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Where was the poet driving to? Who was sitting beside her?

Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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Hint: “The beautiful relationship between the poet and her mother is the focus of the poem “My Mother at Sixty-Six”. The theme of the author's mother's advancing age and her fear of separation is depicted in the description. It exemplifies how lovely a mother-daughter relationship can be.

Complete answer:
Last Friday morning, the poet was driving from her parents' house to the Cochin airport. Her mother was seated next to her. She was 66 years old at the time. The elderly lady was sound asleep. Her mouth was still open. Her skin was pale and wrinkled. It was ash-grey in colour. It seemed lifeless, as though it were a corpse. Her heart ached as she saw her mother's lifeless and faded face. The elderly lady seemed to be lost in thought. The poet shifted her gaze away from her mother and gazed out the window.

“Driving from my parent’s home to Cochin last Friday
Morning, I saw my mother, beside me,
Doze, open mouthed, her face ashen like that

Of a corpse and realised with pain
That she thought away, and looked but soon
Put that thought away, and looked out at young
Trees sprinting, the merry children spilling
Out of their homes, but after the airport’s
Security check, standing a few yards
Away, I looked again at her, wan, pale
As a late winter’s moon and felt that old

Familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,
But all I said was, see you soon, Amma,
All I did was smile and smile and smile.”

In the first three lines of the poem, the poet explains where she is going and with whom.
The poet was on her way to the Cochin airport from her parents' house. The poet's mother had come to see her off. She was seated next to her.

Note: My Mother at Sixty-six is about growing older and the fear of loss and separation that comes with it. When the poetess notices her mother's ageing, she is overcome with grief and experiences the pangs of separation at the prospect of losing her. She also wishes for her mother's lost beauty and youth.