Mother Behind the Scenes, Woman Behind the Business
By Elana Shongan
I wanted to write this personalized outlook of a woman I admire dearly. She is humble and caring but fiercely strong and puts up with no nonsense. This is my take on this amazing woman.
I had the occasion to see Madam herself sweeping and mopping at home. She works late into the night and sometimes wakes up early at 2:00 AM to finish work. When I went to see her she was doing this. I think it helps her think and release stress.
I still remember her photograph with the then American President Bill Clinton. She isn’t a tall woman, but she is a towering figure. Madam Saba is a female icon and she shows it to the world what women are capable of doing if they decide something.
When she met with the late President Mandela she was calm and graceful and cracked jokes with him.
Behind closed doors Saba is a mother and a homemaker. Malini applies her relentless work ethic to home life overseeing the rearing of her child and performing home domestic duties.
Her child was born by cesarean section three days early. She felt unwell during her pregnancy and given that she could not have any more children. The business magnet work ethic applied to family home in Monaco where she juggles her job, studying the trade, organizing the household, shopping, sewing, cooking and ironing.
Madam Saba is not the kind of person to lounge around, she prefers to sightsee rather than relaxing by the pool. After a business trip she rounds her family up and drags them out to a weekend getaway camping. This allows her to connect back with them and find out what she missed.
Madam is partial to a glass of good wine to keep her going while she writes her speeches and works on her business at night. She sleeps only for four hours a night and no one can ever order her to bed to lie down and get more rest.
Saba is very particular about overseeing her the upbringing of her child. She makes sure she is there to take her to school in the morning and pick her up and works from home thereafter. She does not believe in nannies. Her mantra – they grow up so fast, I want to savor every moment of her changes till then.
One of Madam Saba’s favorite thing to do is cook. When she is up in the morning she plans the menu for the day. She will make a hot fresh meal for her child’s lunch box and always leaves little motivational notes in there as surprises. She will prep the evening meal before leaving the home for work.
Her dinners are always elaborate. It’s a four-course meal. She makes it compulsory that everyone sits at the table, says grace and then eats together. Saba believes it is during this time you have quality time to engage on variety of topics of the day as a family as a unit.
When Madam Saba travels, she makes sure she has hand written several notes and request I place them in her lunch box as surprises. She makes sure she facetimes her child in the morning when she wakes up, after she comes back from school and before she sleeps. There are times she also helps her with her homework.
Despite her business engagements, political meetings and philanthropy work, she always makes time for her baby. She says motherhood is the most difficult job in the world and the most satisfying. “I love being a mother and I am a mother first and foremost.” says Madam Malini.
Madam Saba embodies every hard-working mother out there in the world trying hard to juggle both work and being a mother.