Mother’s small but specific dreams dictated her new-home choices, budget featured prominently in her vocabulary. Dreaming of moving from our rented flat to an ownership flat Ownership became the buzzword No compromising on requirements No settling for less. She had an unyielding list. if such a flat was not available She would not move it was as simple as that. She said I was a stubborn child She didn’t tell me where I got that from? The lift (we used the British word) in our old building belonged to a different century The whole building trembled like an earthquake Shuddering and hurtling up and down From floor to floor The lift was too close to the kitchen It made the curry wobble on the stove The eggs flipped by themselves in the pan It rattled mother’s nerves. Mother wanted a ground floor flat No lift necessary. I always took the stairs when visiting friends The fear of getting stuck Permanently In limbo between floors. The pandemic has done that Placed us in limbo I’m still ‘floating’ between worlds I hear the tremors of the old lift I could avoid the lift, not the pandemic. Mother’s new flat should be sea-facing (even the sea seemed to agree) Plenty of light entering the rooms at the right angles, The light must bow to her demands Something about mother made the elements obey her wishes. Her list continues: two washrooms, running water, in a quiet neighborhood (quiet Bombay, an oxymoron!) where the night watchman did not beat his stick to disturb her sleep in the name of scaring away the thief. If she didn’t find the right flat She would dig her heels in Stay where she was where she could hear the sea, smell the sea Now she wanted to see the sea Not the road and the Bombay traffic. The garden could not be left out from her list. In the old flat It was where she lived her inner life, outside. I want to go flat hunting with mother Can’t do that now, she has made her home elsewhere. There are bright lights where she is She might need sunglasses.