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A career, yes. But one which fits into the demands of family life; like say a teacher, so you could do the same times as your children, and have the same holidays.
Once upon a time there was a land which was very prosperous and happy. A king and queen with a princess made up the main characters at the beginning. Then the princess grew up, years passed, and she married a well-to-do prince, and had two little children herself. A girl 8 years old and a boy who was 6. Life was good, and it is a story to be continued.
Mummy that is not a fairy tale! You are telling me your story! The King and Queen are Granddad and Grandma, you are the Princess, Daddy the Prince and the girl and boy is Me and Dev.
Padma was not pleased with my tricking her into this fairy tale! To be honest neither was I. For whatever I say, it definitely wasn’t a fairy tale, this story!
Now do not get me wrong it is a tale alright and one which is typical of a well to do middle class family. A normal family with all the joy, tears, laughter, and drama it entails.
The Princess though a Princess, still had boundaries. Oh yes; a girl should speak politely, sit demurely, be chaperoned whenever possible. Well educated. Otherwise what Prince is going to marry you? Well educated to a standard of landing a good Prince and having her own kids. A career, yes. But one which fits into the demands of family life; like say a teacher, so you could do the same times as your children, and have same holidays. Nothing which would entail travel as that would be ‘hazardous to family life’.
The Princess waited through all this, thinking — my turn will come soon, won’t it? I mean when I want to be rude, I can be, when I want to manspread I can, I can do what I want, right? Maybe if I wait my time is surely going to come.
Was her wait successful? No, she is still waiting. Waiting for what exactly, most would ask. But do they really want to know? Or can they even imagine what that waiting is for? Maybe they can as I am sure at least a few are in her position knowingly or unknowingly, but have given up swimming against the tide.
Waiting. To speak your mind freely. Not behind closed doors but where you know you will offend others, but you say it anyway.
Waiting to rage and cry; not to smile and bottle it up. As she is one of the lucky few who lacks nothing, and so should not be selfish.
Waiting to show her insecurities. But she is a mother now and is this what she should show her kids?
Waiting to be forgiven not by words but by actions. As she needs to learn a lesson that would make her think twice the next time she says/ does something that disrupts the family harmony.
The list is endless.
Many would say that’s life; especially if you are a woman. You are not wanting or ‘lacking’ anything, so I suppose it’s just spoilt attitude that gets these thoughts into your head. But you know what? The Princess is still waiting. I mean she has had a lot of practice at it hasn’t she? Childhood, teens, womanhood….
Mummy are you sure this is a story?
What do you think, dear?
I am not so sure but what is the ending?
The ending? I cannot say for sure, but it is up to all the Princesses to decide how long to wait, and is it worthwhile waiting…
Editor’s note: This short story has been shortlisted from among a large number of entries for the October 2020 Muse of the Month contest.
Image source: a still from the film Badla
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A woman, daughter, wife, mother and lots more than that.
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