29 October 2016 | by Shruti Kohli | New Delhi
Years ago, Sehwag’s mother was in the limelight. But she became famous as Sehwag ki maa. No one knew her name. No one cared to. Even if we had Twitter back then, one sec, when was this? 2003!, so if we had Twitter back then, Sehwag’s mom would have definitely made it as the top trend as #SehwagKiMaa. Not as #KrishnaSehwag.
Nonetheless, the Reliance phone advert, which shows Sehwag getting motivated to hit a boundary after his mother’s call, brought out the warmth of a mother-son relationship.
Today, at the IndVsNz Vizag match, when our men in blue wore their love for their mothers out loud as they strutted around in t-shirts carrying their mothers’ names in bold, they made a strong statement about a mother’s very existence. As a precursor to the game changer match, Dhoni appears in an advertisement where he eases a baffled fan by saying, ‘Until today when I carried my father’s name on my tshirt, you never found it weird. Why are you so surprised to find my mother’s name there?’
This might impact deeper. This ought to impact deeper. In a country where the mother’s name features nowhere in the children’s school documents, college forms or any other official papers*, and the children’s identity rests solely on their father’s name, such a statement by cricketers will go a long way in destroying the bad game off field.
It’s a pity that we need celebrities to remind us of the existence in our lives of a person who gave us life. However, if it has to be that way, it’s too strong a statement to simply pass off as a gimmick designed to get eyeballs. Cricket has been deified immensely enough to qualify as a perfect illusionist. It can make people believe.
So the next time a single mother takes her child for admission to a school, the authorities should not be spooked out of their senses to see the child with a surname that does not come from her father but her mother. If a couple chooses to name their children after the mother, it should be considered a private choice completely detached from official procedures. It’s none of anyone’s business other than the couple and the children concerned.
A child may even have two surnames, mother’s and the father’s, just like painter Picasso did. His full name is Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Picasso, his signature name, being his maternal name. Just like America’s 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did. Getting Delano from his mother.
Cricketers, like actors, hold the power to tweak people’s minds into believing anything. By wearing t-shirts embossed with their mother’s names instead of their father’s surnames, they have made a bold commentary. It should thaw the minds that lay cold and stiff in frozen moulds.
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