Last evening, it was that rare headache. On those odd occasions, it leaves me crabby and terribly vicious. Last evening was no different. The constant throb left me barely human. I sat quietly with a steaming cup of tea, staring vacuously out of the window, at the gathering darkness outside. I was barely conscious of how much I hate evenings. In fact, it had driven out all other thoughts from my head. And no, I have a warped sense of wellbeing and therefore wouldn’t pop pills for silly things like headaches. So I suffer, usually in silence.
A time like this isn’t easy on an 8-year old. Ro came running almost every other minute to say this and that. His football needs a fill of air, his favourite blue car has a broken wheel that needs immediate fixing, when will I read him the new Tenida story. First I ignored, hoping he will soon find something else to amuse himself with. It didn’t work. He went about with dogged determination that can only be blamed on genes. Mine. He finally decided to regale me with one of my favourite hindi songs – tujhe yaad na meri ayi. Yes, very cute and very charming. Yes, he has a pleasant voice. No, his hindi isn’t top class so he got the lyrics all wrong. Throbbing headache and botched up lyrics doesn’t go well. At that juncture, the slap happened. It was harder than I intended it to be. It shut him up instantly and he ran to Ma screaming 'I will never talk with you again'. I didn’t see him for the next hour or so till I went to bed. By then, the throb had waned giving way to a fuzzy dullness that was bearable. It was a cool night and I pulled up the coverlet to find him tip-toeing inside and settling himself on the other side of the bed. The lights were off but I saw his big eyes shinning with concern and what can only be called love. ‘Sleep, Mommy. You will feel better in the morning’, he whispered. I hugged him and cried. Not bothering to hide my tears. I said I was sorry. He smiled and gently kissed my hair as I curled up hugging him tight till we both drifted off to sleep.
There are a whole lot of things that I have done wrong. But there must have been something that I did right to have deserved him. Thank you, god for giving him to me. I know I never thank you enough. I know I am not a perfect mother. I get overwhelmed easily. I am often flustered. I am impatient at times. I often struggle to manage the various demands. But amidst all of this, you have given me this gift. So thank you again.