My Mama’s Baby in Sickness and in Health

Modern Family

My Mama’s Baby in Sickness and in Health

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza


narrowly missed losing an eye when I was 11 years old. The rains had left the front yard slushy and my canvas shoes sent me flying toward the sidewalk when I ran to catch the school bus. I remember holding on to my face; blood dripping on my white uniform; and hearing my father, as he bundled me into our Maruti Omni, say: “We won’t tell your mother about this. She will worry.”

Twenty years later, I hung about in the arrivals lounge of the Chennai Airport waiting nervously for my mother who was aboard a delayed British Airways flight. We hugged each other tightly when she arrived – a long and reassuring hug, halfway between the arrivals gate and the Madras Coffee House, with her luggage trolley adrift, in everyone else’s way. We stood there and silently told each other we would get through whatever lies ahead.