When I was put in a museum

// this post was selected as the best parenting article for july2016 by http://www.mycity4kids.com and won me a kindle. Happy reading//

At times I could see my life as a bystander, as if I remained there and the life my original self was living was rolling in front of my eyes like a reel. 

See that is my 9 year old self, playing in the courtyard,those are my friends,hide and seek was my favourite game. Everyone in the neighborhood was envious the way I could find all those who were hidden in few minutes.

There that is my 15th birthday,papa wanted me to celebrate it despite the fact Maa was against it, she wanted me to concentrate on my studies,boards in another two months,she was right in her own way, after all this decides which college I go to. But my heart agreed with papa,  I don’t know when will I be able to meet these friends like this again. Specially my best friend Parika, Maa says she might not continue studies after 10th .

How things just fast forward ,when you have lived them through. That’s me , in white salwar suit, three years have passed since I last celebrated my birthday before my board exams. Today was just another Monday. My parents were proud of me, I could get enough marks to get myself a seat in Govt. College for girls. But this last year has been a little sad for me,I wanted to take up music. I think I had a sense of rhythm back then,I could feel the music in the air,I could breathe music in the honking horns in the traffic jam. I could eat music out of the thud thud of utensils in my Maa’s kitchen. But music is not for girls , specially who belong to good families,I obliged, after all they were my parents, they definitely have more experience than me. Also music wouldn’t help me find a good match.

Oh! That’s me,clad in red. I’m 21 here, those henna stained hands,that hue on my cheeks , dreamy eyes. I’m getting married. Piyush is an engineer. Everyone said I’m lucky he chose me. Now I should wholeheartedly serve him all my life,that’s my moral duty. I obliged.

My son Arth was born when I was 23, I wanted to teach, but he was my priority. My life could wait,he was the one who needed me the most now. I obliged.

Iv never had an argument with Piyush leave apart a fight,I knew this was my home,where will I go if he leaves me . But this time was different, I didn’t want a second child,atleast not now. I am just 25. 

30: That’s my brothers wedding. Arth and Amaan are 7 and 5. Apple of my eyes. My sister – in – law is a lecturer at the same college I was once studying in. I am so happy for my brother. How will you manage work and family I asked her once, ‘ oh! I will, but how would you know, you are just a housewife.’ Iv never asked her anything since that day. But I am really happy for her too.

Years are passing, Wait ! Wait ! Something might have happened. Something coherent, some memory. Time please don’t mock at me. Where am I in all these years, cooking,getting kids ready,cleaning the house,ironing my husband’s clothes, waiting for him in the bedroom after the kids sleep, I am everywhere,BUT WHERE AM I?

I was 43 when Arth left for college, and 45 when Amaan went. I am so proud of them. Both my sons are engineers like there dad, but none wants a wife like me.

I think I was 50 when I first asked Piyush,’Piyush, what assests do we have, I mean our savings’ he’s never been so angry, he interpreted that I want to know what will be left for me after he is gone. Come to think of it,that is exactly what I was asking , but what was wrong in it. He shouted, ‘ have you ever earned a penny yourself, how dare you ask me this, your father doesn’t pay for all these comforts I do, mind your own business’ I obliged.

I was 63 when Piyush left me, I was in total oblivion what to do, where to go. I haven’t even seen the face of the bank ever, how would I manage my finances. It was decided that I should be staying with Arth for 6 months and with Amaan for another 6. I obliged.

My home was sold off. Kids knew what better to do with the money . I obliged.

Then it was decided that I should be staying in an ashram for 6 months and remaining 3-3 months divided between my son’s. They needed some privacy. I obliged.

Ashram was not good enough for there status, it was thought I’ll be better off in an old age home, after all people my age,I might make a few friends. Life would be FUN. I obliged.

(Knock knock knock) I woke up. I guess I was time travelling again. That was the caretaker of my wing. Widow women’s wing. We are supposed to wear nice clothes ,the best we have , few kids from a local school are coming to visit us , might be a part of there holidays homework,visiting An Old Age Home. Actually, we are exhibits, like in a museum. I am 72 now. Spent quite a few winters here to understand how important it is to soothe ones ego , posting the pictures of these visits, showning them to friends helps fight guilt. I don’t talk much to these kids, what if I get attached to one of those faces. Just like exhibits in the museum I let them witness my life for few minutes, they say a few rehearsed kind words, I oblige.

Women, life is not a reel experience, its for real. My heart goes out to all the mothers who have spent there lives thinking about others. Obliging. For once live for yourself. A month, a week , a day,an hour. Something  just yours. So that when time is getting over,you don’t feel cheated by life ,which went away without a warning.



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