September 23, 2006
Dear Little one,
How can I forget the parting look that you gave me when I was to enter the gate of theDAV
College where I was to make a presentation and you had to go wherefrom to the Bus stand! It was hard, very hard for me to leave you behind or was it that you were leaving me behind. What difference does it make as it was the end that was the same, we were to part and God knows when to meet again. I was getting late, was rather already late but this time getting late was no issue for me. As usual you were behaving like a mature person to tell me to go inside. I looked back and found you, too, to be looking back. How it tore my heart. I was at the gate now and wanted to give one lasts look towards you, you were getting into the car and once again our eyes met and the arms waived in a parting gesture.
Once inside the Conference Hall, I was a little immersed in the proceedings of the presentations and to be honest, your thought was there at the back of my mind but was not the only thing in my mind. In between I kept on thinking about where you might have reached by now and was a bit worried as well as you were carrying so much luggage on your own.
But you had been a strong child at least so far will power is concerned so I was certain that you can manage on your own. Suddenly my mind was filled with remorse at the unjustified practice of providing support to a person who claimed to be weak and to leave everything on the shoulders of those who claimed to handle everything on their own. You fell in the second category, just like your Ma!
In the evening we started back home. I was missing your presence in the car as your smell still permeated the very inside of the car. I remember how in the morning you had asked me to come to the back seat as you wanted to sit close to me. When we sat together holding hands, no words were needed to say anything more. I put my legs on the seat and sat cross legged so that you could keep you head on my lap. I didn’t need to say anything as you put your head on my lap and cuddled like a small baby on the seat, still holding my hand!
How small and vulnerable you looked and suddenly I was filled with a strong sense of protection towards you. Despite the fact that you claimed to be such a strong girl, I could see at that time how you needed to be pampered. You knew what transpired my mind and opening your eyes said, “I can take care of my own self, don’t worry Ma.” How close we are to each other, how easily we can read each other without ever using any language.
But that was in the morning and this was the evening when everything had changed. Both of us were moving in opposite directions—I was coming back towards home and you were moving towards what would be your home for some time now on!
The silence, in the car, was killing me. Your papa, too, was driving without having uttered a single word till then. We seemed to have lost our voice or the connecting thread—you. “Please put some music on” he said. Perhaps it was getting to his nerves as well. Without looking for what cassette I was putting my hands on, I put it to play. “Purani jeans aur guitar…” the song that you sang as a child filled the car. Can you believe, my little one, what happened to me. I started to cry. I muffled my sound as I didn’t want your papa to be unduly disturbed on account of my crying. I remembered this song so well—one of your favourites during school days and you had got this recorded to a cassette. Such a coincidence it was!
I didn’t change the cassette as I wanted to face the reality, the reality of living my life where you would come to meet me off and on but would not be there every time that I came home from my work place. I was surprised when your Papa asked me to change the cassette. It was so strange for him to remember the song as well. Though he never said much but we knew that he possessed some uncanny sense of knowing everything.
I knew life would not be same anymore but I could not just stop you from moving ahead and that too when you deserved much more. I know how good you are and how could I stop you just because you gave me a feeling of togetherness? It would have been selfish on my part.
We reached home very late, perhaps it was 1 AM but as soon as I opened the door, I could sense your presence everywhere. Your clothes lay everywhere, your books spread over the entire home. And more importantly your smell permeated the very being of us. I knew that I would put your clothes somewhere and arrange the books in your cupboard but the sweetness of your being a part of my life would be there never to be put anywhere else other than my heart. You belong to my heart and would live there forever.