Long Distance with Amma (Mom)

I wish I could call my mom at 11 AM her time. I can picture her sitting on the couch, reading the newspaper, or maybe a magazine. Or maybe checking Whatsapp or Facebook on her phone. But I know that by 11 AM she would have completed most of her household chores. As long as she didn’t get delayed by a phone call. Or because it was time to wash the bedsheets and the curtains. On most days, by 11 AM, my mom will be free. And I would love to call her then.

I wish I could call my mom at 2 pm my time. Once lunch has settled in and I am beginning to get drowsy, I would love to pick the phone and call my mom. Ask her what she ate for lunch and tell her what I ate. And discuss other trivial things. Such as who said what and why. Or ask her why my tendle talasana does not taste as good as hers.

But now I have to call her during these fixed intervals when time there overlaps time here and we are all awake at the same time. It is always someone’s bedtime. Or someone’s breakfast time. You have to squeeze in information in that slot. Try and remember what they missed since the last call. But I never do. I never try. I say nothing. There is no news here, I say. Each time. Because I like conversations that flow naturally. Like the kind I could have had at 2 pm my time. Or 11 AM her time. Or like when I pick up the phone and call because I have something to say. Whenever I want. Without waiting for a decent hour on both sides.

Later, during the day I remember something. I could have told her about this book I am reading. Or this new friend I made. Or the movie I watched. I wish then that I could pick up the phone and tell her all that I had to say. Without waiting for the next call. And then having to remember all that I wanted to say. Something I randomly remembered while doing the dishes. Or when I listened to a song.

I wish there wasn’t this distance between us. If there had to be, I wish it was shorter. I wish I could decide to fly there on a whim. Not worrying about ticket prices and customs and immigration. I wish I could go there on a Saturday afternoon just to enjoy a cup of coffee with her. And maybe some snacks. I would stay for dinner too if I didn’t live so far away from it all.

I wish I could call her now and share this article with her. I know she will tear up. Just like I did, writing this. But I can’t share it with her now. Because she is asleep. And I don’t want her to read this first thing in the morning. I don’t want her to begin her day in tears. I have to decide when the right time to share this article is. Or if I should share it at all.

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