The Gift

Thomas was thinking about the perfect gift for her widowed mother on her 75th birthday. It had been one year since Thomas was working in the USA. The days were slowly closing yet Thomas could not find the perfect gift in the whole of Manhattan. He roamed from shops to shops after his work and described how his mother was in a hope that, maybe the shopkeeper could suggest him some gift.

Back in India somewhere a scared and lonely old woman had found the courage to finally live alone with a set of workers who would come only for an hour or two every day. It was nearly a year now since Thomas left for the job in the USA. The bird that was caged by duties toward her husband and son was finally free now. But alas! Being caged for such a long time made her forget how exactly to fly and how the fresh wind feels when one flies in the open. The old bird now just somehow manages to live the days without emotions.

It was just useless he thought, nothing in the USA could give his mother the perfect blend of happiness and excitement. He all the more felt ashamed that from the recent workload he forgot how his mother exactly was. Phone and letters do not build that connection with your loved ones especially when you are away from home and made a lot of friends.

That day Thomas sat down and started to think what could be the perfect gift. Could it be a beautiful sari? Could it be a nice watch? He then started to picture his mother and slowly started to ride down in his memory lane. He remembered that how his mother used to complete his notes which he left at school when he was a young boy, how his mother forced him to joined every extracurricular activity just to see if he had any hidden talents, how she would use to sit by him every time during exam and tell him to read the text thoroughly. Some nights how she missed her own dinner so that he could have a morsel and how well she pretended to be ok every time she was sick. How she supported him when his father passed away and then finally made him the person who he is today. A teardrop rolled down his cheek and almost immediately he knew what the perfect gift for his mother was.

On the day of her mother birthday at an unusual time, the doorbell rang. Thomas’s mom was in between her regular prayers. The irregular yet distinct sound pattern made her heart young again. She thought to herself that could it be and rushed to open the door and to her surprise, she found Thomas with his suitcase hugging her tightly and whispering in her ears “a very happy birthday ma.”


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