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A mother who pushed her daughter to be strong, is still running in her 60s, unable to slow down and enjoy the world. What should this daughter do?
As a child, I always used to feel bad, when my mother criticised me for my performances. Unlike other kewl mommies, my mom would always point fingers at my errors, ”Why were you dancing on stage with chewing gum in your mouth?” “Such a shame…it wasn’t your western songs, it was Rabindra Sangeet!” and so on and so forth.
She never appreciated me dressing up like a warrior princess or even as a random housewife like herself. She liked to dress me up like a boy! She liked to camouflage the signs, which distinguished me from my cousin brother. But, I loved to flaunt those signs, and dreamt of having long hair like Rapunzel (megh boron kesh), sparkling blue eyes like Cinderella and a Snow White skin.
I began distancing myself from her and took refuge under my Grandma’s scarf. Grandma was and is always fun. She taught me to be a woman. From getting my ears and nose pierced to purchasing my favourite rings, matching hair clips, shoes, handbags and yes, shades too.
During the process, I realized that my mom is actually sitting in a deck chair and enjoying the process of watching me grow up. When she realized that I am old enough to share her heart, she opened up completely to me, and I got to know her, bit by bit. She turned out to be naive and child-like, an innocent to me! So helpless and scared to face the world, and so full of confusion, that I had to embrace her forever. Was this role reversal? (I don’t know!).
She is the one who brings out the best in me! I was a fool, to get upset about being criticised because it was my mom who pushed me from behind and taught to be stronger. She was there, and she is always there to catch me when I fall. But, instead of moving ahead, she sits there and blesses me to grow stronger. When I grow stronger, she grows weaker. So, we hold hands together and help each other to grow older and wiser (slowly..)!
At the age of 28, I realize why my mom never wanted a daughter. It is not because she curses herself for being a woman. Rather, she is proud of being a daughter and a wife, a proud mother of two, who is also expecting to be a proud grandma some day. But, she knows that the path is never smooth for a woman, no matter where on Earth she is born. In this patriarchal society, a female child deserves applause just for making a safe way into this world! The parents who treat this girl child like Ma Lakshmi, they are worthy of another round of applause!
Thanks to my mother, I have realized what immense courage it takes to raise a female child in India. Perhaps, she never realized that she was this strong until she fought against all the odds single-handedly. As she entered her sixties, she realized that she has finally achieved her target and she tried to relax. But turmoil hit her tower, and her tower collapsed immediately. My mom suddenly finds herself swimming in the deep ocean! Thereafter, she has decided never to relax again, until her last breath.
But, as her daughters, it was and it is our duty to make her feel calm and grounded; to stop, take a deep breath and look around, to feel the moment. Alas! Our mom is so caught up in this rat race that she has forgotten to look around and enjoy the greenery! She has no time to stop and feel the warmth of human beings or any other living objects, who can reciprocate love. Even an overwhelming trip to California couldn’t slow down her pace. She is running all the time! She needs time, she needs love, she needs pampering and nurturing to grow strong enough, to be able to taste the finest wine in the world.
When she grows stronger, we will surely start heading slowly towards our next destination. Till then, a wedding is not on my agenda, mom!
First published at author’s blog
Image is from the movie Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
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