There I was smiling politely at the young women smiling back at me.
Her eyes shining like hawk beads against the flashing lights and her pearly teeth cased in the lipstick stained lips
It was the same routine as usual. The camera was positioned in front of us. The director told the makeup artist to add a little blush on the women’s face.
I felt uncomfortably comfortable in my rigid posture of years of self control seated on the armed chair and this felt somehow for once it felt overbearing. A million questions and answers unraveling in my mind as I prep myself for the interview. The strange feeling as always butterflies in my stomach.
The director told the camera man to be ready as he smiled at me saying,”I want to show the world what you are and I can’t if you don’t open up to us. Now smile and show me your million dollar smile and loosen up dear”
There I was on the hot-seat yet once again flashing my confident smile but underneath the limelight I just wanted to be me. The girl I was in college that no one gave a second thought about. The shy specimen of a nobody . How ironic for me to crave for those days. When the nights were long and days were hell. Days I went forgetting to eat and sleep. Days I forgot to fight for myself and by little I forgot to smile,dream and rest.A inhuman beast I became with dark circles engraved into the orbits of my skull. Everyone saw my struggles but no one dared to comfort me. How I cried till I could not feel my throat no more. Till the tears stopped flowing . How I wrote my troubles till my hearts content and chucked it into the sea in a beer bottles one after the other. How I changed I ask myself. In the process I sold my youth to books and loneliness . Maybe I was a fool that never lived a day like a human but rather like a machine.
Time has molded me well in its hands like a artist molds the clay before the master piece. The problem is I don t feel like a master piece and I still feel like that invisible clay just waiting to know what it is capable of. The world knows me but who am I to myself I ask myself everyday staring into the mirror.
My thoughts were interrupted by as she welcomed me to the show. I walked in and gave her a hug and thanked her for having me today on the show.
She smiled and responded that it was a real pleasure to have me. She asked me the usual questions from where I began to where I wanted to be. But the glass sealing inside me felt the cracks spreading. Her questions were driving me hard to the core as I come with a reasonable answer. I was in my usual posture and in control just the way I like it. One question that hit me differently….I was lost as I pased myself. She gave her pretty smile and asked,” A divorced single handed mother,a entrepreneur of multinational company, a women in a foreign land do all these tittles overwhelm you?
I laughed. She was shocked at my answer.Yes off-course I am grateful to be blessed with a challenging life. I explained these are just boxes what that media and people have put me in. But for me I am just the same girl that came to America with the big apple dream. The same girl that fought for her dreams till every bone in my body was crying for rest.
She nodded and moved to the next question,”What was the worst thing you faced and how did you manage? This question got my head spinning and almost made me loose my tone of voice. I said”The hardest phase to me had to be on 9 July 2010 .It was when my final exams were going on. I received a call from my mother in India. I picked up the phone and there I heard from the other end of the phone my mothers sobs. I asked her if everything was ok. She didn’t reply but the sobs became long howling cries. I didn’t know what was happening.Then there was silence at the other end of phone.It was hell to see the strongest pillar in my life to break down and I felt so helpless in that second. I just wanted to hug her and tell her that everything will be ok. The women I looked up to all my life,my savior,my best friend was at a breaking point and I felt so disturbed that I could do nothing.
That 1 min broke my heart to a million pieces. So many thoughts rushing through my head and find the valid possible solution. Silence was shattered by her rough voice. God it felt like as if she cried the entire night. It was 3 o clock at night in India. She burst out saying,” I could not take this no more Vasu”. In that moment I just wanted to pack my bags and rush to the nearest airport and buy the earliest ticket home. I told my mum I am coming home. There she was even at her worse stopping me from coming home to comfort her. She told me to complete my exams and than come home.I asked her again what is happening and why is she so upset.
She said to concentrate on my exams and that she will be fine. I asked her what was wrong and why did she call me. She said I just wanted to hear your voice and I miss you so much Vasu. Its been really rough this week. I wish you were hear. There I was in the verge of tears and about to break down at my helplessness. I didn’t know what to say to comfort her.
Yet I believed her and asked her if everything was alright. But I had this gut feeling something was wrong. In a month I completed my exams and practicals and finally I went home. Little did I know about the divorce. I was horrible for me to process this. I didn’t even get the final say in all this
There my mum was smiling with her open arms. She has lost a lot of weight. The skin sags against her radiance. I asked her what has happened. She said that She could not do it no more. Vasu you remember how I used to lock you in room when me and dad have fights. Remember how you used to cry against the door banging till your fists hurt and calling to us to stop fighting . Vasu my dear the real reason why I used to lock you up is to hide you from the monster that your father is. He used to come home drunk and physically abuse me. Hit me till I lost conscious of my body with his belt. How I begged him to stop but he would not. His sadism was beyond control when he was drunk. I felt like a pawn to his emotions. I was tied to this faith and I could not divorce him as I would have taken the most important person from your life. I didn’t want you to grow up without your father so I suffered silently all these years. Now that you are independent and now I finally faced the biggest demon in my life. I told your father that I want to live alone and that I want to divorce him. There I was in utter disbelief the most innocent women I have know finally over threw the biggest stone in her life. I was happy for her and deep down I was sad that all her sacrifice was for me. I never knew realized how hard my Dad has been on my mother. How he constantly shouted at her at the most smallest things. She was always hard on me to a extent that I even resented her. Now I know why she did what she did. She did it out of tough love so that I would mature faster than the kids my age. For me to accept this was my biggest challenge. My father was a good father to me but a horrible husband. It took me years to finally get over it.
There the interviewer was in utter silence and she smiled, You have proved that mountains do not rise without earth quakes. It must have been a confusing and hard for you to grow up in a toxic system. I smiled and replied,” Maybe I was in a toxic system but I never realised that, my mother was religiously hard on and preparing me at every turn of life.Her ways were far different from what a normal mother teaches her daughter. But when I think about it. I cant thank my mum enough for everything she did.
The interviewer smiled and said,Not only you but the 21th century modern women salute your mother for raising such a lovely and dynamic women for the world to see.