The Best Compliment

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Memories transfigured into words in recounting a poignant tale of a mother and her daughter and their last moments together.

Submitted: January 11, 2017

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Submitted: January 11, 2017

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The Best Compliment

Her tiny little hands struggled hard to comb her untamed hair. The last time she had tried to do so was when her mother went to the hospital for few days to bring home a little brother for her. But her father, like always, came to her rescue and helped her tie her soft long hairs into a ponytail or something resembling it. Looking at her tiny features and matured manners her mother’s tired visage let out a pensive smile. Her mother’s long absence from home had made her acquire it. She was happy to see her smile amidst all the pain that she was undergoing but the sadness that lurked behind it worried her. Smilingly her mother said, “Come to me. Your hair needs a good brushing. You have to learn taking care of yourself.” She could see the happiness in the sunken eyes of her daughter who probably had longed for a moment like this one which would make her feel the former harmony of their lives being restored. It was after many days that she got a chance to spend some time alone with her mother because the surge of people coming to meet their family on getting the news of her mother’s terminal illness had disrupted their regular life.  She sat in front of her mother, hiding her sorrow and fear and trying to cherish the moment completely. Her mother kissed her head before combing her hair. She knew her daughter had not slept for days worrying about her health. She knew how hard she was trying to cope up with the absence of her parents who were struggling hard to save the tiny little happy world of theirs from being shattered by the clutches of death and its aftermath. She asked her daughter, “What do you want me to bring you from there? I know I won’t have much time but I will definitely try to go out once.” Gulping down the choke caused by the stirring moment, she replied, “I want you to return healthy so that we can again live like before. I am tired of not eating food made by you. I am tired of not seeing your face before I go to bed and after I wake up every morning. Just come back the way you used to be before, without all that pain and hoards of medicines and injections. We will then celebrate by visiting some beautiful place together, you, me, baba and bhai.” Her mother hugged her tight and in an almost breaking voice said, “I am proud of having children like you. You are the best things that I ever had in this life. I will always be there with you..... Forever”

 

Eleven years have passed and these last words from her still ring in her daughter’s ears. She kept her daughter away from the shadows of death and the first time it fell on her was that of her own death. She keeps her mother alive in her memories, in her words, and in her thoughts. She tries to be like her by keeping the flame of compassion ignited in her heart. The sadness in her heart also gives her a sense of fulfillment on being reminded that she already has garnered the best compliment of her life from one of the best souls that ever lived. 


© Copyright 2017 Sukanya Mukherjee. All rights reserved.

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