When I realised that lady is my mother

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
a short story of a girl imagining a situation after watching a TV programme.

Submitted: December 12, 2009

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Submitted: December 12, 2009

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When did I realise that the lady that I saw was my mother?

Browsing through the TV channels on a hot sunday afternoon, sitting on my sofa with my legs stretched on to the teapoy and students' answersheets piled up on my lap, my eyes got stuck on one particular TV programme. A sham programme to evoke sympathy from the viewers. The programme where a celebrity visits orphanages or old age homes. I usually skip it, may be because I don't want my mind to feel heavy and tears to wet my eyes, may be I feel that a genuine sympathy or empathy is missing in the people who visit those places or may be I see the business minded eyes of the camera. Whatever may be the reason, I skip it. But today I was interested in it, may be because of the simplicity of the visitor.

I took a pen and a paper, for I thought I had something to write.Thoughts rushed into my mind and my blank paper started reflecting the imprints.

A big, old, dilapidated house.Girls of the age group 6-10 playing in the courtyard.They are running, trying to catch each other.  Their green, red, yellow and blue dresses are fluttering and fleeting like butterflies. Their sweet laughter like the flow of a lake - water tickling the stones on their way, surround the air and merge with the sounds of birds- that are hiding and watching the girls play from some unknown places.

Two ladies of around 40 or 45  were sitting on the raised side of the varandah. Well dressed up as if expecting someone. Saree pleats pinned and hair plaited. I could sense their inner and outer emotions, brimming with happiness. Can this momentary happiness surpass their permanent sorrow of loneliness?

After passing a smile and some welcoming conversation, I slowly slipped into a room to explore the world of the orphans and the unwanted.I saw a tall lady in a blue maxi. I could see only her back as she was looking at the other side. I didn't know what she was looking at. Perhaps she was looking at the children  playing outside through the open window in front of her, or perhaps looking at the withered beauty in the mirror nailed to that open window. Her oiled, combed and plaited hair and her stature reminded me of someone.I coughed slowly to indicate a presence of a visitot in her room.She  turned slowly.Her pale face, hollow cheeks, exhausted eyes-my God! How can I believe this?

Our eyes met.The situation that I never wanted to happen in my life. I saw her disfigured hands- the hands that I used to massage daily, the hands that used to run through my hair when I sat beside her.She ook one step forward, as if to turn her body along with her head. Did she limp? Is she still unable to walk properly? The moments when I used to hold her hands and help her walk rushed through my mind. I didn't know what to do. Her lips parted and a faint voice pronounced my name. I couldn't meet her eyes. I ran to her with a heavy heart. I could feel the lump of sorrow in my throat. The air from my lungs cracked as it passed through my throat as i cried "amma......"


© Copyright 2019 Sreeja Tirkey . All rights reserved.

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