“So, where did I come from, ma?”
“We got you from the nursing home,” answered my mother as she bunched up my scanty hair into a pony tail.
“Did you have to pay?” I asked.
“What?” my mother sounded a bit shocked. She proceeded to place a bow to decorate my scrawny hairstyle.
“Did I come for free or did they make you purchase a ticket?” I clarified my doubt.
“Oh…there was a price to pay,” she replied. “Now go out and play.”
Off I ran into the playground. Rimi, who was a month younger than me was already there.
“Hey Rimi,” I called out. “Did you know that our parents bought us from the nursing home?”
Rimi’s round eyes looked rounder for a moment and then she jumped off the swing to drag me towards the see-saw.
“You must be correct,” said Rimi as we went up and down in the see-saw. “My father had told me something like that too.”
Suddenly it occurred to me that every one felt that I look exactly like my mother who in turn has taken after my grandfather. I ran back inside and hurled the new question at my mother who was validating my sister’s homework.
“Why do randomly bought babies resemble their parents?”
She thought for a moment and said, “God ensures that.”
“Oh,” I said.
“God has simple yet profound solutions, dear,” assured my mother.
This theory would have lasted for a long time had my mother not boasted loudly to the neighbouring lady about the advantages of having babies by delivered by the C-section, on the very next day. She being the only woman in the area with two Caesarean babies often took it upon herself to dispel the fears of other expecting women.
“What are C-section babies?” I confronted my mother the moment the lady left.
“Oh, your sister studies in section C of her school,” answered my mother without hesitation. Yes, she indeed was placed in that section. Imagine my mother’s luck!
“Hmmm,” said I. “So, then I would be placed in C section too.”
“Absolutely,” said my mother.
Boy, she was really desperate to keep me away from questions remotely related to the process of procreation.
I might have accepted her preposterous theories as well but she went on to commit a second mistake. She imposed a complete ban on Hindi movies.
Hence, I had to turn to books for entertainment.
The five volumes of Children’s Knowledge Bank fell into my hands soon. And there in the fifth volume was explained along with illustrations how a baby is formed in a mother’s womb. I remember myself double checking the meaning of “womb” in the dictionary. Back then it had seemed to be a bad word with some salacious meaning.
That’s how I found out that my mother has often been passing me stories for facts. And that’s when I learned that like all the characters in her stories, her favourite character God too was imaginary.
Photo By: Josh Boot
This is an entry for #TheLie #Five00-8, a room8 writing event –in 500 words.
Check out the event guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/room8/thelie
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