My mother placed a copy of Alex Haleys, ‘Roots’ on top of my head and followed it with ‘Gone With the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell… Together they must’ve weighed about half a kilo.
I was around thirteen that time.
She knew that I loved to read, but this was a novel way to add to my repertoire of books, even for her, who had a very active and naughty imagination 😊!
“Walk,” she instructed.
Immediately I straightened up, balancing the precarious load on my head like a village lady with a ‘matka’ on her head.
Two steps, and the books tumbled around me. I scrambled to gather them, all she told me was that I had to keep doing this till I could walk around the house without so much as a quiver. At thirteen, these instructions don’t go down well, but she never relented.
I noticed my posture changing within days. I stood taller, my neck and head were aligned perfectly, my hands didn’t swing in an agitated manner and my back was straight. The books stayed on longer 😂
I calmed down too, as I became more aware of my body and posture.
“That’s so much better… ” was all she said as she saw me stroll around our home with my load much reduced now, with just a thin volume of Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’, resting daintily on my head ☺️.
“If you walk tall, it takes away more years off you, than any anti-aging cream.”
At thirteen, age is not even a concept, leave alone, anti-aging. 😁
I remember her words now. How right she was! How we carry ourselves is pertinent to how energetic and youthful we look.
Whenever I slouch, I can picture her in my minds eye, one eyebrow raised questioningly 😊
“Can’t carry your own weight??”
And I straighten up. Gratitude fills my heart for the way she imparted her wisdom to me.
She also enrolled me in a ‘Personal Grooming’ class around the same time.
“Don’t be a slob, remember, you cannot see yourself, others can!”
Ah Mom! I don’t know how you did it, but you did a darned good job if I still remember your instructions, decades later!!