Tag Archives: anger

Of The Stories We Tell

I have grown up listening to stories. Fairytales. Stories of war. Stories from Grandma. Stories of returning soldiers. And so many more. So have you all, probably.

I believe that the stories I have heard have the greatest contribution in making me the person I am, today.

The best part of a story, in my opinion is the essence of the tale – the pain or the sorrow it delivers or the bundle of joy that hits us after reading the same. The characters do play a significant role, but in the end, the story is what we are left with – the one that stays with us forever.

Sometimes, I like to miss my regular train and wait awhile at the station, because I have this (strange) habit of observing people. Each random face that I come across leaves a distinct impression on my mind. At times, I forget them. Then some days, when the weather is cold and I’m sitting by the window, watching the mist settle down from the mountains, I remember them – those people who had once graced a scene along with me. The crowded places mesmerize me, actually. Instead of the maddening chaos, what I find are melodious synchrony of people from various spheres, backgrounds and families. Each one of them tells me a story. Their eyes tell me of the conquests from their pasts. Their sighing and frowning tells me of the regrets they have. Each time, they bend down to kiss their children, they tell me of their love stories.

Often, I find myself looking at the lone man at the far end of the train. He holds a newspaper and squints as the old light flickers terribly in the compartment. He wants to know what is happening around him – what is happening in the world! Or perhaps, he wants to take his mind off certain things. So he hides his tired face with those sheets of paper. Does he have a family, I wonder. I think of his wife waiting for him, staying up late so that she can see her husband before the end of yet another day. The children have been put to bed and now, she sits at the dinner table, staring at the clock, having a hundred apprehensions run in her mind.

As the station draws closer, the man folds his newspaper and tucks it underneath his coat. His shoulders fall as he breathes out a sigh of relief. He has made it past another day. Isn’t that quite an achievement in itself?

After he gets down at his stop, I see a young girl board the compartment.

She is dressed in a rich red dress that exposes a lot of skin. The few women beside me frown in disappointment on seeing her attire. She is probably headed for a party. Every few minutes, she stands up from her seat and checks herself in the reflecting windows, making sure not a strand of her hair is out of its place. She wants to look as gorgeous as her friends do. She is seeking delusional perfection.

I have the urge to go to her and tell her that she looks beautiful. However, I want to know her entire story. Why a late night party? When is she going to return?

The woman sitting beside me keeps looking at her. Is she in awe of the dress she is wearing? Does she envy the fact that the girl is young and bold and the woman sees her youth in her? Or does she disapprove her clothes? Doesn’t she see the story that the girl is telling? Is she so busy doing a character study that she forgets to enjoy the story?

The train jerks to a stop and I have to get down. The stories remain incomplete. My questions remain unanswered.

As I get out and stand on the platform to watch the train leave, I see their silhouettes against the window. They are moving, going far away. I do not get to know the other stories they carry and it frustrates me to no end. I wish to meet them again – somewhere on the road, maybe on the same train again.

A cold wind caresses my skin and I realize the train has gone and it is time for me to leave as well. As I walk down the street, under the canopy of stars, I find myself thinking about the man. Did he reach his home safely? Is he having dinner with his wife and telling her about his day? Has the girl reached the party? Are her friends complimenting her on her dress? What about the woman? Has she gotten home, yet? Is she sitting with her daughter and reliving her own youth?

Under the faint moonlight, in the silence of the night, their stories haunt me. In some parallel universe, each one of us is a story. We hold tales of remorse, pain and joy and losses. Those tales are what we present to the world. Our stories are immortal. They are as infinite as the universe that traps us in its care. And these stories continue to live beyond time and space, presenting wonderful vignettes to lost travellers.

Of The People We Meet And The Memories We Make

Travelling in a local train, isn’t the best experience, I assure you, especially in a country like India where you are sandwiched between smelling men and loud women. The compartments aren’t the best looking things and with rotting peels of fruits and stale peanuts and polythene bags that swirl to the rhythm of the slightest wind, it isn’t hygienic as well. But apart from that, the thing that separates local trains from the elite express trains and their air-conditioned compartments is the type of people you meet. While express trains have more reserved men and silent ladies with their excessively disciplined kids, local trains portray a far far different picture. The women there are loud and boisterous and so friendly that you start feeling awkward. The men sit in groups and talk about things other than insurances and sports. And the little children with their pale clothes and unruly hair, stare at your food.

