Time Bound

I always thought her eyes were black. But now, as I looked, I realised they were shades of deep brown. She always got crows feet around her eyes when she smiled. But right now she wasn’t and yet I could see those unruly, thin folds of skin around her eyes.

There are spots on her skin. But I brought her that expensive anti-aging skin cream from my last US visit. Isn’t she using that?

What is that shining near her temples? Whoa! her hairs have also started greying.

When did she grow so old? Hell! she can’t grow old. She still needs to teach me so much.

Her eyes seem glazed. Tears have started pooling in them. She is going to cry… as usual. But why are my eyes pricking?

“Why are you crying?”, she asks in a quavering voice.

And that is when the first drop exits from her left eye. The drop moves slowly and settles on two of the lower eyelashes. The prick in my eyes intensifies. I can feel the weight of her tears in my eyes now.

“I am not”, I say.

Her face contorts in that usual sob face. She moves closer and hugs me. “I can’t see you crying”, she says and that is when I feel a warm drop plop on my neck. It trickles down and merges with the hem of my t-shirt.

My chin is hooked in her nape and my eyes are closed. My cheeks are wet.

I don’t want to lose you, Ma. I want to tell her this.

“You always make me cry”, I say.

And both of us just keep weeping onto each other’s shoulders.