I Missed Her
I Missed Her
“For a girl without a mother, life is callous.” This was what everybody used to say when I was little. They asked me if I missed my mom and I tenuously replied yes (sure I was a good actress). But those dumb little creatures never realized that I was only three when I lost her to the accident. How would I, in the name of God, remember her? It was like she never existed and no one can miss someone who they cannot recollect. Rather, quite a few times, I liked being motherless.
At first “mother” was not a very interesting word. But soon I realized that it actually was, when one day I got teased by some of my seniors. It was another gay day at the school when some filthy looking boys entered the class. “You know what?” one of them said aloud pointing at me, “Your mummy is a mummy” the other said. The whole fourth grade classroom resounded with the giggles that followed. And to everyone’s surprise I was the one laughing the hardest. Not because I was too wise to be annoyed by such badgers but because it was simply funny. Imagine how enticing it would be to have a mummy as one’s mom.
So yes; I was an ignorant girl who loved and admired and needed only one person i.e. her dad and never wished to share him with anybody (not even my own dead mother). Also, among girls of my age, mothers were regularly labeled as crabby, talkative and hot tempered whereas fathers as placid, taciturn and dear. And let me tell you, my father was not my mother but my father. Like all the other witty fathers he never required words for expressing himself. I understood him and he understood me without saying anything. And that made our happy and complete family, understanding each other.
Life was good as the calendar evolved. But everything changed one day, just a month after my 14th birthday when I had a severe stomach ache. Dad was not home until then. So I, a self-proclaimed doctor, took a pain-killer and retired to bed early.
I woke up the next day to see a bright sun in my room. Wondering why I was still in bed, I walked up to the refrigerator, with eyes nearly shut; and saw a note from dad.
Have to go early today but don’t worry will be home soon.
Tried to wake you up. But you are such a kumbhakaran.
So sleep on
You can miss school today.
I stumbled back to my room, still sleepy, but all my drowsiness vanished when I saw a big red spot, as big as a penny, on my pretty pink bed sheet. I stood there aghast, drooping against the frame of my king-size bed. A lot of questions crossed my mind; what could it be?........is it BLOOD?.........where did it come from?........why it had to be on my favorite pink sheet?( I was concerned about it the most actually)……….
Totally under control of my reflexes, I removed the sheet and rushed into the bathroom to wash it. As soon as I entered the bathroom, my eyes fell on the large mirror in front of me. And what I noticed, completely took me by shock. The pajamas which I was wearing also had a big blood spot on them. I was completely nonplussed. You never know how to react when something like this happens. Quickly, I sat on the toilet seat to remove my pajamas and blood-smeared underwear. I was bleeding! And not even normal bleeding, bleeding from under; a place I was not introduced to; a place I was discomfited to define even in my own head. I was afraid and embarrassed at the same time. I was not able to look at myself. I knew I had contracted a deadly disease. I knew that I was going to die.
I tried to think of somebody, who could help me with my problem but was not able to conceive a single name. I couldn’t tell dad because that would be soooooo embarrassing and the news of me dying would only make him go nuts. Not very gregarious as I was, I never had any confidant with whom I could share my misery. Also, I didn’t want to make a daft of me in front of my classmates by seeking any advice from them. Actually, I was so ashamed to tell “anybody” in this whole world. There was not a single person to share my sorrow. This made me much more miserable than before and I cried there, in the bathroom, for infinity.
I lived with the embarrassment and humiliation, stuffed my pants with rags and cotton and made new excuses to skip school for almost four days. But on the fifth day dad ordered me to go to school without paying heed to any of my excuses.
I went to school but never lifted my gaze up from my shoes. I escaped the teacher’s eyes for the whole day and didn’t move an inch. After spending the day plastered on the bench I heard the bell ring. As I hastily got up, the girl sitting behind me whispered in my ear, “You’ve got a spot on your skirt……” She was still speaking but I went stone deaf. Without letting her complete the sentence I ran out of the room with tears welling up in my haggard eyes. She followed me into the washroom and the dam of tears overflowed.
“Why are you crying? Tell me. Can I help you?” she said while pulling something out of her bag.
“Here, take it if you don’t have any but please don’t cry.” I had no idea what it was and my bewildered eyes mirrored the question.
“Oh! First time. Don’t worry. It will not let the blood spoil your clothes.” she answered my unquestioned question.
“I am going to die because of this disease and you just worry about my clothes?”
“This bleeding disease.”
“It’s not a disease, it happens to every woman. You remember the concept of menstruation we learned in class 8th. Didn’t your mom tell you about it?”
“No, my mom never told me about this. Why would she do this to me?”……………And then I realized, OH MY GOD! I didn’t have a mother……….. My mummy was a mummy and then it was not funny because I missed her and I needed her.
Yes, you can miss someone who you don’t remember. Because ‘missing’ someone is the result of love, which remains even after the memories vanish, which needs not to be remembered but to be felt. I felt my mother’s love, that day when I was grieved and needy. Her love came down to pull me out of my blues. I felt that love……… I felt her…….. I felt her presence and her absence……..I missed her………...