Almost 12 years have passed since I left my home to pursue Engineering. I still remember my mother accompanying me on the first day of my Hostel Life. Our rooms were still not ready and mine was room #1. There were labourers all around placing the beds…painting the walls, etc. I even applied my personal touch to the walls…My mother was busy unpacking my luggage and setting up my room while I was busy checking out other rooms…The casual introduction with my fellow hostel mates.
Then I was introduced to my roommate with whom I would be sharing my room. I paused and it was then that reality hit me….I was going to live with a stranger. I am a happy to go lucky kind of a person and moved on to checking out the place with curiosity.
It was 4:30 pm and my mother had a 6 o’ clock train back home. I simply started pushing my mother…”Maa leave all this (unpacking and settling my room)…get ready we have to go to the station else you will miss your train….” We both got ready and the moment I stepped out of my hostel gate the guard stopped me…”Madam you cannot go out”..”Damn you! I am going to drop my mother to the station”, but all my explanations were in vain…He was firm on his decision …”Rules are Rules Madam”….My mother walked out and I stayed inside the gate…there were tears in her eyes…she simply placed her hands on my cheeks and said “Stay safe”…and started to walk. That hard truth hit my face….I was not at home anymore….I had to live alone minus the love and security of my home…I simply ran towards the terrace so that I could see my mother for few more seconds…she kept on waving till she faded amidst the silhouette of the busy road.
I was filled with a deep vacuum. I was always thrilled about living alone…being independent but now I simply wanted to go back home….my parents…sister..my pet jojo…my bed..my TV…the basic walls seemed so precious …..Couldn’t stop crying…wept the entire night…….I realized this was my “Bidaai” and there is no returning home. I may go for vacations…but that would be a limited stay.
After my engineering I moved to Kolkata to work…and every week I used to visit home…..nothing on this earth could have stopped me……Staying away from home taught me the importance of family….Though I was away from home still there was a satisfaction, the distance between Kolkata and Kharagpur (my home) is only 2hrs with easy modes of communication. At times I would simply go back home on a Wednesday and come back on Thursday… I was content…
Life goes on and I got married and my luck brought me to Bangalore….2000 kms away from my home. Previously I went home once a week and now it’s once a year.
Now I am a mother of a cute little one year old daughter and motherhood has made me realize all the hardships a mother has to face to bring up her child…those endless sleepless nights…which make me miss my family even more. Today I know my parents are getting old…they are losing their physical and mental agility…and they are all alone. Life comes with an expiry date and this thought haunts me.
When I was a kid I used to cling to my parents for the silliest reasons and they were always there on the slightest sigh. But today when they are old and they need me…my time…my presence… I am not there to even offer them a glass of water. It pains…pains real bad. I can’t help it. It was then I promised myself that the only way I can prove to be a good daughter is by being a good mother. But still there is that hollow feeling within…..