“Finally I’ll be returning to her ”
“Good for you dude. You waited so long for this”
“Yes, relocations suck! Finally I’ll get a chance to hug her & embrace her food”
“You love her so much”
“Yes I do.” The smile on my face was enough to throw positive vibes around.
That day I ran to my apartment to pack bags. Rummaged through the clothes, wore the sweater she liked the most. It is strange how the favourites of your loved ones becomes your favorite too. Probably because you want them to make you one of their favorites. I was a mess. I immediately went to shave my beard, something I loved the most & she hated it. She always managed to restrain me from keeping a beard.
Sometimes I kept it purposely just to listen her scoldings. Those thoughts from the past filled me with happiness.
My phone bepped & I received the text about confirmation of my flight. Just few hours & I’ll be at home, in her arms, on her lap. I dressed & went straight to the airport. Remember “No Cigarettes & No Profanity” I said to myself.
“See you later, NYC” I waved while sitting in the plane ready for the departure.
It was still a lot of distance so I started recollecting my memories. The last one, a fight.
“Why won’t you let me?”
“I can’t stay away from you”
“But you have to. It’s about my career, it’s a great job opportunity”
“And what about me? Are you going to leave me alone?”
“No ofcourse not. Once I’m settled I’ll bring you there, to stay with me always.”
“No I can’t leave India. Find another job here”
“Didn’t you always want me to succeed? Now let me go!”
“But.. . It’s hard for me to let you go”
“Don’t be a crybaby. You can take care of yourself & here you have others too”
“No that’s enough! I’m going by the afternoon’s flight & that’s final.”
She couldn’t speak. She was so hurt to speak. I felt guilty but it was a one time opportunity. Now I can bring her with me. It’s feasible to do that now. I remember the look of sadness on her face when I stated I’ll be leaving India. Now she’ll be happy. I’ve always dreamt of living with her in a big house & buying her everything she wanted. I haven’t forgotten her love & pampering all these years. This was a great chance to relive those memories. I missed her food so much, she is the best cook & the love she pours into the dishes makes them even more delicious. Every ounce of my stomach wanted to eat asap. I waited for this moment long enough. Finally the plane landed & the smell of land rejuvenated me. I was about to give her the best surprise. I took the cab to home. Our door was always kept open at this time of afternoon. I sneaked in quietly. There she was again reading a book. I got behind her & closed her eyes.
“What’s for lunch?” She recognized my touch, my husky voice & started crying. I got down on my knees, wiped her tears & said
“I’m back, Maa”
The joy of my mother was boundless, she was so happy that she couldn’t speak. She just hugged me & kept crying. Only mothers can understand the happiness of reunion with their children. Six figures & a big house didn’t bring this much happiness to me.
“Wait for me, I’ll just get you something to eat. You look like an undernourished child”
“Yes sure get me some. It feels like I’m waiting for your food since 19th centuy!” I couldn’t help but notice the terrible impact of old age. She looked pale & weak. Is this because I left? Is she like this because I didn’t stay? I was agaim filled with guilt. Remorse.
That day I had the best meal in my life. She told me everything about the neighbours, the politics, the rising prices, marraiges, developments & the laundry man. This was the moment I realized my happiness is empty without her. At night we had a long chat & she slept on my lap. This time other way around.
Later that night I typed a transfer request to India.
I looked at her. I’m home, Maa :”)
~The Anonymous in me