My Mother, Citizen Cane

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My Mother, Citizen Cane

Illustration: Akshita Monga

“I

have a cane. I have a daughter. I have a brat. I have a daughter. Cane daughter brat cane.”

If the ridiculously annoying pen-pineapple song had released when I was a kid, I’m sure this would have been the version my mother sang. My fondest memory of my mother is the one where she’s chasing me around our building compound with a fresh cane (read: sticker intact) in her hand and I’m running around in circles, trying to save my ass from a walloping. Or maybe it’s the one where she’s standing below a wild almond tree, cane in tow, and I’m threatening to jump off the tree a lā Dharmendra from Sholay if she beat me in public. My friends had scurried off at the sight of her of course. Jump, she dared me. Of course I didn’t. I sneaked out later, knowing full well I’d meet my nemesis when I’d get back home.

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