26 June, 2009

A Full Circle

Things got quiet for a while yesterday, after that rather boisterous “ceremonial dance” style celebration over the younger sibling squashing a mosquito. Mommy heaved a small sigh of relief, thinking that the heroics for the day were over. Since Mommy had already collected the nutty siblings year end reports, books (and everything else that they had left at school), the day before – she was looking forward to a rather leisurely lunch break for herself. There were no afternoon outings planned – in the sense that there were no trips to be made to the supermarket or the fresh market or anywhere else.

So there was Mommy – rather gleefully looking forward to her lunch – which consisted of extra spicy poha (the potato and onion variety), with a liberal wedge of fresh lemon and some cold cucumber raita to round the whole thing off.

OK – before anyone points that out to Mommy, she would like to clarify that she indeed knows that poha, in normal Indian households, is had for breakfast and not lunch. But then again, when did Mommy say that we were normal ? No, we are not. Atleast not in the normal sense of the word. So, we do have things like poha and upma for lunch and idlis and dosas for dinner. Our breakfast is never a “cooked” one - but one consisting of toast or cereals or eggs and such. The closest we come to having a cooked breakfast is when we have oatmeal !! So yeah – to sum things up by borrowing a quote from a very dear friend – well, “we are like that only”.

So then, spicy poha for lunch it was.

Now what is that old adage – it goes something like “do not count your chickens before they hatch”, right ? Ah ! It so happens that yesterday, Mommy had been counting her chickens well before the eggs had even been laid !!

“Mummmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” came the cry from the living room while Mommy was busy in the kitchen cooking up a batch of aviyal. It was Macademia a.k.a the elder sibling. The cry sounded pretty much like some disaster was in the offing.

Off went the Disaster Control Centre a.k.a Mommy – to investigate what had set that distress call off. Mommy found the elder sibling standing rooted to a spot in the living room, looking all dismayed and horrified.

“Mummmeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” came the cry again – this time around when Mommy was standing right in front of the elder sibling.

“Well, now that Mummmeeeeeeeeee is very much here, can we please proceed with whatever it is that’s troubling you ?” queried Mommy.

“Mummmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” wailed the elder sibling again.

Mommy sat on the sofa, sighing to herself. This sure was going to be one long episode, from the looks of it.

A few minutes later, realizing that Mommy was waiting for the entire story rather too patiently (which in itself spells trouble), the elder sibling told Mommy the entire story.

Well, it so happens that this bunch of girls (including Macademia) at school had been performing a dance routine a few weeks before school’s closed rather unceremoniously. For this purpose, costumes had been taken to school from home and the girls had retained them at school instead of getting them back home. So, when Mommy had been to school just the day before – to collect their reports – the elder sibling had forgotten to mention to Mommy that her costumes had to be collected as well.

Apparently, it was not just her costume. The elder sibling had borrowed a pantaloon from one of her friends because that pantaloon was “just the right color and shade”. Mommy had specifically told the elder sibling to return the costume to her friend once the dance was done and over with. While the dance had been done and over with, the costume had apparently not been returned to its rightful owner. Why ? Because the rightful owner had said “keep it for a few more days na. we might have to dance at the school assembly also, remember ?. So you keep it for now. I’ll take it from you on the last day of school.”

“So now my clothes and her pantaloon are at school !!!!!!! What if they get lost ??? Now what do I do !! “ came the rather plaintive wail.

“Call up the school office and find out” said Mommy. A call placed to the school office did not yield much. There was a vague reply from the school office to the effect that “it might have been put in the costume box backstage in the assembly hall”.

The elder sibling’s misery just deepened and just about then – looking at the elder sibling and the look of abject misery on her face, tears brimming in her eyes and threatening to overflow at any given second – Mommy knew that she was going to have to make another trip to school. And she knew that she would make this trip to school to save herself the mental agony throughout the vacations. Else, ever second day of the holidays would be spent with the elder sibling drowning (herself and the others around her) in a flood of her own tears and fears of whether the costume would still be there when school opened next term.

(sigh) there went the leisurely spicy poha lunch !!! Since lunch would have to be a super fast affair, Mommy gobbled up some left over zucchini and sped off to school.

Mommy knew only too well that the aviyal was half cooked and was resting on the stove - a job unfinished. Mommy had been scheduled to meet the estate agent in the afternoon - another thing that was going to have to be put off. Clothes washed were still lying in the washing machine since there had been no time to pop them into the dryer before dashing off to school. Countless chores like these and more ..... were put on hold :).

On the way back from school (with the costumes safely in the bag), Mommy’s thoughts drifted to her own school days. How many times had her mother made such trips to school – over something that Mommy had then forgotten at school ? More than once, for sure. And yesterday, Mommy literally had a feel of what it must have been like. What it must have been like for her mother to have dropped everything that she’d been doing – to rush over to school to get something that her daughter had forgotten.

Grandma always used to tell Mommy “you won’t understand this now. But wait until you have children of your own. Then you’ll know exactly what I meant”.

Much to her chagrin, Mommy realized exactly how true these words were. And they are applicable to a wide range of situations.

Mommy, for one, firmly believes in the theory of “What goes around, Comes around”. So Mommy, with her lopsided logic, did not take much time to conclude that this was indeed a karmic cycle which had come a full circle.

She’d forgotten stuff and made her mom run to school on countless occasions and now the same scene was being replayed – just that the characters had changed. Mommy herself was running over to school to get something that her daughter had forgotten :).

A few seconds later, Mommy found herself smiling. Truth be told, she could not stop smiling.

Why ?

If this is indeed a cycle of sorts, then someday it has got to repeat itself, right ? (Surefire proof that Mommy's logic is lopsided !!)

So then, there might actually be a day when the elder sibling is found in a rather similar state :). Much to her horror, Macademia might realize that she needs to drop everything that she’s doing right then and rush to school because her child has forgotten something at school. :))

If that scene does play out in the future … and if one then sees a gray haired lady with a twinkle in her eyes and a smile on her face ….. that’d be me :)))).

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6 voice(s) said so:

Suma said...

oh my, this is exactly what is going through my head these days...because my son is so much like me and i can't help but feel what my mom must have gone through...

Suki said...

Oh wow.. I wonder what I have coming my way in a decade. Never mind, I'm never having kids!

Did you find the missing items, btw?

Poornima said...

This is a very cute - and a really lovely last line!

dipali said...

I can see you chuckling away a couple of decades down the line!

choxbox said...

yes yes yes :)

Neera said...

aahh ..thanks for the post and particularly last line ..now I'll try to take solace in the fact that some decades down the line my kids will be in my shoes and appreciate me more than they do now :)