I am waiting for my daughter in the evening. She comes around 5.30pm from University. She is doing her Bachelors in Law. If she comes five minutes late also my eyes will start blinking and I think there is something wrong?you see I am an Indian Mother?.
?Mom!!!!? When she screams I know she has come and she is in good mood. ‘? Hi sweetheart, how are you? How was your day? ?. I feel nice when she talks to me like that and without any delay I tell her..? I am fine sweetie, how was your day? ?.?My day was cool mom, you know what? I brought one book for you from an Indian shop. Someone told me it?s a very famous book from a very famous Indian writer and I think you will love it! ?
She couldn?t finish her words I just pulled that book from her and when I saw that book my eyes flooded with tears ?Why are you crying mom? What?s wrong? ? She asked me. ?Just leave me alone?!!!? She left me alone and went out. After sometime she came back again and sat on sofa and turned the television on to watch her favourite show ‘ Friends ‘. She will miss any show but not this one. How much we argue I knew she would be back home for this show! Thanks to’ friends’ but I know today she won?t enjoy this show because of the book. I can see that on her face.
?Shall I get you some rice and fish curry? ? I asked her. ?Mom, I would to like to have some salads, no sith kadi (rice and curry) plz? You know better I don?t like Indian dishes?? she answered. When I heard that I lost my temper and I asked her … ?If you don?t like Indian stuff why did you buy this Indian book? ? I think she came to know I got hyper and she was just quiet and she didn?t reply to me at all? ? I am sorry putha for grumbling at you!? I told her in a polite tone. ?It?s ok mom, but please share your pain with me! Make me part of your pain ?? she requested me. I came and sat next to her and smiled at her and told? ?How can I make you part of my pain, dear?
When I tried to teach you an Indian language, you said?’? I don?t want to learn. It?s too complicated!?’ . “When I cooked rice and curry you said??You don?t want Indian dishes, it?s too spicy and smelly! ? When I wanted you to be writer you said ?I want to be a model!? When I said we will go back to India and you said ? I am born in America and I don?t want to leave this country!?? ?
Before I could finish she said to me ?
?Mom you force me to do something which you want! You don?t want to go with the world. You don?t want to accept the new things! You hold the same Indian mentality and more over what is the relationship between your pain and going back to India? Learning Indian languages? ? She questioned me very rudely.
?There is relationship my dear, otherwise I wouldn?t force you to learn Indian languages. I would have left you alone. I agree I force you to do many things but not to irritate you! I just want you to help me to fight against the people who killed my husband!? I was not able to say any more words…
?What?? she was shocked and she hugged me. ?Yes my dear? your father was a famous Indian writer and I was the first reader of his all scripts. A publisher wanted to buy his script for very cheap price but when your father denied giving him the script they killed him and stole his script because they knew that the script would bring them a lot of money! ?
I think she couldn?t understand and she asked me.. ?How come we are here? When was he murdered? ?
?It?s a long story dear?Immediately after your father?s murder, the financial circumstances and the threat to my life made me escape to a gulf country with the help of one of your father?s friend after your father?s murder, someone helped me to get visa for Kuwait as a housemaid and I went there. Within a couple of months, I got a chance to go to the US with the house lady who was going there for shopping. Soon after reaching States, I realised that I was pregnant. When the lady came to know that I was pregnant, she wanted me to abort it because I came to Kuwait only couple of months ago and she could not afford to send me back and at the same time she could not afford me with a baby! I could not have done that in any circumstances, as you were the last gift from your father to me. I imagined a writer taking shape in my womb and I wanted to save that little writer. Somehow, I escaped from her and stayed back in the US. Then you were born. I never went back to India or Kuwait. I wanted you to be a famous writer like your father and I wanted you to go back and fight against them who killed you father!?
?Mom, what is the point in going back and fighting with them? Do you think we can have my dad back? We are happy in our life in this country, move on with life and just forget them! I was shocked to listen to her response. Such a heart-wrenching story I told her and she is the same and still she doesn?t want to go back. It makes me feel I made a mistake by coming here. I started cursing myself!
?Yes dear, we are happy but daddy is not happy up there and it?s our duty to fight against the injustice. Then we didn?t have anything, but today we have everything. It?s easy to fight now!? I tried to persuade her. ?If you want, you can go mom, but please don?t force me? she snapped back. I came to this country and faced so much of hardship in life and made her strong so that she can fight against the injustice but my assumption was wrong.
Finally I have decided to go back alone I don?t want to force my daughter because I have a fear that I will lose her too!
Once she finishes her Bachelors Degree, I will go back if she comes or not. I think she doesn?t need me anymore. Moreover she can take care of herself. When children grow up, they want their own space. They want to be independent. That?s what happens in western countries. One fine day I will tell her about my plans. Before I die I should go back and I should fight against that publisher. Hence I started contacting many people in India and asking for help. Unfortunately, I didn?t get a positive response. Still, I did not give up and continued collecting relevant information.
At last the day came when she finished her degree and I felt relived to share my decision with her. I told that I was going back to India. She had no problem with my going but she would not accompany me! Things had changed a lot in India, the first realisation on my part after reaching to India. The publisher had made a fortune and at the same time, showed signs of ageing also. His son now runs his business. That was a blessing in disguise as I could make my way into the organisation as an employee.
I started collecting all the scripts that my husband wrote. I met all the friends of my husband. Meanwhile, somehow, the old publishes came to know about me and they took me to the court of law with the charges of cheating, stealing valuables and pilfering. I was jailed as the system was on their side.
Now, I missed my daughter a lot. I just wanted her to be with me. I came to India before six months but for the first time I missed her so badly. I closed my eyes and cried loudly. And I heard some one whispering?
“Don?t cry mom, I will fight for you and dad. Trust me!”
Am I hallucinating!!
Ashuntha Pereira, UK
Author: Ashuntha Pereira Monteiro- Dubai