Where is my mummy is the question a hurting child is too scared to ask. Yet it is written all over his face, in each of his seemingly incomprehensible actions, in his unexpected bouts of violence, in his baffling and sullen ways. Where is my mommy is the question this child wants to ask but is too scared to. You see Mommy has disappeared since last year without leaving an address or contact.
True this Mommy never played by the rule, was often violent and sometimes even uncaring but she was Mommy and she was there. Today she is gone and the young child is in pain. True he has a life on his own, goes to boarding school, has friends, has his Maam’ji who spoils him silly, has toys and cookies but something is missing. Till last year Mummy was around and even if she was not there all the time, the child knew where she was. Today he knows that there are no answers and hence does not dare ask the question he so wants to.
You see Moms are important. All his pals in school have one and they come to all PTMs and other events. They bring goodies and give hugs. True he has his motley family and his Maam’ji who never fails to turn up. But Mommy is different. When she was around he was the little man who admonished her when she hit the bottle too often, or was unkind. He bore her anger stoically even when he was tiny because he knew there would be hugs later. He was so proud of her when she checked into rehab and he prayed for her return. But that was not to be and things got so bad that he was the one who opted not to live with her. But he always thought she would be around, somewhere where he could see her from time to time to reassure himself that all was well. Today he is distressed because she is nowhere around.
When we rewrite a script gone awry we sometimes forget the essential. In this case the little boy’s new script had everything: a great school with huge playgrounds and fresh air, a home he could comeback to filled with everything a little boy would want and all the adults that scripted this new life felt that they had done a great job. But they forgot one thing: Mommy! All the child wants is to know where she is, and maybe to see her once in a while but we have no answers for him. Perhaps she will reappear one day. We are all hoping she does.
Mommies are important to a child and nothing and no one can truly replace them. Till the little boy’s mommy does appear all we can do is ease the hurt and love him as much as we possibly can. You guessed right the child is our very own Utpal aka Popples!