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Mumma’s Bindis (III)

Urja and Ujaan are on a baking spree this afternoon with Mumma, sifting the flour, beating the egg yolks, pouring in ladles of oil, and
Mumma's Bindi 3-It's Christmas Eve!
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It's Christmas Eve!


It takes a village to raise your kids, and it takes a global village to raise your children. Through this series, “Mumma’s Bindis”, the author shares the stories of the joys of raising two young children in a humanist culture.  The central characters of this series are Urja (nickname Momo) and Ujaan, growing up in a Midwestern college town in North America. Born from the hearts of immigrant parents, they ferry between their hyphenated identities spread across two continents. Mumma’s Bindis is the reality of children rooted to the soil they come from yet adapting every day to the dichotomies of the world they belong.  A mother recounting the bliss and dares of motherhood. This is the third episode of this series. 

It's Christmas Eve!

It’s Christmas eve, and the sweet smell of gingerbread man cookies and strawberry cake roll out of the oven filling the house with a “oh-so-lovely” warmth. The radio strums Christmas carols one after the other, the old time favorite “Silent Night Holy Night” rolling over to the modern tune of “Last Christmas I gave you my heart, the very next day you gave it away…..”

Christmas baking
Urja and Ujaan merrily baking their cakes and gingerbreads

Urja and Ujaan are on a baking spree this afternoon with Mumma, sifting the flour, beating the egg yolks, pouring in ladles of oil, and mixing in all sorts of goodies in the form of ripe red strawberries, almond slivers, chocolate chips, and cranberries for a sweet and tangy taste.  Next comes making the white and green and bright red icing, tastes, and colors to die for.  It’s hard to roll out the bright green skirt for the gingerbread lady, and harder still to make the little buttons on her blouse, all with little hands.  Mumma bends over to help, cutting out the pleats in the skirt, flattening out the socks, and making the pointed corners of the little cap on the grumpy man’s head.  Didi can’t wait, she starts licking the icing off the spoon, nibbling off the arm of one gingerbread man cookie, until Mumma scolds “Urja, patience!” Of course, Ujaan has to chime in at this point. With a blink of the eye, comes the U word (or U statement): “patience is a virtue…..girls don’t have it!!!!!!” And he is only five and a half!!

Mummas Bindi Christmaspng
It's Christmas Eve!

Finally, they are all done, all the seven gingerbread men and women cookies, laid out on the table in red and green and white attire, waiting to be admired and savored.  Right by them sits their brown friend, the strawberry cake. The two pairs of little hands are now tired, very very tired. 

Off to bed early tonight, after a sprinkling shower and warm oil massage, in excited anticipation for the next morning. Ujaan wonders if Santa Claus read the letter Didi had sent to him on their behalf, in which she asked for slushy magic for herself and a life-sized tiger for Ujaan.  And just before dozing off to sleep, he imagines Didi and him riding the Polar Express, and hopes that they get at least one silver bell from Santa’s Sleigh.

Merry Christmas to all my friends far and near. May your dream(s) of a silver bell come true………

Mousumi Banerjee is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan (USA). She lives in a world of science, trying to make sense of data to take cancer research and treatment forward. But her passion and affinity for the arts gives her sustenance and counterbalances her work as a scientist. Mousumi writes in both Bangla and English. Her work has been published in many literary magazines in USA, India, and Bangladesh, including Telegraph, BanglaLive, Keyapata, TechTouchটক, Antonym, Sahitya Café, Irabotee, Golpopath, Swinhoe Street, Batayan, Parabaas, Manush Mecca. A rare feat is her poetry “White Noise” published in the leading medical journal (Journal of the American Medical Association) that gives a humanistic face to cancer. Her collected poems Eklaghor (Room Alone) was published in Kolkata by Yaponchitra. Mousumi lives with her family in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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