This series is unusually growing longer, much to my dislike.
I had wished for things to change for better sooner or later, but nothing much has changed in the past six months. Nina hasn’t warmed up and neither has her father. Though Pari and Nina do happily interact ( however limited it is ) during the time they travel to and from school. But, I am yet to see Nina being happy or her father being friendly while we all wait for the bus in the morning or meet in the afternoons.
In the past few months on at least 5 occasions, Nina’s father was late in arriving at the bus stop in the afternoon. Usually, the bus follows the policy to not drop the kid in the absence of a parent or a guardian, but the first time it happened, I took the onus on me ( I am still clueless why I did that) to drop Nina to her home that is hardly 800 meters from the bus stop. Thinking deeper, I know in my heart, I was guided by the harrowing experience Pari had when I had not been able to pick her from bus stop on her first day at school. I didn’t want Nina to go through something similar so I chose to call up her father and have him pick her in next ten minutes.
That wasn’t the last time though. On one instant I was asked (not requested) by Nina’s father to take Nina to my home saying he shall arrange for her to be picked from there, I couldn’t help but feel something churn in my stomach. It so happened that Nina’s father and mother had been caught up somewhere and had organised for a family member to pick Nina from the bus stop. The designated family member didn’t arrive till ten minutes past the bus dropped Nina and Pari.
When I called up Nina’s father, he quite nonchalantly asked me to take Nina to my home (mind you, Nina has never been to my home before) and he’ll see how to have her picked from there. At this point, I wish to highlight that though there has been almost zero interaction between our families but we know each other’s houses and rough family history owing to living in the same locality. I am sure you can imagine how it is.
So off we went. Pari, Nina and myself on my scooter to my home. Within fifteen minutes of making Nina comfortable in our abode, which made Pari ecstatic because she loves playing a host to her friends, we had Nina’s uncle come and pick her up. The one thing that has left me dumbfounded is the coldness with which Nina’s family ( immediate and extended) reacts. Okay, it might be that I have unreasonable expectations, but, had Pari been in Nina’s shoes (may God forbid) I’d be panic struck and would have at least taken a moment to thank the person who’d helped my child in a courteous manner. But, this was far from what happened.
Nina’s uncle picked her up without saying anything much except a cursory nod which I assumed to be a hello and Nina waving a goodbye to Pari and my family. Neither did I see her parents take a moment to speak to me in the following days.
Time has moved on, but the ice hasn’t broken and I am at a point when this coldness has stopped bothering me because if there was any hope of us ( Nina’s father and myself) ever being cordial, it doesn’t exist any longer. We continue to behave as more-than-strangers waiting for the same school bus everyday. But, when it comes to taking care of Nina, I think I care for her the way I would care for any other child. I pray, whatever goes on at the bus-stop shouldn’t in any way change the way I treat her. Every child deserves to be protected and taken due care of, be it our offspring or anyone else.
In the meantime, besides the initial issue of packed snacks ( I wrote about here) there is relief because I have somehow succeeded in convincing Pari to binge on the healthy, fresh snacks I pack for her everyday. With the advent of winters, something unknown to my now-growing-old-mind has happened. Nina carries a small vanity kit that has a lip balm, a moisturizer, a comb, a mirror, a hand sanitizer ( these are the things that I am aware of) etc. in her school bag. Pari is in awe with the way she keeps her skin moisturized even in the bus and has been pestering me to arrange a similar vanity kit for her.
I am really curious, if it is just me or is it normal for moms with kids of Pari’s age to think of such cosmetics as not suitable to be carried to school. I am okay with a hand sanitizer, that even the school advocates but the rest are something I am yet to feel convinced about. I am really not sure if Pari can convince me to let her get her a vanity kit to be taken to school but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue.
Read the next part here.
The song on my mind: Teri duniya se hoke majbur chala