Mothers and Sons

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mac hated his birthday. Especially for the last 8 years. He dreaded these visits.

'Don’t I give her enough money? Don’t I pay for those AC rooms and 24 hour attendant service? For God’s sake, she has a TV with cable in her room and so many people of her own age group. Why do I have to go to see her on my Birthday?'

'If I have to clock in those suffocating 10 minutes there then I better get it done with. I have been doing this for 8 years now. I better get used to it.'

He was through with the ritual in exactly 8 minutes after reaching the Old Age Home.

He walked towards his car, with that hated box in his hand.

He knew what was inside it.

'If she HAS to give me a cake then can’t she at least order it from an upscale bakery? Why does she have to bake the cake herself in the kitchen of the facility? Who eats this stuff now? loaded with sugar!'

The cake annoyed him more than his mother’s praises and kisses. His wife was right. He shouldn’t have come.

But then, his mother would refuse to eat and cry non-stop. And then she would have to be admitted in the hospital.

That would be really bad for PR.

After all, he was the VP of the biggest law firm in the city. Or perhaps in the whole state.
He put the box on the passenger seat of his dark Mercedes and drove towards his office. He never took his driver during these yearly visits. He knew how people talked.

Slowly, his mind focused on the day ahead. He had lunch scheduled with a client and then party in the night.
That’s how you celebrate your birthday. Not at a place full of dying people.

He stopped the car just outside his office and picked up the box.

He threw it straight into the garbage bin at the curb. It landed noiselessly, cushioned by the rotting refuse of the city.

A perfect shot.

He was an expert now. He had been doing it for 8 years now. Every year, the box went into that bin.

He drove on, forgetting all about it.

He never saw a pair of tiny hands reaching into the bin. Never saw a pair of eyes shining bright, half with tears and half with anticipation.
The kid could hardly reach it.

His face lit up as soon as he took the box out.

'I knew it!'

He jumped with joy, forgetting his filthy hands and tattered rags. Forgetting the fact that he had not eaten in 2 days.

Forgetting the cold. Forgetting everything!

He opened the box and there it was!


Written with frosting over the cake!

Exactly the same his mom would get for him every year! From the same place!

She had told him that an angel came and gave it to her for her little son on his birthday, every year!

'She must have told the angel to bring the cake even if she is not there!'

'Mom did not forget my 8th birthday! She could never forget!'

He stopped for a moment... closed his eyes and raised his face towards the sky. Someone had told him, that's where the God fellow lived.

"Thank you Mom. I love you. And I miss you. Please come back soon! "

And then he shoved a tiny fistful of cake in his mouth.

Not really bothering whether the cake bore his name or if it was the other way round.

© 2009 by Chhaya. All rights reserved

image by Elizabeth Nourse (La Mère)
PS: Happy New Year to all my friends :)


Anonymous,  December 31, 2009 at 9:18 PM  

speechless :)

RHYTHM AND RHYME December 31, 2009 at 9:21 PM  

What a story? I open wept when I read it,
as you may know my youngest son who lives abroad
has severed all ties with the family here in the UK. Thanks for the story. Brilliant.

Happy New Year.

Brian Miller December 31, 2009 at 10:20 PM  

wow. nice how life brings together the most amazing circumstnaces to enliven and enrich...happy birthday little kid...mommas smiling i am sure...

Chhaya December 31, 2009 at 10:52 PM  

@Anonymous, Brian : Thank u :)

Chhaya December 31, 2009 at 10:54 PM  

@Yvonne: i can only imagine how hurt u must feel bcz of ur son. I wish that one day he will realzie what he is missing by cutting you off.

I will pray for your Happiness Yvonne... i m sure he will come back to you..

Opaque January 1, 2010 at 3:59 AM  

I like the story and the way you have managed to establish that transition is some good work. However, you could write it in a better way. No offence, but you just can write it in a better or a more convincing manner.

Good luck! Happy New Year! Keep writing!!!

RAJ47 January 1, 2010 at 8:41 AM  

Wish you and all readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2010!!!
Your new avatar is beautiful.
The story is touching.
The painting you chose as the image for your story is also very beautiful. The complete painting looks even more beautiful.

Karthik January 1, 2010 at 8:53 AM  

Beautiful, Chhaya. Such a thought provoking story.
Happy New Year! Have a great year ahead. :-)

Toon Indian January 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

wow..really moving story

Wishing you a very happy 2010!!

Maya January 1, 2010 at 9:40 AM  

nice story, with a natural flow

Mahesh Sindbandge January 1, 2010 at 11:34 AM  

I liked the portrayal of the character MAC but i failed to understand his hate towards his mom.. May be that could have made a difference.

and the ending was superb :) I loved it when it ends for the better of someone who is worthier in a way :)

Mahesh Sindbandge January 1, 2010 at 11:34 AM  

Wish you a very Happy New Year to you ! :) :)

Rachana January 1, 2010 at 11:40 AM  

Great Story. It moved me. Happy New Year!

