The Master Potter of Life

Written By

Farha Abid

The Master Potter Loading

Zarin’s gaze was transfixed on the spiraling wheel of the potter. Her blank thoughts had not gasped for a moment as she watched the potter carve shapes with the bends of his hands, each hand balancing the act of the other. Zarin walked into the pottery room and placed her hand on Saba’s shoulder. Startled, Saba turned towards her and throwing her arms around her, she broke down. It was like an eruption of sorts – the pain she felt came streaming down her cheeks in the form of tears. She was sobbing like a child who runs back to the open embrace of its mother after tumbling down from a swing.

“Ma, I want to hide somewhere,” said Saba. “I don’t want to face him. I have no courage,” she added. Zarin kept patting her back lightly.

They took their conversation outside in the garden of Art House, which was owned by Zarin. After the death of Saba’s father, Zarin started the Art House to create a means of sustenance.

After settling down on a bench, Zarin took Saba’s manicured hand and held it against her own shriveled one, and said, “Saba, you will have to face it as it is. Roshan is your son.”

Roshan was turning three the next day. He was a normal child till recently when he started acting a little desolated. When Saba would talk to him, he would roll his eyes to one side and avoid making eye contact. He was diagnosed with Autism. Saba’s life was perfect till the doctor’s visit in the morning. She had everything: a home, a loving husband, a job and a wonderful kid. All of a sudden her world had come crashing down. She was devastated. She had no idea what to do with Roshan. Would she have to find a different world for him where abnormal is the normal? She remembered when Roshan would bruise his head as a toddler or cry of hunger. Her child’s pain would pierce her heart more than it hurt him. But Autism had hit him without causing any apparent bruises. He was not crying out of pain. He was silent and staring at the world which was called ‘normal’.

Zarin continued, “Saba, you think I gave birth to you just once and that was it? No. A mother’s job is never over. She has to give many rebirths to her child. Many times she has to resurrect her child – when the courage in him dies, when he loses hope, when the world just stops making sense any more, she has to rise above her fears and resuscitate him. That’s the true role of a mother.” Saba looked into her mother’s eyes and Zarin reassured her by gently blinking her eyes.

A child makes a mother of a woman and a special child makes a special mother, one who is bequeathed with the fate of struggle, challenges, tears and smiles – an inheritance of many defeats and some wins.

“Tomorrow is Roshan’s third birthday. I don’t know if we should celebrate it”, Saba spoke after a long silence. Zarin said, “Yes, you should. God has gifted him a life to live, and to you to make sure that he lives the life he deserves.” Saba’s phone rang, it was a call from her maid. Saba got up to leave. Roshan had hidden himself under the bed and was crying inconsolably. Mother and daughter hugged each other. As Saba departed, crumpling the grass beneath her hurried footsteps, Zarin saw a new woman walking out of the garden. Tears welled up in Zarin’s eyes. A soft breeze was caressing the flowers. She imagined a bunch of children running into the garden and each one plucking a flower of its choice. Some put the flower in their hair, some made garlands, some plucked petals one by one, and some crushed them. The fragrance and the happiness continued to waft through the air though each flower met its fate.

Zarin’s life flashed before her eyes. After Saba’s father’s death, it was a dead-end for Zarin with a two year old daughter to support. She was left at the mercy of others. She would have died too, had it not been for Saba, whose innocuous eyes deserved to see the world. Motherhood transformed Zarin into a relentless person.

Zarin walked back into the pottery room. One of her students was looking at the clay vase. He looked at it and found a lump, he pondered over throwing it away but then he crushed it to make it pliable and put the clay back on the spinning wheel to sculpt a new shape.




I am a stay-at-home mom. I work 24*7. I am paid in love. This is how simply my life can be defined now when I have taken a break from a decade long fulfilling career in Human Resources. Now, I use my skills like 'Performance Management' for my hubby and 'Learning & Development' for my daughter at home. I enjoy reading and writing. I am popular in my friend circle for my unique chicken recipes but I owe it to YouTube (which I never mention). As I have crossed the thirty year mark, people have started to take my opinions less lightly, and my new passion is to have an opinion about everything.

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