My mom had as if gone dumbstruck by what I had done. I had felt her changing completely. She had never wanted to know where I was when I was gone for the 2nd time. That was so unlikely of her of whatever I had witnessed from the recent past. She had become more or less a mummy digger, trying to dissect the buried corpses.
I would not know if that was her attitude or her outlook that had changed in time. But then, she was changing back- again. She wasn’t doing that to keep a watch over me. She had so wanted to become the friends that we were. Oh yes.. We often discussed “desires” and “men” too. That phase was coming back to me again.
She was so vulnerable that she could not see the ugly side of Samanta. She had been so naive that she had taken offence in me. She had perhaps forgotten that I was her same daughter who had promised her a brand new Life. Only I could not. She had left me alone- soon enough.
I had so wanted to spend as much time with her ever since I saw that change in her. She was again becoming dependent on me. We had shared some very close and intimate bonding time soon. We would often spend our time together talking about her. She narrating me her experiences in details and I trying to give my notes. I did lecture her. She was as well thrown out of her maternal home. Whatever she did for her survival was what had caused the entire damage- till now.
While discussing how she could have avoided the ugly series of events which are still on, I had collected my notes too. Those conversations were more like between two friends. Candid and bare truths. I feel so honored that my mom discussed what she had never with anyone else. She had never felt comfortable discussing her personal feelings about things known to all.. Convenience. No one else ever brought up the subject themselves..
I now feel that those sessions had happened for my advantage. I used to lecture her when I was 8 or 9. All those topics were brought up again. My views had not changed over the years. If at all, I had become more rebellious and un- accepting and un-apologetic. Was she surprised? I am glad I discussed about such things, well in advance and with mom. One basic lesson I had learnt observing mom that men were never to be trusted. I re- iterate the same again after observing refreshed examples in my own Life till now.
So far, my Life has been an exact copy of my mom’s life. Scary..?? Being thrown out of maternal home to her messed up marriage; things bear un- canny resemblance. She too was a tom- boy. Only I had not witnessed that part. Instead of sobbing and mourning (whenever things struck me), I used to plan my further course of action in my mind. I had no room for murmuring my grievances. I had to actively make changes keeping in mind what had happened to mom, when she didn’t act in the manner that was so required to.
Society, mind- set, attitude- whatever; she had messed it up all. I so didn’t wish to walk the same path.
I would tell her how she could have made changes in accepting situations. How she could have not married my dad and contacted Manu masi who was in Delhi then working independently in CGO complex. She would then get into her brooding self and confirm upon my instincts. She often said that if only I was her friend at that point of time; that her course of Life would have been much organized and secured..
We drank Tea in tall steel glasses. She would then let me prepare our Glass Tea to enjoy gossiping along with.. Couple of times that my Uncle had been away to his hometown village, our differences and distances had ceased to exist in no time. After the patch up, we did get one last time to enjoy and freak out in the Demon’s absence. That’s exactly how I used to feel. The Last time, mom had agreed that she too felt the same way 😀
We would go to the Mother Diary Veggie Shop and fill our 3- 4 bags. Like crazy we shopped. Coming back was another task. Because of her Medical condition, she could not board rickshaw. It hurt her while they drove it on the bumps recklessly.
The 1st thing we did was to make a huge list of Groceries and veggies with a sheepish smile pasted on our faces. The next day, we would pick up huge cloth-bags to shop veggies. Dozens of eggs would then be bought. We would so comically then close the kilometre long distance. Mom with 2 bags and I on road with one. 3 bags on the rick with mom on road. Then I too on the road and bags on the rick. Finally, she would hold the lightest bag and keep sitting. I would walk with the two big bags, while the rickshaw puller would pedal slowly by my side. She wasn’t as much capable to even guard both the heavy bags.. even one at a time.
One would think that the quantity would have been enough for both of us for the next 15 days. However, it would not even last for the next 10 days. We would gorge on Double eggs (for each one of us) in every meal.
As it used to be back then, Samanta used to send a letter informing of his safe travel. One time when I was 12, I had received one of those. Even though that I could barely write my name in Bangla, I had declared that uncle had not hand- written that one. Upon reading mom had gone sulking. Indeed, his brother had written that letter for us to know that he was too occupied to write and inform about his reaching his home safely.
I had been watching over him for a long period of time. If only mom had paid wee bit attention to what I was harping upon. I was too young to have been able to make anyone see what I meant. I had spent my most memorable time with mom after those instances. How I would buy samosas (stuffed potato savories, deep fried) and chana bhaturas. Shops were too far away. I would buy them either while coming back from school. Or under pretense that I was going out for a walk. After 45 minutes, I would rush straight to the kitchen, prepare tea and sit for another gossip session with those piping hot savories.
Even though that she would insist saving a portion for Samanta, I would refuse to. He worked with American Center, was already enjoying his life with Chicken Sandwich (a rarity back then); what more could he ask for..? Mom had slogged real bad to save for his short hand and typing classes when dad was the only earning member, trying to settle in Delhi.
Where was the return? Not that mom had ever asked for any.
Convenience. He had never offered one too.
Mom slogged with the house- keeping, inturn we had a place to stay in. My school fees was only a couple of hundred bucks a year- again, no compulsion. School dress was white shirt and skirt, with no guidelines about belt and tie. No guidelines about shoes too. It wasn’t a Public School, remember?
I used to borrow books from seniors, so saved on that expenditure too. I could feel that he didn’t treat me like a child, instead, he hated me like I was a who**!! His attitude and ideas seemed so wild to me. I maintained a distance and didn’t speak with him much. Not even when it was required to. Mom could so feel that if dad wasn’t the ideal parent; so wasn’t Samanta.
Mom and I had become villains in his eyes. It’s because of us that he wasn’t settling down- in terms of getting married. This was as he had conveyed to people residing in that apartments. I was not shocked hearing this from masi only a couple of years back. If only mom had been able to pre- determine in time; she would have been alive.
Ruby had been to my place a couple of times. She too could feel that dead air in my house. All mom would insist upon is I completing my basic education degree and moving out of that place- asap.
Who was to know that I would anyways be moved out of that place soon enough?
My mom would have probably died if had not already. One, she adored Samanta. Two, she loved Me. It was while bringing me to life and while bringing me up that she had taken unmentionable tortures. She had never wanted me to undergo such atrocities ever in name of man, relationships and marriage.