“Diamond Moods” Shakespeare & I
By Mahwash Tahir
Shakespeare might not be one of my favourite playwrights but a few of his quotes have made it easier for me to express myself. Cliched phrases pop up every so often, but “diamond moods” is the one I use the most. We watched “Twelfth Night” in high school, and though we had read the play earlier, the character portrayal of Duke Orsino both fascinated and amused me. Whenever I see or meet someone having mood swings, I can’t help but remember Duke Orsino. In fact, I just used that expression again this morning.
Being a student of literature, life for me revolved around nature, romance, and above all a knight in shining armour. I believed the new direction in my life would be as calm and smooth as the clouds floating above —dreams and nostalgia would fill my days.
Sharing my world with a businessman, however, has required me to develop a practical side and a totally different skill set. In all my bachelor years I could be counted on to remember anniversaries, birthdays, and the dates of other important events. I was always the first one to send cards. However after my first futile effort at romance, I decided to choose cards which I would like for myself. I would give them to my husband and then take them back to add to my own collection.
The “diamond moods” of the father and the children bring a variety of colours into my life. I live in a whirlwind of joy, sorrow, amusement, and contentment. My husband arranges trips for us all the time but once we are there, he wants us to go ahead without him because he has already been there, done that. I find it amusing, but my kids do not understand so once again I become the peacekeeper. I join them in all their favourite activities which other adults find boring or “too childish”. I have made peace with my reality, such as it is.
Just the other day, the family decided to sit and discuss future plans. Tahir, the most serious and practical head of the household, wants to find a solution to the static phase the pandemic has put us in. Maha and Harris are brimming with new ideas. They suggest all sorts of plans. Luckily, I am blessed with a mind that does not comprehend the minute details of such plans, so I sit and wait for the final disagreement that is about to ensue.
The father’s announcement of a new business venture for the kids to organise pleases and flusters me equally. He has chosen to name the company, VOULOIR APPAREL. “Vouloir” means “desire” in French. I welcome the new mood in our already chaotic world.
Steeped in tradition and with a lot of prior experience, the father wishes to stick to his conservative ideas. The son, the youngest in the family, would like to entertain the new but also wants to follow his father’s lead. The daughter, a student of business and a firm believer in the empowerment of women, does not shy from making her voice heard, loud and clear.
The “diamond moods” of these three hard working individuals have, surprisingly, resulted in the establishment of a business venture, Vouloir Apparel, which I know will make me even more proud.
I applaud them all, believe in them, and hope they will know what to get me once they succeed.
Mashwash Tahir – through the eyes of her daughter
Amma says a lot of things, and sometimes I wonder if other mothers say the same things too- well they don’t and their expressions and attitude are never like those of my mother. My Amma says things in a way that make you smile, and she laughs along with you like a friend should, and she stands up for you like a father should. So, I don’t mind when she says things that I might not initially agree with because in the end I always return to her words and believe her. Once when she told me to accept things not in my hands, I started to compromise and I understood not everyone is as sensitive as Amma and I. And she smiles when I laugh and says she loves it when I smile, so I start to smile more. I remember the time she hugged me when I came back from a flight —I didn’t want that hug to end. Amma says a lot of things and at times I don’t agree with her, but I hate it when she stops saying the things she says because that means she is hurt. So I hope she continues to say the things she does because they warm my heart and soul.