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Monday, August 2, 2010

My Angel

My Angel is my first story that found its way to publishing through Chicken Soup for the soul: Indian Mother. This is my real life incident which happened one day as I was returning back to my University Bansathali Vidyapeeth after spending the summer vacation at my home.



"I am missing mother badly", cried my roommate on the very first day of hostel. I found it funny to see such a grown up girl crying 'ma, ma' like a baby. I never cried like that. I had a very comfortable childhood being the youngest of three siblings.

But this story is not about me. It is about an ordinary woman. She is not a famous personality. Nor do I think,
she ever intended to be. Just like countless women in this world she is a good homemaker, who does her daily chores silently, patiently and without expecting any note of thanks. And I always respected her more because of the 'you-should-respect-elders' values taught in the family than for any other reason I could guess. I never saw her as an individual but only as a mother, a wife and a homemaker whose day should start much earlier than I was expected to get up from bed and end much later after I start dreaming, until that moment of
my life.

The year when my sister got married and my brother went to a different city for his higher studies, I too decided to join a reputed residential college in a far away land and experience life as a hosteler surrounded by people of my age group. I cleared the entrance examination and got admission where I wanted to be. I was very excited. She, as usual, helped me arrange all my stuff and prepare for my new life.

I was truly amazed by the hostel life and thoroughly enjoyed staying with people of my age. We used to study, dance, sing, and have discussions on various topics. My days and nights were surrounded by so many friends. Life was full of wonders there. But when my friends remembered their mothers crying when they were coming back from vacations, I used to feel very uncomfortable. I had so many times seen my father getting sad about me being faraway for studies, but I neither saw her crying when I was leaving nor did I bother asking
her how she was feeling. Actually, I never cared for her cries because I have seen her crying on several occasions like a typical Indian women. "Still, how come she never cried while bidding me goodbye so many times. Maybe she has got used to it. Or may be, it’s not a big deal for her now. Anyway, its good as it makes things easier for me", I used to think selfishly and again get drowned in the sea called life. On long summer vacations, I used to miss my hostel life and tell her my stories about my friends, my teachers, my poems, my
dreams, and my aspirations again and again. And every time, she used to listen to me keenly while doing her regular work.

Then during my return after my vacation of 3rd year, I was busy boarding my train. She gave her nice old smile, kissed me and said goodbye along with her regular take care advices. I sat on my seat beside the window ready with the book I was reading. My father was standing beside me, taking care of my luggage and giving one of those I-think-I-shouldnot-let-you-go looks. The train was about to depart. I looked outside the window to bid her one final goodbye but couldn’t find her. "Pa, where is she?", I asked my father. "Oh, must be somewhere around", he answered sadly. I was puzzled!

I again searched the platform and found her stealing herself away from me- standing with a blank look. That look etched into my memories forever. Fighting the oceans of loneliness in her big eyes, my Mother stood there as if telling herself - "let her go.. She’s going to get her dreams.. Let her go". I couldn't believe I didn't see this for three years. How much she miss being surrounded by her children all the time. And I could see the tears rolling down on her cheeks. I could see her loneliness, her love and her selflessness that moment.

And then I realized the ease with which she always held her tears before me so as not to make me uncomfortable in my journey towards life. I felt the tremendous strength of my mother's will behind her moist eyes that day, that strength which has always been my reposal without me ever realizing so. Suddenly a sense of pride filled me to have her as my mother who was always working for my dreams right from the day she brought me into this world. I looked back at my father and he was silent. I understood this was a routine for
him to comfort her after I go.

Throughout the journey I was lost in her thoughts. That moment made me see an extraordinary woman standing in this world. And so I have learnt that no mother is ordinary as no mother yearns for an applause or gratitude or a note of thanks. Who else could be so forgiving, so selfless and so much yours without ever wanting anything in return. I no more look for any reason to respect my mother as those unseen tears, all through those years, have made me realize why mothers are said to be your angels...