It is one cool morning, and I am sitting on the swing and enjoying the weather. Since last two days it has been raining. I love the clean trees and clean weather which rain brings to us, the pollution levels are down and breathing in the fresh air is giving a different kind of Joy.
Suvin is on a business trip, for 2 days, he will be back tonight. My mum is here to keep me company. I take full advantage of her whenever she is here, I get my hair oiled, eating the special dishes she cooks just for me and no cuisine in the world can match. She has not changed yet, with age her patience has gone up only, she absorbs all my blabber like a sponge. We sit here in a relaxed morning doing chit-chat and enjoying maa-beti moments, and my phone rings. I rushed thinking it must be Suvin, however its my bestie. Unlike you guys we are not connected only thru social media but thru heart. She stays in Mumbai. I think she is calling me to invite for her daughter’s wedding, she has been looking for a suitable match for quite some time now.
“Hello Pratima, how are you? Tell me the good news”, I said in the same breath, however she didn’t respond with the same excitement. Pratima and I were together since our college days. We might not remember each other in our happy moments but it’s not possible that we don’t call each other and share our feelings when we are upset, or things go out of our control. I am sensing it’s the same this time too.
“Hi Antara” sighed Pratima “Manisha is unwell”, she added. Manisha is her daughter I was talking to you about. “why, what happened?” I am concerned. “She is taking undue pressure about this whole marriage thing, she is on the plump side and is getting rejected time and again, this is dampening her confidence, she has put herself on so many crash diets that all the sheen on her face is gone. She prefers being confined, as wherever she goes people speak about reasons why she is getting rejected by so many boys. She seems visibly unhappy. The marriage bureau people are also putting pressure on us to pay more premium to meet more suitable boys” Pratima is telling me her problem, however I interrupted her flow of complains “So what are you doing as a mother for Manisha?” “what can I do?” Manisha said in a perplexed tone. In normal situations I am a good listener and generally don’t interrupt while the person is sharing their part of story, however when it comes to Self-image of kids specifically because of body shaming I cannot accept it. And Generally, Suvin calls me, “Jhansi ki rani” for this.
“Yes, off course Pratima, if not you then who will help Manisha, she doesn’t need the world to tell and make her feel beautiful she needs her mom. When she sees tension on your face, after she gets rejected breaks her confidence even further. Be her strength. A s a mom it’s your responsibility to tell her to respect her own body and skin. Teach her about being body positive, she needs to handle these shammers tactfully. If she is happy in her own skin confidence will automatically come. Mother is every child’s first teacher as well as friend, you remember when these kids are toddler, we play so many games with them, they trust us the most. You have to sit with Manisha, hold her hand and tell her how beautiful, loved and important she is. Tell he that self-love is not being selfish. Pratima, you as a married woman know the struggles she has to face ahead, prepare her for life. Whenever a right boy will come, things will fall in place. Don’t worry. But all this is not worth losing the sanity of the child. No matter what, don’t let her loose her identity in between. You are a good mum, don’t miss on these points. I am sure things will change for good” I concluded. “Finally, someone told me what I wanted to hear, that’s why I called you. You always speak my mind, which I am generally unable to say loudly. Love you. Will call you soon”, Pratima said and we bid good bye.
I went back in the porch; my mom was still their sitting on the swing and cutting vegetables. I sat with her, with my head on her shoulder and said, “Thanks you mom, you are the best. You are the best parent ever”, she just smiled and said I always knew what I have.
This blog of part of #A2Z Challenge, there will be 26 blogs in this series all the blogs are in continuation. I am writing them from Z to A, as the story also flows from Death towards life. Hope you enjoy knowing Antara’s journey.
If you like this story Please do subscribe to my blog and leave your comments.