50 Shades of Love

“Not again mom, i am getting the same tiffin for past one week, i am tired of this. Look at Rahul's mom, she always comes up with something new". Her words reverberated in the room and Shreya with down casted eyes and trembling lips said "Sweetheart, you know I leave at 7 am and this week was a hectic one. I hope you understand“. The girl frowned and faked a smile. “You do this all the time, I think you need to be clear on your priorities, you don't even have the time to bid goodbye when we go to school, what else can I expect”. She walked out of the room like a flash of light. Her words had pierced Shreya's heart, she could feel a burning sensation in her head, she felt like a defeated mother. She was drowning in the pool of guilt, the guilt of not keeping the promise she had made to her daughter when she was born. The words of her daughter were stuck in her ears as if they were hitting her ear again and again. She was not feeling the floor and her did not realize that she had reached the window. There she saw a dozen of martyrs( mothers and housewives) who had killed their own passion to nurture those of their children. For a moment, she felt like a defeated mother. She closed her eyes and her eyes had refused to hold the guilt inside them and tears poured down. Rivers of pain ran down her cheeks.

“Should ambition die for care to live?” or “Should an entrepreneur die for a mother to live? ” She wanted to seek an answer outside but it was to be found inside. She wiped her tears, got ready for work and as she was leaving, her eyes fell upon a troubled neighbour-hood where a loud voice was coming out, “Mom, please dress up properly and please don't embarrass me at the parents teacher meet. Look at Rishabh's mom, how she carries herself.  I sometimes wish that you were a working woman“ Suddenly her eyes started glittering as if she had found something she was searching for. She had found her answer.

That evening, Shreya had come back early from work, she had prepared lots of goodies for her daughter. "Come on sweetheart, look what i have prepared for you.” The daughter ate the goodies with immense delight. “Thank you mommy, you are the best“ she said. “You are welcome my love, now since you have eaten the goodies, i want you to go to your room and study for atleast 2 hours and you know i will help you out in the process". The daughter's eyes twinkled with amazement as if it was a strange perception. “mom i was going to play“, she said. “Please honey just do as i say", replied Shreya. “why are you behaving so unusually mom, you sound different. you never force me to study“, she said with a puzzled face. “But Rahul is also studying at this time“, Shreya interrupted. “What does Rahul have to do with me? He is not 'Me' mom, why are you comparing me with him?” she said with anger in her eyes. “When you cant be Rahul, then honey, why do you expect me to be like Rahul's mother? Don't you think this is a bit unfair!”

Tears ran down the cheeks of the girl as if she came into knowing-ness from a zone of unknowing-ness. She at once rushed to her mother, hugged her and said sorry. “Its alright honey, one day you will be a mommy too. If a lady happens to be a housewife, people will judge her. And if she happens to be a working woman, she would be judged too. Sweetheart, love is shapeless, it has no rules, Some mothers express it through delicious food while others express it through the work values, and the trust we put in you. Whatever i may do, people will judge me, So i do what i can do. I am not a capable cook, i don't know how to express my love through food, i am just like Rahul's mom, but my Shade of Love is different from hers” .