Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My daughter is coming home

Mythili sat back on her rattan chair which she had placed in her favorite place, the Thinnai. This was situated on the front of her home. Since there were so many trees surrounding the house , the front porch was the place to be. A place where Mythili and her husband Srinivasan enjoyed many a quiet moment together.This late evening as the world around her was getting quiet, Mythili sat back, leaning back on her chair as her thoughts flew wildly over the past year.The past year had been the most hectic year in recent times for Mythili. Ever since her daughter Vidya’s engagement , Mythili seemed to be treading water. There was just too much to do and too many things to take care of. Mythili had to plan each and every step of the way to ensure that the marriage would be a grand success. Srinivasan for his part immersed his head in the newspapers and gave the appropriate nod to all of Mythili’s suggestions and lightly veiled orders.And ofcourse went to the Bank.Needless to say the wedding was a grand success. Vidya and Arun were perfect for each other. Soon it was time for Vidya to leave with Arun and everyone went to the airport to give them a warm sendoff. After their honeymoon they were going to settle in Ahmedabad.Today, after 6 months, both her daughter and son-in-law were visiting. Mythili had as usual planned for this week days ahead. She had decided what she and her husband would wear including where they we would be going out and what everyone would eat. All the details.However nothing went according to plan. From the moment Vidya landed her chatter started. Arun, like Srinivasan was more quiet compared to the two women beside him. Mythili could only manage to get a few words edgewise. Not that she did’nt have much to say. Mythili was more tongue tied upon hearing Vidya’s chatter.All of Vidya’s sentences started like “I”, “Mine”, “Ours”. For instance she would say “I love my job” or “My in-laws and I went to this place and had a fabulous time” or “Our new home needs a big t.v”. Mythili could not but notice that in none of the conversations neither she nor her husband was even mentioned. It brought a sadness to her heart. She glanced over at Srinivasan who was engrossed in a conversation with their son-in-law.Mythili felt totally left out of her own daughter’s life. Her daughter whom she had raised and nurtured and loved and dreamed of .. Now she, the mother, was totally left out of the conversations. She could not even believe this was happening to her. Not that she did not expect something like this. She was also well educated and knew her daughter would eventually grow up and have her own life. Somehow Mythili had not been ready for it. In all her planning and arranging things, she had somehow forgotten to plan to be ready for this moment and be prepared.Mythili also noticed that her husband seemed to be taking things more in stride. He relished his daughter hanging onto his arms and clutching his shoulders. Srinivasan had always been that way. Very practical and less theatrical than her. Srinivasan also was happy to enjoy another male company around him and totally embraced his guests and was his ownself enjoying them and entertaining them.Mythili was very happy for her daughter. It was just that she still thought she would be the center in her girl’s life. Like when Vidya was growing up.. always circling around her mother.. Mythili must have nodded off to sleep as she felt herself shaken awake. Vidya was by her side with a tray of 2 cups with steaming tea and marie biscuits too. That was Mythili’s favorite afternoon snack. Waking up from her nap, Mythili slowly sipped the tea as she watched Vidya sitting beside her on the floor. Vidya then moved closer and placed her head on Mythili’s lap.Vidya slowly started to talk about her life and how she sometimes was afraid to be far from home.. how she missed that she could not see her parents’ faces everyday. How it was difficult to make decisions and how she yearned to be near her parents.. for her mother’s touch and for her father’ support.. and how she realized she had to learn to face the world alone and know and trust her instinct and guidance and support from her new family.. Without even realizing it, Mythili’s hands started to stoke her daughter’s head. She looked up to see Srinivasan had come to stand behind them and kept his hands on her shoulder. There was no need for any words to be said. She felt her heart filled with love and now very much at ease. She knew they were, and always would be, for now and forever in the center of her daughter’s life and world.

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