Milk was boiling over and Siya kept staring at the pot obviously oblivious to it.Her laughter filled the room but it froze her daughter Taru in her tracks.This was familiar..The sound had no expression, the laughter was hollow and as Taru approached her mom and gazed at her ,she saw her blank eyes. Siya was laughing but the laughter did not reach her eyes.
Quickly she turned the gas knob to put it off and poured the milk in the cup.Gently she directed Siya to her bedroom and made her sit on her bed. Siya had stopped laughing and Taru realized that her mom was now staring at her face instead with suspicion writ large on her tired face . Fearing worse, Taru asked her to lie down and rest after having milk and turned to move out of the room.It was within a fraction of her turning her back that she felt a sharp sting on her left ear.She reeled from the attack but hastened her steps to her own room to seek help from her kid brother.
The siblings took charge of the situation , as best as they could .Mom was mumbling under her breath now,calmer than before.They lowered her on to the bed and tucked her in .The medicine which Taru managed to mix in the milk would soon take over and she would be alright in a few hours they hoped. They stroked her hair till she fell off to sleep and quietly tiptoed out of the room. Worry writ largely on their innocent faces,they huddled together in their room for some time. Taru’s face was wet with tears and eyes brimming with more .
Taru new she was in charge in dad’s absence .She loved her mom but lately was scared of her.The fear stemmed from the unpredictability of her behavior.She knew her mother was not like everyone else’s.Siya was different.Each day ,each hour,each living moment with her was a challenge .Fate had thrown them in front of this challenge and they had only two choices,face or run away.They chose the first .
Dad will soon be home di-Taru’s kid brother reminded her.She nodded,wiped her tears and dragged her twelve year old frame to the kitchen. Dinner had to be put together and she wanted to help as much as she could before dad came in and took over.She felt reassured with the thought .It was one of those days and this too shall pass…they said to each other as if in prayer.