Article by Ain Wani, Cover Photo by Isam Wani
Mothers of Kashmir have seen and endured a big deal of bloodshed around them. There are thousands of women who’ve lost their children to the struggle of freedom and they’re living with it with immense strength and courage. To live with the pain of having lost a piece of your own heart requires extraordinary courage. And we salute Kashmiri mothers, Pandit, Muslim and Sikh for that.
Mothers are creatures blessed with divine qualities with one amongst them being the ability to sacrifice and mothers of Kashmir ace this trait. You’d often hear them saying things like ‘Balai lagai’ ‘Rati chaep lagai’ ‘Zu panun vandai’ to their children which all in all mean ‘may all your hardships be mine’ ‘May all your mis-happenings occur to me instead’
Picture credit @shahfahadraja location Tosa Maidan
‘The extraordinary ability to feed’
We all know that Kashmiri women can insist each other so much on eating more than required food that it could almost sound like a mini war from afar. And so Kashmiri moms are ‘pro’ at feeding their children any chance they get. Specially when you come back home from a hostel, you cannot go back without piling on a few extra pounds.
Photo credit Isam Wani @isamwani , Location Sonamarg
‘Expression of love’
Of all the languages I know, Kashmiri is the most expressive language. Kashmiri mothers express their love towards their children in heart warming phrases like ‘Zu myon’ (My life!) ‘Jigar’ (A piece of my heart) Gobur myon (My loving child)
Photo by Mike Prince
‘Gathering things for the child’s marriage’
In Kashmir, there’s a tradition of gifting one’s daughter with gold, copper (traam), beautifully embroidered shawls and pherans with tilla work done on them (exclusive Kashmiri embroidery done with a silver or golden thread) on her marriage. All these goodies together are called ‘Vardan’. And Kashmiri mothers gift their daughters their own ‘vardan’ apart from what they buy for them afresh.
Photo credit @arjunkamath87 , location outskirts of Pahalgam
‘Hugs and kisses’
Nobody can match the warmth of a Kashmiri mother’s embrace. They’d wrap you into a huge bear hug and have a typical style of kissing. The Moujis would smother you with a series of kisses on your forehead and cheeks. Also typical and characteristic of them is kissing the backside of your hand. The love is such that you can never miss it and it will definitely warm up your heart.
Photo credit: @kashmirthroughmylens, Location Makhdoom Sahab
‘Vohvu’ full of love
Our mothers scold us in a very unique manner. When they get mad,they get really mad. So they’d say things to their kids like ‘Naar di yiman kitaban’ sarcastically which means ‘Set your books on fire’ ,’Paei trath,tche mandchawak aes’ (May you get struck with lightning, you’ll put our name to shame). But the moment someone else sets a finger at their child, they wouldn’t spare anybody.
‘The dramatic touch to everything’
Kashmiri moms are no less than drama queens.You’ll often hear them saying ‘Waaiy’ (a verbal expression that signifies taking deep sighs) at almost everything,even getting up to work. And you’d easily see them gossiping at weddings and using their hands while talking to lay stress on the magnitude of what they’re saying. Another common thing you’d hear them saying is ‘Haiy kya goum’ which sort of means ‘Oh I’m so doomed’.Haha.
Kashmiri women are adorable!
And they make really cute moms.
May God bless them with the best of both the worlds.