion that doesn’t consider gluttony a sin. I am mostly kidding, you know. As I told you, we use to offer our food to the deities, so actually I learned to cook Indian food, I don’t know much about Brazilian cuisine. Well, lately I know some, I learned from her this later, not when I was supposed to learn.”

“But eventually you did. She got her opportunity to teach you how to cook Brazilian dishes.”

“But later than I was supposed to learn.”

“Vilminha, don’t be too hard on yourself.”

“And what about giving her grandchildren?”

“What about it? Did she want you to give her grandchildren?”

“Hm…thinking back, probably not. Once when I brought the subject up, she said ‘You see, Vilma, this is something the three of us must discuss seriously.’

“What did she mean by that?”

“She knew my ex and I were always travelling and if we had children she would be the one to take care of them. So I guess she meant the three of us would have to think together if we wanted to have that kind of responsibility.”

“From what I can see she’d rather not have had grandchildren, and you didn’t fail on her on that.”

“Hmm, perhaps I didn’t.”

“So, what’s the problem, Vilminha? Why do you keep saying you were not the one she always wanted to have as a daughter?”

“I don’t know. I suppose because I am not like her. I didn’t give my life to my husband, I didn’t have children, I am too intellectual, and I am too depressive. She is positive, and really strong.”

“You are also strong. Everything you did in your life, everything you are doing, requires strength. How can you not consider yourself strong? Besides, you followed your mother’s footsteps in Yoga, you even became a Yoga teacher. I am sure she is proud of you because of that.”

“Oh, that is a possibility. You know, sometimes I had to introduce her to my clients and students, because many times I told them about my mum, and they wanted to meet her. Every time they talked to her, they praised me, they said to her that I was an amazing person, they said many things about me. There were also always parties at my institute, we called it ‘Night in India’, a once monthly charity event to collect donations to send to India. I ran the institute at my mother’s house, because of its size, and we arranged things nicely. The guests ate Indian food, prasada of course. We had Indian dance, the bharatanatyan, and many kinds of activities. Every time we did a different thing. My students and clients enjoyed those parties very much. It was also a chance for my clients and students to meet my mum, and they always talked about me. I suppose she felt proud of me, but still I think I’m not the person who she wanted me to be.”

“Oh, Lord, how will I be able to convince you that she is happy with the girl she’s got?”

“You see, Sam, I think my brothers satisfied her more than I did. Especially Hrday. Even on the day he died he was cooking. In fact, at the very moment he died, he was cooking. If you want to conquer my mother’s heart, go to the kitchen and start cooking with her. I only went to the kitchen recently, when she started having health problems. Before that, I never had time.”

“So cooking is the only way to conquer her heart?”

“I don’t know, maybe there are other ways, I am trying, trying so hard.”

“Did she never say that she loves you?”

“My mother is not that kind of person, she doesn’t express her affection with words or hugs and kisses. Her affection is expressed with service, with work, with food. This is why even now, at the age of 82, she still can’t leave the kitchen, she cooks and cooks, and keeps preparing those delicious dishes, which I can’t help but eat. You know, Sam, lately, every time she cooks, I kneel for the first bite.”

“Oh, no, dandavats again?”

“No, not complete dandavats. I just kneel and take the first bite. For so long I thought she wouldn’t be able to cook ever again, and I feel so grateful that she is still cooking, that I can’t help it, I must go down to my knees.”

“And how does she feel about that?”

“Well, she says ‘No, Vilminha, no, it is not necessary. It is only a simple thing. I wish I was able to cook something more exquisite, but this is all I can do right now.’ But she knows she’s still got it, and her food is still delicious, so I must kneel down.”

“I am sure your mother loves you. And you? Oh, you… you love her.”

“Yes, I do, I do love her.”

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