After my story, Mothering Across Generations, was published on the Open Page in The Hindu newspaper, I received several heartwarming responses. Below is a representative one:
Just read your article in The Hindu. Loved the piece. I guess it’s relatable to every Indian girl, specifically Marathi girls. The line ,” Whenever Aji asks about preparing something for you, just say yes,she usually asks you when she feels like eating that snack.” Oh my god! This line… it just reminded me of a series of memories form my childhood. In my case, it was not Aji but my mom. She is so sacrificing that she never used to make anything for her, she would taste a bite or two whenever she made something for us… I wonder how can mothers can be sacrificing! But they are Mothers,that says it all. BTW, i have kinda taught my mom that she should give her wishes importance too, that’s one thing I can congratulate myself for. Just felt like telling you this… ❤️
The immediate payoff for me personally (as the writer and as the person who was fortunate enough to have the experience about which I wrote) is the fact that my story reached this reader deeply and that the reader felt the urge to tell me how much my telling of the story had meant to her.
But, as Ranjani put it, the payoff for readers is
connecting with people, who in turn are awakened by a simple observation to notice things within their home and perhaps understand things better.
I am hooked on these payoffs — both as a reader and as a writer. I am like the people who panned for gold during the gold rush — trying to get a hold of the shining nuggets of truth and insight.
There is an even bigger payoff when a culture of reading and writing, thinking and analyzing, and feeling and reflecting, becomes rooted in a community or a society. This is that the society becomes more thoughtful and more empathetic.
May we hasten the advent of such a culture.