Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The first Woman of his life

It was 6 .05 in the morning. It was his 54th birthday. He was looking at the woman who was the reason for his existence. She was sleeping at the bed near the window of her room and it was evident to anyone who cared to note, that the breathing was not with ease. It had become a struggle; the past few months.

He suddenly remembered all those times when she was the one who would wake him up, this day of the year, to make him feel special at least for a moment or two, before he went back to living the life he hated. Her little attempts at making him feel proud for the person he was; her boasting to her friends and colleagues about what a good son he was. She’d lost her husband, a year after giving birth to their only son, to a bike accident. He had never understood the meaning of the word ‘Dad’. He had, in fact, never bothered to understand it. It was because of his wonderful mother who was everyone he wanted, to go through in life. Brought up in a society where marks and economic status were considered as yardsticks for judging the quality of one’s life as an adolescent and an adult, he had never felt at home among the forerunners. He was not intimidated by them but he just couldn’t fathom the lives of ‘man-machines ‘, that thought a six digit salary was the benchmark of happiness. He remembered all the little chats they had, deep into the evenings about the most trivial things in life. She was the one who gave him his principles and he’d always felt thankful to her for developing him into a morally stable person. He remembered all those incidents when he would have realised a bit too late, the one or two drops of tears that dripped out of his eyes just thinking about the struggle that her life had been.

It was a feeling of déjà vu when he felt the moisture across his cheeks and realised that the clock had struck seven. He walked up to her and whispered in her ear, ‘Love you Mom!’ and kissed her in her forehead. That was all he needed, to look forward to one more year of the life he hated.