Sunday, July 7, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 56

And My Mom Was Completely Forgiven

I think I may be bit of narcissist because I do admire my intelligence and performance quite often. Though intelligent, wisdom is not something that I owned. There is a difference. Give me math, I can solve it. You run around the bush, I miss the whole game.
When it came to marriage and love, I was in a lot of confusion. I was very sure I wanted to be professional person and was very sure I wanted to work in the field of space science, especially the research regarding Black Holes and deep space. My dad wanted me to study and become a bank employee (for whatever reason he had) but my mom was damn bent upon getting me married, so that I could live happily ever after with my husband and at least two children. Unfortunately, she already had decided who I should marry as well. I was torn between my wish to study and my desire to make my parents happy. Even at the age of 18, I was not at all mature to make right decisions. 

When I did not show much interest in marriage, and also created chaos by writing open letter to the chosen boy about my ambitions and differences we had between us which may make it impossible to live together, she got a bit worried. She asked me, “Are you in love with someone? What do you wish to do in your life?” I now realize this was my opportunity for a different life which I missed completely by enthusiastically answering her, “Mommy, I wish to be astrophysicist and study about black hole”. Not stopping at that, I went on to describe the black hole and how much effort I have already put to know about it. She wanted to know what kind of guys I would admire, I rushed in and brought out comic book of batman and showed him to her. “This is the type of guy I admire”. Now there was no doubt left in my mom that over studying had turned me crazy. That night she started brainwashing my dad and explained certain things. I heard her telling him, “She will surely be sucked in the black hole”. All my efforts to explain how she was confused only made her confuse more and more.

Finally, after many more promises, drama, fights and roller coaster rides I was married off. I had to give up my studies and settle down to a life as a house-wife. Honestly I tried my best to love, to be obedient wife, to please people around, to become pious and religious, to listen without arguing and also to be someone who I was not; but, failed miserably at everything. I was stressed because pleasing others is not easy. The bar keeps rising higher the higher you jump. Financial dependency makes you weak. When you cover yourself to hide from peeking eyes of men, even a small malfunction will make you an evil woman. I struggled and with every struggle my mind would wander off to think how much I enjoyed studying and how different life would be if I did not give in to the wishes of my mom. Slowly anger started to grow inside me for the stupidity my mom did and her foolish decision to marry me off. It was not the fighting kind of anger but something that smothers slowly in your heart. It is there but you do not express it.  
Fast forward now to Rayyan’s learning of Urdu. Being a dyslexic, learning a language meant a great deal him and he asked me, “Maa you are so talented. Why don’t you achieve something in your life?” Earlier we had a challenge of memorizing social studies page and he was shocked my memorizing skills as well. With that question I started my rant, “It is all because of your naani I am stuck here cooking fish, drawing water and cleaning house. If not I would have been an scientist…. blah blah blah……………”. All the while Rayyan listened to me silently. “Maa, naani is not stopping you now. She is already gone. Who is stopping you now?” The impact of those words on me was something no one imagine. Honesty, he was simple child asking a simple question. He was not imparting any gyaan for sure. But, it changed my whole perception of my life. All of a sudden, it was like waking up from a trance. “You can either have excuses or reasons or achievements and success. I will not believe that even after death Naani is holding you back and stopping you from achieving your dreams. May be you cannot be what you wanted to be back then, but can you not be something better than what you are pretending to be? Is this really you? I think you don’t have to become some great person, but at least become what you really are rather than trying to be like everyone around you and fitting into the role they define for you”. Honestly, I can’t recall what my answers to him were, though I remember I argued a lot with him back then. It could be because I was blindly defending myself and maybe I did not myself believe what I was saying that I cannot recall it. In the end Rayyan said, “You have two choices maa. Blame Naani, who is gone and has no say in your future, forever and be where you are doing what you don’t like, or take responsibility for yourself and start thinking what you want to do and what you can do from now on”.  And this is when, I all of sudden felt guilt, regretted blaming my mom and forgave her completely. In a moment, I realized there was nothing for me to forgive because she had not wronged me at all. She did what for her was best for my life. Never did she want me to actually suffer or hurt. Rayyan was just giving his views and also his love his grandmother who had just lost her battle with cancer made him defend her. He never realized that he was giving rebirth to his mother back then. I still feel though my parents gave me birth, it is Rayyan who gave me life with his presence and wisdom. If not for that day when he woke me up from my trance, I would still be pretending to be someone who I did not like at all. In fact, I had started gossiping as well.
I made a foolish decision to shift to Byndoor after picking up my life after cancer, in a desperate move to have a happy married life and wanting a reconciliation. I wanted to give my marriage a second chance and also wanted to live independently from my family. There were too many losses, changes and things going wrong at that time. This is when I had given up whatever I had achieved after cancer when I had no help and gone to the village. It was too late to realize things do work that way. Relationships do not heal when you give in. I feel so embarrassed writing this, because today I am not that person anymore.
With nothing to fall back on other than my counselling diploma and teaching experience, no place to start my journey, from the small village of Byndoor, I started taking steps towards becoming who I was born to be. Rayyan helped me in all the possible ways he could. Baby-sitting Farheena, helping me with housework, and many other things; besides encouraging me not to give up. And slowly, as I stopped blaming my mom and taking responsibility for my future, life changed. If I look back, I can’t believe the changes that took place. Many people tell me I am a good parent and very good to Rayyan. I support him and love him, but if they see the impact he has had on my life, I think I haven’t done anything more than what he deserves.
Today, I have only love and respect for my mom and no resentment or anger. Rayyan freed me from hating or feeding the anger towards a loving person who genuinely believed that she was doing me good. After all, without her foolish decision, I would never have met Farheena or Rayyan.

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