I was slightly apprehensive while boarding the local train from my village. I could have travelled to the nearby main station by bus and caught an express train, but I really didn’t have a great experience with buses, so I boarded the last bogie and managed to find a seat by the window. It felt too out-of-place – perhaps because I hadn’t made my hair and people were staring at me shamelessly, or may be, there was something seriously wrong with me. Either way, I had no choice but to spend two hours there because local trains had no toilets and no mirrors! Some compartments didn’t even have those red chains that were required to stop the train. Beat that!

An old hawker pushed a handful of newspapers towards me and asked if I had read the latest news. Though I wanted to buy the newspaper, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to give it a proper read because the evening winds were hitting at me directly and fifteen loose sheets of paper couldn’t make the situation any better. So, slightly shaking my head, I turned away. Beside me, a group of ladies in their heavily brocaded sarees laughed and clapped their hands to something. Squeezed between them were their kids who chewed at the ends of a water pouch. Their eyes wandered around restlessly. Somewhere, a mother slapped her wailing baby and was met with even louder bawling. Men sipped their hot evening masala (spicy) chais (tea), standing near the door and watching the sun dip into the horizon. Streaks of red and orange and purple merged into iridescence as the day slowly faded into nothingness.

Above me, the light bulb flickered lazily, casting silhouettes on the dirty floor below me. I heard a slight buzz and before I had time to imprint the noise in my head, a black beetle flew over my shoulder and landed on the broken side table in front of me. Its tiny legs scratched against the metal surface and the next moment, it was in the air again. It’s abdomen rose and fell and never had I marked an insect so closely. But then, my eyes travelled down to see the little boy who held the little beetle in its hand, shaking the poor creature madly like a dysfunctional toy airplane. Against the constant noise and buzzing busyness, I looked at the boy who stood in front of me in blissful oblivion. The noise didn’t affect him. The wet shirt that hung from one of the upper berths hit him on his bare back constantly, but all his attention was focused on the tiny little creature that had already started crawling on his hand.

From the little light that came from outside, coupled with that from the adjoining compartments, I took time to study the little boy carefully. With a little tuft of hair on his forehead and white little patches on his face, he looked like he was barely ten. His lips were partly open revealing his broken teeth. His eyes held stories. They glimmered with stories of hope. He mesmerized me in an unpredictable way. His other hand swiftly moved up and trapped the insect in its fist. Then, in a blink, he threw it out of the moving train. “Whoosh!” he exclaimed and jumped. The pair of loose pants that he wore, started slipping down slowly and without bothering to look that way, he pulled it up, his eyes trained on the scenes rapidly zoning into the obliterating darkness. It was then, the tiny blue light above my head rose to life and cast an eerie glow everywhere.

The boy turned and met my gaze, before looking down at the packet of chips I held in my hands. Quietly, he lifted his hand and pointed at it.

“You want this?” I asked and shook the packet to hear the rustle of the salted potato chips.

He nodded his head and a slight smile appeared on his face.

“Where are your parents?” I strained my neck to look at the adjoining compartments to see where his parents were. People were very apprehensive when it came to taking things from strangers. We were always taught to stay away from strangers and never take anything they offer.

So, while a part of me wanted to give him the packet, I was afraid that his parents might mistake my intentions. The man who sat behind me turned around.

“What happened, beti (daughter)?” he asked.

Chacha (Uncle),” I said. “Where are his parents?”

The man seemed like a regular passenger for recognition lit up his eyes when he saw the boy. Which was good, I had thought. Before I knew what was happening, he stood up and charged towards the boy.

“You came here, again?” he shouted, drawing the attention of the other passengers.

The boy’s lips quivered in fear, yet he didn’t cry.

“Go away!” the man lifted his hand. The boy quickly moved away.

“Can’t you hear?” someone else joined the man. “Go away!”

I was getting confused. I had no idea what was happening.

“Stupid boy!” someone retorted.

Surprisingly, the remarks didn’t seem to hurt him. Ignorance plastered itself on his face. He turned to meet my gaze and in a flash, he ripped away the packet from my hand. And then, he made a wild dash.

“What a disgusting child!”

“Catch him!”

“Idiot!”

“Throw him out of the train!”

Hurtful words were hurled from everywhere and a man even followed him. After the commotion had cooled down a bit and people had taken their seats, I turned to the same man again and asked, “Who was he?”

“He is always there on the train, stealing food from people,” the man explained. “His parents probably left him on the train and never came back to fetch him. A naughty boy like him deserves the same fate!”

