|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|SETTING||Terrace OR Bedroom OR Living Hall|
Short Story of Mothers Love - Tears of Joy
I lay in my bedroom staring the motionless fan hanging from the ceiling above. Electricity has gone, but the cool breeze through the windows works better than the fan. Despite that, sweat drops cover my body.
The pain in both legs makes me mad. Two months back a slip in the corridor had gifted me broken bones in both legs.
Amidst the pain, the fingers of my left hand are wrapped around the cell phone. The pain in my heart coupled with the unbearable pain in my legs makes my grip over it even tighter.
I am expecting a call. A call from my son-in-law!
A confirmation call for me to add myself to the group of grandmothers!
The most precious person in my life, my Munni, is admitted in the city hospital for her delivery. My kid is just nineteen years old and is going to be a mother. I know it isn’t news in today’s world. But for me, it is!
An accident had taken away my husband when Munni was seven years old. That time I had thought that my life was over. But it wasn’t. Without much education and a stable employment I had taken pains all these years to raise Munni giving her every comfort a middle-class child would expect. But I couldn’t send her to college, though she was a good student who aspired to study more.
When my pretty daughter turned eighteen, the proposal from this decent, employed guy, my son-law, had come. It changed my Munni’s life and along with it, my life too. She had moved with her husband to the city and I live alone in this cheerless house. Munni, my only cheer, is far away!
My son-in-law had promised to send her to college, but soon she became pregnant. It wasn’t a mistake too! And even now he assures me that he will send her for study, after the child is born. I don’t know. But there is no reason for me to doubt my son-in-law. For my Munni, he is a good and loving husband who takes good care of her and my daughter is happy with him. That automatically makes me glad. And sometimes, her age gives her fears, which she lavishly gives me too. Whenever she shows that generosity, I become weak like a one-armed boxer and the life scares the hell out of me.
These days, I can’t move myself without my old aunt’s help, so taking care of Munni seemed something unthinkable, so she had to plan her delivery in the city itself. They have hired someone to take care of her. As travel has been impossible for both of us, I haven’t seen my daughter in months. Since then our only contact was through cell phone. She calls me umpteen number of times for sharing even her most silly doubts and fears. I understand how much impact a mother can make on her children. My words, loaded with love, strengthen her, give her courage to face things for which a woman is destined.
That’s when I realised how important a cell phone is in my life. I don’t know how I would have managed without the cell phone, which meant no connection with my only daughter, for whom I have lived so far and for whom I am still living.
Once she asked me, ‘Ammi, what if my child is a still born? When I went for check-up, another girl I met there told me her first child was a still born!”
Always I ask her to be positive, to pray and to not think about such matters.
Another time she asked, ‘Ammi, what will you do if I die?’
She, with that question, had taken my good life that very moment. Her fears always make me fragile.
I had become her mother at a younger age than hers. But I hadn’t given much thought about it then. I was just excited about the baby, my baby! Even if I had fears, there was none to support me, my mother was a harsh one. I was ignorant. Sometimes, ignorance helps. When my date was due, fear had gripped me. But soon, I had become extremely happy seeing my cute baby, my Munni.
But Munni’s question had made me panic. I can’t even imagine losing her. I would rather die with her.
I had cried, had scolded her for asking that.
I don’t know what other mothers think, but I am more concerned about my daughter and her life than the child’s. It may sound selfish, but it is a truth. Childbearing is not a big event as lakhs and lakhs are born each day. But even the most mundane thing becomes the most important news when it comes to our children or close people. That is what it is all about.
But again, I didn’t know how to pacify her. I just had told her nothing like that would happen.
But the fear which found home in my heart from that moment has remained there like an uninvited guest.
“What would I do without her?”
A girl’s best friend is always her mother. But taking our circumstances into consideration, I am unable to be with her, when she needs me the most, to stray away all her fears.
I cry over my helplessness. I know it doesn’t help. But that’s the only thing I am able to do now.
I find my cell phone as one of the most treasured possessions. The thing that makes me alive connecting me with my life, with my breath, which makes me forget all the pain by her sweet voices.
I check the cell phone, nothing new! I don’t want to call and disturb them.
As times passes, fear gains strength. Bad thoughts pass through my mind.
I try to remain calm, but I can’t. I am no saint to win over all my emotions. I am an ordinary lady.
But, as my thoughts wander, I get to know that if I don’t find peace and overcome my fears myself, none can help me do that.
I think about my life. I had gone through many bad times while living the life of a widow without anyone’s support. But I had overcome all those hurdles, had led a model life. I had raised a girl, had given her education as far as I could and had given her in marriage to a good man.
I, who have come all this way, am now afraid of losing my child.
But does worrying help? Will our fears change anything? Will it bring us desired results?
I think. I try to be strong. I try my best to think good thoughts.
With no one around, I close my eyes, I try to bring all nice thoughts, all my successes to my mind. I try to pray, but I am unable to concentrate.
I remind myself that everyone has to face what life brings, good or bad. Everyone has to face down their demons, no matter what.
I clutch the cell phone more tightly. With the positive thoughts in my mind, even that clutch over the phone gives me a feeling that I am overcoming my fears.
The cell phone in my hand vibrates, and then it starts ringing. I know my heart is not just beating, but it is drumming. I listen holding it to my ear.
“Ammi….!” My son-in-law’s voice.
“Ha….” I realise my voice has choked in my throat.
“God blessed us…it is a baby girl! Both Munni and baby are healthy and fine. Be happy Ammi!”
I wanted to thank god. But no voice came out of me.
“Ammi, you there?”
“Ha beta, I am hearing, god has shown mercy!”
After a brief talk about Munni and kid, I put the cell phone down.
My little Munni has become a mother, a mother of another girl.
May be, some day she also will go through the tensions which I have undergone, but again, maybe not, at that time girls can be much bolder than the present times.
Tears flow down my face, tears of joy, the same tears I had nineteen years ago, when I saw my Munni’s face for the first time.
The uninvited guest has left my heart. I am sure it has left my daughter’s heart too.
My daughter has me to drive her fears away; for me, I have to do it myself.