I don’t know what to write to you. They make it sound so mawkish when they talk about mothers. You are supposed to be the one who over-cares, over-feeds, over-worries. They make mothers cry in movies, when kids leave. You are supposed to stay at home and take care of everything and everyone.
Even if there is some truth in the last instance, since you left your job, you are nowhere near the caricature that has been portrayed all over. Papa cries sometimes in movies, while you are the one who can sleep through a horror movie (The Conjuring!). You are the first one to call out if we were to put on some weight. You love talking and lazing around more than doing work around the house. You are so different, Ma.
Didi’s birthday is coming up. Since we are all locked down, I’ll have to cook something for her. I’ve been working on my cake recipe. I am clueless about the meal for the day. Sorry, we couldn’t be home. Do you remember, you cooked lauki on her birthday when you were down with fever, once? She still complains. Now, that, nobody shows on screen. The movie-mother would have gulped down some pills to cook a delectable meal for her daughter’s birthday. But, you are not that stupid. Papa would have done something like the movie-mother, if he had ever learnt to at least boil some water. You are such an expert in that field that I don’t blame him for never having dabbled with cooking all his life. Anyway, I know what not to cook for her birthday.
I’m still struggling with the roti, Ma. I have developed great respect for all those who can roll out a roti!
There was something I wanted to tell you. I failed an exam recently. I was so sure I would get through this time. But they capped at a higher score for the interviews. It is like the time I had failed my mathematics paper in class 11. I could not sleep because I had not told you about it. When I did finally tell you at 3 a.m. late night, you just told me to go back to sleep and not think about it until morning. It had worked. It always works. I just need to look away a while. When I come back to the problem later, my mind is able to solve it better.
I am so much weaker than you were at my age. You taught at a college with two kids to look after when Papa was struggling to get a job. Inspite of the dicey situation, you had still managed to be cheerful throughout, and as pretty as ever. I try to look up too, like you, when I face a bleak situation. It is not an easy task to be like you.
Ma, you are an amazing woman. You are not what mothers are supposed to be; you are what everyone should be. Smart, witty, courageous and pretty! I love you.