The glass falls from her hand and shatters into shards – shards she cannot pick up. Nevertheless she bends down from the bed, only to let out a shriek. It aches. It aches everywhere – her back, her feet, her hand and her body. ‘No Maa,’ she hears her daughter, Maya say. A small rant follows, telling her how she could have pricked herself, hurt herself. ‘I am not a doll,’ she almost yells. She isn’t and she won’t be treated as one. ‘But Maa,’ before Maya can complete, her mother asks her to go to her room and complete her homework. Looking like she’s going to say something, Maya sighs and goes out of the room. ‘She looked like a mother of a petulant child with no end to her woes,’ the mother muses, ‘but then; she has had to become one, hasn’t she?’
Using the support of the headboard of her teak bed, she gets up – moaning as she feels the bone in her feet scream. Covering her head and taking small steps she walks – stopping in between to catch breath. Her heart feels like it is burning in its cage, her head doesn’t feel too good as well and the hormones seem to be messing with her. Today was one of the bad days but she feels thankful that she wasn’t required to use the toilet too much. Those days are worse – everyone frets over her, especially Maya. She opens the door to her balcony and almost throws herself on the cane chair. The small walk has exhausted her. She sweeps away her blue stripped scarf from her head. She finds covering her head very irritating – but the gaze of people at her bare head is more disturbing. Maya argues that she should not care about other people but then who does not. The stares remind her of old days – good days when pity wasn’t a routine, when the tubes weren’t a regular feature of her body and when she didn’t have to look for something certain.
She looks upward at the night sky which is a shade of untold beauty. There are some clouds veiling the moon, which shines in its fiery glory, anyways. A breeze is blowing, which brings with it a feeling coolness. She will have to go in soon, she realizes or she will catch cold. She can reminisce a similar balmy evening with her pretty daughter – when she was the mother.
‘Maa, I want butterscotch. You? Same old vanilla,’ Maya asked. ‘No, I want a chocolate. Older people are entitled to their mood swings, aren’t they?’ She’d said. ‘Elderly, you mean?’ Maya had gotten in a spot then. ‘You were saying about Rohit? Who’s the girl?’ In an attempt to change topics, she asked. ‘Don’t digress, Momzie. Anyways, Poonam. And you should see him, Maa. We don’t even need to say anything more than her name for him to go all pink.’
They had then continued their midnight stroll, munching and licking each others ice cream and talking trivial-mundane things. Now days, they talked of fluids, medicines, kaadhas and aches. She heard the sweep of the curtain and looked that way. ‘Maa,’ Maya entered with a pink shawl. She took her time, wrapping it around her mother. ‘Maya, did you…’ before she could complete her sentence, her mother interrupted her and almost grumbled, ‘I have taken all my medicines. I don’t want to talk about them.’ ‘At least, let me complete, Momzie. I was saying whether you knew India won the match today. Do you want to celebrate with hot chocolate?’ Maya said slyly, producing two mugs of hot-chocolate. She took one in her hand, welcoming the warmth in the midst of the chilly weather. They spent a better part of the next hour talking and keeping quiet. Their conversation wasn’t like before. They had grown up in the last few months. The silence didn’t disturb them; it was comfortable like the pattering of rain against a window shield. She realized that growing up didn’t just happen at once, growth seeps into you and makes its presence known in that one moment.
A/N – I am back. I am going to update this blog, hopefully every week!