Chhaya January 1, 2010 at 4:59 PM  

@Brosrevie : ahhh.. sorry to let u down

@Raj47 : thank u

Chhaya January 1, 2010 at 5:00 PM  

@Karthik, US, Toon India : thank u

Chhaya January 1, 2010 at 5:06 PM  

@Mahesh : the older Mac does not hate his mother. He (like so many other sons and daughters in today’s world) thinks that if he is financially supporting his mother than that is all she should expect from him.
What grown up kids fail to understand is that for parents (well, most of them), spending time with their children is the most important thing in the world.
and thanx for liking the end.. I actually wrote this story backwards :)

Chhaya January 1, 2010 at 5:07 PM  

@Rachna , Shanu : thank u :)

IdleMind January 1, 2010 at 5:10 PM  

The twist is all I was looking for ... and you gave that! Superb use of the tiny boy on the streets ... I guess sons and moms are mostly at peace with each other, but then such Macs are always there.

Wish you a pleasant, peaceful and prosperous New Year 2010!! Enjoy every bit of it!!!

pilipka January 1, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

well well well... wonderful short story.. serendipity.. but it all happenes due the sacred bond. the story is gripping and touching.
keep writing chayya
wish to read more of your writing this year..happy new year

Chhaya January 1, 2010 at 11:17 PM  

@Vandan : heard from u after a long long time Doc.. how have u been?

keep in touch yea :)

Ankesh January 2, 2010 at 12:54 AM  

gr8 story... and d lovely portrayal of both the flip side of love and affection of mother and son... keep sharing these lovely stories... and happy new year

Chhaya January 2, 2010 at 9:42 AM  

@Ankesh : thank u ..

wishing u a very happy new year :)

Ajai January 2, 2010 at 2:46 PM  

Happy New Year. Lovely. Nice treat for the new year. Thank u.

I loved the last line. That had so much in it. Was just brilliant. I don't think anyone could come up with a better ending.

Somewhere deep inside I started feeling guilty reading it. Especially the first part. Because some in my mind I could relate to it. I don't know. I just hope I don't end up like that guy.

Chhaya January 2, 2010 at 2:57 PM  

@Ajai : wish u a very happy new year :)

thank u for noticing the last line.. it has the soul of the story..
You can find happiness even in a garbage bin, if you are looking for it.. and if you can appreciate small moments in life.

btw, about u feeling guilty, i actually based Mac on our (ur and mine) generation. We have started measuring almost every happiness is terms of money..

and i also hope i never become like Sr. Mac. at least not totally like him

Eric January 2, 2010 at 9:25 PM  

What a heart touching story , I really loved it from the bottom of my heart. I think u should promote ur valuable blog one website called for advertising and marketing, They are offering very unique features with cheap prices. They will promote ur blog through all over the network, all u have to do is choose ur pack and rest leave it to blogerzoom advertising team to promote ur blog in every network. And see how u enjoy a lot of traffic while blogging. Finally happy new year to u and ur family ...

Chhaya January 2, 2010 at 9:40 PM  

@Eric : thank u very much for the praise and the invite, but I am not exactly interested in marketing my blog. I think if I write good enough then I will have people reading me... I have some really nice and kind friends who always support me with their honest feedback :)

buckingfastard January 2, 2010 at 10:23 PM  

luvd da skewed sense of justice in da story

Chhaya January 2, 2010 at 11:00 PM  

@buckingfastard : thank u :)

Oxymoron January 3, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

truly a fantastic story......the cruelty of MAC is expressed with a certain's all just happening in a matter of fact way.....and then their is the extremely touching irony...absolutely wonderful..

Oxymoron January 3, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

oh...i almost forgot happy new year....

Anonymous,  January 3, 2010 at 6:56 PM  

that was superb! loved it even more for the way you did the winding up...

Wish You A Very Happy New Year!!

Chhaya January 3, 2010 at 7:22 PM  

@Oxymoron : Thank u so much for the wishes..

about the story, i always want to keep my shorts stories very bare, if u understand what i mean..

just a matter of fact way helps connect with the reader bit faster, after all, i dont have the luxury of building up characters in the shorter version. in a novel, i cud give Mac Sr.s history and may be let the reader anticipate his behavior :)

Chhaya January 3, 2010 at 7:22 PM  

@abanerji : thank u so much :)

Sorcerer January 3, 2010 at 7:38 PM  

first time on your blog
that was a really touching one :)

Chhaya January 3, 2010 at 7:46 PM  

@Sorcerer : thank u for the kind words :)

i will be visiting ur blog soon :)
Wishing u a very happy new year

Goddess of Nonsense January 3, 2010 at 10:17 PM  

This has got to be one of the most amazing blog posts I have read in a while!

