Disclaimer: I have not written this post. It is a direct copy and paste from my friend and co-blogger's notes. Mostly, because I didn't have the thoughtfulness to do something like it myself. Also because, well, some days are universally okay-ed for emo posts. I've always known we share much in common, but it becomes apparent how much, when I read when she dons sentimental.
Also, because it's a wonderful, heartwarming post for Mother's Day. Must read.
ps: Yeh. She's no shot at brevity either. It runs in the bunch. Sorry about that.
pps: Happy Mother's day, to all mommy readers!
We'd thought, and thought some more.
Or really, I'd thought.
My brother had sat vegetating in his usual spot. Eyes on his game. His input, the intermittent curses uttered everytime he died in that stupid game.
Not because we were disagreeing about 'ideas'.
But because we were disagreeing about 'who' was actually 'thinking' for some.
It worked, when he slammed the laptop shut and looked at me. Quite miffed - but good luck to him trying to intimidate me.
In two some minutes, it had been all cool.
We'd been thinking again, together this time.
Not for an out of the box plan.
Just something basic.
Something that would not fail.
Because fact is, we believe she works with the Mossad or something. She knows everything. And I mean, everything.
For one, she is the mother. Of course she knows everything.
For another, she is who she is. Knows exactly by how many decimal points of a degree a needle in the haystack has changed position, if that haystock is anywhere within the territory of her domain. No, I kid you not. She really knows. There are times it's not even real that it's for real.
Which basically boils down to the futility of planning surprises for her. This one year we'd managed our grandest triumph. Only because the means to the end had nothing to do with planning "within her territory". My brother - interning in Delhi at that point - conspired together with Dad and me to land at the doorstep on her birthday, while all the time she assumed he was getting done only 4 days later. When I called her at her midnight hour to wish, sitting in Ann Arbor, I was on the edge, certain I would say godforsaken something that had nothing to do with the surprise, but she would get it somehow. Miraculously, it all went well. We made it, that one time. She *was* surprised.
A couple years later when we could be together at home for her birthday again, we were more confident. Thinking we'd grown up and all, and could now pull smart ones on her. Everyone suffers their set of misconceptions, we are like everyone. Long story short - we got caught trying to smuggle the goodies into the house, *after* we'd thought she'd hit the sack. Dad had tried his best to cover for us, but his best could only stand so much up to her omniscience. She laughed at us fondly and told us that was surprise enough for her - but well. So much for trying to outsmart her.
The following year, or maybe it was the one after, we got our in-house maid to fetch our stuff and then store it in *her* refrigerator so it could remain undetected. She had to lie to Mumma about going for some late night errand - *very* unusual for her, which goes to say it was the only time she sought such permission - but somehow we ragged her into it, and somehow more so... it kind of worked. I have a sneaking impression in retrospect that Mumma could smell fishy, but she played along very convincingly - and we were thrilled.
Yet another year - and this was early on, back in school/college - we'd managed to acquire black and white pictures of her childhood from Nani and presented her with a big, though rather shabby, but very heartfelt collage of memories. At night, we sneaked into our parents room, and stuck it up on the wall she would wake up looking at. If she noticed us - and again, in retrospect it's hard to believe she did not - she stayed quiet, and let us go about our shenanigans.
Now I sit here, typing this out, tallying scores of how many times we've managed to get past her, to surprise her. And these are the only three times I can remember. In two decades plus of our respective lives. Three measely times, two out of which might even be hoaxes.
I think of other things too. Her other super powers.
Like this very recent time I was getting back to the city and she was to pick me from the station, but called me just 30 minutes ahead of time to declare her car had a flat tyre. I got horribly guilty about her being stuck on my account, and worked up about how we'd figure out a way to get the car back home, since which mechanic would be around at a night hour, and who should be called for help... By the time I got off the Shatabdi to hail an auto to the spot she mentioned her car had broken down, she was calling me to give me a new address. To some garage. Another 15 minutes later when I reached, she'd gotten the tyre fixed, was paying the bill, and we were all set. This, from a woman who had a reputation to have shied from riding a bicycyle upto fifty and two years of her life.
