Mother’s Day post. A late one. But it’s straight from the heart. And the heart cannot be rushed.
After my dad retired three years ago, I had to drop my mom and pick her up from office, everyday. My workplace was close to hers, I just had to take a short detour from my normal route. I resisted at first, made a few excuses, and then reluctantly decided to take up the responsibility. On the first day of us travelling together, we were trapped in a pattern-less clotted traffic. Sia’s Cheap Thrills kept me calm, but annoyed my mom. She reduced the volume, and with her eyebrows furrowed, looked at the jam around, and then her watch, and then cursed the jam some. I dropped her late to work that day.
Months went by, she had begun to like my playlist. So much so that, her hand subconsciously tapped on her thighs whenever Cheap Thrills was on. Some nights, I stayed up late and copied new songs into my pen drive, just to see my mom’s reaction the next day. Though she disapproved of Imagine Dragons and Linkin Park first, she never lowered the volume. And slowly, together, amid the snail-paced traffic on hot sunny days, we bobbed our heads to Coldplay’s Up and Up and Kygo’s Firestone, while snacking on Britannia ‘Good Day’ cookies that she packed from home.
A year after, I quit working at the office close to hers. And just like that, the two hours that we spent within the air-conditioned frame of our little Jazz car everyday, became a luxury of the past. Before, we used to hurry our breakfast down our throats together, and curse the clock in chorus while reversing the car out of the garage. Now, from my bed that was still unmade, I watched her get ready and wait with a certain calmness for her cab. Our Jazz, packed with a ton of memories, stood motionless on the road. One evening, she came home and told me excitedly that her Uber driver had played ‘my’ song. “Which one?” I asked. She hummed a line from Cheap Thrills. Fresh hot tears welled up, but were efficiently dismissed by a thousand blinks, and a choked laugh.