‘Maa, there is a girl in my class, Mary. She is an orphan, raised in a convent, now she does part time jobs to support her education. When I look at her I feel frightened. I mean leave the job part. There is no one to support her other than us, her friends. I mean whose shoulders she will cry if she is upset, who does she share her joys with, who does she fight with me. Ma I don’t want to be like her’ and she hugged her mother and cried.
Anahita sat brooding with a coffee mug in her hand. True her father’s call had given her moral support but the ultimate decision would have to be hers. Then there was the letter from Suhani’s school informing that her attendance was low and if she doesn’t attend classes regularly, she would not be allowed to sit for the finals.
But she does go regularly to school. So if she doesn’t attend classes where does she go?, she thought. Enough is enough, I have to think about my kids future and take a decision soon otherwise everything will go awry.
Evening when Sanket was still playing with her friends, she went to her daughter’s room; who was busy chatting with her friends. She signaled that she wanted to speak to her and reluctantly Suhani logged off. ‘Suhani I got this letter from your school’
‘Hmmm, about?’. She asked.
‘Your low attendance, Suhani you do go to school. If you are not attending classes, what do you do and where do you go?’
‘Suhani I am asking you.’
‘As if you are bothered.’
‘What?’, said a shocked Anahita.
‘Yes, Ma. Are you bothered other than your career, your husband and your chores around the house?’
‘What Suha, day and night I worry about you. I try to make everything easy for you, haven’t given any responsibility around the house so that you can concentrate on your studies, give you adequate pocket money, what else do you need.’
‘Exactly ma. You give everything except the need to feel wanted. Have you thought that maybe If you give me some work I will feel wanted. Have you thought that I too can share your burden? I too can be your friend and we can share problems?’ And she stormed off the room.
Anahita was disturbed. She knew that Suhani was right. She had been so much involved with her problems with Ajay that she had ignored her kids needs. The rest of the evening was spent thinking. Night when she couldn’t sleep she went to Suhani’s room and found it to be dark. So she turned back to hear a timid voice call out, ‘Ma I am not asleep.’
‘Suha I am not able to sleep, so thought of talking to you. What you said is right you know. I tried to be a good mother but forgot that I could be a friend too. I tried to give you everything but never found out your likes, dislikes, interests. But its not too late.I can still try.’ ‘…If you allow me to.’ She added in a small voice.
Anahitas tears too flowed freely partly because she could feel her daughter’s pain and partly in relief. Relief of being accepted by her daughter.
‘Suha one question? You are not into drugs are you?’
And amidst the tears Suha started laughing,’Oh no, Ma do you think I am a moron, no not at all’
‘So where do you go bunking your classes?’
‘Oh that. Have you heard about JAYATI ‘
‘Yes, the theatrical group’
‘Well they approached me for a play’
‘They gave you a role?”
Jayati group was renowned theatrical group and to be approached by them was indeed noteworthy.
‘I didn’t know that you were interested in dramatics. I am indeed happy for you Suha and proud too. But studies too are important. Can’t you ask them to shift the rehearsals at a later hour so that you can attend school and then rehearse?’
‘I only asked them to keep in the morning hours’
‘I thought you won’t like my doing drama’
‘Oh no nothing like that’
‘I will speak to him but meanwhile you have to go to school. If you intend to do dramatics, no problem, but you have to finish your graduation.Okay?’ and she hugged her daughter.
She returned to her room humming to herself, at least tonight she had made a beginning.