His words made me cringe because they were filled with so much anger and hatred. How could someone hate a child?

“He can’t speak too! Yet, see the guts the child has!” he added.

Shrugging, I turned back and looked out of the window. The story of the child affected me a lot. It was strange how people managed to smile despite their past.

It was surprising how the boy continued to survive when he knew no language except that of smiles and fear and pain. Dreams rose and fell in his eyes, with each passing day. The train was his home and he made new memories each day. He survived and fought. Life wasn’t so easy, he taught me that. Amidst the chaos, I had found a story so painfully beautiful that it haunts me every time I board a train. Each time, my eyes look around, hoping to find the same boy or probably another child like him. Yet, I see no one. His face has blurred from my memory.

But I know, his story will continue to live with me forever.

Of Living Tomorrows Instead Of Todays

It surprises me of how people spend their entire lives saving grains for tomorrow; collecting pennies for tomorrow; planning for tomorrow; worrying for tomorrow. In fact, we do so many things for tomorrow, that it makes me wonder what we do for today?

That is probably the biggest problem. We always want to be a step ahead in everything. We are always… prepared. And this way, we leave no room for miracles and surprises.

We fail to realize that we can never stop what is about to happen. The future is always changing and life is uncertain, yet we want to be geared up for everything. It’s like wearing a harness for your entire life if someone has predicted you’d die of a great fall!

No one can predict the future fully. The future is dark and deep and scary. Nor can we be prepared to face future. It will always manage to shock us.

Of Finding The Best

When we are small, we have pre-defined notions in our mind – that, we will grow up to be the best, that we will look beautiful, that we will have the best of best friends and marry the best person in the world.

It’s not wrong to have such desires. It’s not wrong to have expectations. You know, where the real problem lies?

That each one of us wants the best for themselves.

I want someone, because I think he/she is the best for me. Then again, you may want somebody else because you feel he/she is the best for you. Perhaps that is why they call desires of the heart to be dangerous and that they wreck a person. Because, the best for us doesn’t consider us as the best for them.

Of Breaking Chains

All our lives we’ve been asked to be careful. Do this and that, but not that. Our wings have been cut off from a very early age, yet we are asked to find the first worm! We are asked to tread carefully on every path so that we never make mistakes.

But all this, is it worth?

I believe that we have to make mistakes. We can never learn from others’ mistakes; we have to make our own. Sometimes, we need to forget every warning signal that has been issued to us and take a leap. Into the unknown. Into the uncertainty. Because, there is a world out there. And it is different from our world.

Of Crying That Makes Us Strong

I have never seen a person cry. For most of my life, the people around me have always been happy. When the day of tears arrived, they left.

I know people cry when they are in pain. They cry when every breath is laboured and things do not seem to be making sense. People cry when they are weak. And some cry, even when they are strong. People like you.

Mom used to say that it is okay to cry. For one day, every tear will dry up and you can stand up again. She often used to joke around and say that crying helps clear the vision. She had a weird sense of humour, I agree. Though her words never made sense back then, I think they do, now.

Every time a person falls; every time a person is in pain; every time a person cries, it helps them get a newer perspective. For we take off our rose-tinted glasses and retrospect. And by the time we are done crying, we know already that we’ll never be crying again for the same reason.

In some wickedly strange way, crying makes us strong.

How I Lost You

“Do not save your loving speeches

For your friends till they are dead;

Do not write them on their tombstones

Speak them rather now instead.” – Anna Cumins

I met her in junior high. We had been those bubbly little girls, always fangirling over some Hollywood character. The memories are hazy. I don’t remember how we looked like, back then. I remember she used to chatter all day long about Brett Lee, often mentioning facts as ridiculous as how many teeth he had lost!

We became quick friends. We used to talk to each other for hours over phone. We used to call dibs on hot anime guys! I was going to be her bridesmaid, she was going to be mine.

Indeed, I have too many happy memories with her.

When and where things went wrong, I don’t remember. I guess, she doesn’t too. Perhaps, it was when I had to leave school due to my Dad’s transfer.

Moving away didn’t seem like a big deal. We had telephones and e-mails and Facebook to remain in contact and I presumed blindly that things wouldn’t change.

Somehow, they did.

Conversations started getting shorter and most of the time, it seemed like we were calling each other just for the sake of old times. Our priorities changed. So did our friends’ circle. We thought that we were still going to remain friends forever, but deep inside our hearts, we knew that the thread was slowly withering away.

Five years of friendship was lost to a year of separation.

