People generally wake up to the ruckus of an alarm clock, but my grandma used to wake up the alarm clock instead.Grandma it seems,who am I,Prince Charles?!
Pushpa Patti sounds personal, my edifice of love.
She was my preschool before my kindergarten who taught me beyond the building blocks and alphabets. She hooted with excitment every time I attended my nature’s call with clothes on when the average adult would be peeved. She made me feel special about the birthmark beneath my rear neck as if it connected me to Cleopatra’s lineage.
She was the third parent who doubled as a satellite around me apart from orchestrating the domestic chores with marked passion. She was an illiterate who felt proud about signing her name in broken cursive letters. The two things she was possessive were the jurisdiction of the kitchen and my company.
Being a surrogate mother wasn’t new to her,born as the seventh of sixteen children she was forced to take up to raising toddlers when her mother’s life was torn between spreading legs in the bed and the maternity ward. The rhythm of her childhood was lost in the chaos of domestic colonization. From the frying pan to fire, she got married to my Grandpa(an excuse for inhalation) to make the predicaments of her childhood look like summer vacation.
Maybe she was vicariously living her childhood through me. I was the flagship product of her medicated patience through decades of poverty,hunger and Grandpa.
Pushpa Patti was a natural giver. I’ve seen a lot of lives touched by her rudimentary acts of altruism from an impressionable age, that I attained my compassion before puberty. Now that she had a cement roof above her,this was her way of showing gratitude to all those unrelated good Samaritans who helped her make both ends meet back then.
I remember that period of financial crunch we underwent where my sister and I had an appetite bigger than our bank balance. Pushpa Patti’s meticulous savings used to be our Santa every time we had a craving for empty calories. She funded my first multiplex movie ticket with provision for conveyance.
She had a sweet tooth,but sugar was eating her instead. Her blood sugar levels had gone beyond commonplace mark. That phase marked the start of her second childhood. She used to get caught surreptitiously attempting to nibble a sweet late in the night in a not so subtle fashion,every night.
Age was catching up with her,bartering agility for longevity.By then I had turned into a young man itching towards adult acceptance, who had outgrown the vestigial patronage of his favourite Pushpa Patti.I still feel guilty for my convenient ingratitude towards her during this phase when she needed me the most.
From a hyperactive plump woman with chubby arms, she had started to wane into a puny weak one who couldn’t regulate her bladder. I will never be able to forget the look of helplessness on her face when she was in her death bed,every time she realised she had urinated before a crowd that consisted largely of grown-ups who’s first ever urination happened at her behest.
I was praying that the suffering ended sooner than later as I couldn’t see her decompose before my eyes with painful consistency.One morning the inevitable happened as my fighter of a Pushpa Patti had succumbed to one last battle for her own good, her lifeless mortal remain lying collateral to that