I was just Five then. And I remember the date from your diary, 12th of July, when I called out to you for the first time. Muffled up, with my toothless smiles following that most adored word of ages….
In the stillness of ourselves, I stared back at your glowing face which held a page in front of me incessantly asking,” Don’t you know what these are? ”
But, the pool of crayons skirting me amazed me more than the escalating annoyance your eyes reflected.
I grew up so did your frustration with me.
My cousins went to the choir while I was locked with toys in my room.
My imprudence never questioned a Mother’s weakness then.
Because I knew, my grades were bad. My English was distorted. And all the rhymes used to crouch down under the grey cells the moment I was on stage. The numericals hated me as well. All you were left with complaint slips and red marks on the copies and on my cheeks.
Remember, those moonless nights when I silently watched you cry . I felt your cold hand from under the blanket. I knew I was the reason. Numberless ways but it was me.
But, mother I was growing up…
I was twelve when you burnt my paintings. I was just a passionate youth of sixteen, when I looked up to you as others bullied but nothing but your Silence spoke. You made me love Solitude. And I was finally eighteen, when the teacher wanted me to join that club.One that could have moulded my life.
Yet again. Your annoyance won.
That night. We slept beneath the wordless cover of grievances. At ourselves and against each other.
Each time you tried. So did I. Failure was only we both received.
Yet. Unlike you, I had a reason which you refused to accept.
You altered the definition of ” Mother ” for me. Where pages of your diary ended, mine started. Where motherhood collapsed, my world began its flight with unpinned wings.
Remember, the time I told you that I was in love. You laughed. Laughed until tears sprang out from those unforgiving glances. That day, I felt it was better to confide things to a stranger than you. Maybe that person will realize that neither the shrinking wit of an adult nor the dirty hemline of my pant matters.
And 12th of July again I failed. My school scraped me. I was sitting on one side of bed when you threw those reports on me asking ,” Why you? Why not the remaining four? ”
The adolescent teen rebelled within me, screaming those unheard words.
Those tracks of time when you need your Mom to navigate you but you left the ship before letting me set the sail.
I just wanted to imbibe one thing in you and Papa,” Let me live! ”
Let, not my life be measured in the inches of your beating stick or the mercury of my grades. Let, me soak for once in the other colors of the rainbow.
You and I just became two atomies in that house where none lived with or for other. But, your diary suggested that you still care for me….
Maybe you did when you used to silently enter my room and turn off the lights.
Maybe you didn’t when you refused to attend my exhibition. I was 23 then. Searching for my forgotten childhood to peep through your eyes in the crowd on my big day.
Life seemed to have decided some other ways. An untrodden path for me to walk on.
And a year now, I work for the club that you didn’t let me be in then. Club that helps children with learning disabilities.
Today when you will read the letter, you might be proud of the child that you always wanted me to be . Or that of the painter who crystallised out of the those imperfections you hated within me.
Today when you will see the letters are properly placed. ‘ B ‘ is no more written backwards. ‘C ‘ isn’t upside down.
And now I can spell many words including tough ones like, ” Dyslexia ”
I was unlike the remaining four. But, Mom I had a reason.
You couldn’t love me like the others. Did you have a reason?
Even today, you might consider it all an excuse . But, my life always resided in the colors on the canvas , not in words.
I know motherhood can’t die a blunt end. A month from now, I am going to be twenty four. And I want to rediscover childhood for the last time with you..
Together we were in this battle of dyslexic mind of mine.
Now, when I am emerging as a Victor, I want you to be with me.
Mom, today I know what these letters were…