“I am many things, but I am not many. I am yet to be many.”
It was my mother’s b’day few days back. I’ve been thinking of a gift for her for quite long. Could have bought her something but I am pretty picky about gifts. Didn’t find anything that could convey my emotions to her..
So I decided that it is better to convey it directly..
I always felt you near me and maybe that is the reason why I never said it, because I thought you could read me. But this distance feels increasing now and I need to say it all loud to bridge it. So that you could still know what I feel.
I love you.
I have loved you as long as I can remember and have rarely mentioned it. Not because I can’t, but because it felt odd saying it out loud to you. Because we never do. And I never felt it necessary, because it is there, visible in our talks, your smile, in everything. However, it feels its not that bad to elaborate a little every now and then.
Whenever I see myself, try to break myself down into parts which constitute me, to the qualities which collectively define me, I could see it all belonging to you and papa. There is a lot of you and him in me. A portion of you both, which due to its unique proportion in quantity, turned into a mixture, one of its kind, i.e. me. It grew on me pretty late. But slowly I started realizing it, that my responses to several situations are an exact replica of what you would have done. People around me think I am a good listener, that I help them solving their problems, maybe, that I am a good human being. But all I do is do things I have seen you both doing. Nothing new. And what I did try new have proved to be epitome of doltishness.
All the good part in me is from you both, my originality needs work. I have a pretty decent memory on some of the incidents of childhood. They are like snapshots saved at the back of my brain. Once I said jokingly, that mothers are not needed to bring up a child, and tears started rolling down your cheeks. That was pretty wry sense of humour, which I thought was funny, but looking at you made me realise how wrong I was. And how could you have expected from a child, maybe 6-7 years old, to reply something sounding so obnoxious.
There was this another time, when I was running down the road just in front of our house, and an uncle stopped me and asked to call you from inside. You two had some discussion, while I stood at the door trying to get what it was being discussed. Later, there was a thrashing ceremony for me, as that uncle uttered some things to you, about letting your son run on the road like that. Though it was a good beating, I wasn’t mad at you at all. I was furious at the uncle who thought it was your fault, whereas actually it was all me..
Be it the scandal I did, when I hid my incomplete copies and blamed it all on my classmates, in front of the principal, just on the day of final exams, or the dare devil stunt I pulled off, off the second floor hanging and swinging mid air. You have always been there. Though it’s not strange for mothers to do so, but it is essential for children to etch it all in their memories too.
I remember it all. Your words “mehnat rang layi” when returning from the PTA meeting after topping the class in Class 2, glancing through a small notebook in which you maintained a diary, reading your short story “Rakhi”, my small hand written sorry notes to you, the handmade Koala greeting card on Mother’s Day, you trying to make apple kheer which turned into something else entirely, be it the first password you put ever -“sunny”. I remember the day you received the news on phone that naniji was no more.
I have seen the supermom turn into a human mom. The transition from “mummy” to “maa”. From the mother who knows everything to the mother who asks a lot. From the mother who tells, to the mother who shares. From the mother I love, to the mother I love. The reason I have an illogical respect for any girl is because of you. While writing this I’ve realised I never have been any good with the spoken words. That’s why I write. That’s why you write. I even got my writing from you. So I am using this skill of yours to tell you that you made me the human being I am, the best side of it.
I don’t know what else to say. I decided not to use any fancy words but just the snippets of the memories. And the recent ones are of us all sitting in the dining room together going through a laugh riot, with Bruno sitting in the center, sleeping his wagging tail off. This is what I live for. These moments. Everything else will happen, pieces will fall in their places. But these moments are my treasure and my gift to you on your B’day.
Happy B’day Maa.