Except that it is not some guy leaving his lady love. And not on a jet plane either, but on a bus. Amma is returning back to Coimbatore after a short, unexpected visit for a week which was brought on due to Asha's sudden disappearance.
And I know that she needs to go coz appa is sitting there all alone and she has a lot of stuff that she just dropped to come to Bangalore for our help. But I cant help feeling all sad and bereft and lonely about it. In fact, I have always been a home bird. Happiest when I am at home with my nose buried in some book. And I always felt at peace with the word when appa came back from work and all 3 of us were just hanging around the house.
My earliest memories of school are when I was around 5-6 years old. I was studying in a school in Tiruchi. Every morning was a BIG ordeal and appa had to literally peel me away from amma's arms and drive me to school on his trusted green Chetak scooter. And always had to stop at a certain 'Aradhana stores' for bribing me with a wooden scale and a pencil every single day. Why a scale everyday, and a wooden one at that, you might ask. No reason except that I was ridiculously fond of them and appa was a sucker for my tears...still is.
'Don't go', I used to cry clutching at appa's hands as he dropped me off.
Since I did'nt turn into an axe murderer with a wooden scale or anything despite such overindulgence, it figures that I had at one other very firm and strict parent. Mom was never moved by such drama and I always knew I could'nt go too far with her.
Anyway, I digress. I was talking about how I was a home bird. Amma used to come to pick me up from the school in the evenings. And she was never, ever late a single day all her life. In fact, she used to come quite early, while my last period was still going on. And I could look out the classroom and see her standing there. I used to sit in the last bench and hang my head out the door for most of the last period making sure she would'nt leave me and go anywhere.
Fast forward a decade and a half. Me in college. Appa does not have to bribe me with wooden scales to go to college anymore, but its still close. But being all grown up and all, I can calculate exactly how many days I need in the semester not to have attention deficit and make sure I go exactly those many days. And on the days I do go, I expect her to come right upto the gate to wave goodbye. And she'd better be around to open the gate when I get back. I remember throwing mega fits just bcoz in all those years, she probably missed for, like 2 days or so because she was on the phone.(I am not proud of my confessions, but I am determined to get it all out.)
Fast forward another decade or so. I am standing near my hubby in Bangalore and waving my parents goodbye as they go back after helping us setting up our house in Bangalore. Amma is crying and appa looks pretty close to tears himself. I am newly married, excited about starting my life with Hubby, the love of my life for the last 5 years. The whole world looks bright and full of possibilites. 'Leave early so that you can reach by afternoon', I nonchalantly tell them. They drive away, amma sobbing all the way.
Fast forward another 6 months. I have just joined my first job and am clueless but how to run a home and manage a job. Amma stays for a fortnight and gets ready to go. 'Don't go', I cry clutching her hand in the railway station. It was so convenient to have her around. I didnt have to worry about food or the house or anything. She would just take care of all my worries.
Fast forward another 5 years. Today. I have a toddler, a full-time job, a husband and a house and 2 maids to manage. I am still clueless. 'Don't go!' I want to cry clutching her hands like I was 3 years old.
Not only because its convenient to have her around, but because there is no one else I can talk to the way I talk to her. No one else I enjoy shopping so much with. No one else I can share my smallest achievements and my biggest dreams with. No one else who senses my deepest disappointments, even before I sense them myself.
Dont go, I want to cry. But I know she'd better. Because I will become one lazy bum otherwise and because appa really needs her there. Go now..but come back real soon. End of december, maybe?