And as the time passes, we understand or we try to. A person cannot fathom other’s choices let alone their reasons
I was on my way to the carnival, the place where I had last seen my mom’s smile, heard her laugh, held her hand. It was all so amazing, I felt extremely nervous. I read books extensively and I couldn’t think of anything that was written precisely for this moment. This single moment.
As I reached, the mob had already dispersed into families returning home. I caught the familiar atmosphere just less noisy. That old merry-go-round stood like an old majestic trophy in the light from the lamppost nearby.
” Here.” A man in his mid-forties held out a soft drink. On denying, he insisted.
” It’s from your mother.” I looked at his face and recognized the smile. The same one that smiled at me 15 years earlier.
” Where is she?” I was astonished by my voice. Slowly fading away. Slowly but faster.
” Nearby. She is waiting for you.”
” Before you go, know that your mother is a noble woman.” The man looked at me with great intensity. Demanding an answer, an honest one.
I nodded and he pointed to the direction of the giant wheel.
At the foot of the wheel, I recognised my mom. Few things had changed. There were more wrinkles, more lines, gray hair but, she seemed happy, beautiful.
“Maa?” My voice distant
” You are here. I cannot believe you are here.” She hugged me like I was the last thing in the world. I hugged her back and the time didn’t pass.
I felt her tears, her heartbeat, her touch, the wall broke and I cried for the first time in 15 years.
” How have you been?”
” How? How can you?”
” Calm down and sit. ”
“Why maa? Why ?” my anger returned and I was ready to open up the box that I hid in my mind’s corner.
” I’ll tell you a story.”
Willing to get answers I sat in front of her. Ready to listen to the story. Her story.
” It was a long time ago, there was a 17 year old girl who had dreams. It was a time when dreams were supposed to be forgotten in the morning but this particular girl wanted her dreams to become reality. During that time, girls were supposed to have one and only purpose; to build a family.
Her parents had already chosen a suitor for her; someone who was reputed in society, a stranger who was supposed to be her husband. You would think it’s just a normally arranged marriage but it wasn’t. The girl was in love. The lecherous treacherous love which is known as hellish and heavenly.
They are going to marry you off, he exclaimed.
I know, the girl cried.
Did you tell them about me? he asked
You know I cannot. They will kill both of us. Moreover, you are a Muslim and I’m a Hindu. There is no community that will see us as a match, was her words and, she was right. Being in love with a person of different caste was prohibited; they were of different religion altogether, it was impossible.
We know how it ends, don’t we? yet why are we still walking along? He asked
I’m sorry, The coward spoke.
and just like that, she left her love; married to her suitor.
Her suitor, who forced her to live as a housewife. As a person fit for bearing kids. Fit for sex. She never felt at home.
So when she saw her chance of happiness and she ran away with him. This time thinking about her happiness, her dream. Herself.
The guilt she carried was far greater than anyone else. The anguish she felt was greater than any mother but the pain of chains were gone. ” Her smile resonated, They were gone son, They were gone.
She looked upto me. Tears in her eyes and that man beside her.
” I’m sorry son. You didn’t deserve the pain, I’m sorry that you had to grow up without a mother. I’m a bad person, I beg of you.. forgive me. ”
And I couldn’t speak. I sat there looking at my mom crying.
After a long moment what seemed like an eternity, I stood up and held her hand.
“Let’s ride in the giant wheel maa” I said smiling.
Strange how the past we leave behind catches upto us at weirdest of times.
For her, at that carnival;