A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5

Birpurush by Rabindranath Tagore (REVIEW)

A child fantasizing about making his mother proud – sounds like the story of my life. Indeed, I am still haunted by the many sleepless nights in which my mother would sit in the kitchen, agonizing over where her son might be, only to have him return at some ungodly hour – four twenty-six in the morning, let’s say – and head straight for the refrigerator without saying one word to her. Then, after carefully examining its moderately chilled contents, her dim-witted son would mindlessly let the door slam shut, fingers decorated with peanut butter, and dig through the cabinet for some fat-free crackers.

Fat-free, of course, to cancel out all of the oil from the peanut butter. Because that is how it works. Trust me – I know science. I got a B+ in freshman year biology.

A B+.

Quite interestingly, my blood type also happens to be B+ (or B positive).

That was not relevant. None of that was relevant.


Upon seeing all the peanut butter smeared along the door handle of the refrigerator, mother would begin to weep. Then, as I would saunter on up the staircase, she would turn her gaze towards the heavens, asking the Lord Bhagvan above why she had been forced to endure such a wearisome existence.

That was then, though. These days, when I call her (which I try to do fairly often), she never misses an opportunity to tell me that she is proud of me. It is nice to hear, sure…but I cannot, for the life of me, seem to shake the sneaking suspicion that there is some insincerity at play. I mean, I know she is all into forgiveness and whatnot…but god damn.

That peanut butter was a real pain to clean up, man. I don’t know how she did it all those years without eventually succumbing to the urge to dump a whole vat down my throat one night while I was sleeping.

Mother would never do that, though.

That is because she knows that I, like the boy in this story, would do anything to protect her from any danger, if given the opportunity. Unfortunately, just like the boy as well, I am rarely afforded such an opportunity.

I am not necessarily upset about this. In fact, I am pretty pleased about it. It is good knowing that, for some reason or another, my mother has always managed to stay out of harm’s way when in my presence.        

Knock on wood, as she would say.

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