"Please don't close the shop, I need to pick that one up today itself at all costs", wailed Samaira as her little boy's words echoed in her ears that she must fetch an excellent waterproof watch for dad, to be submitted in school, the next day for Father's Day celebrations. While the shop keeper obliged, she almost mechanically bought one, her mind clogged with the fact that it was already half past 9 in the night and she must reach home as fast as she could and cook so that her boy doesn't doze off without dinner.
Samaira was a very well educated banker working at a senior position in a banking job and was currently serving a semi-urban posting 55kms away from her home. Though her job satiated her in every regard but the commuting took a toll on her. Anyway, she never let it come in the way of her responsibilities at home.
Back home, she headed straight to kitchen without even managing a change and in 30 mins they were all on the dining table. She , her husband , her 7 year old boy and her old inlaws. Her little bunny peanut, Anmol was the first one to break the silence, "Mom, Why are you so late?".
"I went to buy the Father's Day Present sonny, am sure you'll like it!" She tried to smile hiding her tiredness and trying to break the sullen looks on everyone's face.
"But that present is not for me, it's for dad. You don't love me mom..You come late everyday. My friends' moms spend so much time with them." He signed off innocently and retired to his room. No matter how hard she yearned to please her little munchkin, this was what she heard from him more often than not.
She cleared the dining table and approached his room to sing him his favorite lullaby but unfortunately he has slept by then. She caressed and kissed his forehead, laid his school bag and uniform for the morn and then made her way to kitchen to make cooking preps for the next day.
In bed at 1130, she quickly put the alarm for 5 in the morn to finish cleaning and cooking for all 5 of them before she would leave for work. She looked at her husband, tried to smile to him, but by this time her tiredness had taken over her and she didn't realize when she skid into deep sleep.
As usual she woke to an unending guilt of being a failed mommy, wifey and daughter in law. Nevertheless not giving up on trying she embarked on preparing Anmol's Favorite Pav-Bhaaji so that it makes him happy even if that's for a moment and in that moment he will forgive his mother. She juggled with umpteen other morning jobs in the next hour, trying to lay everything perfect before everyone else gets up, not having the faintest idea of the chaos that would follow in the next few minutes.
She was startled by a loud cry of her little boy only to know that his school was to start an hour early today on account of Palkhi, and he is very late already. The fact that Samaira has forgotten to check his dairy last night was enough for everyone to get wild on her and reiterate how they found her to be an irresponsible mother too busy in making money. Neglecting the scoldings, she readied him in next 5 minutes and dropped him school with the help of her husband, whom she believed she was guilty of too, of not being able to give him desired love and care. All the guilt was building on too harsh on her.In her urge to give them the best, she even able to manage the better.
As she readied herself to go to work, the mirror revealed to her how frail , weak and lusterless she looked and lusterless her life has turned too. No one would believe that she was the same pretty , flamboyant and chirpy young girl, who some years ago was the pride of our college.
Her husband has stood by her ambitions and initially quality time in the weekends complimented for the their overtly busy week days but now with him, mostly being on overseas assignments and weekends mostly going in long physiotherapy sessions and doc visits to very very old in laws, she felt all sucked up. All this has also created a void in his little Angel's heart who felt deep, that mom doesn't love him anymore. She wanted to shout out aloud to him that he meant the world to her and there is nothing more precious for her than to hold him in her arms forever but time crunch was a vicious circle she was so badly entrapped in.
Despite of all this, I knew my friend Samaira had far more endurance and also the power to turn the things upside down but a message from her last night perplexed me, which said, " What is the point in leading a meaningless life in which I can't make anyone happy!"
I did not reply immediately and tried to analyse all the aspects. In the next couple of times we met over coffee, we tried to find simple solutions of making her life a little better initially and then march towards perennial betterment.
First of all, we decided to make her give up her urge for perfection to give her family nothing less than the best and hire a 24X7 domestic help and handover all her chores including cooking to her, choosing only to guide her.
Then we applied for a job for her at a number of banks within the city as well as for transfer in the current bank so as to save on her commuting time.
We made Saturday as Anmol-Mommy Day where both of them went out and spent 4-5 hrs together, talking , sharing , playing and eating together.
Rather than going to the physiotherapists, we hired home physiotherapists and made many such little alterations in her lifestyle to save time.
Fortunately, after the initial inertia at home of the maids ruining the home and can't take care of the home like the lady of the house etc, things started to look up for Samaira and she started to regain her confidence. Simple things made her carve her way out of a trap that almost stifled her to death sometime back.
With the time she spent with Anmol, she explained to him that how mamma loves him the most but also loves her work and is proud of her boy who understands this so well. She also promised him that they will go for a holiday of a month and stay with dad in whichever part of the world he will be in during his summer vacations.
In due course of time, she did get a transfer within the city and when she broke the news to her little boy, he ran to hug and kiss her, " I know you love me so much mom, that you took a transfer here for me, I love you so so much
His words were like honey to Samaira's ears and she felt as if she is freed of a long impending curse.
Dear Readers, I trust you are finding the #FoodforThought Series worthy of a cause.Will be absolute pleasure hearing from you, how you related with the above post?
Have you Read our earlier post in this series: