Here They Come
by Renuka Sharma
I would be lying if I say that I anticipate ‘peace’ when my ‘angels' reach home after a tiring day at school. Tiring not because they are overburdened by the syllabus or perhaps their load of school bag which resembles more like a mountaineer’ s kitbag, but the whole day’s toil , the herculean task of not picking up a fight with the school-mates. Every school day, I pray to all my deities for safety and sanity the safety of my kids when they are out of my sight, sent on a mission to accomplish the art of learning and sanity of their poor mother who waits with baited breath that her sweet angels will come back home without a single crib or complaint.
My thirteen year old daughter has self assigned the noble task to ‘protect’ her baby brother three and a half years younger to her, whenever she would sense that he is being troubled by anyone. Her intentions are commendable, without a doubt, but who can explain this to her younger brother. He already finds God’s unjust ways to have sent his Di before him. He cannot see any sense why he has to be the younger of the two kids his parents chose to have. Had he been born as the first child, he would have enjoyed more love, more photographs of him would have been clicked, more so he would have enjoyed the highly esteemed status of ‘bade bhaiyya’ or the elder brother as addressed in the northern part of our country. So much loss just because Di had to be born before he could arrive and that too by few years.
Di has her share of grievances. She had prayed to God for a baby brother not for a complaint box, she says. Little does she remember that she was always taught by the elders in the family to pray for a bhai, before she could even know who exactly ‘bhai’ is. She cares for him so doesn’t think twice before chiding him in front of his class-mates. How can she be so irresponsible not to amend him, be it his forgetfulness of not washing his hands before gorging on the contents of his tiffin box, or leaving his shoe laces open for the umpteenth time. She knows her brother is a brilliant student and so must he look a tad bit smart too.
Not that they never come home happy after school. The day they are filled with utmost joy is the one when they receive party from their ‘rickshaw wale uncle’. They seem to have touched the limits of the sky, having been successful to obtain a treat of ‘vada paav’ and a packet of 'frooti’ to quench their ever unquenchable thirst. So excited they both are that they completely forget their vow of not having any ‘packaged’ drink. The mere joy of eating together with their rickshaw mates, screaming together at the top of their voices, singing inspirational bollywood numbers bring them unexplainable thrill.
My experience is nowhere different from so many mothers of school going children I know. We mothers can neither be at ease when kids are sitting quietly nor can we tolerate them noising around the house, many of you will agree. Interestingly enough we tend to forget that our mothers too had a similar plight when we were growing up. So it becomes very imperative for us mothers to accept that this is a part of the beautiful journey of motherhood where we nurture ‘the apples of our eyes’. So let us enjoy this journey without complaining of a splitting headache when ‘the apples of our eyes’ make us ‘go bananas’ over their spats and squabbles. At least to keep our sanity intact, we need to take a chill pill even when our angels howl and shrill. So I hope and wish that every mother triumphs over this great and noble task of bringing up her ‘angels’ without any quibble. Nevertheless this is the reason why mothers have always been glorified and eulogised since times immemorial and will continue to be so. ******