Monday, August 26, 2013


That you will realise your mother all over again… that you will notice for the first time in 31 years , how unbelievably gorgeous she looks when she carelessly ties her hair, still slightly wet and crumpled from a wash, into a loose bun… that when she cooks something, she wants you to taste it every time and reassure her that she is still the best cook in the world… that the clothes you bought for her from your first salary and then the ones you got from your second and then those from the third, are still the same nine pieces of clothes she carries with her in the suitcase you bought  for her from your fourth salary… that the gold earrings you purchased for her from your first big paycheck are still hanging to her ears as a swinging reminder of those golden days of your life… that her earlobes have extended far and wide and can barely hold the skin together… that her radiating yet light brown deep eyes are throwing so much light on her wrinkles…

that it’s only now like never before… that you are beginning to truly appreciate… that time is ceaselessly… speedily racing in one direction – Ahead!

that she is aging… and that you have become a mother yourself… and that this time shall pass too.

Mummy playing with Aayat

that nothing is constant… not today, neither was yesterday… that one day an email from a stranger popped into your mailbox. He had written to introduce himself to you and to discuss marriage. You started to write back and forth regularly thereon. In the evenings, back in Bombay from your work trip, you eagerly awaited his next email as it would be his morning in London and he would as a recently developed ritual practice, be responding to your long email sent yesterday. A few months later you would speak with him for the first time over the phone and say to yourself aloud “God! He talks so much… I prefer him more in his long emails”. That winter, he came down to visit you in Delhi at the Surya Hotel – New Friend’s Colony. He wore jeans and a crisp white batman t-shirt and you wore the same colours, only your eyes were lined with kajal. Off his laser sharp memory (one of his many qualities you had fallen for) he remembered your love for Ferrero Rocher and brought you a box to impress. He ate chicken tikka and you ordered Dal makhani over blushing cheeks and feminine lure. On New Year’s Eve he dared to hold your hand, as blood rushed down your spine telling you that this is meant to be… forever.  

that when she is sucking milk while making those rhythmic gulping sounds, covering you with her tiny frail hands like she is punching her pin in an ATM machine, looking at you for reassurance… that when you are looking back at her that very moment, you will see in her eyes that she is you and him… that she is everything you built together… that, that which seems like just yesterday is long gone and now is not about him and you anymore but her, him and you.

that she will not be all bliss and beautiful… that many a times she will quite literally be full of shit… that she will strip you off all your space but guard her own like a true warrior… that she will cry hoarse each night and you will know not what to do… that she will make your life hell and you will tear your hair apart and you will wish this never happened and that this was the biggest mistake of your life and that you are so helpless… that you will weep in front of the doctor and tell him you can sense she is not well even though he is the 20th doctor in the past week who has had a look at her and confirmed she is absolutely fine… that indeed she was fine but you were just worrying because all those childcare books you had gulped down like exam preparation had assured you that you must trust your motherly instinct… that one thing those articles and those over imposing, friends and family members who give unsolicited, uninvited advice, will never ever tell you is that you are a first time mother and to worry will become your first skin but that this time shall pass too like all others…

that at 31 you are still exploring yourself, then how must you be expected by the forces of nature and the expectations of everyone around you, to certainly understand what she wants when she cries… that the decisions for your own life have been so daunting, how then can you decide for her without worrying… that when you become a mother, all other identities become your past… not wife, not sister, no more a daughter… just a mother you are and will be.

that you will experience her like no father can… that somewhere inside you there will be an alarm clock ticking, prompting you to wake up seconds before she begins to cry… that as a jest to life you will come off age and BF will no more mean boyfriend, instead breast feeding it will be. That your body will take a life-long leap and that you will not regret it because as they say, despite all its banality “it is all worth it.”

that silently you will hope she will become what you never could… that she will be in your wakefulness, that which you have dreamt to be, all this while when you were asleep… that she will hopefully be your tomorrow, that which you are not today.

“Oh! You mother,” I heard telling myself... “you had heard stories as you were growing up. That ONE story you had heard multiple times. But as you were reading it out to her last night, it all suddenly made sense to you after 31 years. You were wandering… directionless… in this life that was…”

“Cheshire Puss” Alice began “would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where --” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you sure do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough”

But now that you are a mother… you beckon the cat to say to you yet again:
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

For you know where you belong.