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Long commutes for school meant a struggle to do everything they wanted, so she discussed the options with her kids and husband, making a difficult choice.
“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make shapes your life” – John C. Maxwell
Indira was a stay at home mother, and yet she thought of sending her kids to a boarding school. As soon as her friends and relatives came to know of this plan, various stories started floating around about her ‘duties’ as a mother.
Like, how she was capable, but did not have the desire to take care of the kids.
How she was a lazy woman, and her decision would be a disaster that would ruin her kids’ life.
What if the kids got exposed to unwanted things.
It was a big risk to send the kids far away.
There was a grapevine doing rounds that ended condemning her ruthless decision. Some also said that she wanted to enjoy life with her husband and did not want to bear the burden of the kids. Devendra, her husband was very supportive and caring, and this groundless talk did not bother him.
Indira was a loving and caring mother who was dedicated to raising her children properly. With a very creative mind, she had very unique ways of taking care of her kids. She gave a lot of importance to discipline and honesty, while believing in building a relationship based on trust and affection. Her friends wondered at her cool and innovative ways of dealing with almost all situations of life. Devendra was an ambitious man with a dynamic personality. He had a successful career in a corporate house and was a wonderful father to the kids. Theirs was a love marriage wherein love and trust was the strong base of their relationship.
Life in Mumbai had a lot of challenges. Education here was of a very high quality which helped in creating a good base academically. Indira’s kids were growing up in a cosmopolitan culture and the school they went to had a very good academic curriculum for an all-round development. While in primary sections, her daughter Bhoomi and younger son Prithvi had all the time to enjoy their childhood. After school, they participated in different activity classes conducted in and around the locality and also found time to play with their friends in the society.
Promotion from primary to secondary school brought about a lot of changes to their routine. A lot many compromises and sacrifices had to be made regarding the activities and play time. Prithvi was a hyperactive child and most of his energy and time was spent in commuting from school or tuition and there was no time left for creativity. Bhoomi was a good dancer, but taking up dancing lessons even on weekends was becoming impossible due to the various assignments given by school.
Indira was looking for some solution where her kids could enjoy their academics and get time to play, read and participate in different extracurricular activities. She did not want their entire childhood to get ruined by running from one class to another, getting tense about academic excellence while finding no time to pursue their passion.
It was then that Devendra and Indira came to know from some common friends about a very good residential school located not very far from Mumbai. The school had all that they were looking for – knowledge-based education system, facility to participate in different sports activities, and classes to learn various arts and cultural activities. All was available within the school campus. They thought that it would be best to invest in a better today than an unknown tomorrow.
Devendra had made some sensible investments for their future. But both came to the conclusion that investing in the present and exposing them to the environment of a residential school will make them independent and bring out the best in their personality. Exposure and access to a free but disciplined environment would also help to exploit and channelize their creativity in a proper manner instead of getting it wasted in useless things.
When they presented this idea of a residential school to their kids, Prithvi rejected it outright. Bhoomi said, “Ma, I do not want to leave my friends and go to some unknown school. Please drop this idea and forget sending us away”.
Indira very patiently shared all the information she had about the activities of the school, the things that were available apart from academics and how learning different things will help them in their future lives. “Prithvi and Bhoomi, why don’t we go and see the school first and then decide?” Indira said after both the kids expressed their strong opinion and dismissed her plan.
“We will never force you to go to study there if you do not want to. But let us not reject the idea before we have seen the school and seen what kind of facilities they offer,” Devendra said. Bhoomi, being more mature and understanding said, “Papa, give me some time to think. I cannot decide immediately. You are asking for too much.” Prithvi was still not ready to consider visiting the school. It was a heavy burden to take for his little mind.
That night, Indira had a very long discussion with Prithvi. Usually the kids slept in separate rooms, but that day she decided to sleep in Prithvi’s room. She tried to answer all questions his young mind could come up with. Her honest answers, and her idea of sending him away to be able to learn many new things without the burden of excelling academically made some impact on Prithvi’s mind. Next morning before going to school he gave his assent. “Mumma, I am ready to go to see the school. But I am not ready to leave my friends and school, and go to some unknown school, that too so far away from Pa and you.” He had tears in his eyes while saying this and Indira could see that he was doing his best to please his mother.
On seeing the school, its healthy and happy environment, the huge playgrounds, beautiful library, large auditorium, access to learn dance and music, separate art room and classes for carpentry, pottery, etc., Prithvi gave his nod immediately. For him the biggest attraction was that there were no exams until the 9th grade.
Bhoomi was also happy and ready to think about the shift. Though she took some time to decide and accept the idea of leaving her present school and friends.
It was a very hard decision for Devendra and Indira, as would be for any parent who decided to send their children to a residential school. Indira believed that it was the attachment and affection for the kids that made it difficult for her to take such a bold and brave decision. And it was this affection that would deprive them from all the good opportunities they could gain in such a residential school. Luckily both Devendra and Indira’s parents understood them and supported their decision.
The day to drop the kids to school arrived sooner than expected. Indira had packed their bags as per the instructions given by the school. On reaching the school, she helped them to unpack and settle down in their respective dormitories and soon it was time to leave. They hugged the kids and kissed them before walking towards the car park.
Parting was becoming difficult for all at that moment. She wanted to hold and embrace them for a long time. With great effort, she overcame her emotions because she did not want the kids to get disturbed. With heavy hearts they walked towards their car. As they drove off they could see the kids standing at the gate waving goodbye. The thought of parting with the kids was devastating. Indira who had put a brave front till now was unsure about her decision when she saw Devendra break down and cry loudly. It broke her heart to watch him like that as it was her idea initially of sending the kids away to a residential school. There was complete silence as nobody spoke a word as they drove back to Mumbai.
While the kids were away at school, Indira had a tough time and often felt lonely. Devendra too missed having them around the house all the time. But when they saw their kids enjoying their school life, they felt immense pleasure that they had done the right thing and had taken the best decision of their life at the best time. Today Indira takes pride in the fact that she’s a proud mother of two extremely talented and confident children. Bhoomi and Prithvi have grown up into ambitious and independent human beings. The relatives and friends who judged this decision and called it ruthless praise their farsightedness and courage.
Looking back on the gone years, Indira thinks that it was the best decision of her life – and when your heart knows, it knows, there’s no explaining it. You can only trust it.
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay
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