Slowly, other people started taking her place and a part of me still holds a profound amount of guilt that I had given up on our friendship so easily.

I used to browse through her pictures on Facebook and see her with her new friends, happier that I’d ever seen her. Though both of us used to be online at the same time, none of us took an effort of dropping a message. Strangely, it didn’t hurt.

At that moment, I knew, I had lost her.

When I returned back, two years later, our friendship remained as messed up as ever. We did talk, but it was no longer the same.

The good, old times remained carved in some forgettable corners of our classrooms.

Perhaps, we grew up. And life moved crazily fast.

Or may be, we never had been friends in the first place.

I went through the darkest phases of my life, alone. There were times when I believed there was no hope. And what hurt me the most was, I had no shoulder to cry on. So I cried, alone.

That period of darkness I went through, convinced me that nothing was permanent in life and that I was going to lose people. It made me numb. And it made me forget about her.

Until a couple of months ago, we started talking again.

Of course, conversations were pretty short and awkward. I used to think a lot before saying her something. I hid certain things from her. She did too.

Nevertheless, we talked.

I waited for her messages. I desperately wished for things to go back to being the same again, just like the olden, golden times. I wanted to meet her and talk and talk and talk about nothing in particular. Yet, I kept all that to myself.

I’m talking to her as I write this. I tell her I’m going to write about her in the next post. She wants to read it. I want her to. But I don’t know where to start.

The happy childhood memories are fading away with each passing second. So are the not-so-good memories. Now, I remember the little arguments we had. I think about the time she threw a water pouch right at my face and burst out laughing, while I stood in the middle of the staircase, absolutely clueless about how I was supposed to react.

I remember the one time something happened between us and I refused to talk to her. She had cried over the phone. Yes, she did. I was the stronger person. But I’m crying as I write this.

The memories are withering away and no matter how frantically I’m trying to hold them close, they are slipping away. The castles I had built are slowly crumbling to pieces and she’s not there to lend a hand.

However, along with the happy memories, the bitter ones are gone too. They are replaced by a set of new memories – of this friendship blooming again. May be we can never go back to being the best friends we had once been, but I’ll try. I don’t know about her.

Looking back, I still can’t figure out where things went downhill. A part of me doesn’t want to.

I had never figured out that writing about her would be so tough. We have our fair share of memories and sorrow. And we’ve been through all that together.

And I owe it to her – she taught me the importance of having friends. She made me realize that some friendships will fall and some will last and some friends will leave and some will keep coming back. They are people who are going to raise a toast at your wedding day and even raise a mop if you want them to. They are people who one writes about. They are people who have the most impact on one’s life.

They are called, friends.

She is mine. She is my friend.

And I believe there will be brighter days.

No, I know there will be even brighter ones.

We’ll see them together.

The Rain That Never Came

The sweet-smelling dust of a scorching May evening settled in front of Daya’s house. The blistering sun had dipped down beneath the horizon, the salmon sky sporting a canopy of faint grey clouds which never rained. As the darkness spread its veil over the land, the clouds seemed to be devoured into the night, replaced by a sprinkle of stars. The clouds brought with them, a little spark of hope- a hope that led farmers like Daya to believe that it would rain that night. When it didn’t, they felt their hearts wrenched out till it shed the last drop of blood. This type of hope was dangerous, for it brought them happy dreams and later pushed them into the dungeons of delusion.

 That evening was no different.

 Daya sat in front of his house, on top of the weak bamboo fence that had cost him a small fortune.

When his old father had passed away, the land in front of their dingy hut had been passed on to him. With high hopes and brimming dreams, he had taken out his broken bicycle with the bent wheel frame and leather-less seat and rode to the marketplace where he had brought five fences to cover either side of his land.

 On his way back from the marketplace, he had stopped at the moneylender Govind ji’s house and asked him for a little bit of money to buy the seeds and the fertilizers. When the scrawny, greedy man with a bald head had hesitated, Daya had told him about the piece of fertile land he had inherited and how it would reap the gold. With eyes on the little land, the moneylender had given some money to Daya.

 It was strange how things had suddenly started favouring him. He had money. He had the land. He had the spirits. And he had a bundle of hopes that he was going to make it big. Perhaps, they might appoint him as a member of the Farmer’s Association in their little town of Kaman. For a man who had spent almost half of his life doing odd jobs on another person’s land, even six feet of earth meant a lot to him.