I'm not even going to begin about her independent handling of the home front for the last 2 years. Four of us at different stations. And three of us forever calling her with that same opening statement. 'Yaar ek kaam tha/ problem thi...'. As my brother once pointed out to me, in the middle of a discussion of mutual confessions, she deals with three batshit crazy people. You don't even want to begin thinking about how!
She is our know-it-all. Our does-it-all. Our fix-it-all. Even when she doesn't get something that no one else gets about us either, she's the only one we know will get it, eventually.
Her telepathic abilities are uncanny. She's called me in the middle of crazy happy and crazy crisis moments, uninitiated, and asked me how were things.
When I land myself in situations like a bat or a rat in the apartment - and yes, I've had BOTH those encounters - she is the only one I can literally road roll with my hysterics. Dad? He begins on ways to capture the rat and drown it. Little brother - laughs at it, and me. Of course. Mumma hears me through it. Inserts a realistic 'you have no option but to deal with it' into appropriate spots, but its never like she's not listening, and not sympathetic to my retard phobia.
Then there're shopping times. I'm not much at it, or for it. But no matter where I am, and what I am at, I still have to call her before making a purchase that matters. 'Listen, there's this dress for that wedding I told you about. It looks like this, this, this... what do you think?' If she tells me she can't say much without seeing it, but she's sure I'll figure it, I even get mad at her. She *must* tell me, doesn't she know?
She's the only one I can go and rib about some stupid serial playing on TV, then plop down right there and watch it with her. Give away more unsolicited opinions about how ridiculous this stuff is, and then ask her what the character in the next scene was upto. All the while patronizing, and knowing, she will never judge me back... It's so intuitive, I'm not even thinking it through like this, in the moment. In fact, I'm never thinking in the moment, with her.
In proof of which. When she sits in the passenger seat of the car, she must navigate. It doesn't matter if I know the way. It's like my already pathetic direction sense totally tunes off. Driving back home along the most regular of routes, I will still ask her - entirely out of reflex - at like the second to last turn to our house, 'Right, next?' She'll laugh at me, and I'll tell her in my defense that it only happens when she sits in the passenger seat. Which is the truth, I swear.
The movies. All the ones that I'm late watching. Sometimes, it feels horrible dragging her to one I know she could never care about. But she is a sport about it like just nobody else. I will usually warn her about it, as an obligation to my conscience, but I know that she knows that I know it won't make her back out.
Gadgets. I remember how it was early on in college. All of us talking about our mothers with their new cell phones and how it was just about the green and red buttons to them. Mumma learned to text, only for me, because I told her she couldn't just call me in class. Which was half a sham, because really, how many classes did I sit for anyway, and she knew it. But she learned how to text. It's one of my favorite stories to tell. A junior colleague of hers had come over for some papers to our house and in some context her messaging skills came up and my mother told her that I had only taught her how to text 'me'. I laughed at her over it for days - I mean what do you do when you're 18 something in a generation growing up with mobile phones and your mother doesn't default understand the phone book concept? So many times in retrospect, we've laughed over it together, and one of those times I told her she was the awesomest sport about it. After all, I don't think she was laughing at me when I couldn't walk one proper step straight, or say one complete word without sounding like I had put it in a grinder first.
It's been like that since. New phones that followed. The computer. The laptop... the car. Sometimes I remember it may not all be so obvious to her. Sometimes I don't. Mostly, we laugh about it at some later point. But always, I'm secretly proud of how quickly she picks up.
Cooking experiments. Don't even get me started. Every new recipe gets tested on her. She doesn't always like them, or say that she does. But she is always the willing and patient guinea pig. And I never have to think... what if this sucks. It could, and she would let me know. Then we'd procede to eat it all up, and all that time I'd be thinking out loud with her about what needs to be fixed next time.
And that's really the biggest thing about her. Next time. There's always one, no matter what.
Which is perhaps why, she is who she is, that no one else can ever be. And its not like today should be the one day to tell her, or a month later on her birthday - but a name to a day is a reminder in the rut of life, to sit back and think of all that I usually let slide by.
Everyone says it, and everyone means it too, but it's just what everyone can't but say. And so I must too.
...to the world's most amazing mother, mine!