I opened my eyes, then closed them again. My alarm buzzed making me open them again.
“Another day!” I sighed. I rolled to the other side of the bed and stared blankly at the wall. “Your writing is very ordinary…it has no spark of interest.” the words echoed in my ears. I swallowed hard and tried to suppress my tears.
“It’s been 2 years that I’m trying to get my book published…every publisher and agent shut their doors in my face. It was the last chance…I had promised Papa that I would marry his friend’s son and move to the USA, if I get rejected this time. But…” I broke down; I cried my heart out and then feeling tired, got out of my bed. I dreaded stepping outside my room for I knew Papa would ask me what the agent said last night over the phone.
I peeped my head out of the door and checked if Papa was sitting in the drawing room; not seeing him around, I went out of my room and sat on the Sofa. Ma came and handed me a cup of tea. I placed the cup on my lap and stared at the floor blankly; in my head, I was preparing myself for saying yes to Papa.
“He too said no, didn’t he?” Ma asked; I didn’t notice that she was still standing next to the Sofa.
I stared up at her and nodded approval; I dropped my eyes. I realized I was on the verge of breaking down, but checked myself.
“What will you say to your Papa?” Ma asked, sitting down on the Sofa opposite mine.
“Do I have an option?” I raised my voice.” Please go Ma, I’m not in the mood to talk…” I uttered in irritation.
She didn’t go; I could tell she was gazing at me. I glanced at her and then looked away again. I felt guilty for raising my voice to her, but the realization of failure was much more powerful than that feeling.
“How was the food last night?” Ma asked; I looked at her and frowned.” What!” that was the only thing I could say.
“I asked how the food was last night.” She repeated.
“It was okay…nothing special.” I answered making a face.
“Hmm…it took me half a day to make those dishes, and all you can say is it was okay!” She exclaimed.
“But Ma, I…don’t…quite…understand…”
She cut me off – ” I woke up at 6 this morning and started preparing your breakfast, so that you and your Papa don’t have to stay hungry. I love this life…you know! I love to cook…especially for you and your Papa. I learn new dishes from various websites everyday and try to make something special or different so that you like them. But when was the last time you appreciated my cooking? I didn’t ask as well. Because no matter what you say or feel I know I won’t stop cooking…that’s my passion.”
I stared at her, still trying to grasp the underlying meaning of her words.
She, however, continued – ” I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and it’s been just 2 years since you started your struggle. Few people rejected it, I know it hurts. But that’s it! you’ll give up!”
I lowered my head;” Did I really give up?” I asked myself.
Ma stood up from the Sofa and started walking towards the kitchen. I sat there still muddled with the hundred questions roaming in my head.
“By the way, I have told your Papa that you wouldn’t marry that guy. I hope that buys you some more time.” She smiled and added,” now drink the tea…it will get cold! I won’t make you another cup…”
Her words brought a smile to my face – “Another day! huh! I gotta make use of it…I never gave up Ma…thanks for making me realize…”
– Chirasree, a dreamer.