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She is sitting and sulking. Suddenly she comes up with her ace question,
" But why not, Mama ? " and I have no answer.
The images conjure up before the eyes. The call... the news ...the instant draining of the strength. Wild run from the house. Not believing that I would be able to drive. How the time had stopped till I saw him safe. But blood smeared, swollen and confused. The build up of the tension when I was told to wait and observe. The waiting and the slow ticking of time.
Not again, dear girl !
" But why Mom ?" the sulk continues.
How do I tell her that I do not much believe in her capability, in sweet words, without hurting her feelings and ego ?
She suddenly remembers.
" Why did you ask my friend's mom, whether she will take care of me ?"
An accusation hurled at me, without reference to context.
" She told the group and all laughed at me !"
The sulk grows with slight glistening of tears.
" Sorry, I thought your friend was more experienced."
I stare at the recently shaven confident young face.
" She is not capable" privately aired opinion of her Papa.
With a simple shrug of shoulders, the ball is swiftly back into my court. I turn helplessly to her Grandpa. He clearly wants to avoid being the decision maker. With all the errs and ahas and hmmms, he dodges the ball.
"Why not ?" the question remains.
" Why not ? When all my friend are doing it ? "
Why does she want to spend her energy, when all other means are readily available to her ? Why this foolish insistence ? A question posed by one mind, the answer comes immediate from the second - Do not be silly. This is the time. Remember how your parents had trusted you and given you a lot of liberties ? Remember the day you had walked alone to school, the thrill ? The feeling of having grown up, the feeling of responsibility ? Let her also enjoy ! True.but ! The "but" does not let me open my mouth to answer that
" Why not ? "
"Yes, we will have to buy a new bike. We will definitely this month. Then you practice, in the colony, then all left left turns. Then go on to the road, with someone following up, then gradually to school."
A smile is about to break. Her eyes lit up at the picture, but she immediately retorts.
"We discussed all this last year too."
Clever girl ! I hurriedly rub off the victory and suppress the unbroken smile. She is already back to the sulk.
" You are still young." the ever used phrase.
Sarcasm reaches a new height. The bitterness invokes a laugh in me. Yet the question remains. The ultimate weapon, the threat, the stubborn declaration.
" I won't go to school anymore."
But a look at her face, and I know I cannot postpone the decision. I am in dilemma !
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