"Is this why I work so hard?" exclaimed Rehana Masud indignantly. Jaya laughingly recalls this childhood memory of her mother on the eve of International Mother's Day.
Jaya Ahsan, the renowned Bangladeshi actress said, she was sneaking a nap instead of studying, when her mother caught her out. And that was enough to straighten her out!
She recalls the hard work of Rehana Masud in looking after the family and running several boutique houses in Dhaka in the 90s. She says, her mother would do so much block print work that her hands would swell up and bangles wouldn’t fit her easily. Jaya says, wherever I go, I always look for bangles that will fit my mother.
Jaya loves to see her mother's face aglow when she sits by a stream or sees the fragrant blooms on a night queen plant or enjoys an ice-cream. She says her mother is like a child, happy with the little joys of life.
Tamim Iqbal's mother Nusrat Iqbal Khan was also serious about his studies.
The Bangladesh national team cricketer said, though my mother wouldn't come to watch my game, she always encouraged a lot.
Tamim shares his experience of modelling for a TV ad three years ago. His lines were, "Ami jitley jite jai maa." (If I win, my mother wins too). He said his mother was overwhelmed with emotion when she saw the ad.
He is proud of his mother for taking all responsibility for her three children, never letting them feel the absence of their father whom they lost in childhood.
Tamim says, a mother is always the happiest at her child’s success.
Rajiv Prasad Saha, the managing director of Kumudini Welfare Trust, recalls his mother's struggle in 1971 after his father was picked up by the Pakistani Army.
Sreemoti Saha, Rajiv's mother, established the Kumudini Handicraft with 10-15 destitute women then later became a shelter for the destitute and marginalised. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree and took the responsibility of the trust in 1985 .
Rajiv’s mother shies away from publicity. He says she is a source of inspiration for the Kumudini family. She is not only my mother, she has become a mother for the Kumudini family, says Rajiv.
Maria Manda, 15, a player of Bangladesh national women's football team, lost her father when she was in class three. Her mother was expecting another child at the time.
Maria comes from Mondirgona village of Mymensingh. She is one of the indomitable Kalasindur football girls that stirred the country with their achievement.
Maria's mother Enta Manda would always insist on her practice.
She recalls how her mother with her paltry daily income of Tk 200 worked in the rice fields. Even so, she would try to fulfil every wish of Maria. Enta sold rice to buy Maria’s football boots.
Maria would have to cross the Netai river to go for practice. Her mother would call the boatman over her mobile phone to make sure he had his boat ready for Maria. But the day the boatman wouldn’t turn up, Enta would row her across herself.
Maria says, she has already been to several countries to play football. Every time she boards a plane, she thinks, "I wish my mother would be with me to see this new country".
Maria's mother goes to distant villages to watch her matches on TV.
Everyone calls Enta, 'Mariar ma' (Maria’s mother). Maria epitomises every child's feeling, "My mother is the best mother in the world."
*This is a compiled and rewritten feature, based on the articles published in Prothom Alo print edition, by Nusrat Nowrin.