Mom! What a wondrous word and more than a word a fuzzy feeling no matter which language or abbreviation you use. Mom is the place real or virtual you seek when you are hurt or in need of comfort. It is the one you call when is despair or the one you remember in your happy moments. It is the lap you run to when your graze your knee and the arms you seek when life does not treat you kind. Mom is where you feel safe. I became a Mom at 23 and then again at 29. I thought that would be it. Two beautiful girls! What more could you wish. But I was in for a surprise or should I say many as when I decided to give life to another family, I never thought I would become Mom again. The family I am referring to is Project Why!

Over the years my Mom persona has acquired many children some quite grown up. I must say that I love them all unconditionally just as a Mom should. But there is one little chap who landed in my lap 12 years ago scalded and moribund and walked into my heart in a space I was totally at a loss to define. I was 50 when he was born. As he slowly healed from his terrible wounds and caught up with all his milestones he decided to call me Maam'ji when he learnt to talk and it worked as Mam'ji could be anything as it defied age-based  and non-conventional relationships. I forgot to mention that in my opinion, the heart of a Mom is expendable and fits anyone who needs love.

We carried on for 12 years through all the problems and challenges and met them head on and with success though there were some that were really scary. To the question: who is she to you? the answer always was Maam'ji.

But then a few days ago Maam'ji fell short as the child, now a teenager was faced with a difficult decision and choice and the need of a safe haven was critical. The young boy changed his answer to the question:who is she to you? Without batting an eyelid he said: Mom.

This happened in a rather austere environment where I could neither jump up and hug him, nor allow tears of joy to shed. I just held on to the moment in my heart.

So here I am, Mom again. With it comes the job description. Come to think of it there is none. You just have to conjure one as you go along. No second chances, just one and you better get it right. Children do not come with an instruction book.

Am off to making mine!