I am Melanie, the “Soulful Melody” as all my hostel friends called me. I have written over a hundred essays in my life, I accomplished myself the title of being “soulful” only for all my essays wistfully brimming with emptiness, But this letter is my euphoric masterpiece, it is in fact an essay I dedicate to each one of you, and believe while reading this, you would feel blessed and telepathically coerced to live - “the me”, live “The soulful melody - Melanie” at least once in this lifetime. As I write this letter to my “Ma”, I breathe her faith, feel her love, touch her soul, and see her persona. I feel proud to have been born to her, and if I had a hundred lifetimes to choose I would only want to be her baby. Come and read along with faith, feel along with love, touch along with soul and see along with me the persona of the Woman, I called “Ma”.
“I don’t really know where to begin, there is much to say and yet I need only a few words. Those were the days, when mornings dawned with your gentle fingers tickling on my warm cheeks, your kisses on my closed lids, and then slowly in a laze my body cuddled and curled in your lap. A bower of love with that moment to last forever, and your fingers stroking my hair, Oh! I’d give away every morning of my life to hear your soothing hum, as I awoke to a dawn of dreams. Your smiling eyes behind those lovely glasses, as you took me in your arms to hold me tight.
I remember, that I returned from school straight into your arms, when your embraces struck the chords to play the song of our love at home, when my favorite food lingered in your hands to reach my tongue, the way you’d read me stories explaining the moral at the end of each tale, You know Ma, I hardly could fathom any moral but yet I had faith in your words and they meant the whole world to me, the way you taught me to dance, dance for passion, feel the rhythm and move to the beats, how I would fuss to play Sarod every evening while my friends played and frolicked. How every night I waited until I’d see you finish all your house hold chores so you could lay your arms on the bed for me to rest my head and sleep. I never understood how tired you could have been then… I just felt so secure so warm and cozy. You just made home such a perfect place to dwell. Your smiles teased and your hugs cared. Those were really the days Ma when under the canopy of your embraces and love my childhood traversed a path of hope and faith.
It was March, a soulful spring this year, exam time for me, but I didn’t gather why we would have loads of people in our house, screeching endless discussions, each striving hard to conclude and become the intrepid socialite rather epitome of selfless helper, and I would have to hide behind doors to lull-fully listen, feeling so lonely in those blaring crowds. Each eye that fell on me, took pity and yet I didn’t have a clue what future was daring for me. Time was ticking into a storm, I failed to see - You weren’t wearing your smiles, as I often perceived your croons of pain when you gave your arms for me to rest my head, and you looked tired by the second. You forgot to embrace me, failed to pick me up & tuck me. Your morals dropped at bed time into silent tears; your fingers trembled in my knotted hair, our dance awaited the movement of your feet, and music patiently stood awhile your fingers did the tremor. I stood bewildered at life, alone and all alone, with disappointed expectations and thwarted ambitions.
You pushed my independence to stand strong before time and I felt hurt believing you just didn’t love me the same any more. My little heart wondering every minute; why, my world that had curled to your bosom stood to an empty sky. Why did you shun me for no reason? - So questioned my naïve childhood. You started talking of growing up when all I yearned was to remain your baby forever, You spoke of being strong and level headed when all I hankered was to be your carefree teddy in the arms that rocked me, you persuaded me to learn to take care of everyone but all I wistfully longed was to be cared by you, You taught me lessons of never giving up when I was afoot to give up the world for that one warm embrace. You equipped yourself to groom me so I could learn to survive without you, & you expected me to behave like an adult when I wistfully yearned for my childhood to bloom in your realm. This entire ordeal you just handled it alone, you knew didn’t you, that I could never give you my shoulder, I was a child, feeble and helpless.
All the moralistic rebuke of life that you did sermon, seemed so shallow to me then, there is one moral in particular I cognitively reminisce today which I just didn’t comprehend then, and it goes - “Death is just a myth, actually it’s all just an idea, it has no substance in it, it is purely nothing, but we give it a reality by believing in it. The moment we withdraw the belief, then reality disappears, it evaporates. Life goes on, soul moves on. It’s alright to feel life again, live again.” Your words purported what my soul denied, my childhood rebuked and my heart forsake. How could I have apprehended, that which you were preparing me for, and that which you were already destined to face. I loathed the crowd at home who sat hours to share your pain; I felt they were all taking you away from me.
After days of despaired controversial discussions dawned the moment when you had to actually leave me and move on with your treatment. That day as we parted, friends and family explained that you have Cancer that needs immediate medical attention; they said you would have to live away from me for a while and that I can visit you in my vacations. That doomsday, the sky collapsed on my jejune childhood, I felt my breath sinking, it meant you would be away for endless summer days and winter nights, and all I could recall then were those sermons in which you were preparing me for this day of separation. Life was being such a ruffian, never understood however, that it could have been harder for you, until the day I held my own baby in my arms. To let go of your little bundle of life who is not yet prepared to face the world alone, who needs your guidance, protection, love, and embrace every minute, yet you didn’t have time, did you? You were deprived of it yourself, just that I couldn’t believe it then.
