Answers And Redemption
“Maa, I wanted the Hawk bicycle, not the stupid one you were going to get me. Can’t I have one wish fulfilled on my birthday? I know you don’t love me at all, but you didn’t have to spoil my day. I hate you!” I screamed on my 12th birthday.
“Why can’t I have a phone like my other friends? Every one in the school has a big phone; the one without a keypad. Why did you give me birth when you can’t even fulfill my needs!”
“Enough! I don’t know why you’re acting so weird, but you have to stop it now. It’s just one bad result, and you’re acting as if I have committed a heinous crime. Stop overreacting maa, will you?”
The deafening sounds commenced with a thud, shattering my eardrums, as the people began to enter the house while I sat there, beside your lifeless body, contemplating in the cacophony the cause of this catastrophe which had crushed my conscience.
After we cremated you, I spent days figuring out where it all had gone wrong. I wish I had loved you more, if that could have saved this disaster from happening.
All that time, I kept looking for circumstances or people to blame. My dad who had left us when I was born. Your work schedule which was driving you insane, our perpetual financial crisis, or maybe, your depressing life altogether.
I would ramble, asking the trees for answers, or scream at the skies. I prayed to God for answers; maybe I should’ve been nicer. Soon, I realised that there was no escape. You were gone, and there was no answer. No redemption.
Six months later, after I had convinced myself that it must have been my father who made you take this gigantic leap, my psychologist, who had been counselling me for quite some time then suggested me to resume writing my diary.
As I opened the blue diary that you would get every year from your company and give to me, I realised it wasn’t mine. It was the one you had kept for yourself. Curiosity overwhelmed my senses and I started reading.
4th October, 2007.
“I don’t know what to say, diary. He wanted a Hawk Bicycle. After performing well the entire year, he just wanted one wish fulfilled. How do I tell him that despite working overtime for the past couple of months, I was short of Rs. 500. I tried my best to buy him the cheaper one, but he was too adamant. He hates me now. Damn it! I have to be the most terrible mother ever.”
8th June, 2010.
“I think I made a huge mistake by using all my money to get him in the best school of the city. He feels inferior sitting among these rich kids who have flashy phones. I can’t buy him one. What should I do, diary? Sometimes I wish that he had a father, maybe then he wouldn’t have hated me so much.”
2 September, 2010.
“For the first time in his life, he scored 60%. I’m sure it’s because of his loneliness in school. I’m trying my best to give him everything, diary. But I can’t take this anymore. Every day, I feel like killing myself. It’s just too much to bear. Dr. Malik says that I have symptoms of depression and I need to take medication as soon as possible. Little does he know that I have to save for my son’s new phone. I’m still ₹1000 short. I hope he understands.”
3 September, 2010.
“He screamed at me. Oh my God, I really didn’t want to react like that on his result, diary. I don’t know what’s happening to me. Lord, please take me away! I can’t even cry. I don’t want my son to think that I’m a lunatic. He will never love me again.”
6 September, 2010.
“I know you’ll read this someday, beta. I just want you to know that I tried my best, but couldn’t endure the excruciating pain any longer. I hope you’ll realise that your Maa always loved you, and tried her best to do well for you. But I have to go now. Love you, son.”
The last words had been written with a shaky hand, and the rest of the page was filled with teardrop stains.
As the paper started to grow hands, and my own guilt began to asphyxiate me, I felt my breath fading away.
I had found the answer, but the redemption was lost. Forever.