Tanni for Danceof Chaos
The wind rushed through Mamata‘s hair as her aunt switched the gear one higher. She was going to merge into the highway now. Truth be told, Mamata was scared to drive into the highway for the first time, Her aunt on the driving wheel.
She had only driven a handful of time on the highway during her driving classes.
“ If you are so scared! Maybe you do not need to come. I will manage to drive alone.” Her aunt huffed.
Mamata was not going to let her go alone. She had spent a lot of time in planning this road trip, mapping out the locations. That was the deal. She would choose the destination, aunt will drive. No way was she backing out now.
“ We do not need to do this road trip you know! It is so risky, just the two of us driving alone,” her aunt said. It just made Mamata’s resolve stronger.
The First Chapter
When she was studying and had to stay late at university to finish some work, her aunt would call her up, worried and say the same thing. Girl’s do not need to take so much risk.
“What if something would happen? What would good grades do then?”
When she got her job and decided to do her first solo travel, she was faced with similar resistance. Her aunt liked the idea in the beginning. But enough well-wishers had poisoned her ear with “Kya hoga! What ifs”. The night before the journey, she refused to let Mamata travel solo. Her fear and worries drove her aunt to a state of hysteria and Mamata had no choice but to cancel the trip.
“Why take risk, why not look for safety”- That was the mantra that had regulated Mamata’s life for quarter of a century. After her parents died, her timid, lonely aunt had brought her up alone. The family was used to bullying her aunt and repressing her choices. The only time she defied them was when she refused to let them dump the then baby Mamata in an orphanage. She had paid dearly for that spark of courage.
Growing up, Mamata was stifled with the restrictions put on them. She never understood, why her lovely, beautiful aunt could only wear such faded, whitish saree or why she only ate simple vegetarian food. Why she and her aunt shared the small, corner room.
As she grew, she realised because they were two unwanted souls. The young widow and the orphan girl. At night, her aunt would tell her stories from the classics ,hugging her in her sleep, and Mamata would slowly drift into the imaginary world of her own, where she was the queen and the empress and was free to choose.
Mamata would never forgive the day the whole family went out for the picnic, taking the road trip and left the two of them alone at the house. What one of them said, still rings in her ear.
“ What take these two with us and meet with accident? I am not going to risk that.”
That person was driving drunk alone on highway, ten years later and crashed his car on a tree. Mamata was on the other side of the world then.
When she got this new job offer, there was again that what if and why the risk. But Mamata was adamant that she would take this job.
“If you leave, never come back. You will not be welcome here.”
That did not deter the then twenty-five year old Mamata. There was nothing for her there. She wanted to make a life for herself and she wanted to take her aunt away from the grasp of the controlling, conservative family and let her breathe.
The first couple of years were hard. Away from home, in another country, learning to live, making choices with no one to talk to , it was hard. They would not let her aunt talk to her.
When she went back for the first time, she had marched right in and ordered her aunt to pack whatever she wanted and taken her away. Thus begun the second chapter of their life together.
The Second Chapter
Life had changed drastically for them. It was not an easy journey to get her aunt to live with her permanently, jump through the immigration hoops. Mamata had persisted and persevered.
Her shy petite aunt also had trouble in the beginning. The language was new, the culture was new. Everything was different. Strangely, she missed them and their cold cruelty in the beginning. Slowly, the wonderful woman that she was, begun to show. With no one to repress her, no one to talk her down and tell her “What ifs”, her aunt blossomed into an amazing confident lady.
Mamata moved on with her life and so did her aunt. They begun as mother and daughter in the strange new land and evolved into two friends, exploring life with different eyes.
Her aunt studied again, got herself one degree in social work. She started practising Yoga, running, living a healthy holistic lifestyle.
And she met Brad. Wonderful, Beautiful Brad who made her Aunt glow.
It has been ten years since that day when Mamata had marched into that house and brought her aunt to her. Aunt will be marrying Brad in the coming weekend. The road trip was their bachelorette party, just the two of them. The official one was planned next Friday. It turned out that her shy aunt was a regular queen bee and had a gaggle of friends, who were excited for the wedding.
Mamata looked into her confident aunt, switching gears with ease, shaking her head to the song played in the car stereo and felt oddly happy.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental
Also published in the momspresso blog.
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