Your presence was fading away in my life and I was striving hard to stop thinking of you and wait for you. When I visited you in vacations, you would be sleeping most of the times, you looked bemused, your face had lost that gleaming shine, your smile was tearing away. I could infer pain on the outside and the inside of you. I sensed something was going to change forever in our world. I just didn’t know what that was. I’d have to leave sooner than I desired as vacations ended and I really can’t recall much of what I did after returning home without you and whether I even thought of you. I had a feeling that you cheated on me and I was so baffled, if you really did love me the way you did before, then why was the sky quaking- ripping me and you apart?
Life did its breathing inside me, yet all was perplexed, no one to embrace when I returned from school, none to make me eat the first bite of my favorite food, no one to sit in the first row to clap on my performances, none to watch my shows on stage at school, none to read my favorite stories at bed time, no one to stroke my hair at sleep time, no one to offer me the arm to sleep through dark nights none to give the morning kiss, no one to see me off at the door , no one to wait at the door for me when I return from school, no one to teach me music & no one to pray with me. Despite life’s malevolent ways, I tried to cope up Ma, as much as I could although at times vindictive. I expressed myself to you in my letters that I could never post, I wrote my diaries for you hoping that some day when you return I will show you how much I missed you and loved you and needed you in my life. Somehow that day never came. While your treatment had deteriorated your health more than ever, I could sense that your returning home was becoming evitable.
One summer vacation I visited you, I found you were felicitous again, smiling wide, embracing me often although your clasps weak yet warm, and kissing me more than you’d done before. I was allowed the luxury to lie down besides you with your arm under my head again, your trembling voice narrating me stories, with no morals to comprehend this time, your soulful eyes following me around. Ah! I finally could percept life was inducing back what it had unjustly snatched away. Although you were so weak that you just could not get up by yourself, you seemed so relieved as if all was going to be well and conventional again. And that was the day. In moments, you were lifted from bed; I was hesitating to budge from your side. They put you on the floor, and your blood turned purple, your eyes stilled peacefully, your smile transcended love , your pain ceased, the trance in the room echoed your enamor. You’ll become a shining star in my sky to guide me, lift me when I fall, is what they all told me, and that day I believed them, you left me no choice there Ma. Oh! How I prayed with my heart, soul, and folded hands, you’d stay with me just one more night, so I could cuddle next to you for awhile, why did it have to end so soon?
Each hurdle ever since, sieved through your sermons, I nailed in my heart. I believe your soul protected me in every failure, and your smile nurtured all my hurts with an unbound charm. But believe me the biggest miracle I ever lived was the potency in my soul and confidence in my heart, which was so dormant in me while you lived which now was engraved in my soul since the day you parted. I realized we were two bodies with a single soul. My friends, and family who knew me, called me soulful, and I am just not awed by that at all. I know and believe that something in me will not let me rest with a regretful opinion of life. I learnt that I would have you each time that I really needed you & not when I desired you. I understood that I could have you when I am in the right and yet ridiculed by others, not when I am wrong and pushing it on others. I understood I could have you when I am alone, not just feeling alone. I felt your hand in my hand when I was walking the path you desired me to walk, not the path that led me astray. Actually you have lived in me as my conscience, so I could mould to be what you desired of making me.
I see your persona now, and what you did in that very little time that God gave you. You made me into this woman who seeks life’s lessons from within herself and who justly lives every moment of motherhood & womanhood herself. You are the true Hero and I want to be your baby in every lifetime that God grants us both. The seven years of this one life with you have taught me the lessons of a seven lifetimes. Only you could have done so much in so little time. I wish I could award you the way you deserved to be, but what I write today is my award to you, and I hope the world sees this through my eyes. I now want you to know that I believe in your moral, yes, death is just a myth, I gave it reality by believing in it, and as I withdraw now, I believe you exist and will grow to exist, to live a lifetime with me again, but this time I plead you, please live with me more than seven years of my lifetime.
A touch of faith in every word
Your wings to embrace all my fears
A trusted voice I always heard
Your kisses to dry up all my tears
You lived your life to teach the lesson
That I thrive hard to encompass
You throng to see my battles won
As your dreams in my soul amass
Bless my love with your divinity
Embrace my baby with your heart
Engrave my motherhood with your dignity
& Let not death do us apart!
Oh Mother dear! I live your virtues
Hold me in your arms, forgive my failures
How could I ever repay your dues?
Of One Lifetime in just Seven Years?