 That very evening, the rains had come lashing down on the little village, quenching the thirst of the parched soil. The rain had drenched the flamboyant trees and their leaves had turned a shade brighter. Little saplings were awoken from their slumber and they greeted the silver sheets of rain as it crashed deafeningly on the thatched roof of Daya’s hut. In a matter of few minutes, the sky had gone from an eloquent blue to an ominous shade of gravel grey.

 Daya and his wife had sat in a corner of their little hut, escaping the dripping droplets of rain. As occasional flashes of lightning lit up the dark sky, Daya had felt a uncontainable joy at the pit of his heart. Oh, how he would plant the radishes and carrots and potatoes in this little land! Oh, how generous were the lords to bring them a spell of showers in early summer! It certainly meant something good, didn’t it? Daya’s poor human heart exploited his hopes with richer thoughts.

 Daya had tilled his land with viral enthusiasm, singing songs in merry stupor and buying his wife a brocaded silk saree from the market. When his wife had complained, he had asked her not to worry for they were going to be rich! Such were his hopes that it drove him into a frenzy.

 Each night he had gone to sleep, smelling the rain that lingered in the air and the canopy of stars in the desert night sky.

 However, only the smell of rain had lingered. It never came down in a glorious downpour. It never kissed his land and never brought it back to life. It doused off all his dreams, zoning them out into oblivion.

 How he had waited for the rain! How he had waited for his hopes to come back!

 Two dry months.

 And it hadn’t rained.

 The last traces of summer wind waltzed past him, creeping into his lonely house where his pale wife lay, bathed in the glorious light of the evening that trickled in through the little windows. The same saree, that  Daya had given her months ago, was wrapped around her in a careless fashion, rough knots of her unwashed, dark hair drowning into the creases of the fabric.

 The sound of a little bird rose and fell with the wind, the wispy clouds clearing from the sky to make way for the stars.

 The chilly desert air had taken its toll, but it did nothing to the restless, thirsty throats of the couple who hadn’t eaten for a week. The land in front of their house had cracked open. The little saplings that Daya had planted had withered away, leaving no trace behind.

 A faint light from the lantern flickered inside his house and smelling the scent of the burnt wick and the smoked glass, Daya turned around to see the same, obliterated by the rapidly darkening night. The darkness of the moment devoured his sanity, transforming him into a madman.

 Everything had started chalking his doom.

 When he had visited the mukhiya the other day, he had waved Daya off. At a time when drought had taken over the land, there was very little anyone could do for anybody.

 The greedy, heartless moneylender had come to his house, demanding him to return the money. Poor Daya could only give him the brass utensils and a pair of bronze bangles that belonged to his wife. Although the man had his eyes set on the piece of land, he left, knowing that the land wouldn’t be of any use as the drought had set in.

 There was nothing left in the house. Only two pitchers of clear water stayed in a desolate corner of the house, staring at the agony of the helpless couple.

 Daya jumped off the fence and started making his way inside his little abode. The tatters, he wore were unwashed, and covered with freckles of dirt and his bony chest glistened as the low light of the lantern hit him. His wife sat leaning against the mud wall, her hand on her head, wondering if they were suffering because of some sin they had committed in their previous lives.

Oh, the heartbreaking explanations we resort to!

 The things that had seemed to be going so well had instantly stopped, driving their ripened dreams into an unfathomable dead-end. Life was a brute, wasn’t it? And so was the restless human heart that held on to the withering thread of hope, thinking that one day or the other, radiance shall come through the pain.

 Daya staggered down beside his wife, crawling up to the bed and leaning against it. Staring at the faint darkness that was interrupted by the light from the night sky, he let out a hollow laugh.

 “It will rain!” he cried in feverish excitement. “We will grow everything on our land! We will be rich! Everyone will look up to us!”

 A slight sob escaped his wife’s lips.

 On a dull, summer night, when the moon was high up in the sky, a blissful cry erupted from somewhere, the breeze carrying its echoes into forgettable corners of the land.

 From nowhere, the air became thick with moisture, the rain-laden breeze calling out to the people of the land. A clammy haze of rain spread across the land, hiding the moon and the stars somewhere behind their drapes.

 Tiny drops of rain splattered across the unpaved paths, clearing out the sand and trickling in between the cracks. A few drops trickled into Daya’s house through the thatched roof and landed on their limp bodies. If only they had held on to that hope for a little more.

