Being Women

Denial, Thy Name Is Mother

Ma: Fine, it may have happened a couple of times, but this time it's for real. I'm telling you, I might shit my pants on the flight. You just cancel the ticket, there's no other way.

Last Friday, that is, the day before my mother was supposed to come to Bangalore from Kolkata, she called me, almost in tears.

Ma: Nah, I don’t think I can come to you this time. My body is broken… My health fails me. I should just die one of these days. 

Me: Oh my god! What happened? Are you alright? 

Ma: No, of course I’m not alright, I’ve been having loosies frequently, throughout the day. On top of that, constant acidity. I told Moni (her sister, my aunt) to not get me so much food. But she HAS TO go overboard every time. Every single time. I have been dying, trying to finish her food before I leave, to avoid wastage and now, well… I’m sick. Even medicines aren’t helping. 

Me: It’s alright Ma, you take it easy. Even if you can’t come this week, you can come later, no worries. Maybe it’s just your travel anxiety acting up, not serious diarrhoea or something. So, try to relax a little. 

Ma: What travel anxiety? I don’t have travel anxiety! 

Me: Are you kidding me? You fall sick every time before coming here and eventually it turns out to be nothing. 

Ma: Fine, it may have happened a couple of times, but this time it’s for real. I’m telling you, I might shit my pants on the flight. You just cancel the ticket, there’s no other way. 

Me: Oh god, I wish I were there to help you! Alright, you take care of yourself for now and don’t worry about not being able to come. It happens. As you said, I’ll cancel your ticket and rebook it later. Let us just wait until tomorrow to do that. You let me know if you need any medicines delivered home in the meantime. 

After 10 more panicked phone calls in the following 12 hrs, Ma eventually managed to come to Bangalore, as scheduled. We got her home safely from the airport without any ‘incident’ and she even easily climbed up 7 floors to reach our apartment because our elevator has been under repair for 2 months. 

Me: So, how are you feeling now? Loosies? 

Ma (big toothy smile): Nope. I feel surprisingly well.

Me: Are you sure? How well?

Ma: Umm… Like I could eat a full plate of mutton biriyani tomorrow, type of well. Mutton tightens bowels anyway. 

I blacked out for five seconds, in silent and blinding exasperation, remembering the phone call we had, less than 24 hrs ago. 

Me: And what about your acidity??? 

Ma: What about it? I brought seven strips of Topcid 40!   Here’s to every daughter, especially those, whose mothers are also cute and annoying smarty-pants. I see you! If you too have hilarious, whimsical stories about your mother that makes you chuckle, please share them in the comments below. Or better still, write it down and send it to The She Saga! Trust me, this world could use a few extra laughs.

By Sanchari Bhattacharya

Sanchari is a writer and artist, currently based in Bangalore. Her writings (fiction, non-fiction, translations etc.) have been published in various magazines, anthologies as well as different online platforms, over the years. Her interest in feminist literature, coupled with her experience of being raised by a widowed single mother, deeply influences both her art and her writing. She can be contacted at

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