Almost a decade back, I had made a pretty bold decision to #StartANewLife – in a different city, getting a new job and after series of living at various places like friend’s house, PG and hostel ~ got my own home too ( but not without difficulty )! All these were not without my parent’s objection. For them, this decision of mine was in total contrast to what they wanted for me. They had wanted me to settle down with a good well-to-do boy and live a typical life that is expected out of a girl i.e. be an obedient wife to a husband they chose, an ideal homemaker, raise kids etc. But I chose freedom and independence instead. Although, I had it my way and raised several eyebrows everywhere ( especially, amongst my other very narrow-minded relatives/neighbours etc ), I was quite content with my decision and choice. After all, what is this life for ~ if you don’t explore it on your own! And that too when you get only ‘one lifetime' of it.
For the initial few years, I followed my lifestyle as I wished. I went to my hometown bit rare ( mainly to avoid all those annoying nosy questions from my relatives, like - when are you getting married/how can you live alone in city like Bombay etc etc ); so, contact with my folks at my native place was mostly via phone. They had very reluctantly accepted my choice of life, so my relation too was a little strained with them, at that point. In India, hardly any conservative parents would allow their girl-child to live a life on their own. But I was adamant. I didn’t want to be a slave or door-mat to any man. I always had this fierce sense of independence. It was my life after all; I'll live as I want..
However, living independent also meant doing things that I had never done on my own. Cooking, buying groceries, doing various house-hold chores etc. My diet too got very irregular and all these took a toll on me. In the end, I fell ill. I thought I’d be okay at first, but my condition suddenly got serious. However, I didn’t want to worry my parents, so didn’t immediately disclose my illness to them. When I was on phone, with my mother on the other end, she immediately sensed something was wrong. On her prodding, I did at last admit that I was unwell. I was having severe bouts of Jaundice then. Of course, she gave her various tips and advises etc to get well soon.
But two days later, to my utter surprise, my mother landed on my door-step. I wasn’t expecting her visit at all, as she hadn’t said anything about it earlier as well ( while on phone ). She bought lots of home-made things ( mostly eatables ) with her, and her very presence made me instantly feel so much better. Half my illness had vanished the moment I saw her. I knew at once, it’ll all be just fine. And it was. That’s the comfort a parent can give. That feeling of reassurance! My mother had intensely disliked my decision to live my life independently, but she had alas accepted it. And the very fact that she came all the way sensing I was not well, made me value my family so much more. Yes, you may crave independence and all that, but the acceptance and approval ( of your decisions ) by your family is so important too. And that time I felt it. That she didn’t mind my decision anymore. She was #together with me in this journey. The burden that I was carrying all along, of going against my parent’s wish, was finally lifted.
The time my mother spent with me, in my home in Bombay that time is perhaps the most special and memorable one. Needless to say, I recovered soon with her loving home-cooked meals and the pampering I got. We chatted in the evenings #together, went grocery shopping #together, walked on the terrace after dinner #together; shared jokes #together and laughed #together. I showed her what all I did and she took great interest in it. Every time she came to visit me, henceforth, still boosts up my confidence & optimism - that my family is always #together with me and my decisions. After all, only when your family is #together with you - your home is complete.