“I love you dear”
“I love you too Mom…”
And then they embraced together and cried. That was the end of the film.
Amrita was crying in her seat. I blinked my eyes to ward off the tears. People had started to move out of the theater. It was our usual habit for the rush to calm down first and then to move out. The background song of the film was still playing somewhere in the corners.
The ending words of the film were still ringing in my ears. When had I said the same to my Mom? But how to say? I am not a child or boy anymore. I am a grown up man now. I have a wife now. We have been married for around 5 years now. It was her plan to watch the film in theater. Among the Indian audiences. After all, we had been living abroad for 3 years now. And maybe living again when she is well enough. Mom. no, Mamma. That’s how I call her. Her operation was held just one month ago. And my vacation which I beautifully clubbed with the fine excuse, is about to finish. This weekend we will be flying again, if tickets are obtained. The same old job, the same old routine, the same old woodhouse in US, where only me and Amrita lived, the same old house where I will miss having Mamma’s food.
I missed it this time too as she was not well. The bag in the stomach where my brother and I lived for 9 months each, had been removed.She was bleeding and in pain. We had nursed her alone with father. My brother and his wife were there to care her. But I had felt a sense of responsibility which made me fly down. As if to mark my presence at the auction of the old house I lived in. I had felt like a sapling of the tre whose branch was being cut off. But I was already in the fruit basket now to be sold off. To fulfill my purpose of life. To be in the market like many other. But I wished I could cling onto the tree. I couldn’t imagine the tree without the branch where I was born at and from where I riped into the fruit that I am now. I could see the leaves falling off. The remaining ones had almost dried…
I blinked my eyes. Amrita was calling me.
“Ganesh… chale??…. kya hua? kuch soch rahe ho?”
We drove back to home. The dinner was already prepared by the maid. Papa was watching the news in the front room.
“Kaisa tha film”
“Achi thi Papa..Dinner kha liya aapne?”
“Nahi hum khane wale the.. tum log khaakar aaye ho?”
“ji nahi.. hum zara fresh hoke aathe hai… uske baad khalenge”
He nodded and continued watching the news. Amrita went upstarirs. I hesitated for a moment before following her. I turned back.
“Mamma so rahi hai?”
“Soyi nahi hogi… bas leti hogi…keh rahi thi dard phir se shuru hua hai…”
I moved to her door. It was not closed. As expected, she was lying in the old bed with eyes closed. I tip toed inside. I could see some sense of aura around her. As if she was a divine figure. She, who nursed me, feeded me, scolded me, loved me, hugged me, kissed me, protected me, supported me, taught me everything in the life, lay now in pain, just a few feet away, across that bed. My umbilical cord had no parent now. There was no physical proof. It had been cut on both its loose ends.
I moved close, and sat beside her. She opened her eyes. She always sensed when I came near her.
“Aa gaya…? ..film acha tha na?… kuch khaya piya ki nahi…?”
There was a short silence.
“kya hua re… tu roh raha hai???… kya hua beta..?..”
I lay clung to her and closed my eyes. Tears flowed down across my cheeks.
“I love you mamma…”
He sobbed again…
The sapling shined now under the shadows of the tree. It had rolled down from the basket, to be with the tree…