She has always been good with organizing. The pencil-set and candy packages were neat. Off they went to the singing kids the next morning. The “Happy- birthday-to-you!” gang.
“Why do we give away these lovely things, Mom?”
“So we can spread smiles on your special day!”
Mom and I would colour animal pictures for my school-project. “What colour is a horse’s tail, Mom?” “Remember you rode one in Mussoorie?” “But there were so many.” “And so can there be colours for the tail!” Mom taught me to colour pencil-drawings. In effect, she coloured much more. She would put me to sleep with a “nanhi kali sone chali” and wake me with the sun.
“Why do we need to get up early, Mom?” “Because the school bus rises early too, baby.” Dad laughed. “That’s not it, Daddy.” Mom grinned. “We don’t want to miss the bluebird that comes visiting the garden. She is never late.” I listened to the rustling leaves, the whispering winds and the calling birds. The screeching on the road was a moot-point.
With time, Mom and I have learnt that together, nothing is a pain. We smirk at the neighbour who thinks she is the cat’s whiskers. We also get mithaai for the one who waves from under an umbrella. Sometimes, we chat for long nights, sipping coffee and ignoring Dad’s go-to-sleep. “What is so interesting?!” “Girl-talk. We can’t tell you.” He rolls his eyes; we giggle.
With Mom, I learn that it is alright to worry sometimes. What is important is getting on with life. Living without regrets and tucking into bed with a clear conscience. Together, we are capable of being high-school girls obsessing over the latest television-heartthrob. We are also confident women who have the courage to face the world.
Well, my world began with Mom. She continues to be right there at the centre. She is the one who loves me on my worst-hair day, in my worst mood and even when I have been really, really bad. I owe you one, Mom.
* a part of “Memories, Conversations and Incidents with my Mom” on Blogadda. Picture Courtesy: goodhousekeeping.com