My dearest mother, I find it strange writing to you. I never wrote you a letter before. Honestly it never entered my mind. Even if It had, you no longer had an address to write to.
I have grown up without you. I have never known you as a person. Tell me when you were turning your back on us, did you wonder how we were going to fare without you in our life? You left without saying goodbye.
My memory is of the day you finally left home. Father had reached home during your last night. He was sitting in the Hujra (outside living rooms for menfolk) with men relatives, and neighbors sitting with him. You were laid outside on a bed in the courtyard. Women sat near you. You quietly lay without moving.
I came to sit beside you, and tried to wake you up. You didn’t open your eyes. They remained closed. As I hugged myself to you, I found you cold, and hard. You were no longer warm, and soft. Then the awful realization struck that you might be ill. I touched your face, and you weren’t responding, and that’s when I started shouting, and crying to make you get up.
Lala (elder brother) swooped down on me, and picked me up. He tried to stop me from crying. I wouldn’t stop, so he took me to the Hujra. Father held me in his lap, and told me not to cry. As more guests came, and father got up, I came back inside. I sat beside you mother, and cried, and cried. My cries had no effect on you, but it made Lala come back, and took me to father again.
The second time I made it back inside I sat on the verandah steps, and watched you from there. With the fear of Lala taking me away from you, I was crying soundlessly.
Then the menfolk came inside, and women left your side. Lala held me to his chest, and told me you were being taken away to the hospital. Once you were well enough, you would come back home.
But you never came back.
Write a letter to your mom. Tell her something you’ve always wanted to say, but haven’t been able to.