Yes , I remember ( An Ode to my Mother )

From my room, I see a solitary Ashoka tree
Lissome and graceful, swaying with the breeze.
Hidden in a tree a koel trills
Perhaps watching me, furtively?
They say, it is mother’s day today.
Mummy, are you also watching me furtively?
“Have some curds and sugar,
You did not study for your paper.”
“How can curds and sugar help?”
Papa’s reprimand went unanswered
As you scampered to find out the reason
Of Nipper, the pup’s, whelp.
“Don’t pamper her .She is incorrigible, this brat”.
His complaint went unheard, as you ran to feed Lazy, the cat.

I am overwhelmed with memories
Ah, so many of them.
Your reproaches following me as I swung from trees,
Played pranks, ran after runaway kites, started fights.
Yes, I remember, your cotton sarees, crisp and elegant.
[You changed them thrice a day!]
The way you threw back your head and laughed
That tinkling laughter, so infectious and gay.
[I delude myself into the belief that I laugh the same way.]

And yes, I remember that wrinkled woman
Who crinkled her nose at me and remarked,
“This daughter of yours is so dark,
But don’t worry, she will soon die, she is also a weakling”.
Both of you stared down this verbal sting
Papa in a Mephistophelean frown
And you elegance personified
In that white cotton saree, dyed brown.
Yes, mummy, I remember everything.

She slunk away. That wrinkled woman.
But she stayed on in a ten year old’s psyche.
One day, when you saw me vigorously scrubbing my face
In the privacy of the bathroom
You stared at my tear – stained face, and my eyes red
“Always remember, black is my favorite color, Baby”, you said.
Hugging me tight.
Now, it is mine, mummy.

Two years since you left us, mummy
But why does my hand keep going to the cell phone
To tell you every little thing?
Ah, it is a habit, and habits die hard
Yes mother’s love is a habit I know.
I know, it will die hard.
And I will continue to be a fledgling
Trying to wing my may into a future
Uncertain. Strongly feeling your weak arms around me
Till eternity.

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About Santosh

An educationist with a passion for writing , having published some novels for young adults, some essays and some poems. My poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi will soon be published .

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