This is the story of an acquaintance of an old friend……probably the story of millions of mothers across the globe……. “Ma, I’m leaving for swimming. Ask Baba to be ready to drop me for karate class.” My seven-year old shouted from the steps as he ran down to meet his swimming teacher. I had to drop my ten-year old daughter at the gate where the pool car would be coming to ferry her to the drawing school a few kilometers away.
Hurrying her to get her bag ready, quickly stuffing some sandwiches in her box to be had during the break between her drawing and music classes, I pulled out some fruits from the basket and left them on the table for my son to devour as soon he would be back from karate class, hungry and angry. My daughter off for her classes, I sprinted back home to catch a few minutes of solitude with a cup of steaming tea. I would be lucky if my husband joined me, it being a Saturday. The balcony had been spruced up for such rare luxuries.
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As I stepped in, drawing a long breath, the rings of the phone drew me to it. It was a call from my daughter’s singing teacher. Owing to her son coming down from the med school for a short holiday, would it be very inconvenient for us to send Megha today instead of the usual Sunday? Of course not, I reply mechanically. As I settle down with my tea, eager to rejuvenate myself with the morning breeze tantalizingly sweeping across the balcony, I am reminded that Megha’s return would be delayed today owing to an extra session at the music class for a function her group would host a week later. Which meant she would have just enough time to gobble down her lunch before she rushes for the singing class. It also meant sacrificing the golden hour I was looking forward to with my husband, just back from a month-long overseas trip, to enjoy a some moments of togetherness because I would have to rustle up lunch an hour earlier.
As I danced around in the kitchen, the masala containers flying off the shelves, I was assailed by a sudden thought. “Am I overloading my children? Will they burn out too soon?” But then there was no time to contemplate on that. The alarm bell was ringing to remind me about the time approaching for my son’s karate class and so I had to pull my husband away from his laptop. The mad morning over, everybody back home, classes over, peace returning to the house, all four of us sat down in the balcony, sipping juice when my children winked at each other and came towards me. Fishing out a bunch of roses, they sang out in chorus “Happy Mother’s Day!” My eyes welled up with tears as I hugged them tight. The words came out “Oh babies! I wish you had some more time for me to love you.” Does life have to be really THAT fast?!
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