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When my fledgling flies away from my nest will she crane her neck back to catch a glimpse of me? Did I crane my neck back to see my amma (mother) after taking flight?
“Have you filled in the correct details? Why don’t you check it again?” I uttered pointing my index finger at my daughter.
“Come on mamma, this is not the first time I am filling an application. You continue with your walk.” She sniggered scrunching up her nose to lift up her drooping glasses.
I pranced up and down the hall with my mobile in hand switching on the step counter. My daughter was filling application forms for engineering colleges.
It’s time for my fledgling to take flight.
Please don’t go! My heart ached.
I blinked hard to fight a tiny tear that had formed at the corner of my eye. I tried to swallow the choke at the base of my throat. ‘Sniff! Sniff ’ my nose always gives me away. “Mamma, are you crying?” she queried looking up from her laptop.
Nothing can escape this young Sherlock Holmes’ eyes.
“No! No!” I vehemently shook my head. If I tell her the reason then the house would be flooded with an ocean of tears. This mother-daughter duo have a track record no one can beat. We can cry at the drop of a hat anywhere and for any reason.
How time flies! Amidst the hustle and bustle of life I had no time to stop and notice how fast she was growing. The young sapling has almost grown into a tall coconut tree.
“ She is your carbon copy”, “ She looks just like you”… comments from friends and relatives make me beam with pride.
But somewhere deep inside a feeling of insecurity flickers. I say a silent prayer.
“Please don’t let her be as sensitive as me. Please let her not be an obsessive compulsive thinker like me. Please let her not be a perfectionist like me.”
I want my coconut tree to never bend however hard the wind blows. Amen!
“Mamma, give me a kiss”, “Mamma, hug me tight” the teenager pesters me and is always at my heels. With my menopausal hormones on an overdrive, I have become very touchy. I want to be left alone at least sometimes. I just brush her aside and get on with my work. Then the guilt strikes and I go back to her and peck at her now ‘puffed up with anger’ cheeks.
When she moves on in life whom will I gupshup (gossip) with? With whom shall I enjoy an open hearted uncensored chat?‘
‘Ptch Ptch’ a sound escapes my lips. I am often caught making this noise.
She looks up again, “What are you worrying about mamma? Why don’t you watch something? Watch something funny not murder or a sob story, ok?“ my daughter of a naani ma (grand mom) gives me some nuske (advice).
A smile crosses my lips.
What will I do without her? For the past 17 years I had left behind the bubbly, chirpy Vidya and had slowly but steadily transformed into ‘Khushi ki mummy’. Now it is difficult to retrace my steps. Vidya is somewhere lost in the melee with no hopes of being found.
Somewhere along the journey of motherhood I lost my identity, my wishes, my dreams, my wants, my will. I replaced the ‘my’ with ‘her’. It was her dreams, her wishes, her happiness. Whatever I did was by playing dodge ball with her schedule. If she had exams, I sat up with her. If she had a dance competition I donned the hat of a choreographer. If she had a speech competition I became the writer. If she was bored I became her playmate.
I have come a long way along this journey juggling different roles.
Loud hooting rents the air as Dulquer Salman appears on our home screen much to the chagrin of my hubby. He gives me the “You too!” look.
“Mamma, see how handsome Siddharth Malhotra looks in a light pink shirt!” my daughter thrusts her mobile in front of my eyes and I ogle unabashedly.
“Who is that tall guy in your class? I think you should date him. He looks dashing!” I whisper into her ears.
“Have you gone nuts? He is such a nerd. He can only speak Chemistry, Physics and Maths.. no other languages” she shakes her head from right to left widening her big, round eyes.
Let us loose in a shopping mall and we are lost to the world. We shop till the shop keeper drops.
I didn’t realise when and how my daughter quietly slipped into the role of my friend.
No… not that often. I got too involved in making my own new nest and taking care of my fledgling.
As I sat down to take a breather. I felt warm hands embracing me in a tight hug from behind. She held me close and kissed me on my cheek. All the dark clouds hovering in my mind just vanished and my thoughts settled down like dust settling down when water is sprinkled.
The love, the warmth, the tight embraces, the sloppy kisses, the joy, the laughter, the unfiltered talks, the impromptu dances… this is what I gained. Some things just can’t be measured. They are priceless. My daughter has flooded my life with happiness and joy.
Yes! I have lost myself in trying to be the ‘bestest’ mom ever but I have gained a best friend for life. That’s quite a bargain I must admit.
Image source: absolute-india from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro
I am a certified digital content writer. I enjoy reading and writing. My thoughts effortlessly cascade down into ripples of short stories and poems. For me, writing has proven to be cathartic. Fitness and diet read more...
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It is easy to give in to patriarchal expectations from a married woman and lose your self in a marriage, but the path to happiness is in keeping your independence.
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The book tells the stories of 15 single women across the world. A feeling of deep understanding and empathy fills you as you read the book and understand the challenges faced by the women who are single – by choice or chance. Some of the women chose to be single because they faced discrimination and even abuse as girl children. Some others had abusive marriages and sought divorce.
The tag line ‘Crafting pathways on rough terrains’ on the cover page is enough to tell you that this is a serious take on the issue of singlehood. If it focuses more on the rough than the smooth, that has been the reality for the 15 women.
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