My mother on the other side was a character with staunch piousness and heavy ethics. I’ll have to strain my brain greatly to recall any incident where I found her stepping out of her ethics.
By Ranadeep Sarkar
Introducing myself on such a sunset, I remember mother scolding papa aloud steadfastly.
She was glowing and her face turned crimson with indignation, as if all her vermilion hast been brushed over her checks, from the forehead.
I could not comprehend the whole matter, but with time and my mother’s temper it was getting exaggerated. Papa was quietly doing his own work at the corner of his bed. Partially lying with two or three pillows at the back, a table lamp clamped aside with its full focus and his favorite “Rabindra Rachanabali” on the left palm.
He always used to keep his pair of spectacle on the verge where the eye-sacs meet the nose, and the two fingers of the right hand playing as usually with a half burnt cigarette.
Like a distinctive bourgeois Bengali, normally seen in old Bengali movies, nearly of mid sixties. To be true to heart, I used to adore those few artistic touches, which reveals an impression out of life; my father has always been an expert about it.
My mother on the other side was a character with staunch piousness and heavy ethics. I’ll have to strain my brain greatly to recall any incident where I found her stepping out of her ethics. If she were guilty any time for any of her guilt, she would immediately apologize for that, but if she finds any guilt of any one else she won’t spare at all.
This was just what happened that day. She caught papa having a sweet dish with cherish despite being a severe patient of Diabetes. Actually papa was very fond of only one sweet dish and he never compromised with it. But to his ill-fortune mom was too strict when his diet was concerned, and this was not the first time!
From then onwards mom started sending me with papa, so that I may look after him, all the time he was out of mom’s vigilance. I was quite free then, since I had just completed my matriculation and was having a prolonged holiday but the duty, which was empowered on me, wasn’t to my suit then.
Yet without a choice of my own, I had to get up early in the morning and travel with papa to his workshop. Papa used to feel off work since I normally dealt with customers and especially when girls needed a personal thing and was of my age too.
As a whole it was not a very nice place, and boredom always prevailed when I was not with good company. Papa got this strategy of mine in his intuition and one fine morning while we were waiting at the bus stop he gave me a proposal. My age and the then immature brain of mine accepted it with full pleasure.
He gave me some money and asked me to go for a movie with my friends. I was so overwhelmed that I did not think twice. I couldn’t catch his intentions, which became a burden, that my unconscious self took over and which I have to carry till my grave.
He went to attend a party where the word “control” was obsolete and “diet” to its super degree remained un-maintained. He had all those things that were poison to him and wasn’t in a condition to pump his own heart.
Today my father is no more. The vermilion of my mother’s forehead has faded away. And yet I’m unable to acquire that much of guts to confess to my mother that I’m the one who has washed her forehead with gray ashes of my so-beloved father. She is now cooking “payasam,” the delicacy papa loved the most.
Today is his 2nd death anniversary.
This musing was first published in Meghdutam.com (between 1999 to 2002).
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