Child and Mother — By Apurba Kr Khound

I have travelled quite far in life in terms of age but have I become wiser or more humane by it, is a question nagging me for some time now.

Indaserai ( Inda) is a two year old Khasi girl who makes my day during my stay in Shillong on weekends with her joyful presence as I enjoy doting on her every demand.

My mother’s age is nearing ninety and her memory is beginning to fade. With passing time, she has become more like a child, dependent upon help to perform her daily chores despite inner resistance to protect her personal dignity. Yet, the first thing she does when I reach home from office is to make a cup of tea for me. I know the value of this cup of tea but only intellectually.

As a man, my strength has been taking an objective view of challenges facing life and taking decisions, keeping in mind the principles of equity and fair play. Until now, I was pretty sure that I have lived my life well. But my belief has been badly shaken, having to deal with my mother. While, I’m happy in the companion of Inda the child, I often lose my cool with the seemingly unreasonable demands of my mother who too is but a octogenarian child !

The problem is due to the gap between the head and the heart, I have come to realize. My head tells me that at this age all that my mother  needs is motherly care reversing our roles ! But all I have, is a rusted heart, a far cry from the golden heart of a mother who bestowed pure love no matter what I did as a child.

It’s truly a terrifying experience to learn that I have aged as a totally incomplete person. It’s perhaps a signal to revisit life as I am seized of the immediate situation and try to imbibe a small percentage of what motherhood stands for. Truly, life is a great teacher and I’m trying to learn my lessons.

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