Mother and sonThe feeling you have in your heart when you study those advanced equations is the real feeling of love; all other is just a mirage
He was a prodigy: At the age of three he could read Eliot, at four he could play Mozart and by the time he was eight he could breeze through calculus. His teachers feared him and his friends shuddered with envy at his very presence. He was a living, breathing miracle. “You are my miracle, sweetheart,” his mamma said, kissing him on his forehead. “Never, my baby, let anybody cause any harm to you. Never! Don’t ever feel that you are alone. I will always be with you, always. Watching you from above…from the stars.”
Chrish looked at the frail and weak face of his mother for a long time.
“Mamma,” he almost sobbed. “I also want to come with you. This world is not meant for me. I want to live among the stars with you.”
She pulled him into her arms and hugged him tight. Then, she gently played her fingers through his blond hair.
“Who says this world is not meant for you?” she said, as though she would kill anyone who dared utter those words to her precious son. “You know, darling, what was my first thought when you were born?”
The prodigy, nearing his fifteenth birthday, peered into her eyes: they were blazing with the fire of a tigress’s eyes who would do anything to protect her little cub. And he saw it.
“Mamma,” he interrupted, “I love you.”
She smiled her dimpled smile radiating vibrant waves of love which his thirsty heart hurried to drink.
“When I looked into your little blue eyes,” the mother continued, “I made a vow to myself that my son would live to be a star, a gem of his species—a Kohinoor. That he would be the one who would change the world for the third time, walking with the great minds—Newton and Einstein. No matter whether I live to see him do these extraordinary things but I would do everything to help him climb this lofty mountain.”
She paused and began to weep.
“And you have done everything, even more,” Chrish added. “You have sacrificed so much of you just to raise me. You needn’t weep, Mamma. You needn’t. If you weep, I will weep too. And you know how bad I’m at it.”
The mother revealed her glistening teeth as she permitted her lips to arch into a lovely smile.
“Why do people die? Why do good people die so young? Why is nature so unfair?” the boy asked.
“It is the law of nature. That’s how this world works—once you are born, you must die. Death is inevitable. Good and loving people die young too because God wants to be with them.”
“Mamma, why do my friends hate me?”
“They hate you because you are better than them all. Because you can do things they can’t even dream of. Because you are a miracle and they are not.”
“Few days ago, Lily proposed to me; she said that she is madly in love with me. When I told her that I don’t know anything about love, she started to weep. I’m still not able to filter out the reason behind her strange act.”
“You know nothing about love?” the mother asked, astounded.
“I only know the kind of love I have for you. I have no idea about other types of love,” Chrish responded, his voice soft and serene.
Is my child emotionally lacking? The mother thought. Does extraordinary intelligence come at a price of feelings of the heart? No, no that can’t be. Maybe he just needs some inspiration from me, some piece of advice.
“Do you like her?” she asked him.
The boy had already started to daydream about the cubs of white tigers he had read as a little kid.
“Mamma, we are tigers,” he said thoughtfully, “you are the great white tiger and I am your little cub. Together we will rule the world.”
“Chrish,” the mother said. “I think you should go now and meet Lily. Tell her that you love her too.”
“But I don’t know what love is.”
“First you tell her, and then you will know. Go.”
Outside, the sky was a canvas: soft silver ropes of light slanting into the distant horizon, slicing the deep orange sky. Below, the world glittered in the yellow glow of late noon. The prodigious boy who walked under this beauty did not notice it at all. I can’t comprehend why Mamma wants me to meet her, he thought as he stood at her front door. He hesitated for a while, then, he gently knocked on the door. An elderly lady opened and asked: “What is it?”
“I want to meet Lily,” he said, with no emotions.
“Her family left this town yesterday; they are never coming back.”
“Thank you,” said Chrish, before returning home.
“Mamma,” he began as he sat by his mother. “Lily has left this town forever.”
His mother didn’t answer for a while. She was glad that she had succeeded in keeping her child away from the thorny rose of love. She was also happy to learn that the girl had left him even before he could feel the first harsh prick of love.
“Yes,” she replied, “that’s good, you must not waste your time on such trivial matters like romance and love. Great men don’t indulge themselves in such things.”
“What is love, mamma? I have read many novels on desperate passions of love but I haven’t yet understood its true significance. When I look at mathematical equations, take for instance the Riemann hypothesis, an intense passion to solve it gushes through my heart. I can’t refrain myself from diving into its depth. Few days ago, I was swimming through Einstein’s equations of general relativity and I experienced the same strange stir in the core of my heart that Romeo in Shakespeare’s play experiences when he first encounters Juliet. If this incomprehensible butterfly’s fluttering in my heart is called love—then I think I’m in love with equations.”
The mother smiled at the great words of her little masterpiece. Today, she thought, I feel I have raised a Newton. If only I could live a few years longer to witness my little miracle transform into a volcano of revolution...
Tears gently started to dribble down her sunken cheeks. I wish I could buy some time, if only money could buy it. O lord, I have accomplished the great task of raising a prodigy the way he deserved. Now I’m prepared to take the last and eternal nap of death.
“Yes, that is love—the feeling you have in your heart when you study those advanced equations is the real feeling of love. All others are just a mirage.”
“Mamma,” Chrish said. “You are the great white tiger and I am your cub.”
“Yes, you are my sweet little cub,” she smiled, and then began to play her fingers through his blond hair. “And I love you more than anything.”