Friday, June 20, 2014


                                                                        (MOTHER )

Growing up meant freedom from the daily nagging of my mother . She would generally address me with her favourite lines:

“ You are just like your father . I can’t understand the reasons for Your absent-mindedness . Which is the world wherein you seem to be lost always ?”

Sometimes I would tell her that I shall not take food as I am already late for the school . That was perhaps my way of dealing with her nagging .She would come running from the kitchen with a Plate full of cooked rice , vegetables and a little curd and mix them and force half of the plate down my gullet.
“Now do what you want to do .You lazy creature ! Why don’t you polish your shoes? And these shoe laces! You always keep untied ! ? Who shall teach you these things ? O God! When shall this boy grow ?”
I would sometimes say:

“ Let me grow , I shall serve the Army .”

“ Let your enemies join the military services .I do not like the jobs that keep you away from your parents . Never never that Military job.Your Mama is waiting for you to grow . He shall settle you in AG office , Post office or Telegraph office ? What does your father know ? Life is not News Papers and magazines that your father reads and then passes on to you.  I shall have to think many times before your marriage . For sure you are going to put some one’s daughter to great trouble with this attitude ”
She would invariably check my school bag every day to remove the toffee wrappers and pieces of eaten Pears  or sometimes a Banana skin that I would dump inside the bag .She would set the books in order , sharpen the pencil and ensure that the fountain pen is properly filled with ink.
Everyday should cry loudly:
“ You better carry your books in a cheap gunny bag. Boys like you do not deserve these costly school bags. What do you know how I purchased this bag for you? It was bought from the cash that Bhabi ( My Mother ‘s mother ) gave to me confidentially when she visited us last year . I was supposed to purchase of a new Sari as I hardly have any sari for the forthcoming marriage in Sher ( My father ‘s sister ) family . .”

Sometimes i felt that she never loved me . Perhaps she could find nothing upto the mark in me . May be she focused more on me . I was never sure what she wanted from me .
Then one day something strange happened . On my return from the school, I would generally provoke stray dogs on the road by yelling “ WOFF -WOFF ” at them . These dogs would bark a little and run away . That day the dogs were already in some excitement and One amongst these dogs ran after me . In utter fright I ran towards Jogilanker Bridge and wanted to  cross it as fast as I could. With a heavy school bag on my back , I could not manage the balance and my foot slipped . My school bag fell straight into the Water Canal ( known as Maar ) below while I hit my head hard against the Iron railing of the bridge . I know nothing what happened after that .
When I regained consciousness, I saw myself inside Ram Joo Handoo’s medical shop. I had a bandage on my head and my mother held me in her lap . I heard my mother saying to Ram Joo Handoo
“ Shall the stitches give him any pain ? ”
“ Not Much. Don’t worry .”
I  saw Mohd Ismail Baakhoru , Ali Mohd Tailor , Mohd Sidiq Baker , Gopi Nath Bazaar President and Noor Mohd ( Gaat Munshi ) also in the shop. They too felt relieved when I opened my eyes. Feeling somewhat relieved that I had opened my eyes , my mother said in a soft voice ;

“ Son ! Are You feeling better now ? Forget that Bag with books . Today only we shall buy another bag. I shall also buy you Lunch Box . You need not take those   Pears that fall from trees in your school. We shall also go to Maatamaal ( Mother ‘s parental Home ). You like ice cream. Worry not, I shall buy it for you. When you grow , Your mama shall buy a Bicycle for you. You need not run after friends for a bicycle ride .”
And then she softly moved her fingers through my hair.She kept kissing my hands and forehead . I saw Ram Joo telling me
“ You naughty Boy ! you made your mother weep ”.
Could she weep for me ? Not believing this , I looked at my mother’s face . Tears kept rolling down her eyes and fell on my face . She kept wiping them with the corner of her Sari. Intermittently she kept hugging me and kissing my forehead . I also saw that Ismail Baakhoru ( shop keeper ) Brought a Glass of Hot milk with a spoon from his house . Ramjoo Handoo  put some biscuits in the glass and passed on the glass to my mother . She dug a spoonful of this biscuit milk from the glass and offered it to me.
Strange but true , At that moment, I felt like banging my head against the railing of Jogilanker bridge again and again to see tears in my Mother's eyes .
( Autar Mota )

(   Short Story written  on  20.06.2014 )

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.

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