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Cost of love

One of the oldest memories he had,

was the memory of a funeral.

He was a boy of two and half - sitting on his mother's lap, who in her white sari and eyes glowing with unshed tears looked less like a mortal to him, and more like a sorrowful deity.

One of the most beautiful songs he had heard,

was the lullaby his mother sang to him.

In a night that had surrendered to the darkness, her words had turned in a swarm of fireflies that lit up the once dark room, her voice, accompanied by the rain's beautiful percussion.

One of the most daunting tasks he had done,

was to walk into that building of strangers, with nothing to assure him, except the eyes of his mother. But that was all the assurance he needed as he marched towards the school, and his frail legs for the first time in months, didn't quiver at all.

One of the proudest days of his life was the day,

He got his first salary. He took it to his mother and told her to keep it as a gift. She refused, telling him that she was still too young to take the money her young son had worked so hard to earn. The boy laughed and left, just as she burst in a coughing spell. When her hand left her mouth, it was coloured a dripping red.

One of the saddest days of his life was the day

He lit the pyre which supported his mother's soulless body. He screamed and raged and cursed at the heavens above. The doctor at the factory she had worked at told him that she had known of the disease - Pneumoconiosis, for years and had refused the treatment in lieu for some thick bundles of cash. They didn't tell him what she used it for, neither did they have to. For he knew - at last - where the fees for his college had turned up from. And all he could hear was a whisper muttering, "You killed her''.


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