Role Reversal2 mins 11.6K 2 mins 11.6K
She entered with a grin on her face. Her wrinkled hands holding a packet hidden in her blue dupatta.
"Amma (this is how we call her), come have lunch first. You can do the dishes later," I said.
As the eldest of my siblings, it was my responsibility to do the cooking while mother was not keeping well. In the twenty five years of my life, I have always seen Mother serving food to whoever comes home at lunch time. She takes special care of domestic workers. So, I did the same.
Amma was sitting in one corner of the room. Her petite body hardly took any space. However, today there was something unusual about her. She sat with her legs apart and back straight unlike other days. When I offered her food, she denied.
"Beta, I've had a lot of delicious food today," she said with pride. "And I've got something for you too."
Finally she took out the packet that she’d been hiding. It was a pack of colorful rubber bands.
Her chest swelled up as she took it out. Her eyes met mine. She was expecting a response.
"Wow, these look nice," I said, for I didn’t want that smile of hers to vanish.
"Choose one. You can take any color."
I pointed at my short hair and told her that I didn't need it.
She, however, kept insisting.
I looked at my mother. Still lying in the bed, she was observing everything. She wasn't well enough to participate in the discussion but could explain things through her expressions. I saw that she gestured with her eyes and told me to take one.
Being an obedient child that I am, I took a rubber band from the packet, while still trying to make the head or tale of the situation. Amma gave me one more for Mother.
As she handed it over to me, I noticed her gleaming eyes and her glowing face.
It finally occurred to me that our roles had been reversed. Today, Amma was the giver and we were at the receiving end.