Days with Mom (ongoing since 2013) -
I’d always held back from embracing it, but my father was my philosophical guide. I could admit it openly to myself only after he’d passed away.
My brother and I pined after him, and shed common tears, and selfishly cried over all that we had taken for granted, and all that we had yet to learn from him.
But, not for an instant did we confuse ourselves for the true protagonist of his life, our mother, his wife.
What I originally mistook for our shared bereavement slowly changed into a realization of her loss. I think I got a true glimpse of how happy and successful their marriage had been only after my father’s death.
While Abba had had a more intellectual bend of mind, I learnt that Mom had been the stronger and the braver one of the two.
I learnt that I do not take after her.
I don’t visit her too often, but I try to when I can.
Jamshedpur, my hometown, feels like a dream each time I visit it. It is suspended in time like a note from a song I cant’ remember. However, something has changed about it. Abba is no longer there. Mom still goes to teach at the school she has been for twenty five years. She still meets all their old friends. She maintains her house independently, like his wish for her. Everything in the house is as it used to be, except that there are now so many more photographs of him.
These photographs are to be my journal for when I visit her, even if they start to become my reasons to visit her.