Maa and me: The precision of age


It is 12 at night and Mila goes through her mail box. She finds a mail from an unknown e-mail account and begins reading it :

“Dear Maa,

It’s been over a week that you haven’t been talking to me. It has been over a week that whenever I get back from school, you don’t greet me with the same old question, “Are you home, Ahana?”. It has been so long that we last sat together and chit chatted for hours and I bitched about the girl in my tuition who has a crush on the teacher. Of course, I’ve been wanting to tell you that math problems aren’t half as fun as they were when we solved them together.

Don’t get mad at me because I’ve not been able to sort my clothes and pack my bag at the same time. I mean you should understand that I’m doing the chores of two people. Yours and mine. If you aren’t talking to me it does not imply that I’m going to remain shut about the ghiya, tinde sabzi every night. I’m telling you Maa, I’m not going to take Shanta Bai’s questions about what kind of garments to be placed on which shelf of the cupboard. I mean how am I supposed to know that!? Maa, I’m tired of it okay?  You better start talking to me or I’ll never talk to you ever again.

Maa, please. I might not be able to put it in words as poetically as you do but I never thought you’d take it far to the extent of me admitting it. Maa, I miss you. I miss you when every morning, it’s the stupid alarm clock which wakes me up and not your scoldings. I miss you when every morning I comb my hair and deliberately tie them loose to let flicks fall out but I don’t have you around to scold me and tell me to plait my hair. I miss you when I pull my skirt down and you don’t pull it back up. Though you never miss to pack my tiffin but you do miss telling me thrice to pack it.


I know I’m wrong to have said what I did. I know I forgot to be polite and patient but trust me Maa, I’ve never felt as guilty as I did. I have anger issues and you know it. But how am I ever going to deal with them if I don’t have you by my side. You know I don’t have any friends and ever since Dad passed away, you have been my ‘everything’ and now that you haven’t been talking to me, I feel so alone and scared in this wild, ruthless world.

I have my friends telling me that they don’t talk to their mothers as much as they did earlier. These words of theirs scare me deep down somewhere; I can never let that happen because if it ever does, it would kill me. Not that I’d imitate dad and kill my own self but just that living without you, is equivalent to dying.

Maa please talk to me. I promise I won’t be rude to anyone. Please?

Ahana. ”

Mila couldn’t help but laugh and cry at the same time. Her eyes were welled up and all she could mutter was ‘Aayi’. She was smiling after such a long time and this time because of a happiness for which she did not have to go through the pain of working on book loads of paper work. The e-mail took her back to the when aayi was alive and would make sure she had sugared curd before every exam and now, before every presentation, Mila does the same. Before every time she would wash her hair, aayi would give her a nice champi, everytime she sat on the floor , aayi would…

“Oops! It’s not It was supposed to be That’s my mom. I’m sorry Ms Mila but just to let you know, If you have a daughter don’t ever be mad at her.
Sorry. ok Bye.”

….  Aayi would Pick her up, kiss her forehead and tell her that fairies aren’t supposed to sit in the dirt.

The 45 year old business woman looked at her computer screen once again, shed a happy tear, did some more paper work and went to the bed with a wide smile on her face.


Next morning, Mila precisely knew why her mother called her a fairy as yesterday night she received an e-mail from one only to bring home another.

“Driver, Hope Orphanage home, please.”

Today, she thought to herself that there might be a ‘social’ age to get married, a ‘biological’ age to bear a child but there isn’t any to be a mother.

-Priya Sharma

Edited by Mrinaal Datt

Read more about them here.




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