Chhaya January 4, 2010 at 11:46 AM  

@Lavender : thank u :)

Whats In A Name January 4, 2010 at 11:56 AM  

Good one Chhaya!! Touching! :-)

Chhaya January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM  

@WhatsInAName : thank u :)

itsyvitsy January 4, 2010 at 7:47 PM  

I just wanted to leave a few lines of space and my name as a comment. The silence would tell all that I would have to tell. I thought the narration could have been a little better. I guess you let your emotions drive the story more this time. Nevertheless, it does not lose its punch.

One of the lucky days I will meet you and I will open that brain of yours and see how your mind works! The contrast has come out so beautifully - on one side Mac big-guy has forgotten all the rubbish his mother tolerated and on the other Mac no-body has to search for his mother's love in the rubbish. It moved me.

The turn of events at the end is brilliant. I never saw it coming, but I lived the boy's 8 years of horrendous life in the words. The story leaves me with pity for Mac big-guy and nothing but adoration for Mac no-body. The young lad is the "gifted" one here.

Your stories/poems always leave me with something to remember and ponder, because each one of them have a message and each one of them is different from the rest. I loved this one.

On a lighter note, my eyes brightened up when I saw VP (you know why! ;-)).

Love the new looks of your blog. Wishing you a wondrous year of 2010.


vidya January 5, 2010 at 5:54 AM  

The new look of your blog looks fab, Chhaya
And the story was touching..
Have a great year ahead:)

Chhaya January 5, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

@Vittal:i do know why u smiled reading VP. hehehe. btw,u sounding like Sylar, that dude from the series Heroes :P

thanx for the lovely comment :)

санжог January 5, 2010 at 10:10 AM  

first time at your blog. but I liked what i saw.

wow, It's something I have seen many people do.

In the years of struggle they are nice , but when money pours in their attitude changes towards everyone.

Not only with parents, but in a broader sense some forget where true happiness comes from. It's by bringing smiles on the faces of people that touch you.

I hate corporate honchos because of that, specially the ones who wear a suit on a bloody hot day!! HA HA HA HA HA

keep it up chhaya, and I mean it!

D.Dasgupta January 5, 2010 at 4:50 PM  

Dear Chhaya:

I have no doubt that this is the best amongst everything by you that I have read so far.

It's excellent because it is so complete, not just because it is so well thought out. It's excellent because one knew a surprise was coming but the one that came was totally unexpected. It's excellent because you have shown superb maturity in writing this tale. It's excellent because you moved me to distraction. It's excellent because I see in you great potential as a writer. Good luck friend.

Suggestions: (1) Especially for the last 8 years might sound better. (2) Did you mean VP or VIP? (3) a party in the night might sound better. (3) a tiny fistful might sound better.



Chhaya January 5, 2010 at 4:59 PM  

@Deep da,
If you could see me, you would watch me grinning with happiness!
I always hold my breath till I get your feedback on anything I write.
Even I think that it’s my best work so far. I wanted to keep that element of surprise as a touch of irony and the tragedy too.
A homeless mother finding a cake in garbage bin every year on the same day and giving her son the name on the cake and a suitable birthday...
I also remembered your last comment, on my previous story. You had said that there was no beauty in it.. I wanted to keep little Mac as the symbol of beauty. A hope. A positivity where you can find happiness if you are ready to believe.

about your suggestions – 1 and 3, I am making the changes. for 2- I meant VP, as in Vice Preisdent of a firm

thank u once again for taking time out.. I know how busy you are!
Lots of love!

L. Venkata Subramaniam January 7, 2010 at 7:41 PM  

Puts life in perspective! Happy New Year. Good to read at the beginning of the year.

Chhaya January 7, 2010 at 9:26 PM  

@Vicious : ahh.. i didnt mean to make u cry :)

@ LVS : thank u :)

Suresh Kumar January 7, 2010 at 10:16 PM  

awesome story... well told....

Tongue Trip January 8, 2010 at 12:25 AM  

i wont forgive you for this tears evoking anecdote and i cant tell you enough how truly amazing a writer you are.
:) happy new year to you too

Chhaya January 8, 2010 at 11:00 AM  

@Suresh : thank u!

@Tongue Trip : awwwwww...... u r so sweet :)

Ashley January 8, 2010 at 11:58 PM  

Oh Wow! You are an amazing storyteller! I was blown away by this....

Pete January 10, 2010 at 5:14 PM  

So sad then happy Chhaya. Those who have less appreciate more.

Chhaya January 10, 2010 at 10:12 PM  

@Ashley : thank u :)

@Pete : thanks! there is a saying in my country, you value something or someone when you lose it...

guess its valid everywhere :)

The Idiot Blogs January 12, 2010 at 3:49 PM  


This was touching... I dare not say more...

Keep writing...

chér May 9, 2010 at 12:24 AM  

so the time i finished reading tears had filled my eyes..your are a marvellous writer !

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