It was too boring when Maa used to stare at me while I was eating. I repeatedly taunted her, ‘Why are you staring Maa?’ While putting her portion of fish on my plate she always ignored my question and said, ‘I know you are still hungry’. I showed anger to her but I know no mother cares about her child’s anger. Late at night the lock of the back door used to open instantly to the sound of my my silent footsteps. When Abba burst out in anger and the hell with my bloody photography, Maa for the first time miraculously raised her low voice and faithfully said, ‘Photos are good. Have you seen any one else to do such work in the area?!’ Our small area was the world to her and I was the hero. Maa was the only fascinated listener of my fairy photo-world-tour tales.
To me she always seemed ‘simplest’ than the word ‘simple’. At mid-night when I felt suffocated in sleeplessness my mother appeared at my bed side with hot milk in her favorite silver glass. I never felt surprised or ever questioned her how she knew I was wake in the middle of the night. Returning home from a heavy rain and getting hot lemon tea at my table was very normal. Or tasting Maa’s peculiar juices in the crazy summer never bagged her any special credit. But I know from my heart that she is my ‘Mother Genie’. She broke the mud coin bank that she secured with each paisa she had and that day said, ‘Go, get your photo prints’.
Suddenly one day I realized there was no one… no one no more to be concerned about the sweat on my forehead. My Genie left me suddenly without telling me a good bye. If I would have known I have to now walk a long road without her, I would have told her a lot of untold stories. I sure would have told her, the photography that I love more than my life is as important to me as her; I love her more than that photography. Maa is no more. That’s why I keep searching Maa everywhere.
A sister in a brothel used to send letters to her mother with fake address by putting small words, ‘Maa Goo your Pakhi’. Like me she also knows mothers never give up. They will wait until their children arrive. Exactly like the mothers of the Old Age Home who are crossing through their 80 s and still praying for their children from nuclear families that they may live in happiness.
For bringing light into the face of their children of early ages these mothers went down in the garbage, worked in dusky brick fields, showered in cold sweats as mothers do. Their tired bodies never take rest even after returning homes. They did the shopping on the way to their home and cooked rice and Daal. By lining up their four to six children they checked carefully if all of them are well or not. A few mothers, even after being beaten by the fathers everyday kept their children in their lap and dreamt of an impractical reality for them.
Children well known the God has gifted special power to their mothers. That power comes out in love, patience, sacrifice. But what do Mothers gets? Can’t we do something for the mother who never wants anything for themselves? The mother who is giving a new life to us everyday can’t we warm her with our affection?
Why still today mothers get humiliated at the corner of the house? On the floor of the Old Age Home? Or in the dirtiest hospital bed from negligence?