Jyothy Sreedhar

Mother's Day 2011

8 May 2011. Venue- Oberon Mall, Cochin. Target- ‘Seniors’ (Malayalam movie) That was a bright morning of a Mother’s Day. Time was fixed to 9.45. I reached my destination at the right time. Many people were running to and from the counters searching for the tickets. They were characters for me worth observing, and I had time to spare since I was on a wait for my friend with our tickets. I wondered why these people get into a casual leg- ins and tight T-shirts despite their ages and their body structures. They had that expression as though they were in some foreign multiplexes or they themselves were some foreign people much above than 'mere' Cochin natives. They set their default expression as 'frown'. A very cute small girl in her twelve or thirteen attracted me with her dressing and smile. When she came in front of me looking to my right and shouted 'Momma', I wondered where this word has come from. The ticket counter had opened faces of varied expressions too. I saw some people trying to jump out even, when they got their tickets. Having a look around, they suppressed it. It is one sad fate of being in a public. Why can't we jump out with joy and cry out with tears in the public? Our emotions are ours, and such are our expressions too. If it doesn't hurt a social moral code, why can't we do that! The problem is within. We want to make ourselves superior to everyone around- with our dressing, our expressions, our seeming attitudes, our food selections, our table manners, our way of speech and usage of words and what not!.

Let me ask, how many of them may have taken a little care to go to their self just like how they spend their time in front of a mirror? The default settings should not be of expressions, but of thoughts, not 'seeming', but the real one. Getting superior is not with frowning, but lending hands to the needy and elevating them a bit. In the crowd I saw an old couple too, walking up the steps slowly, holding each other’s hands. I always love seeing these kinds of old couples in some good moments of a leisure time. They will always be without feigning, never bothered about what others think of their behavior. I still remember watching such a couple in a café. That day, that old man dragged the chair and asked the old lady to get seated, and until she had sat comfortably on it, he was holding the chair with much concern. The old man was seen buying two cups of tea and some snacks, taking it on the tray, placing it on the table and pushing it a bit to her. They had the tea and the snacks with some talks and occasional smiles and laughs, showing me how beautiful are the end days of a life. Now this couple too was not different. I enjoyed walking behind them.

Seated in my place, I looked around to see the theatre almost full. On to my right was my central character, my mother, who was in her first multiplex theatre experience. I saw shades of trends around, placed on silky hairs, the lights of latest mobiles, the casual talks in English, the cokes on stretched hands, the pop corns making up a perfect fit for an entertainer and with that, a lot of characters too around. The movie was really happening making even the multiplex audience laugh out loud. I loved the laughs of my mother that stirred up the spirit of a Mother’s day. My friends were scattered here and there, near and far in the theatre and there were occasional looks between us. We had a food court session too, making my mother familiar with such an atmosphere. The event closes when we returned home after having our lunch. But, I reopen a personal version of this same chapter. As I said earlier, my target was not ‘Seniors’, but some joyful moments with my mother. While stepping into Oberon, I held her left hand with my right taking her inside, to a world she had never seen in her life. She was overwhelmed seeing a whole package inside. She was surprised at the trendy shops of branded items, the cafeteria in the middle, the wooden benches on the side, and people walking as though they were in a beachside or a street. She wanted to go up in the escalator and I wanted her to go for that. But it was not functioning so that I could demonstrate how to step in properly. And she walked up, seeing all the floors walking round the circle. She then was just like a small kid, so enthusiastic, asking me about this and that, speeding up often with excitement and I loved showing her whatever she wanted to see. She enjoyed the movie too and didn’t complain about her back pain or the sound disturbances that used to happen whenever she was in a theatre. I was happy that she had been comfortable till the end. She loved naming and referring to my friends on screen and she commented very often about scenes and actors, as she had never done before.

After the movie, we went to the food court too, sat there for a while showing her what a food court was. I shared with her the nostalgia I had with Oberon- she knew that very well too. I pointed to the seats which we, friends, used to own whenever we are there. I couldn’t help looking behind to those seats and I couldn’t bear someone sitting there. I really wanted to run to those seated persons and push them off from our chairs! Yes, I felt like doing it! It had a life of a beautiful friendship, of happy moments, of the loving tortures and caring insults… We were complete there, whenever we sat in a close circle in that eight seated table. The manager too gave me some funny memories, as he was the person who had always heard our meaningless complaints… As the food court session ended, I gave a passing look to those recollections again, bidding farewell to my friends around and walked out with my mother. The escalator was running. My mother had a little tension and concentrated on the rolling steps. I remembered how I used to get scared of going in the escalator some months before. My brother, my husband, and my little nephew too used to get embarrassed with my fear for escalators. I used to search for the elevators and go safe in that. Somehow I learnt the art of escalating and now see, it is my next standing beside me. She managed two escalators to my surprise, tightly holding my hands. Then she opted for the plain stairs for a safe travel. And when we stepped out of Oberon, it was the end of a beautiful Mother’s day with my most loving mother. Oberon, I owe to you my sweetest memories, for giving me what my dreams owned once… Here I end, with these ellipses that represent my never- ending memories... … …