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It has something to do with how the sun’s rays fall. Or how the wind blows a particular way making the leaves murmur. Sometimes, all of a sudden you feel yourself back in time, in a different year. I had just such a moment a few days back. I am reminded of the days spent in our previous house, I told the Second Born. The day somehow looks and feels just the same.

Those were different days. The First Born had already flown the nest. The L&M was working in a different place and would be home only on weekends. It was just the two of us, the Second Born and I. He was still in school, and I was by then a dedicated blogger. We only had one desktop computer between the two of us for a long while. But soon, the Second Born completed his tenth grade and dad got him a new one, which meant I got to keep the old one all to myself. It was great to finally not to have to share screen time with the son, which I am pretty much sure was how he felt too!

What was fun about those days was how we started messaging each other on Yahoo Messenger sitting in our respective rooms. ‘Mom, I am hungry! I want dinner‘ he’d type. ‘Wait!‘ I’d reply, ‘I am in the middle of a post. Give me ten minutes!‘ ‘Mommmm!!!!‘ ‘Ten minutes, please!!!!!!!‘ ‘Your son is dying of hunger and all you can think of is finishing your blog post?!!!!!‘ This would be accompanied by a lot of emojis expressing horror, disappointment, tears, the works. Not to be outdone, I’d send him truckloads of grinning ones. What made this all the more hilarious was we could actually see each other across the hall, and also hear ourselves laughing.

On some days I’d walk across the hall to his room and tell him, ‘Do you feel like a take-away dinner?‘ I knew he’d fall for that one easily. He’d give me a cheeky grin. ‘Aha, someone doesn’t want to cook today, eh?!’Yeah, I’d say, sounding desperate, ‘I have this post/story/poem in my head which I want to finish.’ Obviously, he didn’t mind and would happily make the phone call (no apps back then) to order food before mom changed her mind.

Two long years it was of the pair of us. He wanted to learn to cook and one day surprised me by making jeera rice and paneer masala on his own. His friends would come over and they’d watch television or play computer games. There were the mornings I had to get up really early to drop him at the tuition center. And then there was the time I snatched and threw his cell phone, breaking it in the process (What a royal mom-tantrum it was that I threw!), because I had found him talking late into the night in spite of being told not to as he needed enough sleep to wake up fresh the next day for his test.

All of this was brought back because of how the sun’s rays fell one afternoon last week. Or perhaps it was how the wind blew making leaves murmur.

© Shail Mohan 2019

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