Dr Ng Wai Sheng

My Mother – The Garlic of My Life

My Mother – The Garlic of My Life

My Mother – The Garlic of My Life

Article by Dr. Ng Wai Sheng 

Image by LoboStudio Hamburg @ Unsplash


Mothers are garlic!
We know garlic is good for the immune system.
A fair amount of it in cooking draws out a nice fragrant in the dish.
But too much of it overpowers the dish.
The dish loses its identity.

Some people are trained since young
to incorporate garlic as part of their staple.
I haven’t. In fact, I am averse to garlic.
But I know garlic is supposed to be there.
Especially for a foodie like me.
I have probably eaten more garlic than I was aware of.
So I came up with a rule.
If I don’t see it, I’ll eat it.
If I see it, I’ll put it aside.

When I cook, I certainly use garlic whenever it’s needed.
From cooking meat to vegetables,
I know I need garlic.
So I try to cut them into really small pieces.
So they would blend inside my dish.
And my dish would still have the taste that I desire.

This probably sums up my relationship with my mom.
A woman who has powerful influence in my life,
despite my self-imposed delusion
to not be influenced by her.

Once an old friend came to stay a night with me.
Before she left, she remarked:
Your leadership style is like your mom!
She probably meant it as either a positive or at least neutral observation.
I was shock.
To be exact, I was quite upset.
I really didn’t want to be associated with my mother!
My mother is garlic!
I’m no garlic! At least that’s what I wished to believe then…

But well..
Over time I come to accept.
the garlic that I’m averse to
is also in me.
That I show my garlic side to people too.
Even though I had tried to hide it.
But the more I become aware of my garlic self,
and the garlic gifts from my mother,
which she probably inherited from her mother too…
The more freedom I possess in choosing
to blend it in my food,
to put it aside,
to eat it in spite, or
to spit it out if too much.

Whilst truth will set you free,
freedom gives you power.
We cannot choose our mothers.
But we can choose how we respond
to the mother imprints within ourselves.
The question is:
Do you hold the key
to finding your true self?