Mothers: The Guiding Lights

-Pallavi Buragohain

With tears in my eyes, I closed the zip of Paahi’s huge air bag with the relief of completing her packing. I took a deep breath and try to recall if I had missed out on anything. From her hair pins to all important documents, I made sure to pack everything with care.
This is the first time I am sending her away from me. She has always been a bright student and I was sure that she could make it to the best college in the country for medical science. As I see things happening in reality now, I do feel happy and proud, but a sense of void creeps in silently into my heart. Like all mothers, I put on a brave face and smile all my pains away.
My mother-in-law had expressed her concern for Paahi many times. “Don’t send your young daughter to the hostel. She has never lived without her parents. Won’t it be difficult for her to survive? Besides, this is the age when young boys and girls fall prey to temptations and worldly pleasures,” Paahi’s grandmother once said.
For a moment I got perplexed, but I trust in my upbringing and my God. “Isn’t it a law of nature maa? I cannot clip her wings when it’s time for her to fly. She is an adult now- smart and mature. She is capable of making her way into the world of challenges.” I replied.
Although she didn’t seem much convinced, she nodded her head.
I am a strong believer of God and laws of nature. No matter if you are a human being, animal or bird, your survival is your responsibility. And, mothers are the guiding lights to show the path and prepare one for all the battles of life. It reminds me the birds’ way of raising their babies and teaching them to fly. The mother bird feeds, protects and nurtures her babies till the time they grow into full fledged birds. She sees their wings gaining strength and their mind growing mature. Food is the ultimate goal of survival for them and hunting for it is a personal responsibility. Once the mother bird is sure of her babies’ capabilities, she pushes them out of the nest. In an attempt to save themselves from falling, all the baby birds flap their wings and thus begin their saga of flying.
“The fear of falling teaches us to fly. One may fall a million times, but never fail if you continue to try.” I tell my daughter always. She is a strong girl who is all prepared to transform into a woman of power and dignity. She is ready to face the world- to learn, dream, explore and experience. And, I will have her back always. “I am just a phone call away dear. Reach out to me whenever you wish and I will be your guiding light. I am in your heart, your actions and decisions. So, think well and act wise. I love you.” Saying this I bid goodbye to Paahi at the gate of her new hostel- her second home.
Parting is always a painful phenomenon. A mother nourishes her child inside her womb and keeps it close to her heart even after being born. It is the toughest for all mothers to separate from the apple of their eyes. Yet they do it with all strength, because their happiness depends upon their children’s happiness and growth.
Today, we see many people working, studying and staying away from their homes and families. Although it is a demand of time and situation, let us not forget the ones through whom we learnt to take our first steps before stepping into the sphere of competition and challenges. Let us not forget our mothers who not only gave us life but also taught us to survive and endure all phases of life.
Let us love, acknowledge and celebrate them always.

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