Whenever it comes to Mother’s Day, I don’t worry too much about getting my mum a present. The reason for this is simple, if I give her flowers, she will say “what a waste of money, they will die”, if I give her chocolate or mithai she will tell me “this will make me fat”.
But don’t despair, Mother’s Day gifts do exist for us Indian Pakistani folk.
Strike gold! Times are hard at the moment with the current economic climate but any IndoPak mum will never turn down a gift of gold, be it a small ring, a chain, a pendant or even a little gold coin. This has monetary value and will be very much appreciated. Mums care how “we” kids spend our money. Buying a gold item of jewellery is considered a very worthy present and maybe even an investment. There is the possibility she will present this item back to you as part of your dowry when you get married if you are lucky. “Kaam ayega” she will no doubt say. However, such gifts do cost a lot of money, what alternative is there you may ask.
Spa treatments – this may be a big no-no if your mum is a large cuddly lady that doesn’t remove the hair on her legs anymore (did she ever?:)). If your mum is a young modern type that cares about her appearance this will be welcomed and is worth considering.
Food, glorious food. Our mums cook for us daily, day in day out, some of them even cooking a fresh meal for lunch and dinner, hot rotis included, especially if dad is the fussy demanding type! If you are going to attempt cooking a meal for mummy dearest, do not attempt to cook an extravagant dish such as lamb biryani. You will fail, especially if you have never done this before and are following a recipe book for the first time. Now is not the time to experiment! You risk the lamb not being tender enough, the rice becoming soggy and if you have added potatoes, the spuds remaining hard. Go for a safe option, such as masala fish and boiled basmati rice. This can be found on here:
The icing on the cake (no pun intended) is if you can rustle up a dessert. Sooji ka halwa and saweya are a safe bet, or in the case of my mum, a good old Madeira cake, which she sometimes has for breakfast. Agreed, Madeira cake does not originate from India, Pakistan or even Madeira but my mum and sister are known to eat it for breakfast. Make it a big one so you can share it with her leaving her some for brekky.
Film? Some mums like a good Hindi film, but some mums will wait for it to come out on DVD rather than let their children spend a fortune sitting in an uncomfortable Indian cinema where everyone can be heard eating something. Can you blame them, these epics are three hours long and one needs to survive and pass the time somehow between all the dancing around trees and the awkward love scenes which you would have never found in an Amitabh film 20 years ago! If you are male, do not take your mum to watch the latest Hindi film with a cast that includes a Mallika or Celina or that ubiquitous Mr E.Hashmi, you will both be very embarrassed.
So in summary, food wins hands down, we all need to eat, even our fantastic mums. So spoil them rotten with a simple freshly cooked meal. If you want to pamper her, give her a foot massage with your bare hands rather than buying a discounted one from Groupon. She will absolutely love this, but make sure you have got rid of the garlic and ginger smell off your hands first!