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She knew what Ma’s call meant. Ma’s call meant a voice that comforted her, calmed her down whenever she had the slightest worry or no worry at all.
It was 5.30 pm. Anjali had returned from her work two hours ago, rested for a while, made her usual round of hone calls to her friends began to get dinner prep started.
This was her routine everyday. She would wake up by six, head straight to the kitchen, cook breakfast, pack lunch for herself and her husband Arjun, get ready and leave for work. The routine after work was….well, routine!
It was the same that day too. Anjali began her daily monologue, “What do I make today? The boring, healthy food or one of her favourites- junk food?” She blankly opened the refrigerator- well stocked as always! An array of assorted sauces, spice mixes, vegetables….But the same question, “What do I make?” She glanced at her phone – no missed call. Anjali finally made the difficult decision – Tomato Soup with a light Aglio Olio Spaghetti it is! With this decided, she went on chop, chop, chop….
6.30 pm: A quick glance at her phone. No missed call again. Was her phone on silent mode? No, it wasn’t. Then why didn’t the call come? “She’s probably busy’, thought Anjali. She went on with her cooking. Soon, the house was filled with the aroma of freshly sauteed basil and roasted garlic. Oh! It was divine! She set up the table – table mats on, her new Corelle set, fork to the left, spoon to the right and raspberry scented candle giving the room a perfect dinner date feel !
7.30: Yet no call. “Ok, that’s enough waiting”, Anjali picked up her phone, scrolled down her contacts list and dialled. “Ma”.
“Where were you, Ma? Why didn’t you call today?”
‘I was just helping up with the usual chores. What’s the matter? Is anything troubling you? Why are you sounding so flustered?’
Anjali took a deep breath, eased out the frown on her face and said, “Nothing Ma, I was just waiting to hear your voice. I’m fine.”
She spoke for a while and hung up. She started wondering why she felt so restless. Ma called her everyday. They never spoke at length daily. Just the usual routine things. Routine! “Oh, I’m just used to the routine of speaking to her everyday.”
She went on to wash her face and make herself presentable before Arjun came. As she wiped her face, she pondered, “Is it just routine?”. The answer was no. She knew what Ma’s call meant. Ma’s call meant a voice that comforted her, calmed her down whenever she had the slightest worry or no worry at all. Ma was her wall of strength, which meant that no matter what, she was always there for you.
Anjali smiled to herself, as her eyes began to well up. She hadn’t spoken well to Ma lately, she was moody and grumpy on some days, cheerful on few others and plain rude on some days! But Ma never minded. She called everyday! Anjali realised something that day. No matter how old she grew, she always needed her mother – her shield, her love, her support! Well, the nine month extra connection with mothers does reflect!
Combing her hair into a tight pony, she resolved to call Ma everyday and try not to be moody when she spoke, but well… that was being a little too optimistic because Ma was the one she could vent out all her pent up feelings to… but Ma would understand, she always does, doesn’t she?
Author’s note: Dedicated to my mother.
Image source: videoblocks
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