She looked outside the window and could see the sun setting. The days were getting shorter and winter was coming. Soon she was busy again. Mothers always are but they never complain. And kids think their lives are toilsome. She did away with the evening chores, filling water bottles and putting them in the refrigerator, getting the buckets full before the water runs out and tidying up the kitchen before the maid could come. She knew her husband would be home soon, before the maid, and that nothing comes between him and his tea.
But today, the maid was early or as it appeared to her, her husband was late. A wave of concern hit her as she rushed to the living room to look at the clock. It was still ten to six as she heaved a sigh of relief. She realized she worried too much but she knew she worried for the right reasons. Before the clock could hit six, there was a bell and she rushed to the door, leaving the tea on simmer.
It was her husband as she very well knew. He walked in briskly, not a glimmer of fatigue on his face, peppy as ever. He went about asking her about the day and she asked him back. Both of them knew that there never was anything new to tell but they loved the idea of knowing everything about the time they weren’t together. And they had been together a long, twenty five years at that. There are things these many years teach you in a married life. They teach you how your time is not just yours but everyone’s else’s too. It’s much like your joys being not only yours but everyone else’s but it takes time to understand it. But she understood it; they understood it.
They had tea and they talked. Talked. Soon it was eight as her gaze shifted once again to the wall-clock. But her daughter Veena still wasn’t there. She looked concerned and shared it with her husband. He chuckled and asked her to cool down.
“But it’s eight. She is always home by seven, at most half past seven but never eight”, she said.
“She might be stuck in traffic, Don’t you worry. Call her and ask if it relaxes you”, he answered.
She immediately grabbed her phone and went about dialing her number. Impatiently, she waited for the dial tone but it never came. What came was something she had dreaded in some anxious corner of her mind. Her cellphone was switched off.
Her worry became panic now as the hands of the clock sprinted their way to nine and then past it. By then, she had navigated through all of Veena’s friends who worked with her. They had been home hours earlier and some had seen her leave the office too. But still she called her office and some guy told her that Veena wasn’t there. She was overwrought in distress and a million bad thoughts came to her mind. She fought trying to make them go but couldn’t.
She asked her husband, who was by now equally worried, to go and look for her. He did, knowing it was useless but thinking ‘Just maybe’. As he left, her eyes and hands rose to the skies, praying, begging to save her daughter from any harm. An hour late, she called her husband but he couldn’t find her in all the places he navigated to, looking for her. She asked him to come back to go look together.
After a while, the bell rang. She collected her things, a photo of her daugher and went to the door. She opened it and it was Veena. She had gone ‘someplace’ with a friend and her battery had gone down. There was much traffic and she a got a ‘bit late’. How could she know what a mother went through?
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today. This post is about the little mistakes we as children commit and the impact it has on our mothers.