TOPICS: A mother's sacrifice

It was in the middle of the winter season some years back. The mercury was plummeting steadily in Kathmandu. I thought for a while then I expressed my desire to my mother. I told her that my old sweater was tattered and torn so a new one had to replace it. “I will fetch one for my darling girl next year,” she said.

As most college-goers would usually do, I started lobbying for the new sweater again. But on one particular occasion, no sooner had I broached the subject of a new pullover, what I saw in my mother face left me dumbfounded. I could see tsunami of tears welling in her eyes. That was when my protests eventually ran out of steam. The unspoken words had all the meaning writ large on the face.

While the winter unleashed its fury in full swing, I was left to either wear the tattered sweater or stay indoors. Impatient as I was, I decided to go out but without wearing the frayed garment. Chums in my neighborhood were well-protected and were quite amused at my scarce clothing.

“Why aren’t you putting on the

winter stuff?” said one. “You will

certainly catch a cold.” said another. I did not have any answer to their inquisitions. Every question thrown at

me penetrated my heart. I then gradually stopped going to the campus in order to escape the cold and my friends’ curiosities. And this did not go unnoticed by my mother.

One fine day, when she returned home with a new sweater from her office, my joy knew no bounds. Exulted over being offered a new sweater, I resumed my college routine, right from the next day. It was quite worth the wait and all the lobbying.

Although the new sweater was enticing, how my mother afforded it, despite being submerged in insurmountable difficulties, however, did not quite settle comfortably with me. We knew she had been running the family on a shoestring budget. On top of that, exorbitant as they were, her medicines were but indispensable, not to mention other priorities. A week later, on my way to the college, I stumbled unto the local dispense. He blew the lid off when he said that my mother had put aside her medicines for my sweater. Numbed with guilt, the indemnity I mustered to buy her medicines did little to lift the heavy lid of supreme sacrifice-a mother’s love for her offspring.