Isn't it amazing to see a woman carrying a stack of grass, bunch of firewood, and little child at the same time on the steep sloped path? It used to be several hours uphill to reach home. She would be tired before she reached, but couldn't stop for taking rest on her way. Forgetting the acute heat of the sun, the torrents of monsoon rain, the grave hunger, the intolerable thirst, and the devastating tiredness, she used to scamper towards her home to see another infant, whom she had left in the crib before the dawn. This was the lifestyle of my mother packed with struggle, the everyday schedule crammed with piles of work, the small world bounded with only household chores, and the daily thoughts filled with dream and imagination. With a grass-stuffed bamboo basket hovering on her head, climbing up and down the long sheer slopes once a day, refraining from fulfilling her strong desires and wishes, she would spend her days waiting for the time to get rid of the bamboo basket.
A strong feeling of wretchedness and cheerfulness comes into sight once I see a woman with a grass basket and child. It takes me back to my childhood, where I spent most part of the time in woods and grass. My mother did not have time to baby-sit and she would take me in her bamboo basket wherever she went and left my infant brother with someone else. She walked off to the forest to collect firewood and grass for cattle which was far-flung from my home. She used to be weary of lugging me almost until the end of day, fed up with caring for me every moment, and furious with god for creating tough circumstances for her the whole time; but in fact she could not resist and exit away from all these things. Once she reached the forest, she would set me in a safe and dirt-free place under the shade of a tree and left for her work. Lingering under the shade of the tree, chewing the grass or leaves fallen on the ground, snooping around the activities of birds and butterflies, listening to the songs and resonance made by the crystal clear stream, and missing the warm caring hands of mother, I would spend my half of the days alone in a serene forest.