It is strange, how I always fail to remember my first memory of you. So, to me, it seems as if you have been with me from the beginning of time. If I recall my first memory of enjoying the warmth of your lap, it reminds me of the night when I had caught cold and you strolled through our rooms, singing me lullabies that I still remember so clearly that I could sing them to my grandchildren. I remember our Sunday meals when we relished your eggplant curry and three eggs as we couldn’t afford meat.
While I ate an egg, you would eat half of it for lunch and dinner. It was always a race of who would finish first. You ensured that I won and then offered me a portion of your food. When I grew up a little, you would not do that anymore and if I tried, you would say, “Asking for food from others’ plate is bad manners!” Now, at the age of twenty-three, when I think of your plate with half an egg, it makes me realize how you found happiness in that fragment of an egg every weekend. I wish I had at least once, offered you a bite from mine.
You always refused when I’d ask for money to buy ice-creams during the lunch breaks at school. I hated you for that, as I would chew on the sandwich that you made for me. I still remember you saying, “Taking money to school every day, is a bad habit and don’t I buy you ice-creams whenever you want them?”
During my exams, you’d wake up with me early in the morning, and sit by my side, when I would revise my lessons. Every five minutes, you’d say, “Study, beta” and slowly doze off on that chair by my study bed. Now when I look back, I see those tired eyes that I failed to notice then. I really bear on me the blame of those black circles which lie under your eyes. Just your presence on those mornings imbued me with the strength to believe that I could continue to do well in school.
When I entered my first monthly cycle, you were the only medicine to my pain and endless worries about my body. You talked me through it, told me how I was growing up into a beautiful young girl. You bought me my first trainer bra, let me be alone when I would shout at you for being around me during my sporadic mood swings. I would be concerned about my pimples, and you’d make me smile by naming each one of them saying, “This one is Puffy, and that one umm… Red Wonder!”
When I’d sleep, you made sure that I carried to my dreams, an impression of your peck imprisoned on my cheek. You wanted me to be a gynaecologist. But when I told you what I really wanted to be, I could see you worried as it wasn’t easy for any mother to accept their child being a writer.
My respect for you lies in the fact that you had given me a chance to voice what I wanted. And more than that, you never worried because I wasn’t pursuing your dreams. I knew the only thing that bothered you was that writers don’t earn much but you valued my passion more than anything else, and perhaps that is why today, I am trying to pen down this piece about you.
Your mortal form might be far away from my reach but you shall always live with me as I share with you an intangible and intricately woven bond!
Happy Mother’s Day!