Unspoken and Intangible
“Hello,” I said, wondering why she had called me at that hour, given that we generally talk to each other at night.
“What are you doing?” Mum asked.
“Just had my lunch. You?”
“Nothing. Oh, I just forgot what I had called to tell you,” she said.
“You’re getting old,” I said, smiling.
“No. So I was telling you, today is 7th of April. Do you remember anything?”
“No, I don’t. What is it?” I asked.
“How would you remember, Babu? Eighteen years ago, this day, we walked you to school for the first time. I still remember the way you looked back at me from your classroom, with your red water bottle dangling around your neck.”
I smiled. I only smiled, because I had no words to say. How do you convert love into words, and say them to a person who is perhaps the only one to have sheathed you in her unconditional love ever since she had breathed life into you?
“Hmm,” I said. I have never been good at expressing my feelings. But I know she knew. She knew that I had smiled. There is this unspoken and intangible closeness, that neither of us have ever spoken to each other about. We haven’t hugged ever since I had stopped being a child. But there is this little game of gestures that we have played for years. Be it in an unexpected cup of tea on a winter evening, or in me drying her hair; sometimes, in buying her her favourite cassettes of Rabindra Sangeet, or in helping her clean the dinner table.
I still wait for the day, when I can tell her that I love her. Nothing more. Not even an ‘I love you so much’. Just a pure ‘I love you’. But I doubt if I can. Sometimes I think, I should not. Because, in this unspoken and intangible closeness, we have realized who we will continue to be to each other, to the end of time.
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