Thank God, I dont know…

by on March 23, 2011

The daughter shifted once more, looking around, hoping that the ward nurse would remind that the patient should not exert verbally, or that some visitors would drop by, anything at all, to curtail her mother’s rambling.

The mother kept on repeating herself, pleased that she had her daughter’s undivided attention. At last. She could nag, advise, expect, scold, explain, teach, anything at all, and nobody could complain. It was the silver lining in her sickness. She could endure the endless injections and medicines if it kept her children by her side. It was what she desired the most. Like mothers. And like her daughter, she was not aware of all these strange priorities. She only knew that she was happy talking to her daughter. Her mind refused to notice that her daughter’s expression wavered between boredom and indulgence.


The daughter was not aware of her wish to be rescued from her mother. She only knew that her mother was unwell, that she must stay by her mother’s side, that she must be a loving and loyal daughter.


The mother was confined to the hospital for more than a fortnight, it was becoming an endless routine, the novelty was wearing off. The daughter started becoming aware of her treacherous emotions. She delayed going to the ward, her mother should rest, she argued.


“Don’t be silly”, the mother scolded affectionately, “what greater solace than to have such attentive and loving children? See how my sickness has brought us all together. I always knew it, however much you may spread your wings, you will all be there for me, forever. THANK GOD.”


‘Forever’ was a frightening idea. To the daughter. But she did not express herself. She just nodded dutifully. But she started spending less time with her mother and more time in the waiting hall downstairs.


“Don’t you get bored downstairs? Come and be with me. Don’t worry about my getting tired. I can’t get tired just talking, can I?” the mother persisted. The daughter groaned inwardly and told her mother not to worry. She was spending her time usefully. She had started writing.


“What? About me?” the mother inquired confidently.
“No, just fiction,” the daughter mumbled, looking for the ward nurse.
“Show me,” ordered the mother.
“I just completed this short story today. Shall I read it to you?” the daughter took out her notebook, getting excited about her first audience.


The mother was not too sure about this prospect, but the daughter had already turned to the first page. The story reading began. After the first couple of lines, the mother’s attention-span started dropping. After all, how could she be interested in fiction, albeit of good calibre, when her life was in such dire state. There was so much to discuss; her health, her visitors, her brother who had not bothered to visit for a whole week. Actually, she had kept her get-well letters and cards right on top of the table, she wanted to discuss each one with her daughter. Her daughter could distinguish at one glance – the genuine gestures from the polite ones.


Mother Daughter Heart talks

The mother shifted once more, looking around, hoping that the ward nurse would remind that the patient should not exert auditorily, or that some visitors would drop by, anything at all, to curtail her daughter’s reading.

In unawareness, the relationship continued.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sabah March 23, 2011 at 6:28 am

Love your writing style, Pratibha…I think we all identify with both the mother & the daughter at some point in our lives. Keep writing, I love reading short stories! :)


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