Smriti and Sonia were on the phone ,as usual after dinner , talking about their mother. Their mother was with Sneha right now,on one of her regular visits. She had taken ill so had to extend her stay.She had suddenly developed a nasty cough,which persisted quiet stubbornly for a long period of time. Both the sisters were working women so they would get time to talk only this late. Sneha was a bit annoyed and she was complaining about their mom to her younger sister,Smriti. ''Mom is really getting so difficult ...she just refuses to co-operate.'' Smriti was shocked. Not because Sneha was complaining, for both the sisters loved each other and shared a beautiful relationship of trust and understanding, but at her complaint. Mom not co-operating? well things do happen and old age is so very unpredictable...thought Smriti. ''What is it Didi, you are really disturbed about something?''She asked gently.''Yes I can not understand mom...I try to look after her in the best of my capabilities but she just wont do what she is asked to...she is behaving like a child?''burst out Sneha...''yes ofcourse Didi ...you are looking after her so well ...mom keeps talking about your thoughtfulness and in fact she keeps getting so emotional about jiju and Rohit too for what they are doing ...so what is it that is irritating you?''
''you know ,I had got her woollen stockings some two weeks back so that she feels better in this cold ,but yesterday when I was cleaning her cupboard I found them lying ....unopened...why couldnt she wear them? And because of all this carelessness she is unable to get rid of her cough...does she not realise how difficult it is for me to manage everything?''
Smriti had nothing to say to this ...she tried to pep up her sister and then they both called up for the day . After a week Smriti had to go to Sneha's town on work so after talking to her about it ,brought their mother back with her . Their mother kept talking about how caring and loving Sneha was and she kept telling that how lucky she was to have such wonderful daughters..
Mother settled down at her younger daughter's place and one day when Smriti was taking out her mother's woollens to wash she saw the pair of stockings...clipped and unused. She remembered the conversation and casually asked her mother...''are these your stockings mom?'' ''Yes beta ...they are mine . Sneha had bought them for me...this girl really thinks so much about me all the time...''said her mother. ''But I see they are unused,mom?''
Smriti was taken aback to see that fleeting shadow of shame on her face...''Smriti this old age is a curse..as you know I have lost my bladder control to quite an extent...and out there the wash rooms are so neat and rugged that I was scared that I may not be able to control myself for the time it would take to pull my stockings down ...so I thought it better not to use it ...''
Smriti had tears in her eyes...to feel her mom's embaressment ..her helplessness...could she have have guessed unless her mom told her? Never ...and her own daughter ...even she had misunderstood her and had a grudge against her ....labelling her as unco-operative....Smriti went and hugged her mother.
How easy it is for all of us to judge people ....we do that by our own parameters ...It would be so much better if we accept the fact that we do not have the capability to presume correctly ...It is so much easier to ASK what we dont understand .This could save a lot of misunderstandings and heartburns for each one of us ....