The important moments of our lives are more or less same, irrespective of time. It was my mother and then me till my daughter is ready, the celebrations of life remain more or less unaltered.
‘How come you were so thin then?’
The photographs were printed in different sizes. The tiny half-passport size photographs which demanded a reading glass even for a six-year old, must have been cheaper than the regular post card size prints.
The one which had the photograph of my mother as a young bride, waiting with a nervous smile, right before the ceremony was definitely an important moment. It was stuck on the center of the thick, black, cotton-paper and I noticed it was one of a decent size.
“Oh, the time!”, the ‘not-so-thin-now’ and neither can be called new, the bride of the black and white photograph retorted with a long sigh.
Checked her quickly while sitting on the floor with the album wide open in front. I could see her back and smell the whole cumin just tossed on the heated ghee. She cooks well and that’s why she had become fat! I concluded.
“Nothing to do with time for sure!” I told myself quietly. Even at six, girls knew what not to speak out loud specially to her mom.
“Is it red, Ma? Your ‘Banarasi’?”
I almost lied down on the picture squinting my eyes to figure out the hue which after few minutes of severe and intense observation realized that it was nothing but grey.
“Uhu! Nope! ‘Mayur-konthi!’
I sat up straight right away, eyebrows questioning. Like the rest of her kind, she also had eyes behind her head and many past unfortunate incidents had warned me that those eyes don’t even bat their eyelids.
“Don’t be surprised. You have seen it in the trunk once!”
Two colours trapped on the threads, the dark plump purple brinjal and the velvety blue of a gorgeous bird, the saree flashed back in my memory.
“Don’t even think of opening the trunk, now.”
The wish to touch the silk was raw and I was about to. But her warning without even turning her head an inch convinced the fact about those omnipotent sight she possessed.
By then the soft-boiled, yellow ‘sona moong’ dal had joined their cumin friends in ghee and my tiny nostrils flared and sucked in the rich aroma.
“What was the menu, Ma? Did you have ice cream in your time?”
She always concentrated when she added sugar in her food. A Bengali style of adding a pinch of sweetness in ‘all things considered’, I waited! A heap spoonful of sugar melted in the pot, now bubbling with heat.
“We had, but not in weddings.” She answered in a matter of fact tone. “There was ‘kheer er chchanch‘ (dry milk cakes) I remembered vaguely. They were the best! I was starving but not hungry.”
The last statement made no sense to me and ma knew that as well.
She turned and smiled, a mysterious smile for a six-year old to fathom.
“Hardly knew your dad then!”
Still messed up with her answer, tried my best to understand the logic of missing a grand feast that too of her own wedding simply because my good old dad was brand new then!! It was lame of her but then she had always one or two weird wiring, which dad and I quietly agree to leave untouched.
“Did you sit on a throne? Ma, did you?”
Turned the pages to see the flower adorned red velvet-breasted chair. I was always ready to get married to sit on that throne.
“Like a Queen!” I whispered.
She heard and said more to herself than to me, “For one evening!”
There was something stuck on those words which teased me to probe further but I knew it wasn’t time yet.
“Was dad a handsome groom!” I looked up from the album to see her face.
“What do you think?” She asked back, smiling the same unnerving smile.
I could see dad grinning on the photograph and looking back at me. This young man doesn’t look like my dad but I knew that was ‘him’ alright. He, a naïve young man from a small town with sandal wood paste dotted on his eyebrows almost making him comical, trying to manage the ‘dhoti’ in one hand and the other holding the ‘topor’, the triangular hat which he had to wear later in the evening in midst of hundreds of unknown eyes. My heart melted for him.
“Of course he was!”
There was a challenge thrown back to her.
She laughed out loud and said, “বাবার চামচা!!” (Dad’s girl!!)
All girls are! Their dads remain their heroes till another man in an equally hilarious hat walks into their lives one evening with the melancholy tune of the ‘sanai‘ washing the afternoon lights and the smell of ‘Rajanigandha‘ (the tuberose flower) lingering on the night sky.
(Artwork: Piu Mahapatra)
We are editorially independent, not funded, supported or influenced by investors or agencies. We try to keep our content easily readable in an undisturbed interface, not swamped by advertisements and pop-ups. Our mission is to provide a platform you can call your own creative outlet and everyone from renowned authors and critics to budding bloggers, artists, teen writers and kids love to build their own space here and share with the world.
When readers like you contribute, big or small, it goes directly into funding our initiative. Your support helps us to keep striving towards making our content better. And yes, we need to build on this year after year. Support LnC-Silhouette with a little amount - and it only takes a minute. Thank you
Got a poem, story, musing or painting you would like to share with the world? Send your creative writings and expressions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning and Creativity publishes articles, stories, poems, reviews, and other literary works, artworks, photographs and other publishable material contributed by writers, artists and photographers as a friendly gesture. The opinions shared by the writers, artists and photographers are their personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Learning and Creativity- emagazine. Images used in the posts (not including those from Learning and Creativity's own photo archives) have been procured from the contributors themselves, public forums, social networking sites, publicity releases, free photo sites such as Pixabay, Pexels, Morguefile, etc and Wikimedia Creative Commons. Please inform us if any of the images used here are copyrighted, we will pull those images down.