There are moments when I sit by the widow gazing the sunshine warming up the tender plants, birds and animals enveloping it with a feeling of being loved. At such times, sometimes, I ponder, will Pari one day, be able to connect with me at a level where she’ll be able to understand the reasons why our life is the way it is? Will she be able to love me the way I love her once she knows all that lead us to where we are today?
Many such questions sometimes creep in my system without permission. Though my mind classifies them as futile and useless points of worry, my heart fails to see through them. It paces, panics and flutters. Then after sometime, I get back to the grind and these worries take a back seat.
One similar evening, while I was busy fixing dinner I heard Pari talk to her grandma (What she was asking mom, was a question that I learnt about an hour later) . But, my mind was too pre-occupied to pay any attention. An hour later at the dining table, it was just m and Pari as my parents had already had their dinner and retired to bed. I after having fed Pari started eating. Pari said,” Mumma why do you always eat your meals alone?”
I must admit, I took a couple of seconds to grasp the question and a second more to comprehend how to handle it.
In reply I asked her “Why do you think so?”
Pari said, ” I always see you eating alone, this is not good. From today, I will sit with you till you have eaten your meal.”
I was speechless. It has been so that I lay set the dining table for meals, get the food warmed up, serve and on my toes tending to one request or the other (despite having everything needed from pickles to salad to yogurt to Papad etc. already on the table) from Pari or my parents all the while they are eating away. This is one of the many ways patriarchal practices in my family affects me and makes me fight it back with all I have (details on this in future posts). When I finally sit down, I am busy trying hard to make my now-not-so-fussy eater child eat a full meal. By the time she is done, my parents have eaten and chosen to retire to their bedroom.
The result, soon after Pari is finished eating she tries to run away from the dining table because she is least interested in food to begin with. This leaves me on my own to finish the meal and then wind things up.
It has been almost 20 days since that incident but the sudden gush of a warm, fuzzy feeling those words had filled me with has lingered on. There are days when mischief or sleep makes Pari rush off the dining table but if she’s awake, she comes back saying, “I am around, you are not going to eat alone.”
Life has a way of gifting me surprises that remind me of the very fact why I love my imperfect life with all my heart and soul.
The song on my mind: Barishon ke pani se ~ Ijaazat