Saturday, November 12, 2011

We'll Dream Together

“Mooooommmm”, eight year old Mickey knocked on her mother’s bedroom door, “let me in!”

“Mick, patience sweetie. Birthday girls are always supposed to be patient!”

“Really?” Mickey got all excited. “I’ll go and get the Operations game!”

“Mickey, you know that’s not what I meant”, Jaya called out through the door. “Just fifteen minutes more darling and we can go. By the time you get dressed, I’ll be downstairs, waiting near the car. Now hurry up!”

“Olwyt.. Iv yew say sow”, Mickey faked a sulk and headed to her room. She was jumping with excitement inside. It was going to a fun evening for her and mom. First going shopping and trying on 50 dresses before they select 5. Her mom clicking pictures as her darling daughter posed, much to the annoyance of the staff; then dinner at their favourite Mexican restaurant, followed by a huge birthday cake just for her and mom, that they would gobble after going back home while opening her presents. She couldn’t wait!

Jaya and Mickey made a good pair, being strong for each other. Sometimes Jaya felt that Mickey was stronger than her. She took it upon herself to make her mom smile, every day, surprising her with hugs, leaving short letters under her pillow every Thursday morning, before she left for school, their weekend ice cream walks, when Mickey would try a new flavour every time and make a face when she didn’t like it but still would finish the whole of it till the last lick. It was like silently, unknowingly, Mickey was teaching Jaya to find happiness in small things. The hilarity of eating a gross flavour of banana and rose swirl and acting like it was the most delicious flavour she had ever tasted, Mickey had the most cheerful soul. She could see her old  self in Mickey’s eyes and she was proud of it.Proud that even when she would be gone, Mickey will have these memories to keep her strong. And she would smile. Jaya worked every day for that. To make her smile, to make sure that Mickey would remain strong even after she was gone. Jaya broke her reverie, not that it would happen in another forty years or so. She had a healthy and happy life ahead with Mickey. She collected all the pages lying on her desk, glancing at the clock. Six minutes and Mickey will storm into the room this time. She finished quickly, tied the pages with a blue string and put the bundle into the red velvet folder she’d stitched. Pleased with her work, she smiled and put the folder in the drawer. Two minutes and Mickey will be here! She quickly changed her top, and rushed to the door. As she swung it open, there she was with her mouth open wide, a big frown and a hand that was held to bang at the door, almost punched her mom in her stomach. And they both burst out laughing. 

“You look so pretty, birthday lady.”

“Where is my gift?”

“Is that how you accept a compliment?”

“I didn’t accept it Mom. I’ll accept it along with my gift.”

“You know the deal, you’re supposed to wait till we get back home.”

“I hate waiting!”

“I love you!”

They jumped into the car. An eight year old with a big smile and twinkling eyes, her dark gleaming hair falling on her shoulders and a thirty two year old with short hair, petite frame, brown eyes with the same happiness in her eyes as her daughter.

“Red or green?” Jaya asked, as she started the car and moved out of the driveway. They’d invented this game on one boring Monday, where they would guess the signal just before they turned towards the main road from their house.  

“RED”, Mickey screamed as she turned on the volume of the music player and started singing along... “Ain’t no mountain high enough...”


“Ain’t no mountain...” The words brought her to a standstill. It had been years since she’d heard the song. 10 years to be exact, how she’d managed that was still a mystery to her. Her mind was again flooded with memories. Her eighth birthday. Mom in her pale blue top. She in her strawberry red frock. Red or green. Turn the volume down a little Mick. Her mom singing along with Marvin Gaye. Listen Baby. The signal. Red. She won. A loud horn. And... That’s all she remembered. That’s all she could remember. She moved towards the radio, staring at it as if it were a live thing. A birthday dedication. The RJ chirpily said, this song is dedicated to a very special birthday girl... she wasn’t interested in hearing the rest. She rushed to her room, threw open her cupboard. And  rummaged through her clothes. There it was, pushed at the  back of the shelf. Wrapped in white tissue. Did it still smell of her? Or was she just imagining it. She pulled it out and sat on her bed, cross legged. Slowly she removed the tissue, like she was opening her gift for the first time, the gift she had received 10 years ago. She felt a gulp in her throat as she touched the smooth red folder. The velvet faded, over the years but still soft to her touch. A smile was slowly creeping on her face as her eyes welled up. “TO THE BIRTHDAY LADY”, bright blue bold letters. And below it, a Polaroid shot, a sleepy almost 8 year old with an amazingly bright mom. Hugging her daughter tight. She opened the flap... and read the first page. 

Dreams and Memories

Happy Birthday my little lady! No I haven’t put it down as your 8th birthday, because I want you to read and look at this on every birthday. So now, even if I don’t get to gift you something new on your birthday, you’ll always have a gift with you. A gift of memories and dreams. Go ahead Mick, you have made a lot of special memories and now it’s time to dream some more. Some mothers tell their daughters what they dream for them, some tell them to do what they'd dreamt for themselves. Your mom, the loving woman she is, shares here...what she dreams to do with you. So every year, when you or rather we go through this book, we can turn back the pages and tick off the memories we've made and then turn the pages to the memories we are going to make ahead.  And remember, no matter where you are and no matter how old I get, we’ll dream together. Happy Dreaming my baby!

As Mickey turned to the next page, she burst out laughing, her mom with a scowl on her face as Mickey stuffs a spoonful of ice cream in her mouth. She knew the reason of the scowl even before she saw the next picture. Her mom smiling unwillingly into the camera, her face red and swollen cause of the allergic reaction from the custard apple ice cream. Mickey forgot about the pain she was feeling in her gut few minutes back. She turned to the next page. Six year old Mickey with an evil smile on her face, as she held tight to a fat ugly noisy stinky cat. The next picture, a missing cat poster, with their neighbors address.  She turned to the last page, and took out a CD from an envelope pasted in the back cover. She got up  from the bed, inserted the CD into the player and jumped onto the bed again. 

Listen, baby

Ain't no mountain high

Ain't no vally low

Ain't no river wide enough, baby

She smiled wide and brought out a felt pen. All these years, she hadn’t been able to do it. Make memories without her mother. But today, she no more felt alone. Mom was here with her, in her memories, in her dreams. Nagging her, teasing her, loving her, scolding her. And she began scribbling notes on the pages, next to the sketches Jaya had drawn all those years back. A scrawny girl with a trophy and a big smile. She scribbled about the essay competition she won in 6th grade. A pimply girl with a scowl. She scribbled about the day she got her first period.  A tall girl, blushing cutely and holding a heart in her hand. She scribbled about her first valentine’s when she was 16. And she continued. Scribbling. Reliving all the memories with her mom. Dreaming of the future with her mom. She would never be alone. Her mom had taken care of that. 

~The End~


  1. My God, what imagination!!!

    Its a long post, but nice!!!

  2. One of the best tributes to mothers. Good work!

  3. That's a beautiful piece of writing!

  4. @Anupama - Thanks!

    @Numerounity - I would definitely share this with my mother now. Thank you so much :)

    @Pandora's Box - Thank you for the appreciation! :D

  5. Beautiful dear..amazing concept and wonderful imagination, i can actually visualize the story while reading it...looking forward for more stories from your side :)

    1. Thank you Maryam! I'm delighted reading your comment :D

      Will try and come up with more stories soon!



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