The Woman in my Mom!

The Woman in my Mom!

 

‘Maa..’ Sparsh’s voice echoed from far off, ‘My sneakers…I need them now.’

‘Look for them, Sparsh!’

Casting a grumpy, give-it-up look, Sparsh shrugged and moved away.

 

I was holding my head in my palms. The excruciating pain screeched through my skull. I was cold and lost. She was a powerhouse! How I remember my childhood, our flat on the thirteenth floor… and her, my mom. Can I call her that, does she deserve that? Or am I overreacting? I clenched my fists. She always harboured feelings for that man, all these years, how? Did she cheat on dad? Of course, she had! Her online love. Like hell it was. I was fuming again!

She was different – mom, unlike others, so full of life, and fun, she was my…my everything.

Naa! she wasn’t at my side physically all the time, she wasn’t possessive about me, she was uber cool, at times strict, at times silly sometimes outrightly emotional! But she was mom, not to be judged, weighed but mom, plain and simple. My oxygen, I ran to her with everything and she was there always! My first piece of writing, getting elated at my poems, giving a piece of her mind to dad when he pressurized me, she was…she was so mom, an independent energetic cool vagabond but mom!

Didn’t they love each other? Well, I had always watched them fight, banter, tear apart each other with the silliest issue they can lay their hands on, and threaten each other with divorce every other day. But soon I knew these were phoney gestures and leaving apart the serious type fights, they got along well, pampered me, loved me, we travelled a lot, they read to me, played with me, did what all the other parents did…then what am I mad about! That she cheated on dad, how dare she! He was there for her always, despite all bickering he’d be there by her side each time she as much sneezed or had a headache. And she would be by my side each time he cribbed I would not succeed!

Then how, how she nurtured feelings for this, this man! How she kept in touch with him all these decades, enraged me further.

I needed a crocin, I went towards the cabinet and rummaged for a pill. And that was not all, a few months since dad passed away and today, she declares cooly she’s going off to see him, to stay with him to be precise!

‘Are you crazy, Maa’ I shrieked, ‘ You will go and live with him!’ I was horrified!

I was more like dad, scared of society, balanced, sane and wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing. Yes, I lived in with my husband before the wedding, but he’s, my husband! Whom I was pleading to, my generation doesn’t bother! But mom, she had walked away cooly, her palm in my head for a moment before I shook myself off in a rage.

‘I have to go’, her eyes pleaded, ‘We have waited all these years, don’t make it difficult ‘

I wanted to scream as I saw her walking away…

‘ Maa… are you leaving us – me, Sparsh, Aby Rohit..’ I didn’t want to cry.

‘No Aastha, I never would. I need to go now.’

How ruthless she was! What would I tell Rohit, that she went away to meet the love of her life, her secret boyfriend for decades! Huh! And dad, my eyes swelled with tears. Did he deserve this, this unfaithful wife who as if waiting for his demise so that she could walk away?

My entire childhood seemed like a distant forgotten story I wanted nothing to do with! Behind my back, my dad’s back…my mouth was filled with a distaste for her doings. The pill soothed me somehow and weeping, brushing off tears I drifted off to sleep.

‘Mom….mom… can’t find the cookie jar’, my little one was nudging me, I was back from another world as I got up and trod to the kitchen.

How I didn’t pester mom much, I was so scared most of the time, she was fun yet so formidable at times! Was she worth all my feelings? I fixed a sandwich for Aby, poured some ketchup, and looked absent-mindedly at my mobile. Is she going to text or call me…

Did she love that person but why would she, we were so happy well we were almost. What was she looking for…would she find! Like hell, I cared…

Mom you wouldn’t get the thriller story I wrote; your brain is kind of configured for romance stories, my friends loved my writing’

A random scene from my childhood flashed in my memory!

I smiled unknowingly… Maa would you be happy… I so want to call you but dad…had he been there his pain…and me…how could you! Is it him you wanted and not us were we a sacrifice kind of thing! Huh!

The mobile beeped then with her text

‘I am all right Aastha. Want to see you soon, whenever you’d want. Love to Aby and Sparsh, miss you all. Aastha….let me be, let your mom be herself like she always had been!

Love, Maa

 

Be yourself maa, how much I hate and despise, there’s that spirit in you…who am I to judge! Just that I love Dad, seeing him wronged ah just infuriates me. But then if you are being yourself Maa…you can be I believe, I would still love you perhaps. would I, since I was born, I didn’t know anything else, only Maa, you were busy, absorbed still Maa, you were fun, kind at times… still Maa, this wasn’t relation to judge! Or was I naive…

Love you Maa… I sighed. I didn’t judge her then cannot judge her now, let her be. She’s my Maa, Baba’s wife and she’s someone I don’t know.

Let her be…

 

‘Maaaa..!’ Sparsh and Aby were roaring in unison…

‘Don’t scream…I’m here’ I answered back.

 

 

Soma Bhattacharjee

 

 

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