By Langston Hughes
Mighty Britain, tremble!
Let your empire’s standard sway
Let it break entirely—
My Gandhi fasts today
You may think it foolish—
That there’s no truth in what I say—
That all of Asia’s watching
As Gandhi fasts today
All of Asia’s watching
And I am watching, too,
For I am also jim crowed –
As India is jim crowed by you.
You know quite well, Great Britain
That it is not right
To starve and beat and oppress
Those who are not white.
Of course, we do it too.
Here in the U.S.A.
May Gandhi’s prayers help us, as well
As he fasts today.
“Children are such couch potatoes these days. They prefer video games over Basketball. Even I am okay with it. I don’t want them to be sweaty, tanned children?’’
“ My daughter is my world- our single child. But she is getting fatter and fatter. Now she just doesn’t go to play in the park. She says her friends call her Moti (Fatso).’’
Mothers will be mothers. We dote on our children, we know their follies and we make them mend their ways too. It’s just that children are smarter than us. For them our Actions do speak louder than our preaching. So when they see us sitting at home in the evenings watching our favourite daily soaps, they too find opportunities to hang around and avoid outdoor games. This made three of us, mothers of daughters living in the same building to do something to move our daughters to the streets.
On second October last year, we decided to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on the street, but not sweeping the streets but playing funny races with our daughters. Games were finalized and the girls chose to share the eatables. A day prior girls had a meeting, cards were made and invitations exchanged.
Seriously, we were ready to organize some funny sports races for our daughters. The neighbourhood was full of energy and excitement.
We decided that we would forego our sweet dreams in the early mornings and started the events early at seven.
The girls were so excited that they got up early and were ready wearing their sports gear.
They chalked out the start and finish lines on the road itself.
And we started!
We began with slow walking race, three-legged race, Hunt the coin and run race and concluded with a skating race.
Then the girls had a break.
They had enjoyed the races so much, as all had won one or the other race.
So everyone had something to talk about.
Mommies had made some lemonade, pop-corn and some munchies which the girls shared with each other.
Even the youngest toddler was so excited at seeing the Didis( elder sisters) run and make merry.
Then the mothers narrated stories from their school times which made the girls giggle and laugh heartily.
The merriment ended with a delicious Jalebis race.
The girls were so engrossed in eating the hot, crispy Jalebis that they forgot to run back and complete the race.
But we mothers were happy, at least they were all together and eating something other than junk food and chocolates, for a change.
We are not sure whether the girls will associate 02nd October with Gandhiji this year. But even though they are not together anymore, they will definitely remember to come out and test their grit, 02nd October.
The Runs for Fun and the shared eatables, odd jobs ended with claps for all of us, some selfish selfies, lots of claps but no prizes since we didn’t want to rate them the first or last.
Finally, they are all our darlings and we just wanted them to put their best foot forward and enjoy life.
Mothers want them to be ready when the time comes to do the EKALA CHALO RE act.
And we all know they will…….. Just like Kasturba and Gandhiji.