Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Adreyo Sen


When the little girl was very little, her dearest possession was her pillow, a soft, shapeless thing of blue cotton. To her, its smell was the most beautiful thing in the world.
The little girl carried her pillow everywhere.
But one day, she could not find it and she cried so much that her mother, whose heart was the little girl, was very upset. She rushed out to find it.
She returned a few hours later.
“You left it in the playground,” she told the little girl
Not wanting to lose her pillow, the little girl put it in her mother’s room. She would visit it every now and then and sit by her mother, whose softness she knew could always still her wandering feet.
One day, the little girl fell in love with a man whose eyes were full of wisdom and she took her pillow and went to live with him in a land far, far away, but not so far that she couldn’t feel her mother’s loving gaze on her.
She put the pillow on his vast study table and whenever she went to him, as she often did on evenings that were too cold for her thoughts, she would sit on his lap and caress her oldest friend.
The little girl never grew up. That was her tragedy – and her greatest gift.
The little girl was my mother. And when she died, I took her pillow to my room and laid it in my workbasket. It had so much of my mother’s sweetness.
You were only as tall as my dictionary when I gave the pillow to you. You fell in love with it and carried it everywhere, holding it tightly in your arms.
But yesterday, after you left for school, flinging your arms around me as you always do, I found the pillow on the floor of your room, a little hole in its corner, its stuffing spilling out.
I was upset and I cried a little. But then I realized that unlike my mother, perhaps you were growing up. Perhaps you were beginning to find new things to love, new things to animate with all the love that is in your steady little heart.
I took the pillow to my room and mended it and then I put it in the box that holds my mother’s diaries.
You didn’t notice it was missing.
But someday, I hope, you will ask for it again.



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