My son (Monu) woke up crying with a inverted u shaped mouth L with eyes still closed. Rushed from the kitchen to find the cause. He goes on “Akash (classmate) is not giving me tiger to play. I want a full tiger dress with tail and a mask with tiger face”. [Flash back …Recently 2 months back, my children (twins) had fancy dress competition in their school. I want my children to participate as participation is more important than getting a prize. I prepared both of them to say couple of sentences. My daughter (Vava) as “Sunflower” and my son as “Mango”. I had full confidence in my daughter that she will do better than my son, who is like a man of few words. He stops with first sentence “I’m a mango”. Then he says “No, I’ll not say anymore”. All my efforts to make him memorize was hanging in the air. Definitely he will do, I pacified myself. The D day came and both my husband and me joined the other excited parents to watch our lovely ones perform. I was sitting there tensed up as if I’m going to perform. My hubby seeing my tension on my face “will my son open his mouth?”, just pressed my hand and gave a “take it easy” nod. My daughter’s turn came up. To my disillusionment, she stood in front of the panel of judges crying loudly. “Stage fear”. Even her class teacher was disappointment with her performance. She says “u , the leader of the class and you cry like this..”. I quickly pacified her and took our seat. We were eagerly looking forward for Monu’s performance. What is in store for us? Surprises, let’s face it. Waw! What a Style. Monu was shouting his sentences with expression. “I’m a mango. I’m a fruit. I’m yellow in color. Are you hungry? Come and eat me”. Both of us were spellbound. His class teacher also was speechless. She comments “Boys do well at the right time. I thought your daughter will perform well. See.”. The judges were asking him questions about his cutout of mango tied in his body. He goes once again “I’m mango”. My eyes filled with happy tears. After the competition, my hubby took us all to Baskin Robbins and offered them their favorite ice creams. Their classmate, Akash, had come with tiger costume and from that day onwards, Monu keeps on asking for this tiger dress.].
I promised him to get his favorite dress once Acchan (Father) comes back from Cochin (official trip). He was not satisfied with my response. He had been restless for quiet a few days, especially, when I started going back to work after my 5 years of family break. I was with him 24*7, 365 days all these 5 years and he could not digest the fact that I’m off to office from morning till evening leaving him. I believe he feels a void without me around. When I’m back also, I was busy with my own household work. To top it, I get really worked up and shout at him when he does not do his homework as a typical mother who wants their children to be perfect in doing tasks. It takes ½ hr for him to complete a page of HW. For each letter, I have to be behind him saying “write the next letter…next”. Kids are always happy and we make them unhappy by giving them instructions to write homework, eat your food. We adults are always unhappy, unsatisfied souls keeping long face or lost in thoughts about things that happened long time back or that are going to happen in the future, without enjoying or living the present moment. Ah! I wonder why at all we grow up or rather the “kid” in us get lost someway down the line as years pass by.
That night, Monu started retaliating back to me emotionally. He continued to cry for nothing. For each and every thing, he was making a fuss. He didn’t sleep the whole night till 1:00 a.m. His eyes were closed but continued to cry intermittently. Thinking that it could be ear pain, or stomach pain, I kept on asking him whether he is experiencing some pain. First he said pain in the ears, then after sometime he said he has stomach pain. My MIL and me were confused to predict what was going on with him. With no male folks at home, I was really worried too. Somehow, we were able to catch up some sleep for few hours. Once again around 5:00am in the morning, he started crying once again. MIL advised me to take him to the hospital. I called up our dedicated auto driver, well known to us to take us to the nearest hospital. After making Monu to sit comfortably inside the auto, I sat holding my handbag. Because of heavy fog early in the morning, the auto driver had pulled down the side screen too. I kept my handbag to one end of the seat and held my son very closely and tightly. Many thoughts were passing by in my mind and was looking at my son’s face. why is he crying like this? I held him very closely. The auto driver reached the gates of the hospital. I asked him to park his vehicle and wait for me. I helped Monu to get out of the auto and was stretching my hand to pick my handbag. It is not there in the seat!!! I searched the dickey also. It’s not to be seen!!! It would have fell down on the road while we were coming. I never realized that it has fallen from the seat and on to the road. I was really engrossed with my son’s matter. I told the auto driver to trace back the way we came. This is like adding to the fire. My purse is always loaded with money. I’ve 5-6 sub pockets