Plucking the hibiscus, the marigold, and a handful Jasmine buds, she walked amidst the greens like a butterfly -the kind that had no wings. And perhaps that’s why people tend to present the dimension of her proximity in the context of the ordinary or typical.
As she walked up to the isle of her kitchen, gently pouring all her soft florals on the wedge, she dragged her saree veil and locked it inside her petticoat. Then twirling her hair with her fingers, she would tie it in a bun and pin it. Quickly, she would pull the stainless steel pan and place it on the gas burner. When the water started to boil, she added a smashed-up nub of ginger, and as soon as the bubbles in water threatened to jump over, she would throw a few strands of black tea and very little sugar.Then her creamy milk made a special appearance – always a thin layer of cream floating on the top of her tea. She would pour it greedily and before she could enjoy her solitary sip, there, the clock strikes seven.
Dragging that cup to the kitchen, she hurried to the fridge and brought out a basket full of veggies; chopping them one by one patiently, and simultaneously turning the spatula to and forth on a different vessel where poha was getting ready for breakfast. Sipping chai through the cup held in one hand and calling out to her three girls, “Are you even up, you lazy girls?” and then unfurling their blankets. Hers was the most ‘normal’ mornings. The only abnormal thing about such mornings was that there was very little time for herself.
Hot, hot chapatis were getting baked to be packed for their lunch. And as soon as the lunch was over, it was tea and snacks time, followed by dinner. Then, even when I turned fifteen her routine was sort of a repeat performance. Such perseverance I say! Today, when I enact a mother in real life, I literally go back in time and watch my mother amidst the fog of a flashback, and I wonder, “Why are they even called housewives?” We rain praises in the name of world champion or an award-winning actress, reward them with synonyms like patience, talent, Superstar genes. But, what does it take to play a repeat performance in real life? Same: patience, talent, superstar genes.
To those thousands of hot teas you could never make it to, and to every task, you repeated every day, so that I didn’t have to one day- it is in those repeat performances that I’ve learnt as Robert Collier puts it: “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”