It’s the dawn of another beautiful day in Bangalore. The Sun’s not yet up, probably yawning and stretching, as I see the eastern sky changing hues. A Cuckoo bird coos his tune and an auburn Mynah bird joins in too, adding to the melody of the morning. Its cool and refreshing, a morning breeze gently blows across and soothes me as I stand on my balcony – admiring nature in its psychedelic glory.
Thoughts of back home, of family, friends, and of relations. How blessed I am, to be alive!
She is all of 20 yrs- going to University, wants to be independent, and wants to experience University life living on her own. I knew a day would come when she will be leaving our home. Marriage is still a long way off. But I never imagined that she will be leaving so soon, and that I would be there, to see her off. My little baby has grown up!
I find it difficult to swallow, a lump in my throat! I am both happy and sad, tears just roll from my eyes. She is excited that she will be living on her own and here I am crying that she is leaving. I don’t want her to see me this way. I have to hug her, tell her “I love you honey” and wish her well and to call if she needs any thing.
I carry her luggage to the car, making sure she doesn’t carry anything. I can see my wife giving last minute instructions and making sure she had taken everything that she needed. Her sisters are holding her hands, as if to say, “Please don’t go”.
She is not going far. She is not going out of town. The University is 45 Minutes’ drive by car from our home and the apartment she will be living in is close to the University. But I felt as if she was going to another continent! I am worried, how is she going to manage on her own?
She will have to do the groceries herself, pay the bills on her own, does she even know how to use credit card? Will she make sure that all doors are locked? Will she open doors to strangers when she hears a knock? What if she forgets to turn the cooking gas off? What if she needs any help hooking up appliances? May be I am worrying unnecessarily and may be she knows everything. Or does she?
…If you break a cocoon to release a butterfly, it may not be able to fly. It is the struggle a butterfly goes through to get out of its cocoon that makes its wings stronger to fly…
Time had come for me to take her to the apartment. The four wheel drive is packed to the gill. Rest of the family is going to follow us in another car. I can see in my rear view mirror all hugging each other. Her youngest sister is wiping her eyes. I hear my wife saying, “Honey let her go, she is coming back”.
I am frantically looking for tissue to wipe my eyes before she comes. And when she says, shall we go dad, I just can’t help it. I lose it completely. I hear her asking me “Dad, do you want me to drive”? Oh my little baby, How much I love you!
Well, I thought I was lot stronger than that, didn’t know I was so emotional. I say “No honey, I can manage”. My wife Is honking, wondering why we are not moving.
The drive to her University is uneventful; everybody chips in to carry stuff to her apartment. Everything is put in their appropriate places. Milk, bread, eggs and other perishable items placed in the refrigerator. Windows opened to air the apartment. Ensure all the appliances were properly hooked up. Toilets flushed to make sure, they were in working order. Then I hear her calling me to come and sit for a while.
And the hug she gives me, to thank me for everything that I did for her. An experience I would love to live over and over again. And when she says, “I love you dad” that lump is back again and this time it is even bigger. I hear my wife say, “You are worse than me honey”. Well, my wife is right, didn’t see her cry. My wife is a strong woman; she has to be, for all our sake.
It is nearing 7pm and we decide to take her out for dinner. At the end of dinner, she tells me “Dad let me have the check”. I find it a little amusing, and I don’t know whether to laugh or to give her the check. I hear the little one say, “Its dad’s money anyway”. For the first time that evening, all of us laugh heartily. I am her Dad, so I pay the bill; she
could use the money for herself.
We drop her back at her apartment. All of us hug and kiss her. Reminding her again and again to call us everyday no matter what time, make sure she has all our telephone numbers and house alarm and garage door codes!!! Have breakfast on time, make sandwich the night before and keep it in the fridge. Eat vegetables, not too much chips. Don’t leave anything on stove unattended. At this time it is my turn to say, “Honey she is an adult, She knows all that stuff”. Well, how can I stop a mother instructing her daughter?
I know, she will manage very well on her own. She is a responsible girl. Moreover I want her to learn few things on her own. This is when I remember reading somewhere..
“If you break a cocoon to release a butterfly, it may not be able to fly. It is the struggle a butterfly goes through to get out of its cocoon that makes its wings stronger to fly”
My Butterfly! She is doing very well on her own!
Author: Dr. K.B. Mallya- Canada