There are many changes in our lives. We seek stability and permanence. Our security bubbles burst. Change, though unsettling, is unavoidable. Here Susmita, a young mother, deals with sudden changes. A close knit family of four has been tossed away from each other – in three distant cities. She nurtured her home and hearth with love. And love is what binds them together. It’s their gravity.
I didn’t realise what happened to me. Suddenly, the doctor said congratulations. Gradually the feeling started to sink in, I was no longer alone I had another life within my tiny body.
I was thin, proudly wearing jeans, waist size 26, but now I was gorging on food like I was hungry for years and changing sizes. I was the queen of the house though I resembled a round football by now. Every day became slightly more different. One day, I felt strange with my legs, bloated like a baby elephant, which could not fit into any slipper. And the doctor looked little puzzled. “It’s time dear but we have to go for a slit in your tummy.”
I was prepared and was taken to the forbidden cell, the operation theatre. A tube, a wire, a prick, a mask and I dozed off partially. When awake my bump was tiny but the pain was massive. “It’s a boy,” gleamed everybody. But, I said, “Check, check… it should be a girl. I asked for a girl. I want a girl!”
Like a small kid, I went on arguing, little realising that I was a mother.
I returned home with my first born, proudly displaying him everywhere, owning every action and reaction. I was stressing on ‘My baby’. From then onwards, the days took a different hue. With passing time, a cuddly baby, a sweet boy, was to become my pillar of strength.
Years passed by. My son has really grown big, today. He is independently steering his life ahead. His took his first step into boarding life – a life without clinging onto, or holding, my hand – but equipped with a new support system of teachers and friends.
I wrote to his academic in charge, “Today, I give my baby to you. Return him as your baby.”
For the last 15 years, I woke up to his needs, small and big, every morning. I breathed through his needs. I dreamt in sleep, all his needs. Now, all of a sudden, he is far away…
He is trying to be responsibly independent. And I am waiting for him to take back in my arms.
This is life. Our broods grow. They need to fly to collect little twigs and sticks to build their own nests. We bless them with all our heart.
I am not sad but I feel a void, emptiness, a vacuum. But, this is just half the story. Yet another part of my life is waiting to unfold. It’s in the pipeline. I need to drop my little cub to another boarding, in another city.
Soon, we shall be miles apart. Now, a family of four, we would be living in three different places. We have been tossed away by the dictates of life. Scattered physically at least. All these years, I nurtured my home and hearth with love. And love is what binds us together, no matter where we are. It’s our gravity.
Someone rightly said a table with four legs may stand, not necessarily, if they lived in one place, but if they remain connected to one string of love, the family that balanced each other’s strengths and weakness through thick and thin.
But, aren’t all distances psychological. Many, many moons ago, as a little girl, I loved looking at the starlit nights. It seemed that I could hold a few sparkling stars in my tiny fist. Years later, I learnt that these stars are light years away from each other. Each star had a galaxy. I wondered how stars so far away could appear so close. I had no answer then. Now, it seems, I understand the twinkling stars better.
I look skywards. I utter a small prayer. “May all families stay blessed with the strength of love and trust; may all believe in the magic of gratitude and positive attitude. God be with them!”
I smile. I know I will hold my stars in my fist, once again!
Pix from Net