The Smell of Rice

I can’t forget that day when we didn’t have anything to eat in our house. My father was jobless and my mother was working outside in rich people’s houses to earn money. My mother tried to prevent me from feeling hunger. I know it was difficult for her not to be able to feed her child properly.

In my childhood, I was very sensitive to smells. We had neighbors who were very rich and every night they had a party and cooked delicious food. One night they cooked rice and just the smell made me so hungry. I wanted to eat that rice. I asked my mother why we didn’t cook rice? Why can’t we smell this from our house? My mother tried to ignore me, and she took me away from the room filled with the smell of rice and into bed with her. My mother’s love, her natural smell, was stronger than the smell of rice. She didn’t use any special perfume, but she naturally smelled like a flower which shows up in the Spring. I felt comfortable when she hugged me, and I forgot my hungriness. When I would start crying, only my mother was able to calm me.

Despite our living in one of the poorest areas, my father and mother tried their best to gives us a good life. We had a happy family life and I always wanted to be with my mother.

But sometimes life doesn’t go as we want. My mother got sick she and the doctor said she should sleep alone. I was used to sleeping with my mother. How could I live without her? I cried a lot, believing I should stay away from my mother, but day by day, her illness became worse. We didn’t have enough money to take her to another country for treatment. We just waited to see what Allah wanted, but I really wanted to save my mother. Without her, I thought my life would be finished.

After some months, my mother’s illness became worse, and the doctors said she wouldn’t live anymore. When I heard this, I lost myself. I was just a 13-year-old girl; I just had mother and father in my life, no sister or brother. I had one mother all in the world. I couldn’t convince myself that after a few days my mother would die and I would be alone. This surprise of life shocked me.

My mother didn’t say anything when she dying. She just gave me a little money and then she spoke very slowly and said to me, “Give this money to your father to buy rice, and tell him to cook it for you and say you really want that smell of rice.” I could see that she was taking care of me even at the end of her life.

Eventually my mother died in front of my eyes and I couldn’t do anything; it was very difficult. I didn’t know the difference between day and night. How could I spend days and nights without my mother who fed me and loved me and talked with me? She was a part of my life. When I enter her room and sit on her bed, I feel like I can smell her. She is with me and my heart beats fast. I imagine her when I smell her clothes, the veil that she wore. I know she is not with me, but her soul is with me. I can feel her. Love you, Mum. You’re part of my life.

By Shogofa


6 responses to “The Smell of Rice

  1. This is beautifully written!

  2. What an exceptional person your mother was – even when she was hungry and frightened herself, she didn’t break out in anger, as would have been understandable, but shielded you with her love.

  3. This is so powerful! I love how you write that the scent of your mother was stronger than the scent of the rice.

  4. Good revision Shogofa. I liked how you went into a little more detail about the smell of rice and what it ultimately meant to you.

  5. I am overwhelmed reading your life story. What a beautiful mother God gave you! You get to have her with you always, because you had her constant love until she passed away. Thank you for sharing your mother with us. What do you do know Shogofa?

  6. Pingback: The Smell of Rice | Silent Eloquence

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