A moment of madness

As the train rolled into the station, I looked at my mother sitting in front of me. Being a well known teacher in the village, she was known to be a compassionate woman of simple tastes. This was her very first visit to the city where I lived and she seemed enthusiastic. Beside me sat my 7-year-old son, who seemed enthusiastic about catching up with his friends. I was happy that my mother had finally given up her initial inhibitions of coming to a city.

At the station, I quickly alighted and looked around for a porter to carry our luggage. I remember telling my son to stay with his grandmother while I fetch a porter. I found a porter and turned around to see my son a few feet away from me. I asked him why he had followed me. He gave me a quizzical look and didn’t say a word. I tried locating my mother, but failed to do so due to the crowd. I assumed that she was standing behind one of the stalls on the platform. I guided the porter towards our luggage and I was stunned not to find my mother near the luggage.

It was a moment of madness. And I did something bizarre. I picked up the two pieces of luggage which was of considerable weight, swung them around my shoulder, told my son to carry his cricket bat and began hurrying towards the exit. The thought that my mother could have gone to the newspaper stand (she was an avid reader) nearby, or any other place never once crossed my mind.

A lot of emotions and thoughts go through you in such a scenario. One was of anger. I couldn’t believe that I had coaxed my mother to leave the village and come with me, and now she had gone missing.
 
The exit could be reached only by taking the sky bridge. Tailed by my son I scurried towards the entrance of the sky bridge. There I told a man of my problem. I guess he realised I was really worried. He told me to calm down and suggested we approach the railway announcer in order to alert my mother. I don’t remember what I thought of that suggestion, because at the same moment I spotted my mother, in her bright yellow sari getting off the sky bridge. I was relieved instantly. I handed my luggage to that man and descended the stairs at lightning speed. When I caught up with her, she was least bit perturbed. Huffing and puffing I asked her why she had left me and gone. Her response was “I imagined that you left and thought maybe you would be at the gate.”

I couldn’t respond to that because then I remembered my son. I thought he was missing now. But he was standing there, maybe be a bit taken back by all the action. He came up to me. I thought he was going to hug his grandmother or maybe me, but all he said was, “You better remember the Pepsi you promised me on the train. Don’t run off without buying me one…”

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