A note: I stopped teaching CBSE 5 years ago and I'm out of touch. So I haven't really worked on the explanations and edited them. You might find some of the explanations not up to the mark especially this poem. You will surely find better explanations on the net. One such site recommended by one of the readers which is really good and tailor made for CBSE is http://englishportal12.blogspot.in/?view=mosaic
In this poem, Kamala Das explores the theme of ageing and death and isolation through a narration involving her mother.
While driving from her parent’s home to Cochin, she notices her mother sitting beside her dozing, her face pale like a dead body and her thoughts far away. This reminds her painfully that her mother is old and could pass away leaving her alone.
Putting that thought aside she looked out at the young trees speeding by and children running out of their homes happily to play. These remind her probably of youth and life, her own younger days and her mother when she was young.
But after the security check at the airport, looking back at her mother standing a few yards away, she finds her looking pale like the winter moon. She feels that familiar pain and childhood fear of the thought of losing her mother and of being lonely just as she had been when she was young because she was different from other children. She could only keep smiling and tell her ‘see you soon’ knowing full well that she might not see her.