“Then the king became sad about the princess” my mom said, while she fed me a ball of rice and greens. “aand whaaat happen” I enquired chewing my food. I don’t remember whether I was 4 or 5. We were sitting below the sapote tree on a concrete bench. Mid-morning sunlight peered through the tree leaves all around us. Wind spoke in hushed tone with leaves. I was wearing a white and green stripped half sleeve shirt and short pants. I smelled like a cocktail made from Johnson & Johnson powder and coconut oiled hair.
“Since princessss had a poor eye sight, the king consulted the wise lady who lived in the jungle, faaar away from the kingdom”, she made another ball of rice and stuffed it in my mouth. I followed her eyes and hands as she narrated. “The wise lady asked the princess to stay with her for few days”. “hmmm” I nodded, swinging my legs back and forth. “When the princess returned after few days, her eye sight was so sharp that she could shoot a bird several miles away” my mom said, making another ball of rice.
“Enough!” I declared. “You know what the wise lady did to help the princess?” she continued as I turned my face.” No mom no…” I pleaded. “The wise lady fed the princess greens, that’s why her eye sight got better” she force fed the last bite into my mouth. I resembled hanuman the monkey faced god, with that big ball of food. I started to chew it with an irritated face and looked at her. She had a halo around her head from the sun light. “The princess then saved the kingdom by killing the devil. The king was so happy and proud “she smiled and winked at me. It’s the earliest image of my mom in my mind. And oddly the first things that came to my mind when I lost her in the bus in Singapore.
She was supposed to get down with me, I was supposed to make sure she did. I was standing with so many “supposed to”s while she was travelling away, with no idea that I already got down. I started following the bus trail and looked for her in every stop. It was dark, raining and her phone was with me. In an hour’s search, she has managed to panic several passengers, two drivers and me. To top it off she dramatically waved and screamed from the bus when she finally saw me. She ran and hugged me, almost in tears. I was both angry & happy. I scolded as well as consoled her. I felt exactly like her father.
After few minutes we started laughing uncontrollably. That’s her, my green princess. The one that makes me happy and proud. She not only tells stories, but also makes amazing ones.