MY BROKEN KNEE AND ME
(The most hapless I have felt in a long time)
It was not raining, the pouring kinds. It was a heavy drizzle. The weather looked perfect for a quiet day by the window-side, watching the wet world move past while you gossiped with your mom and drank cups after cups of caffeine and munched into crispy hot fritters or anything hot and crispy. I somehow didn't want to do just that. I knew I did not want to just see the world move by, I wanted to be a part of it. The thoughts were too much to take. I quietly motioned to get up from my reclining chair.
"You want anything? Something bothering you?"
“Amma,can we please go out?"
She quietly looked at my face and then my leg. I felt like a whimpering little dog with a broken leg that nobody wanted. I hated sympathy.But, this wasn't S, I knew.
"Car drive? Or a walk? We can't walk, it’s raining and with that leg of yours, I am not sure. Are you sure, priya? Won’t it hurt?"
"Not when you are there with me amma", I wanted to say. But I didn’t. I never said these things.Never.Not to my amma, not to anyone else I loved.No one ever.
I remained quiet and swiftly held the nearest support and stood on my two feet albeit a knee slightly bent. I wanted to tell her that I was as fit as a hum... as fit as, oh it didn't matter. Suddenly, I went weak and fell back on the chair.
"Such an idiot”, I told myself.
My face went red, as red as a hum....yes, a tomato. The mother quietly looked on.
"Ok kanna, whatever you say. But only if you promise you will wear your coat. You can catch a cold, you know"
The whimpering dog was suddenly ecstatic and did a mental dance. In the next fifteen minutes that I took to get into my jeans and my coat, amma was waiting outside.Amma walked in the front as I slowly trudged behind.
"Sit in the back seat, if you are uncomfortable in the front seat. You want to go to your favorite place, no? And BW ku polama?"
"Amma,vendaam.Can we just walk? pleasee?"
"With this knee?Enna paithiyama?"
I quietly went and hugged her from the back.We started walking slowly, gentle and cool sprays of rain on our faces. We talked about everything I had missed in the last four months. I spoke in my Marathi only she understood when we felt someone could listen to us. I used my oft ill timed muhanvarey which only she understood. I laughed my bitchiest laugh only she wouldn't take offence to. I asked her secret vattha-kozhambu recipe for the millionth time since I had started cooking. She animatedly explained with the patience only a mom could have. I was listening but I knew I would ask her again the next time. I sniffed the fresh air. It suddenly smelt of her vattha kozhambu.
"Ma,neku iniku vattha kozhambu and keerai mesiyal venum.okay?"
We walked some more, talked a lot more, enjoyed the weather like never before. The weather and the aura seemed electrifying. I had forgotten my knee.
"Are you ok? Can you walk? Does it hurt? We will again go to the doctor tommorrow.seri aa?"
"Nee sonna seri ma"
"sollu ma,enna achu?"
"Ice cream venuma?"
"Ice cream aa?Its brrr cold"
"If you wish,let's …."
She helped me up the low-lying stairs as I held her hand tight.With her i would never fall,I knew.
"A double scoop butter pecan and a single cup low-fat vanilla please"she ordered.
Amma's knew everything.They really did.
She quietly watched me slurping.She smiled. I watched her watching me. I thought she didn't know just like she thought I didn't know of the mutual glances. I caught hold of her as tight as before and got down the stairs again. I wanted to tell her something. What something? I never knew what to say. Least in such times when I wanted to tell people this somethings.But I wanted to say something, something very strong. I quietly kissed her on her cheeks as light moisture-filled air made their way through my coat as I opened the only closed button. I threw my arms wide open and I ran. My knee didn't hurt. I wondered why.Oh shoot didn't care about my knee anymore. My hair flying in the breeze, took in the air. I looked at amma.The best memories with her rushed past my head. I was numb. I felt pain but not in my knee. It was a sweet pain. I wondered where. And I did what I wanted to do.
I opened my arms wide open and I ran.