Sunday – 01 Ziqaad 1426 – 13 Agrahayana 1927 – 04 December 2005

There are times when my mother is paranoid. There are times when my mother is psychotic. There are times when my mother becomes an avid worrier. Basically, there are times when my mother suddenly comes upto the standards of motherhood and becomes one with all the paranoid, psychotic, worrying mothers of the world.

I experience it every day when my mother tells me how to park my car inside the room of the Inspector General of Police and then fly from there to my office and avoid my car being snatched and being kidnapped at the same time by listening to her; how to make sure I do not get so involved in office politcs that my colleagues get me murdered / assassinated; how to know that the food that I am eating might not be clean if what I am eating has any taste, smell, colour, sound or texture; how to make sure that I lock my car doors tightly, what the hell is locking doors tightly, when I am coming back from work; how not to trust anyone who offers me candy or food on a public bus or taxi or on the street; and finally, how to do everything a burglar says once I am being burglarized.

But, I am told, and silent whispers of forgotten memories do come back to me like wisps of smoke on a cold January morning. I remember the time in my pre teenage era when we decided to go to the US for summer vacations. My father had already left for the US and we were to join him there after meeting all of our relatives who lived there. It was me, my mother and my two younger sisters. All young, all vibrant, all active and a paranoid psychotic wreck for a mother amongst us.

As soon as we boarded the plane my mother underwent a change. She became completely paranoic, psychotic and worrysome. We were supposed to pull our pockets outside our pants so noone could slip drugs into our pockets. We were not supposed to talk to strangers or they might bind us in the darker corners of the Airplane and sell us to the Ferengees once the plane landed there. We are not supposed to jump from the plane until we were sure that the stairs had been attached to the plane. We were supposed to keep quiet while she was calculating time so we do not get the 24 hour system and the AM PM system mixed up, miss our flight, get stranded in Tokyo, and have to spend our life in utter destitution begging for food on the streets of Tokyo. We survived the flight.

What happened as the plane started to descent upon the land of the rising sun can not be explained. All of a sudden my mother took out three ropes. She ties ropes around the hands of my and my sisters and tied the other ends to her hand. I thank Allah to this day that I do not remember this completely. Then we had to spend one hour in Tokyo airport being led from counter to counter, check to check, desk to desk, tied to our mother with ropes while all normal work continued. All the nice, motherly, smiling, Japanese women on the other side of the counters asking my mother why we were bound. She telling everyone that she is travelling alone without her husband. All the nice, motherly, smiling, Japanese women on the other side of the counters nodding in understanding and expediting our paperwork.

So, basically all mothers are the same. And they “get” each other very well too. Culture, Religion, Ethnicity, Social Class, Language, Race, Species, Musical Choice, Political Orientation, Preferance of meat or greens, Colour of skin, American/British spelling preferances are no bar to this rule. Mothers are all alike and they are completely in synchronization with each other.

In the end, thank be to Allah that I was too young to forget most of the episode.

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