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A mom muses on the incredible joys of motherhood, which can also be bittersweet at times. An emotional journey.
I did not know that it would be like this.
That a part within would grow and climb out of me and become something so beautiful. That someone weighing 3.74 kilograms would make my world dance with a flick of his little finger—your entire hand the size of my thumb, your fingers delicate as a baby grape, long and slender like an ape’s. I shook hands with a monkey once. I wait for you to grow up to tell you this. I hope it will make you laugh. Like bubbles do.
I did not know that my squeals of delight would become inseparable from yours as we chase them together. “Fasther, fasther!” you lisp through your gurgles of laughter as I blow gently to give you a flurry of little globes, little universes in which trees bend across to touch the pebbles and the sun is a swimming purple dot. I catch one on my hand and let you pop it. There weren’t as many bubbles when I was young. Neither were there all these toys that have claimed your room and are now creeping into mine.
I did not know that I would go to war with your friends about Elmo’s favourite colour and Mowgli’s age because they would be all I’d have left. That I’d rush home wobbling on high heels, with an empty stomach and a bursting bladder and you’d smile and ask, “Can you bvow me a humungous bubble?” And a beam of pride would radiate from within me, sweeping away all that I know except this—slow and gentle breaths for a big one, quick huffs for a flurry.
I did not know that every conversation, with people known and unknown, would come back to when you slept and what you ate. That suddenly one day you will tell me that you want to go to the bathroom, and the half-used bag of diapers would sit in your cupboard for six months until I am convinced and finally pass it on to a friend.
I did not know that one day you will kiss me good night and go to bed on your own, an hour and a half of my day, duly returned, without interest. That for a week all I would do with these extra hours of life is sort your Lego and sharpen your colouring pencils and check in on you every ten minutes.
That taking you to the playground would turn into an hour of missed calls from work and of broken conversations with friends who would soon give up and go away. Of exultation in conquering the blue spiral slide and disappointment at giving up the monkey bars even as those younger than you trapeze by.
“I used to do the bat-hang when I was young,” I tell you with a hint of irritation.
“The thing is,” you explain kindly, “the bigger bubbles are more difficult to smash.”
I did not notice you started blowing bubbles yourself. I try to teach you games I used to play as a child, but all you want to do is blow more bubbles. I did not know that in a sultry playground full of children, mothers, nannies and dogs, amidst shrieks of joy and wails, in the company of the purest person I would ever know, time would slow down and I would be swallowed by a heavy gust of tedium that would wrap around me like a humungous bubble and lift me above the playground, my head would warp and bend across to touch my feet, and I would break up into oily swishes of magenta, blue and yellow, before it pops.
First published in Mother Always Write in 2017.
Image source: By Lifestock, Free for Canva Pro
Nidhi was born and raised in India, spent a decade in Singapore, now calls London home, but far prefers to inhabit the world of words. Her work has been featured in journals and anthologies including read more...
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If her MIL had accepted her with some affection, wouldn't they have built a mutually happier relationship by now?
The incident took place ten years ago.
Smita could visit her mother only in summers when her daughter had school holidays. Her daughter also enjoyed meeting her Nani, and both of them had done their reservations for a week. A month before their visit, her husband told her, “My mom is coming for 4-5 months!”
Smita shuddered. She knew the repercussions. She would have to hear sarcastic comments from her mother-in-law for visiting her mother. She may make these comments directly only a bit, but her servants would be flooded with the words, “How horrible she is! She leaves me and goes!”
Maybe Animal is going to make Ranbir the superstar he yearns to be, but is this the kind of legacy his grandfather and granduncles would wish for?
I have no intention of watching Animal. I have heard it’s acting like a small baby screaming and yelling for attention. However, I read some interesting reviews which gave away the original, brilliant and awe-inspiring plot (was that sarcastic enough?), and I don’t really need to go watch it to have an informed opinion.
A little boy craves for his father’s love but doesn’t get it so uses it as an excuse to kill a whole bunch of people when he grows up. Poor paapa (baby) what else could he do?
I was wondering; if any woman director gets inspired by this movie and replicates this with a female protagonist, what would happen?. Oh wait, that’s the story of so many women in this world. Forget about not giving them love, you have fathers who try to kill their daughters or sell them off or do other equally despicable things.
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