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A Promise To That Hold

I woke up late that day, as always. We had a calling bell at home; connected from the kitchen to the bedroom upstairs. The origin of the bell is quite mysterious. Nobody knew how it came there. However, it was my mom’s savior. As a daily routine she rang the bell every 5 minutes to wake me up. At the usual tenth ring, I woke up and ran for a bath. My mother made my hair, packed my lunch box, found the socks, discovered the missing shoe, made dad’s tea, and breathed a bit in-between. The ‘Auto-man’ in the auto-rickshaw which took us to school every day was honking at our door. Picking my lunch box first then reluctantly my school bag, I ran. Suddenly my mom held me back and asked the auto-driver to leave without me. I was happy. I didn’t have to go to school.

My mom asked me to remove my white skirt. That’s when I noticed, it was stained red. Blood. OH MY GOD - Blood. I lost my cool when my mom and grand-mom were smiling. My grand-mom looked overjoyed and yelled at my dad ‘Your daughter has attained her puberty’. My 11 year old brain could not decode that. I was taken to the bathroom and there was turmeric paste all over me, as was the South Indian tradition. My mom explained to me why there was blood and how it will repeat once in every month. I was confused. My elated relatives were preparing for a grand celebration to announce the good news (Indian tradition).

The day ended and I lay next to my mom. Both of us were tired. My mother loved me of course, but was never the kind who would show it. She never called me darling, no sloppy kisses or any other obvious display of affection. She was like that and I loved the way she was. That night my mom did something very unusual. Assuming that I was asleep, she raised my hand and held on to it tight. With the other hand, she patted my head. I felt it was her way of loving me. Twelve years later, my hands have still not forgotten the warmth of her hold. In my head unintentionally I had made a promise to that hold “I will always be there for you mom, whenever you need me and even otherwise.”

Comments

pooza11's picture

Lovely tradition

I am smiling when i read that when there was blood in your skirt, your grand ma yelled about the attainment of puberty. I never heard of such tradition. You know when i had first blood in my skirt, my mom really cried and i was stunned. I didnt know what was happening. she was so tensed about me, she was worrying that now how will i handle such things once in a month. She shared her tension with my servant. i my self didnt knew what to do and what actually is happening. By time teach ethg. I had to handle ethg.
The caring nature of my mom towards me taught me ethg. I love ur tradition and your mom. Always keep her happy.

Peace,
pooza

oormila's picture

bond

I am so moved by the last paragraph of your story, Sowmya. It takes a very mature 11 year old to understand that an undemonstrative mother is not necessarily lacking in warmth or feeling...Beautiful, beautiful...

Sowmya's picture

Thanks!

Glad you liked it Oormila... maybe the 11 year old could understand her mom because she is as undemonstrative her own mother :) as a matter of fact, i still am that way!

oormila's picture

point!

I think a truly good story is one that not just draws the reader into itself but one that takes the reader back to her own memories and evokes a strong emotional response. Your story did that for me! Your comment has got me thinking about how one's perception determines one's happiness or suffering. My grouse all my life was that I had an undemonstrative mom and I let this resentment eat me for a very long. On the other hand, you perfectly understood your mom and hold no ill feeling! :-) I remember a teacher telling me once that human beings are at the end of the day, meaning making machines! :-D So true! Love your story, love your empathy and your no apologies attitude! :-)

oormila's picture

point!

I think a truly good story is one that not just draws the reader into itself but one that takes the reader back to her own memories and evokes a strong emotional response. Your story did that for me! Your comment has got me thinking about how one's perception determines one's happiness or suffering. My grouse all my life was that I had an undemonstrative mom and I let this resentment eat me for a very long. On the other hand, you perfectly understood your mom and hold no ill feeling! :-) I remember a teacher telling me once that human beings are at the end of the day, meaning making machines! :-D So true! Love your story, love your empathy and your no apologies attitude! :-)

Hello Sowmya,

Thank you for sharing your story and traditions with us. It was very touching to read of how your Mum held your hand while you were sleeping. What a nice memory.

Katie

Rebecca Snavely's picture

a quiet moment

Ah, the changes of puberty can be so confusing - you captured that moment with great description! I like how it went from feelings of chaos and confusion to a quiet moment with your mother. Beautiful.

Rebecca

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