There comes a time in every mother’s life when she has to let her son go and have new life experiences that do not include her.
You can only look after your son so much. You can only protect him from this much hurt. You can only watch him from afar as he grows and evolves from a boy to a man. You see him fall in love, change, become someone who is deeply involved in another person. You tell yourself no matter whom he brings home, you will love him/her anyway. But you still hope that the person he brings home to you is someone you can love as your own too. And even when you are lucky enough to have that happen, there are only so many times you can say you love him more than anything in the world. Because that is called overkill. And you don’t want to cringe seeing that embarrassed, exasperated look on his face when you do. So you don’t. So you don’t pull him in hard for a hug and kiss him. So you swallow all the love and all the worry (it comes with the job) and just stand there, help him clean-up/pack, and smile, and may be cook. Even when you hate to cook.
Every sister is aware that the mad physical fighting with the crazy, annoying sibling is going to stop soon and accept that his loss will be one she feels keenly.
Siblings know the joy of fighting over nothing and everything at once. Pillows on the bed are dangerous missiles you hurl at each other. Nothing is more shameful than being a girl and fighting like one. Nothing is more equalising than having your brother discount your chronic pain and say, ‘Hey, you messed with me, I will twist your arm.’ And then you pretend you are hurt and then pretend to cry and then watch his disgusted, guilty face twist with love, hate, and concern all at once. And then to laugh – joyously, like mad. And land one on him. Fighting like a girl and winning. Because he’s the only one who will let you get away with it.
Every girlfriend has to bid adieu to her best friend.
The one who knows exactly what song you will like and what man most attracts you. The one who will analyse television series with you and who will tell you honestly that you need to push yourself and get out there and be the woman you once were. The one who will yell at you when you cry thinking stupid thoughts. But when you really sob, he will hold you so tight and love you so much, that you feel warm all over. The one who helps you select your gadgets and understand latest technologies and trends. The one who says honest wows when you look good. The one who lets you sleep on his arm and shoulder for really long distances on a bus journey, or gives you soothing foot massages because he treats you like a queen – sometimes. He is the guy who knows the perfect gift to buy you, the perfect way to make you laugh. He is the only guy you think of when you are in trouble. The friend who is always there for you even when he’d rather be ten thousand miles away. The one who watches you break up with your boyfriend of over two years and watch you crumble and dissolve and who effortlessly picks up the pieces and plans the next two years of your life. He is the man who will indulge all your whims and fancies and not label you. He is the only one who grumbles but enjoys you for the mad and complicated person you are. The one who pays your bills even when he himself might be a little less than broke because…
A woman can be happy to say good-bye when she really knows she is sending a loved one to good and better things. A woman can cry for herself and still be happy for that special person. A woman can love and let go.
A woman can let a cheesy song become a favourite memory because it was shared with people whom she is crazy about in a place that always brought her only happiness.
For the right man, a woman can do the absolutely impossible and smile endlessly at the airport till his flight takes off because she promised him that she would not cry. The right man will anyway know how she is going to sob herself senseless after the plane has taken off and send a message to melt her and make her laugh again.
A woman can break open her first ever bottle of champagne and toast her son, brother, and best friend and get beautifully drunk even as she tells him, ‘Don’t drink too much, sweety. You have an early morning flight.’
A woman can love a few men so much that the love, and the sorrow of parting, kills her on the inside.
A few men can, even when they are miles apart, love you, cherish you, annoy you, and exasperate you so much that without knowing it, they shape you and they make you – beautiful, committed, fulfilled, peaceful, happy, alive!
For us, kutti naai. You know you will always be the flowers in my window. And here’s wishing you all the love, all the learning, and all the lightness of being in the world. Muah. Muah. Muah. Muah.
Or in other words, ‘Woteva!’