Dear husband, you were right. You told me, if God is not blessing us with a child, there must be something good in it. We are not that intelligent to understand Almighty’s plans.
Mrs. Esther – Story of A Mother Who Died Like An Orphan. I would like to dedicate this story to every single mother, who died of thirst like an orphan, in the presence of her kids whom she feed with her milk.
Lying on her bed, kept in the courtyard, Mrs. Esther was thinking about the words that came out of her husband’s mouth forty years ago. Mr. Esther (her husband) was no more; he died a few years ago of cancer.
“How are you going, Mrs. Esther,” my mother asked her. My mother, a retired nurse; to help people were the only thing she dedicated her life to. She used to visit Mrs. Esther. She used to help her with everything from eating to bowel movements. She was more likely a voluntary nurse.
No! Mrs. Esther was not living alone in her 200 yards house. She was living with her one daughter-in-laws, one son and three grand-kids. But, everyone was busy in the search of their personal marriage, happiness, and life?">happiness. Her only son, a marketing manager; always busy with his foreign tours. He was making a hell a lot of money (my son used to file his income tax returns). But, this family never left a chance of showing their incompetence, every time I asked them to hire a paid nurse for Mrs. Esther.
I know Mrs. Esther from last forty years. I have seen her crying for a kid. I cannot remember a single weekend when she did not visit our house for handing over her house keys. “Mrs. Verma, we are going to so and so temple. Someone told us to go and pray if we really want a kid.”
Medically, she was suffering from Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. Being a nurse, I know. But, superstitions and religious idiocies are the biggest problems of our side of the world.
Her husband used to say her. “if God is not blessing us with a child, there must be something good in it. We are not that intelligent to understand Almighty’s plans. Now, you are rubbing your forehead at every doorstep. I am sure, one day, this kid is going to give you a hard time.” And, oh my god! He was so true.
Her son was a stammerer and people around him used to laugh on his speech. But, I have seen Mrs. Esther nurturing her son with utmost care, love, protection, possessiveness and extra care. I have seen her running behind the school bus.
There were instances when she used to shield him from his father. The day, when he bunked school for the first time and was caught red-handed, the day when his father caught him smoking, the first day when he came home completely drunk, and the first day, when he not only pushed Mrs. Esther, but abused openly. Every time, Mrs. Esther curtained him.
A long story of struggle. I can say a book on that. I have told her, anytime she needs me, she can alarm me by ringing the bell. I had installed a wireless bell for her.
The day, when the whole family was on a picnic, I heard Mrs. Esther was ringing the bell continuously. She was in pain and without wasting another minute, I called an ambulance. She was admitted. Her family was informed.
His son came to see her. I still remember the casualness on his face; he is undoubtedly a shameless son and henpecked husband. Mrs. Esther asked him to give her an ear. Come to me son, want to say you something.
For formality sake, he moved closer and Mrs. Esther said something. “Mum, I am not getting you. I am not understanding your language. Stop stammering. You are spitting on my cheeks.” Mrs. Verma, for the sake of God, can you please ask what she is trying to say. I am not what crazy things she is talking about.
I was so angry that this time I shouted at him. Now, you are not getting what this ill-health, mentally and physically broken lady saying to you. Yes, why would you give a damn? You are a marketing manager, earning six-figure salaries.
Remember, how she used to solve your crosswords; puzzles of your feelings and demands that you used to explain in your stammering accent. Good were those kids, who used to laugh at you, I must say. Now, you have no time for the lady, who used to run behind you with your lunch box.
I have seen her dancing like a crazy woman, the day you got married. Now, you are not getting what she is trying to say. I have a lot more to say you. You are such a shameless son.
Well, I moved my ear closer to Mrs. Esther. Tell this to my son.
“Dear son! Sorry for the troubles I gave you. I am an old lady now. More like a pile of bones. I am sorry for spoiling your bedsheets. Hope you remember, how I used to wash yours every night.
I am sorry for my late night sleeping troubles; I disturbed your sleep. I know disturbed you more than you did to me when you was a kid. But, I love you son. And, I have transferred everything from a house to the bank balance on your name. There is a special gift for you in the locker. Mrs. Verma knows where it is.”
Mrs. Esther died that day and after completing her final rituals, I noticed that the nameplate was changed from Esther’s to S. Esther Villa. He was so quick with that rename. I asked his son to set myself free from the burden of Mrs. Esther’s obligation; I wanted him to accompany me to the bank.
He opened the locker. Somewhere behind the gold jewelry boxes and registration papers, there was a red pouch. He untied it. It was an infant’s dress.