I would like to dedicated this post to my mother, Saroj Singh. Thank you maa for having always stayed by my side, and for being my constant source of support. I am indebted by your love and affection, and it cannot be repaid in a single lifetime!
Maa I turned 15 today. Daddy has organised a huge party for me. All my friends are here. If only you were alive today, then probably we wouldn’t have to call the caterer. Daddy says no restaurant could match your “chhola puri“. I never got to taste your food. My friends bring tiffins made by their mom. They keep complaining about it “I don’t understand, why can’t she prepare food with little more spices, this is tasteless” “Uggghhh! Not bitter gourd again”. Daddy gives me money to eat whatever I like from the canteen. But maa, I get really hungry till Recess. The maid prepares breakfast at 7 everyday. By the time I sit for breakfast, those thick chapatis get cold and distasteful. I feed ’em to the dogs outside. Daddy doesn’t know about this because he leaves early for work. What is it like mom? Being scolded for not eating? How does it feel mom, knowing that your well-being bothers someone?
I braid my hairs and leave for school. It takes me six clips to fix all the hairs which go out of place. If you would have been here, then probably I wouldn’t have to think about my hairs. I’ve seen your photographs, your hairs were beautiful, quite lustrous too! My hairs are straight like yours, but unlike yours, they’re lifeless and dull. I tried oil-massaging my hairs on my own, but keeping my hands up for a long time results in an ache. If you were alive, would you massage my hairs? Would my hairs be as beautiful as yours?
I visit grandma in every few months. She says my actions resemble the way you acted in your childhood. If you were alive today, would I remind you of your childhood?
All my friends keep complaining about their mother, and their daily fights. “She doesn’t understand me” “She scolded me in front of my relatives” “We have a generation gap and she refuses to accept that”. What is it like mom? Fighting with your mother? Do you think we would have fought the same way if you were alive today? I think yes, because if you were alive, I wouldn’t have understood your value, just like other kids.
Oh! Remember that girl who complained about her mother not adding much spices to her tiffin? Once, when her mom had come to school, I had seen her taking out a prescription from her purse, crumbling it and throwing it away. She didn’t notice I was standing right behind her. She was suffering from piles and perhaps she’s worried and doesn’t want her daughter to suffer from what she has been suffering. I think she has hidden her disease from her daughter. Foolish girl! Doesn’t know how lucky she is.
Daddy has been a great father. He takes care of all my needs and tries his best to compensate your lack. I’ve seen him in tears with your photograph in his hands. He says I look a lot like you. He even calls me Junior Shraddha sometimes. Daddy misses you a lot. I don’t miss you. I don’t even remember you; neither your face, nor your voice. But I feel your absence. It seems like life could have been different in your presence.
Probably, I would have known what it feels like when your mom cooks for you, how it feels when your mom braids your hairs, or, how it feels when your mom feeds you with her own hands. How it feels when your mother doesn’t sleep all night when you’re ill, or, when your mom takes her orhni to cover your head under the scorching sun. Probably I would have been blessed with a little sister/brother by now.
Probably, I would have known what it feels like to have a mother.