And so mamma took off to the distant climes of Lavasa over the weekend, ostensibly to follow the women rallyists who were driving down from Mumbai to Lavasa to celebrate International Women's Day (A little in advance albeit), and as also to satiate mamma's curiousity about the hilltown under construction, rumoured to be as pretty as a postcard and almost like a mini Switzerland transported to the Sahyadris (which it is, almost, but more on that in another post).
The brat was left behind in the very meticulous care of daadi and the not so meticulous care of pappa. This was the first time ever that mamma has, in seven and a half years of the brat being in existence, stayed away from him for a night and a complete day at a stretch and mommy guilt kept striking occasionally.
The brat also had his annual dance performance of his dance class company and mamma was going to miss it. More cause for mommy guilt to take up permanent residency in mindspace. When mamma left early in the morning, the brat was snoring his baby snores contentedly, so she pecked his cheek gently and went off. Unfortunately a misadventure with a medu vada sambar at the Expressway Food court led to immediate food poisoning and she spent most of her first impressions of Lavasa heaving into whichever nearest basin or plant holder seemed available. A quick trip to the Apollo Hospital located in the vicinity and she was back right as rain, and decided to call the critter, but realised he would have left for his dance performance. She called later in the night, on daadi's phone and was treated to a rhapsody on how wonderfully the brat had danced. Mamma teared up a bit in pride and regret that she had missed it but looked at the sparkling lights on the lakefront promenade and was soothed a bit. The phone was duly passed on to the brat, who was immensely curious about the hotel mamma was put up at. "Mamma, you gotta beeeg wall TV?" Like there are no wall TVs at home. But the hotel wall TV is something else in his books. Yes, I replied. "You gotta swimming pool?" No, I replied. "You gotta fridge fulloff juice and choclits and cashews and pappa's beer and small boddles?" No, I replied. "Dere's a beeeg buffet fer dinner wid lods of chikken mutton fees?" I replied, no, yet again. He lost complete interest in my holiday, and any lingering regrets at not accompanying me disappeared. "Okay, bye."
The next day on the way back, Mamma's phone was ringing multiple times. "Yes brat," she replied. "Ger fer me a Beyblade. Metal Fusion. Dark Wolf. Because I wuz a good boy an I dint trouble daadi." That deserved rewarding surely, mamma agreed and hunted down a Beyblade Metal Fusion Dark Wolf in the little bylanes of Goregaon station market where she had been dropped, lugging her travel bag with her. Finally, she found the one she wanted, paid a price she knew was double the actual cost, these being China wares and therefore no fixed price, and found herself an auto to get home. She entered the building and saw the brat hunched around the Beyblade stadium with his cronies. "Brat," she called out in joy, he looked up and came bounding to her. "You got my Beybladet?" She handed it over, hugged and kissed him, he squirmed out of her embrace, wiped the kiss on his cheek with the back of his palm, and bounded towards his friends bearing the new Beyblade aloft.
Mamma picked her bag and trudged home, feeling a little bereft that there was no further joy demonstrated upon her return. Daadi assured her that the brat had been exemplarily well behaved and hadn't shown her the T of trouble, nor had he seemed to miss her. The brat, mamma blinked back the pricking tears forming at the back of her eyes, had truly grown up. Mamma was not needed anymore. Mamma was torn between feeling proud about having raised a non clingy child and bereft at not being needed.
The brat then returned from playing down. And threw himself into mamma's lap. And hugged her tight. "Don go again. Okay." Ah well. Even big boys can miss their mammas I guess.