Thursday, May 13, 2010
A Letter….. From a Mother to a Daughter
My dearest chickoo,
Today, our neighbor Swetha delivered a baby girl. Mother and child are doing fine. I had gone to visit them. Seeing that cute little miracle reminded me of the very first day I held you in my hands. Oh you smelt so sweet! The fragrance of pure, unadulterated Innocence.
You clasped my hand with your tiny fingers. Even the most expensive silk, the lightest feather or softest fur could not be compared. Something stirred in the very depths of my heart. Was this what they call ‘Love at first sight?’ I wondered.
With every small step you took, with every teensy inch you grew, with every fussy mouthful you ate, with every wink you slept, with every new word you spoke I fell more and more in Love with you. Your divine face was what I saw every time I was tired or weary. I plodded through my average job in a average day, in the hope of seeing your sunny smile in the evening when I returned home. It helped me bear my superiors’ egos, the crowded buses, the hot afternoon sun, the mornings when my body begged for a few more minutes of blessed sleep, the times when my Vanity wanted to throw away some money on that beautiful sari instead of buying you some sweets or trinkets or dolls and so much more. A lifetime of mediocrity was made brilliant only by your presence.
As days went by, you grew and blossomed into such a beautiful person-both inside and outside. I could see the envy in everyone’s eyes, but you always treated them kindly.
Is that what you found finally unbearable my dear one? To be kind and gentle in such an unkind and harsh world? Could you not bear to see the Beauty inside you rusted and corroded by this unfair Life? Could you not tolerate the destruction of the dreamy, ideal world that you built, by the uncaring people you met?
Could you not find one soul who could help you?
When you were young, you fell down often. You always used to come crying and running to me with a bruised knee. You trusted that I could wipe away your tears and heal your wounds- Could you not have trusted me to at least soothe, if not heal, your broken spirit? Could you not see the one person who would have forgiven you of anything, absolved you of everything and loved you with all her existence no matter what?
Why did you not confide in me my angel? Why did you not pause, one moment, on that beautiful November evening to spare a single thought for your mother?
What were you so afraid of that you had to leave me in eternal agony?
I lived for you-is that why I deserve this cruel punishment?
When your tender leg kicked my womb, I delighted in it; When your rosebud lips spat out food at me I wiped it away without complaining; When you were angry with me childishly, I bore it; When you were ashamed of my hugs in front of your teenaged friends, I just smiled to myself. I only wanted the best for you. Were these my mistakes? Was I a failure as a Mother? Is that why you decided to push me away and desert me forever?
So many questions.
But the only answer I get, no matter how persistently I ask them, is Silence.
When I hear of Mother’s Day and Daughter’s Day and even Valentine’s Day I think of you, my lost Love. When my colleagues’ daughters get married, I am haunted by the dreams I once had dreamt for you. When I see a mother and daughter shopping together or enjoying a movie or sharing a joke over some coffee I miss you. The womb that housed you has shriveled up, the heart that beat for you is aching, the shoulders that you slept on are heavy, the hands that cradled you are limp and the Life that you lit up is now dark and empty.
I never knew why you quit that fateful day and will never know either.
Sweetheart I can no longer cry; all I can do is wonder.