It’s been long since I saw you, hope you’re doing fine. It’s lovely how you always preferred handwritten letters over e-mail, old habits die hard. My roommates and I prepared pancakes for breakfast today. I remember how you used to scold me for not making round chapattis, not anymore since I’ve learnt to make chapattis that are rounder than the moon. But I know I’ll never be able to compete with your cooking skills because you’re the best chef on this planet. It’s been so long since I ate food prepared by you, I’ve almost forgotten what it tastes like. We have to settle for noodles here, as the hostel food is too bland and repetitive. Every time I come home, you throw a fit over how much weight I’ve lost and prepare all sorts of delicacies of my liking; it’s cute and saddening at the same time. I remember back when I didn’t join hostel yet, you’d wait up for me at dinner and wouldn’t eat until I showed up. Now I’m sure you do the same with my brother. Oh! The fight we’d have with each other when we asked you who your favourite child was, and you’d slide the question with a smile that reached your eyes.
I’ve caught a viral flu and my nose just won’t stop running, it’s annoying. I know that if you were here you’d try all the homemade remedies to soothe my cold and do everything possible until I was comfortable enough to go back to sleep. But now I have to take those little yellow tablets that stick to my throat every time I try to swallow them and try to go to sleep.
You know, yesterday we had to wash all of our clothes because the washer man didn’t show up and we even decided to clean our room for good as it was really dirty. It took us about two hours to get everything in place and we were exhausted by the end of the day. Then I thought about how you work non-stop from the moment you wake up in the morning till the time you make sure everyone has hit the bed, and never complain about how your back aches or your arms hurt. Yet you wake up with the same enthusiasm the next day. It used to be so much difficult for us when you fell ill as all the responsibilities were shifted to me and Abbu. How much you’d get hysterical about us messing up the order of things in the kitchen and you’d frequently get up from bed and offer us help. Abbu used to get so mad over this! I can never forget all the times you hid my mistakes from Abbu and blackmail me with them whenever you needed to get something done.
Things are different now, Ma. I wake up to the sound of alarm now and sometimes I don’t wake up at all, and miss classes. Sometimes I get so hungry in the middle of the night but don’t have anything to eat so I go back to sleep. Organizing things becomes really hectic and I end up having a headache. Nobody asks me to study during exams when I’m wasting my time instead of studying. Nobody tells me how awful I look roaming around the hostel in the kind of getup you’d highly disapprove. Sometimes I’m surrounded by so much drama, I don’t even find a shoulder to cry. I’m really sorry, Ma. I’m so sorry for all the times I fought with you even when I knew I was wrong. I apologize for the times you had to listen to me complaining about the things I don’t like and for every time you took the blame for things I did. I know you get a little overprotective when it comes to my safety, but I also know that though you live far away from me your heart is stuck here. I can hear the prayers you make for me when the world is asleep and silently cry because you miss me too much. I miss you too, Ma. Maybe I’d have made you a cute card with lots of stickers and cooked your favourite dish for Mother’s Day, though I should be doing that everyday. But now that I’m here, I thought I’d write you a letter instead, to tell you that those little sacrifices you make don’t go unnoticed by me. And I’ll do everything possible to make my time far away from you in this hostel, all worth it.
Much has changed now that I’ve grown up and look at things differently, but I know for sure that I’ll always be your little girl running around in a pink fluffy frock and babbling in a language only you understand. You are my inspiration.
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