Bruises on knee, thighs, and feet were covered with jeans. I took sweatshirt out from bag and wore it to cover bruises on arms. Then I called my brother out of the home, told him to inspect bike to ensure there were no leaks. He affirmed there were none. The scratches on leg guard, mud guard, and silencer were not much visible. I asked him to not tell mother anything. He agreed. As we entered home, she asked me why I was late from work. I gave an excuse of work overload as I passed without looking at her and went directly into bedroom. I needed to change as soon as possible. The jeans had blood stains and torn little at right knee.
As I was about to take the sweatshirt off, she commanded me to get back in the living room immediately. I pulled down the half pulled up part, went into the living room, and stood in front of her. She was sitting on a sofa with TV remote in her hand. I put left leg forward, turned my body sideways from right, and put right leg behind left.
“What’s wrong?” she said.
I noticed my brother, who was standing at the door, shaking his head with a sympathetic smile.
“Nothing,” I said to mother.
“Nothing?” she repeated.
Then she shot a hard look at me. I stood expressionless. But the mother is the mother. You blink and she knows what it means. She stepped toward me and peeped at my right leg.
And what followed after that was what I had feared and been trying to avoid. The outburst. Before even knowing what happened to me, she just lashed out at me. How careless, reckless I have become. How I do not care about what would have happened to her if things would have been worse, and what not. All the attempts to convince her I was alright went in vain. I just walked out into bedroom. But the outburst didn’t stop.
When she vented out everything, she came in bedroom and checked on bruises.
Later that night, she prepared a lotion of turmeric and ghee. Then she applied it on bruises. I even asked her to let me do it. Her reaction, no, let me do it, you’ve done more than enough. When she finished, she asked me to be cautious while driving. I promised.
The crazy fact is, at the end of the day, the whole world may change, but a motherly instinct will always be sharp as ever.