Short Stories

Dear Mom


Anjani Haripriya Vishnubhatla

Dear Mom:

Dear(I don’t know what to call you), I know you’re not my mother. I remember her touch, it had warmth (not that yours doesn’t, but her warmth was different). When she sent me to you, I know she had a reason and whatever it was, I never stopped loving her.

She sent me to you in a very young age, an age when I couldn’t understand things, and I still know that I’m not yours, because I see how you behave with me and Sasha. Is it too obvious for me to feel jealous, or is it too obvious for me to be treated that way?

I’m writing to you today to let you know what I learned at the school you sent me to (Yeah, for the underprivileged kids). They taught me today that a mother’s love is the purest form of any feeling in this world, and that this feeling is the only one that isn’t ephemeral. I doubt that!

You make me call you ‘Mom’ and I swear I tried. I tried to call you that, but I realized you were something else. They taught me that children are like saplings, and their siblings are their fellow saplings which compete for resources like love, care and. attention. I don’t know what the effort you put in having me, but I know that people who come to our house have a false impression that Sasha and I are the same to you.

Tell them the truth, please! You and I, we both know that I call you ‘mom’ and you call me your ‘dearest child’ only when they’re around. I promise that I won’t ruin your reputation, I promise I won’t play with Sasha, even if she insists, I promise I won’t complain about the few stale morsels I get to eat at the end of a tiresome torn-book read.


I often wonder how good (or bad) it would have been if ‘mom’ was here. I don’t think she knows how it feels like to be called “mom” anymore. She gave me away to you in a hopeless worship that I will be given a life. If she knew it was a life like this, she would have preferred to die instead, so that her body can feed us.

I don’t know how it feels like to be treated as a daughter, of course. Do you know how it feels like to be called ‘mom’ by me? I bet it would have been better if you treated me like you were my mom.

All I want to say is that – out of the two seeds that you swore to take care of, I was the seed you forgot to water, so please do not expect me to grow faster than the other, without getting damaged.

I am telling you all this because yesterday, I heard you teaching Sasha to stand up for herself. Although you never gave me such an essential speech, and although I eavesdropped a conversation between real bonds, I felt that it was necessary to steal some good views from someone like you, and now I swear by my ‘mom’ that she wouldn’t be so proud of my drawings on my wrists and calves which ache sometimes.”

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