and in each I’ll keep minimum Rs. 500 . It is like “Just in case, if I need some more money”. Backup of backup. I always keep my things safely. I’ve not lost anything consciously. My mind was racing. What are the other things that I’ve kept in my purse? My office ID, office keys, then debit card, then what else.OMG! my secure-id, mobile. Little did I realized that I reached home. My MIL and cook came running enquiring why we have returned immediately? I narrated quickly, took some money whatever is available at home and rushed back to hospital. I was praying that some good person should find my handbag and would return it to me. The auto driver was going on advising me that I need to be careful with things. Was very much concerned about the things in my bag. He was narrating his story how he lost his mobile. Blah blah. In the mean time, seeing this commotion my son stopped his crying, sobbing and seriously was asking me question, what happened amma? About handbag? Where is it now?. My focus turned to him. Somehow managed to reach the hospital with my sense back to reality. Ran to consult the causality doctor. I quickly gave him my short pathetic story and my son’s non-stop cry. He asked me to give some time for them. I left them alone. I quickly came to the reception and requested the receptionist to find me some toll free number of the bank so that I can freeze my debit card. Looks like nobody had withdrawn the money. Half relieved. In the mean time, the doctor met me at the reception and said “Your son is medically fine. He is hurt, I believe”. It was like a blow on my head. We walked towards the causality room. My son was asked to lie down and 3-4 nurses surrounded. Everyone was asking him questions. What is your name?.. He was not responding to them. His face bloomed when he saw me and said “we will go home amma”. I nodded. The doctor continued to ask some basic questions “which school? Which class?”. No response. “So what is the problem, Monu? Fever, cold “. It was like tip of the iceberg for him to handle so many questions. He broke down and said “My amma didn’t hug me”. It was like a slap on my face. I hugged him with full energy immediately with tears pouring like waterfall from my eyes. The doctor and nurses smiled and left giving some space to us. They, in fact, covered the whole bed with the full screen all around. I hugged him and kissed him all over. In the background, I could hear the doctor discussing to nurses “ See how the child has opened up his heart…Psychologically affected..” The doctor and myself had a little tête-à-tête for 10 minutes. He was taking me through children’s psychology.
On the way back home in the auto, my thoughts were running wild…this that…Have I made a wrong decision in going back to work leaving my children? My children got hurt by my absence at home. Each word of the doctor was echoing in my head…In between the auto driver’s advise…answering him too…and answering my son’s inquisitive question about my handbag….The auto driver was more concerned about the amount of money that I had kept in my purse…I was not even thinking about it..Money lost can be earned later…but my son’s state of mind, what should I do to make him turn around positively?…other office property (Key and secure-id) and mobile. It was just a furlong from home right in front of Sundaravinayakar Temple, the auto stopped abruptly. The driver was kick starting it but to no purpose. I got down and paid and thanked him profusely for helping us in timely and in odd hours. I’ve heard people saying that ““Adukkadukka kastam varum”.. “difficult times happens in succession and comes in big bang”…“Kasta kalam” and that was my day. I walked back home with my son. My MIL and cook was curious to find out my son’s diagnosis. I don’t know what to reply. I was feeling ashamed of myself.
I called up my hubby in Cochin to narrate this story. He was, in fact, still in his bed sleeping. He listened to all this half asleep. He started with his philosophical advise… my off late ignoring my son, not spending time with him, for my carelessness of losing the handbag… “Being a mother of 2 kids, you should be like ….” Then continued with futher actions to be taken for locking the mobile. I felt like a loser, a total failure.
Monu felt asleep in the sofa. My daughter started with her own set of questionnaires. What happened ? when? Why? I was totally drained out.
Around 8:00 clock, some cab driver called my hubby’s mobile and informed that he is having my bag!!! Oh! A good soul had found it. Later he called me at home number (he got these number from my mobile) and informed that he can’t guarantee that everything in the bag would be returned as he had to fight with couple of youngsters who had found the bag in the middle of the road and he has to negotiate with them to get it bag. OK!!! No problem. Whatever is remaining, please return it. He came around 10:00 0’clock in his cab. He returned the bag with the mobile, id card, all office related items, debit card, no wonder my purse with no money. Monu’s milk bottle and biscuits were missing. The cab driver says that those guys had drunk the milk and thrown the bottle away. Felt pity with those homeless youth.
Ah! It was one of those days……