"Shrinking" Moon

Sleep was kept at bay last night as the waning gibbous moon traversed the distance between one end of the transom over my window and the other. I stared at it, hypnotized. It was a thing of beauty. It drew my attention and seemed to say it won’t be ignored. So I didn’t ignore it. I watched, entranced, keeping the reality of the hour from intruding upon this hypnotic state. But it did. Reality is persistent that way. That’s not to say that the moon is any less real but it certainly is irrelevant in the context of wide awake reality.

I spend my days running from pillar to post. I am scattered, I am alone. My eyes stare at the moon, my thoughts travel to Patna, Bhagalpur, Sabour, Delhi for no reason. Or a reason that escapes me at this hour of the night. These thoughts are tied up with my parents being in their early thirties and my six year old self. There was stability, there was a structure. In my recollections they strike me as being more mature and mentally settled at an earlier age. My Mom was always around, my Dad was around, their needs always running secondary to ours. My Mom, constantly worried about the water bottles and tiffin boxes I lost out of sheer absent-mindedness. I didn’t appreciate the close scrutiny back then, in retrospect I do. My daughter loses things every day, I laugh derisively at the moms who are seen questioning their sons and daughters about lost mittens, lost hats, lost pencil sharpeners and misplaced crayons; the smirky voice inside my head asking what is wrong with these mothers and why they agonize over such little things. And then there’s a night like last night, when the moon became an inquisitor or a silent therapist asking, “Why? And how does that make you feel?” And realization dawned that those mothers worry about little things because mothers need to worry about little things like that. There cannot be any approximation when it comes to child-rearing, the devil needs to be found and vanquished in all the little details. A thought that would just as easily vanish in the light of the day.

But in that moment I reminisced about a steady-as-she-goes childhood, about parents who always seemed to know what they were doing, a home that was never a mess, visiting relatives, family outings, eternal sunshine.

I can only dream of providing such an environment for my child: a dream where we’re all together, waking up after sunrise, eating breakfast at the dining table -before leaving home, getting back at an earthly hour, turning in after a dinner-like dinner. A dream that is never going to show any signs of turning into reality as I continue living my life running from pillar to post and yearning for that glorious moment of the day, rather night, when I can unwind, when the moon’s out, A’s sleeping, F is sleeping, R is sleeping, A has already made the token call from VA and no one needs me anymore for anything, no demands, no deliverables for the remaining hours of the night. And that is why sleep is kept at bay. Sleep is just the bridge that would deliver me to the next icy cold day where no amount of bundling up helps and there isn’t any time to do anything other than sustain constant motion. I didn’t want to get on that bridge last night. Not until reality intruded in all its severity and forced my eyelids shut.

3 Comments

  1. Good recollection and wonderful expression of how you percieve your childhood. Life unfolds differently for different people. Enjoy what you have. I am sure your child would have a different recollection of her childhood than what you think she would would have.

  2. "…because mothers need to worry about little things like that…" what a subtle, beautiful way of putting it! Enjoyed this post a lot, and not just because it struck a chord; but because I see that every so often, you find your own balance after that teensy bit of tottering, by way of your words. Here's wishing that many moons hence, you continue to grow gently and gracefully like you do, so that little A will know where to seek her strength from; and 'cause evolving, like hope, is a good thing 🙂 Ronj

  3. Didn't read, just skimmed by but yes what you write interests me. Will read at leisure.Ashwini


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