shells on the beach


I recall my younger (till age 5 or 6 I guess) self never really looking at my mother as ‘my’ mother or ‘a mother’. She was simply an angel like creature, a vision, something akin to the fairies they’d tell you so profoundly about when you’re younger (why did they stop?).

My favourite childhood memory is her waking my sister and I up on an early Goan Morning to collect shells on the beach. I was in awe of her voice, her hair, her grace. I remember being so happy. Or I was happy, and that’s how I remember it.  

Mom married young, and that tasked her with growing up while moving with my dad through multiple postings and raising me (and then my sister) whole handedly, if not single handedly.  

I adored my mother, I circled her, I held her soft hair every night to fall asleep. But that was years ago. 

Somewhere along the way, that angel like vision withered away. I was an angry teenager, and she and I mostly quarrelled about small things. Turns out quarrels and arguments add up, they leave residues of resentment you can’t clean up. 

I left for college and haven’t returned home since. 

Over the years we did mend our relationship, and this time around, she feels more human, the years have mounded her into a fine woman, one that I can reasonably aspire to be, with flaws I can identify with. Mom isn’t a vision on a beach but mom is a friend.