“And the dragon’s heart lay in the midst of the forest left to burn all by itself. The princess saw it burn from the window of her castle and the reddish green smoke made her imagine the arrival of silver wheels to draw her heart out of her bosom to see her love burn there in the midst of the forest !” – The mother ended.
“Why had the prince to become a dragon, mother?” - was the eternal question of the cuddled heap near the mother’s breast.
“Because he loved her. If he would live and be married to the princess she would die soon after. So ‘he’ chose ‘his’ death. That is how ‘love’ is, son. Love knows no boundaries, no limits, be it the love of a prince for his princess or of a mother for her child.”
“But how to know how much you love me? The prince died for the princess. What will you do for me, mother?”
The mother kept quiet. She looked into the dark eyes of her son and realized the innocence in his question, and then took off her glance to stare up to the ceiling and then closed her eyes. She remembered the pain that she had undergone when he was born and the immense happiness that she had experienced after that. Every ounce of pain gave out a new string of happiness and hope, holding on to which she dreamt of seeing herself in another soul that was yet to come.
It was just that day, when her son was being scolded by his friend’s mother. She knew her son had done nothing wrong. She had read that through his eyes. But she stood still, bewildered, with her son to listen to the entire grudge towards him of yet another mother. She couldn’t help slapping her son after returning home. But soon after when the son implored with tears in his eyes that he was innocent, she could not help but believe him.
That night when he had fallen asleep, she cried within herself blaming her own self to have misunderstood so pure a soul. She didn’t know why she felt from then on that her son would feel alone without the mother by his side. That he would keep himself aloof with every pain that he underwent, without anyone to share, just because of the angry words of his mother and the harshness he had seen in her eyes. He had only seen the harshness, - alas! He had never tried to realize the pain that the soul of his mother underwent also!
“I need to get him back”, she thought. Next morning she lied to him saying that she was actually angry on his friend’s mother and had vented out all her anger and despair over him. The melancholic eyes of her son gave way to a faint smile on his lips, and he was soon in his mother’s arms. He was back! She was successful!
The pain of lying, the fear and anxiety of blaming yet another mother for her own selfish desire to win back her son’s confidence – were perhaps a deeper gush of feelings than mere death! The mother understood that. But the child didn’t. She opened her eyes to find the cuddled heap blissfully unaware in his dreams, clutching on to her left thumb.
Kissing his forehead, the mother said – “I love you son. You are everything to me. I can do anything for you, truly – a n y t h i n g!” – And a drop of tear vanished under the mattress.