 The next morning, all the people of the land knew was that, the drought had driven yet another farmer to his death. No one sympathized. They blamed it on fate and they blamed it the sins the poor couple had probably committed in their previous lives. No one blamed the rain. No one blamed the drought. For them, it had become an everyday phenomenon, waking up each day to hear how a couple of farmers had given up. They stared at their abject poverty and prayed it didn’t happen to them.

 It rained for the next few days as well.

 If only Daya was alive to see the same. If only…

A Plate Full Of Mom

“One of the most important relationships we have is the relationship we have with our mothers.”

When Mom had to go away for a week to attend one of her training conferences, I hadn’t thought I’d miss her cooking that much! Her cooking!

Since my early childhood days, I’ve always been a lonely kid. Put me in an empty room with something to eat and a pen and a paper and I guarantee that I can live my entire life in the same space.

So, the day Mom left to attend the conference, naturally I didn’t miss her that much. Being a working woman, Mom was hardly around me. The little time we got after she returned home from her work, she spent it in the kitchen, cooking dinner and doing other little works.

Growing up, I didn’t have a particularly good relationship with my mom. Perhaps, it was because of the fact that I was a rebellious teenager with very different tastes than my mother. We’d argue on almost everything – clothes, food, books, subjects, languages, cultures and food. In short, we were both hot-headed and adamant to prove our point to each other.

Food – whatever she cooked, I didn’t like. She didn’t like that I didn’t like what she cooked. And I hardly knew how to cook! So each day, four of us, including my crazy eleven year old brother and my Dad, sat at the dining table hearing my grumbles and Mom’s constant complaints against my so-called attitude.

But that was five years ago.

Now, I believe I’m a sober teenager. My hormones have calmed down and I did realize how crazy a teen I had been! Relationships have improved and that counts the one between me and my mom. We understand each other better and hopefully, though the arguments haven’t completely stopped, they aren’t really that serious.

However, I still have a problem with her cooking.

Dad tells me that it’s probably because I’m bored of eating the same thing again and again and he is probably right. Sometimes, I believe the same too. But is there a solution? No. So until I learn how to cook (which seems like the next birth) and I’m finally independent and have a job, I’ve to depend on Mom.

Mom had to go for almost a week and we were given our pocket-money to order take-outs for dinner. The entire idea of eating out for an entire week, thrilled me! As most of you must have predicted by now, I’m a big foodie. Give me food and I’m the happiest soul around. But I’m really picky when it comes to food.

Dad, being the more inventive person in our house, decided that we should cook something and not order everyday. So that is what we did. Basically, he cooked.

And though I’ve seen that some men are great cooks, I can vouch that my dad is not. He can make some decent dishes, agreed, but when he tries to cook something he doesn’t know, it’s always a blunder that somehow ends up tasting good to him. And he forces us to eat it!

That is exactly what happened on the rainy Friday night when he got back home early.

I still do not know what he made. He called it something and we ate it without a noise. My brother even went on to say it was so good he could eat it everyday! Obviously, he meant it in a very sarcastic sense but Dad took it as words of encouragement and decided that we were going to eat the same thing again the next night.

I remember swinging my feet wildly and hitting my brother under the table.

The other day, when Dad had left for his office, we were hungry. So my brother and I decided to try something new. Given my complete inexperience when it comes to cooking, I had a difficult time trying to find something to make. We would’ve bought instant noodles but we were lazy.

“Cookies!” my brother suggested.

I agreed.

Half an hour later, he was mixing the batter for the second batch of cookies while I was reading a recipe book. A part of me wanted the cookies to taste exactly like Mom’s. So I took special care while adding the flour and eggs and chocolate, making sure the measure was accurate enough.

In between the little party in the kitchen, I remembered the last time she had made those cookies for us. It was a long while ago. Now that I sat on the kitchen top, reading through a recipe book, it felt as if Mom’s recipe to deliciousness had left along with her. It hadn’t been passed on to me and I had this nagging thought at the back of my brain that something might be wrong with the cookies.

It was then I realized that I had always loved Mom’s cooking, no matter what. I had always complained but that was plainly because I was bored with eating the very same thing, not because her cooking was bad.

The alarm of the oven went off and I helped my brother in pulling the tray out.

The cookies had weird shapes. Though they had looked good when we had poured them into the tray, after being baked, they had those weird amoeboid shapes. However, they tasted great! Perfect!

“Exactly like Mom’s!” my brother exclaimed as he stuffed a handful of cookies into his mouth.

No, the cookies didn’t taste like the ones Mom made. They lacked one thing. One person.

They lacked Mom.