My parents doted on me. They took all measures to keep me smiling and happy. All my wishes were instantly fulfilled. In spite of their living from salary to salary they managed to buy the best clothes and the latest toys for me. Only the best school would do for me and the government schools were not for me. To this day I wonder how they juggled their finances and managed to provide always the best for me. I was always the best dressed child in the neighborhood. My father loved food and so there was no dearth of good food in the house. New dishes were constantly tried by my mom and the traditional ones made for special occasions. I was a most happy and contented child. I still remember the picnics which were a regular feature and the wicker basket which my mother lovingly packed with a complete lunch. We all looked forward to these outings. They made a holiday so much special.
As I grew older the scenario began to change. Now we would go to the movies and tried to book in advance for a first day evening show. We enjoyed a great evening out as we would eat chaat after the movie was over. My mother took monthly subscription of fashion magazines so that she could make for me dresses which were in vogue. She was a perfectionist and insisted that I keep my nails well manicured and use nail polish to match with my dresses. I had so much to learn from her from cooking to knitting and of course I also imbibed from her the color sense and how to match my ensembles. Soon I
Graduated from college and it was time for them to search for my life partner in which they soon succeeded. I found the new environment very strange and unnerving. I would have felt completely lost in a new household but my mother’s training in the field of culinary arts saved the day for me. Soon I started feeling at home in a houseful of strangers. Though living in the same city it became difficult for me to visit my mother every day but I made it a point to plan a monthly outing with her. Our outings consisted of movie shows and picnics. It was just like the old times and it kept us together even now. As the years passed by so did the age of my mother. She was now in the grip of asthma. She had become weak and one day when I visited her I found her unable to cover herself with the quilt which was very heavy for her to handle. She had been my inspiration and mentor and seeing her in this condition made my heart cry. I had to do something for her, she who had always cared for me and given me the best. I went to an emporium and selected a feather light and soft quilt for her in the shade of baby pink, a shade that was her favorite. I went straight to her with the quilt and replaced the bulky one with the new one. Slowly she pulled up the quilt up to her chest and smiled. It was simply a magical moment for us. Her face had the glow of youth once again and she looked like a queen enveloped in her baby pink quilt. It was a sight that I would never forget and it was a priceless gift for me.