My mother

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about sacrifice and love.Story about a family and people who live everyday ordinary life, yet they are heroes.

Submitted: October 29, 2018

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Submitted: October 29, 2018

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Mother, the word brought different memories and feelings to my mind but the image almost and always remained the same. The first image of her that I could always conjure in my mind, was a really sad one. In the image she was very young, hardly twenty .My mother had a soft oval face with brown eyes and beautiful lips. Not like mine but full thick ones. Her long curly hair remained in tight plates. The sindooram that became wet due to the rain had dripped to her temples. Her eyes were slightly wet with rain or tears, one could never be sure. Her hands were devoid of any ornaments even the customary wedding ring was missing. The only gold ornament was an old gold chain that adored her thin long neck.  My mother had a small baby pressed against her chest, hardly a year old. Her other hand held an umbrella pressed against the folds of her rain drenched sari.  There was another small hand that reached only till her knees and was strongly holding on to the sari. That hand belonged to me. All three of us were squeezed under an umbrella.

 I was on my way to school on that day. I could only imagine the expression on my face. I was in my school uniform. In white shirt and blue short skirt with patches of water here and there. The shoes and socks were completely wet and was making me feel very uncomfortable. I could hear the down pour, my sister’s wails and my mother’s soothing words. The horns, the vrooms of engines, and screeches of tires. I was waiting for a bus to take me to school. After an hour or so a government bus finally stopped. My mother pushed me up the steps and somehow managed to get in. The conductor took one look at us and started shouting at my mother.  The crime was a simple one, we were wet and were going to make the seats wet. My mother had tears in her eyes as she told him sorry and that I was young to be standing in a moving bus. Finally, he told her you can sit. As all the seats were vacant, we could even choose where to sit. My mother let me sit near the window seat and put my sister on her lap. I looked outside through the glass windows and saw our small town in action. The old buildings with clay roof tiles, wooden stairs and white washed walls were standing as the ever present silent spectators on both sides of the narrow road .There were new buildings here and there but it looked more like strangers among old friends. There were People trying hard to reach the destinations before getting any more wet. The rain coats of different colors moving on two wheelers.  The rich people who could afford Maruthi 800’s were sitting comfortably in their cars. The bus finally reached the stop that I had to get down. My mother sighed softly, her warm breath woke me into my misery. My sister registered her protest as she was moved to mother’s shoulders. We made a procession to the end of the bus and got down. Then it was a race to make it on time to school. I usually won the race. I reached the school before the first bells rang out. I turned around to see my mother and sister already walking to the bus stop.

My father, who was my hero and first love was bed ridden. He was unable to walk on his own, as the doctors were conducting all kinds of medical experiments on his left leg. He stayed in the bed, his legs popped on the pillows. The small window in his room was his only connection to the outside world. He was in pain or unconscious and very rarely himself. The doctors conducted many operations, after sometime they were scared to give him anesthesia fearing that he might not wake up. The reason for all these medical experiments was a simple road accident in which he fractured his leg. The main concern for him almost became an unabated hunger for food.  He hardly remembered the people who surrounded him, depended on him, and loved him. My mother was thrust into a new role. On the way back to hospital, my mother bought some food from a nearby small hotel. There were a number of traders who worked around the hospital. My mother became a regular customer in their shops. Sometimes they took pity on her and the small child who was always crying. They gave her an extra glass of milk or a good piece of meat. The nights were terrifying as my sister would keep on crying, waking the patients who just wanted to catch a wink of sleep, an escape from the persistent pain. My mother took her out of the small room, holding her close and trying to give her comfort that my sister never knew. Sometime the nurses took pity on my mother and sedated the baby. I do not remember how many days and months we spend in that small hospital room. One day the main doctor came to our room. He removed the dressings on my father’s legs. There was nothing left on that leg, to call it a leg was a mercy. It looked like a brown stick. The smell and yellow fluids were the only proof that it was once a part of the living body. The doctor made a face and looked at my father. He said to my mother in his serious voice

“There is much we can do. I am afraid the infection has spread. Now we will have try some grafting. I will make sure that he will walk again. ”

My mother bobbed her head and held her golden chain, the final one we had for selling. The doctor gave the instructions to the nurses and junior doctors. That night for some reason my father gained consciousness and was himself. He moved to the end of the bed and touched my sister’s hair. He asked me about the new rhyme I learned in school.  He made me sit near his bed and held my hands.

“I still remember the day you were born. I do not remember a child more beautiful than you.”

I remember that for some reason my sister didn’t cry on that night. My mother gave us some left over rice and curry juice, the juice was always free from the shops. The only change was that she had removed the gold chain. A small color difference around her neck was the only sign that it was there. My father decided not to eat, He said he was not hungry tonight. New medicines were brought in to get him ready for next day’s surgery. I remember laying down and hearing my parents discussing in low voices. I heard my mother’s whimpers.  My father was speaking in his melodious soft voice. “The job, it is a government job. You have a degree. “.This was followed by mother’s angry voices. That night my mother stayed with my dad, in his bed. She took special care not to touch his legs and held his hands. The nurses would have shouted at her if they saw, it would increase the possibility of infection. The next day my mother looked determined. My father had a smile on his face as the medical assistants dressed him for surgery. He kissed my mother on her temples. He held my sister in his hands but there were no tears. My sister, who was never quite even for a moment decided to stay still in his hands. Me, a five year old who didn’t know anything about the deceptions of the adults placed my unquestioned trust in my father, my abundance of love in my mother, my unwavering strength in my sister. I think I smiled as my father pulled me near to his trolley. He sang the lines from an old song.

  “Konji karayalle Mizhikal nanayalle” (Dear Do not cry Do not wet your eyes)

This confused me because I was smiling. I looked up at my mother and saw her nodding to him. My father was wheeled into the surgery room. My mother held my hands and pressed my sister close to her chest .The things were all packed into old blue and white carry bags. I put on my school bag. My mother carried the old carry bags in one hand and my sister in the other. As we went outside it started to rain. My mother’s sindooram became wet in the rain and started to drip. Her eyes were wet. My sister started to whimper. The gold chain adored her neck. We were crammed under one umbrella. We walked into the rain. The pouring rain knew it all and it drenched us.


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