It was a perfect moment in time.
My mom was visiting and I had cancelled all commitments to be with her without rushing around and stressing unnecessarily. She noticed this and conveyed her appreciation through a gentle smile.
As I booked tickets for a movie followed by a leisurely lunch and discussed our day with her, she couldn’t help beaming. I hugged her and expressed my pleasure at having her home. She hugged me back with a tightness that surprised me. It held in it so much…. Love, pride, gratitude, blessings… Suddenly, my eyes brimmed with tears… My mom had given me everything she thought I might need to manage my adult life with equipoise and now she stood within my arms, frail and delicate, straight – backed and proud.
As we headed home after our ‘date’, soft music filtered from the music system in the car that cocooned us from the outside traffic. Then that song started playing, the one my dad used to sing ever so beautifully…”Chain se hum ko kabhi..aap ne jeene na deeya…” I cast a sideways glance at my mom and saw a small tear form at the corner of her eye…. I skipped it, to the next one… But she requested me to put it back on… By this time a huge lump had formed in my throat too.
“It’s been thirty-seven years… ” Mom said, “so much was taken away from us that day… But his music? That no one can can take away… Let it play…”
We reached home, the sound of my dads singing reverberating in our individual memories… Rich, mellifluous, so him, so me, so mom, so Us….
That can never be taken away….. Ever…