“Beta! It’s 7 am! Why are you still sleeping? Don’t you remember that we have to go for your admission process today?” shouted my mom.
“MUMMMAAA, it’s too early. Why are you waking me up so early!” I laughed, hiding my tears. She came rushing into my room and flung aside my blanket. Noisily, she arranged my curtains so that I could both hear and see her while she attempted to wake me up.
“Mumma, please let me sleep!” I begged. She came close and looked into my eyes. She realized in an instant that I hadn’t slept at all last night. She lowered her voice and questioned me, “Instead of sleeping like a rock, you were a night owl, no?”
“You know the answer Maa. I don’t want to leave home. I don’t want to go away for my studies. I don’t want to miss your hugs. I don’t want to miss anyone… or anything! Please mumma, let me stay here with you!” I almost started crying on her shoulders. She didn’t have any answers for my desires. She didn’t know how to respond to this. It was painful to see her like this.
All I could do was embrace her and let the torrent of my tears soak through my t-shirt. I knew she was silently screaming, unsure of how to assure her daughter that this was the right decision to take.
I looked up and saw her tear-stained face, “Mumma! Please stop crying! I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll manage everything alone, please you just stop crying!” She nodded but the tears still didn’t stop. “But mom, you have to promise me one thing, will you?” I asked her.
“I’m all ears Beta.” She replied. “Promise me that you won’t cry while I’m there.” I gave her a small smile. “I promise!” She smiled and ran her fingers through my hair.
“How can you be so strong beta?” She kissed my cheek. “I have more of my mother’s genes than you realize it!” I winked at her. She kissed both my cheeks and told me to wear my best attire. I nodded. I went to take a shower and came back, as fresh as I could. I stepped out, in my formal attire.
“Aristocratic!” Exclaimed my dad. He couldn’t stop praising me or my outfit, “You are radiating an air of confidence and with no arrogance at all!” He went on, “All eyes will be on you! This Yves Saint Laurent shirt is tailored to precisely match the contours of your body and give you a lithesome appearance.” With that, he came running and kissed me on my forehead. I have to admit, this did make me feel extremely happy.
“Thank you for appreciating me, dad!” I smiled and kissed him on his cheeks. We took my luggage and began talking to the entrance door. When I walked out of the house, I caught dad asking mom, “Is he happy with this decision?”
“Yes! Of course, he is. Can’t you see that in his smile?” She questioned him. He nodded, he looked so proud. As I sat in his car, I blackmailed my mom, “I did as you wished. Now you better keep my promise too!” “Thank you, beta.” She hugged me tightly.
“Friendship has only one rule madam, no sorry, no thank you!” We both laughed, but our eyes shared a different emotion. We began our journey, because of which I’m standing here today, as an Engineer. Now, I’m grateful, Mom, because of the way you handled things. Whatever I am today, it’s all because of you.
I still remember your face when you saved me from dad because of the ranks I used to get in my ninth grade. I still remember the sadness with which you went through when I was in the hostel. I still remember the way you used to fake a smile, I could hear, during our never-ending phone calls.
Here I am today, an Aeronautical engineer because of the sacrifices that you made. I agree it’s not the such a great achievement, but whatever it is, has got me respect in society. I missed you when the university put the robe and cap on me. I wish you were here to help me wear it. I wish you were here when I received my academic degree. I imagined seeing you, sitting there proudly, clapping for me. I imagined watching you, with your tears of joy.
I saw you Mom, yes I did. Not the real you, of course, but I saw you.
I smiled watching all the other children hug their mom and pose with them proudly for their family pictures. Mom, I will shine one day, I promise you. After all, I am your star.
Are you watching me, Mumma?