Handling three pans at once, each with an item delicious enough to be sold, my mother, Meena was sweating, her knees almost giving up.
In the midst of handling all the pans, she got a work call and had to attend to it immediately, leaving the scrambled eggs to slowly burn.
This was the life of my mother, until of course us kids realized, she deserves more than a packed life-she deserved one where she had to slow down…
Every morning my mother used to wake up and make breakfast and our school lunches.She had to wake up, not with someone gently pushing her, but by a buzzing alarm.
In the middle of cooking, she would receive a work call.
Handling the phone on one shoulder, she carried breakfast plates and food to the table, sitting on the pastel red couch for a minute or so, before finally commencing our wake up call.
Deepak, our father would sleep right through this noise, which our mother found “acceptable” as he had meeting calls all the way up to after midnight.
After my brother and I woke up, she would shout commands to get ready, whilst taking out our uniforms, shoes and lunch bags and setting them all on our beds.
My mother would switch on the geyser, and serve us lazy kids breakfast right under our mouths.
We ate, as she tried to juggle the phone between her wrists, serving.
Only after we left for school and office did she even sit down.
Anyone in their right mind will believe this is too much for a single person to handle. Unfortunately, I only realized that at the ripe ‘old’ age of 13.
It was the month of November 2019, my mother was trying her hands at cooking ‘Jambalaya’, a traditional native American dish.
It was almost sudden, my mother was caramelizing the onions, and we could hear oil sizzling in the big pan, when suddenly we heard a big thud.
I ran to the kitchen, thinking a huge pan had fallen down, only to see my mother lying down, flat and unconscious.
I rushed to my father to tell him, who was followed by my brother. We hurriedly carried my mom to her bed, and were ready to call the medical facilities. My dad, quickly filled cold, icy water into a jug and poured it on my mother’s face.
My mother woke up with a jolt, her lips pale and hands trembling. We all were extremely relieved that she was conscious.
Everyone sat around her, and asked her what had happened-and turns out she was tired, really tired!
In the process of taking care of all of us , during her ‘rush season’ at work, she was so packed with tasks that she had no time to stop for a meal!
“Do you mean you were starving?”, my brother said bluntly, clearly not realizing the seriousness of this situation.
As soon as her eyes were away from us, we glanced at each other, a clear message getting conveyed through our eyes.
All this time we were taking her work for granted, and did not understand the severity of her workload.
Before we could let my mother’s eyes get heavy, I assured her, “Ma, we’ll share your burden. We’ll figure it out, let’s slow down..”
I caught a glimpse of her smiling, and that was the day her life changed, for she finally learned to slow down.