She is so close that I can touch her. Yet, she is so far away.
“Nice sweater,” I say, “Do the shoes match?”
“Of course not, Amma!” both say in unison; one little critic by my side and her sister, continents away. Perfect timing.
I roll my eyes. Yeah, I deserved that for asking such a dumb question. The elder one thrives on Chaos Theory. The younger one matches her shoelaces with her earrings.
Soon I am immersed in how wonderful Physics is, how much she is loving the colloquiums, the study groups, the kind professors, etc etc..
“Did you wash the pillow cover ?” I ask, not able to bite my tongue in time.
Her bubbling flow is stopped for a moment and then she shakes her head and shrugs.
“Gawwwd! That’s all you could say?”
A small giggle comes from my side. The source, is hugging a plump,stuffed Unicorn.
“Ask her if she has washed that animal for ages?” The Physicist snipes, snarkily laughing at the rainbow coloured hug-toy.
“Amma washes it, when I sneeze,” retorts the little girl.
“As a matter of fact, when I started sneezing two days before, I too washed the pillow cover,” grins my elder one.
“And Amma, you know, this seminar on black holes…”
I rein in my mind which is bursting at its corners with neither gravity or anti-gravity, but with questions on whether her table was neat, shoes were polished, and whether all documents were kept away safe. Whether there were ants inside the bottle of snacks that I had given her. Very high level theoretical questions that needed experimental validation indeed!
“You are thinking about something else!” Internet is very powerful that she can see my thoughts from across the oceans.
“Did you eat those snacks?’ I ask sheepishly.
“Arrghhh! Yeah, I did. I shared them with my room mates too. Amma, you never let go, do you?In certain matters, you are exactly like Ammomma!”
“Only, she is not so pretty as Ammomma,”agrees the younger one.
I take the salvos bravely. I remember my mother packing cucumbers and tapiocas in my hand luggage without telling me. I also recollect my shock when the airport staff asked me to open my bag due to weird looking shapes within. Of course, they had grinned when they saw my mother’s choicest garden pickings. I had locked the check in luggage to dissuade her- my indomitable mother had countered with an easier solution.
And then I ask her why her selfie has her in a tshirt that I thought I had donated a few months before.
Two giggles break out in conspiratorial unison.
My mother’s blood had certainly found a way into the new generation. They achieved what they set out to achieve.
And I am so glad and grateful about that. Truly and deeply.