She’d been in & out of good-health for close to two decades now. The very meds that keep her going, were messing with her system. A noticeable loss of appetite, against which there seemed no solution in sight. The (now) periodic escape from the city being her only solace.
Her blood-sugar levels that had been in the high 250-350’s all along were now plunging inexplicably to the low 90’s & 80’s. Doctors and family had racked their brains hard (and continue to do so) in the hope of an explanation, and a possible recourse to prevent this from happening. Weak and beyond the means to keep going for the moment, the best way to recovery was a spoonful of sugar and a few hours of rest – with the air-conditioning cranked to keep things cool around her.
Yesterday was one such day. The feeling of helplessness, the knowledge that she’s a fighter and ‘Chotta Recharge’ being back in action in no time keeping them comfort.
A few hours later, around tea time, she sits up. I need to cook – she declares. Ensuing protests are quelled with the following words: “if I don’t make stuff for you’ll, who’ll do so?”
With that, she got out of bed, tottered around the passage & went straight to the ‘range. I managed to pitch in with prep, obeying her instructions to the T as she whipped together an onion, some tomato & coriander, and threw in some flour, salt & spices. As the pan sizzled, she ladled over a spoonful of that gooey mixture and deftly managed to get a perfect circle. I could only look back and watch in sheer amazement.
As the flour-mixture cooked to a crisp, golden brown, the tears that had welled up, were quickly pushed away. Let’s eat, she said. Digging into her creation (call it tomato omelette/besan ka chilla – only this had other flours and not besan/or whatever suits your fancy), every bite, every morsel exploded in a heavenly medley of lip-smacking, finger-licking taste.
Sitting there, content at having polished everything off till the plate was clean, sipping on the tea, she caught me gazing and quipped – you toh will have to eat eggs & bread variations for breakfast, biscuits for tea & daal-chaawal/paalak-paneer for lunch & dinner, every day. Or order takeaway, which again is not feasible from a taste or cost perspective. I’m your mother, the lady of the house. If I don’t cook for my kids, then who will?
The tears flew down in a silent flood and she continued, aren’t I better now – and indeed, she was….
P.s. They say a mother’s love is mother’s love, that no one can replicate it or take her place. It is true.
His mamma’s boy