Harsh Realities 

” Do you call this food mom? Lacks salt, lacks spice. This tastes like cardboard. I don’t want to eat this. You sit and eat this.” , her son screamed and stormed out of the house.


He then paused. ” And listen, don’t you dare waste my money by roaming around the city. Be useful. Sit at home and be productive” , he had concluded as he slammed the door gently.

Mrs Mehta, their new neighbor found this extremely distasteful and disturbing. She couldn’t stop herself from reaching out to the poor mother. No mother deserved to be treated that way. She knocked the door and waited for it to be answered.

A quick introduction later, Mrs Mehta broke through the ice. Why is you son treating you this bad. What kind of a horrible person is he, she asked the mother. 

The mother got up from the chair, ‘Some tea?’ she offered the guest. Then she headed towards the kitchen to brew a piping hot cup of tea.

Yesterday, the mother started. 

Yesterday, was the day of my fasting. A few times in the past, that fasting has managed to leave me a little weak. My son tried to talk me out of it. I wouldn’t budge. He knows that I’d eat today to replenish my strength. I’m sure my rascal would have walked into the kitchen. He must have noticed that we were low on supplies today. There wasn’t a lot left of it to cater to his breakfast and lunch and my breakfast and lunch. He knows I’d willingly give up my share for him. I know he would too. He just did that. My son has never complained about the way I cook in decades. There were days when I’d forget the salt and he’d still eat without making a fuss. My son would never judge the food I serve.

Mrs Mehta sat surprised.

And yes, the mother continued. He didn’t want me to visit my usual set of temples today. The rains make the roads slippery and I’ve had a fall a lot of times in the past. He wants me to be safe and comfortable.

A message interrupted their conversation. The son had sent a message that read ‘ Reached office ‘ 

The mother read it aloud.

Every single day, for the last 15 years, he has always made an effort to tell me that he had reached his destination safe and sound. We lost his father to the 91. I panic each time my son leaves home. 

Mrs Mehta, when you know you love someone, the magic is not in the words that one speaks. The magic rests with intent. My son’s words sounded harsh, yes, but it also speaks about realities that I would usually choose to ignore. He reminds me that I need to rest from time to time.

Care to join me for lunch? I think we have plenty today..

Karthik

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