Saturday, 13 December 2014

Why my mother waited till wee hours for me

I was always a headstrong girl. So naturally, there were no two ways to my ways. It was only my way and my way only.  So when I decided to join a newspaper, where nights-shifts were common, my parents had not much say in it.

But fortunately my parents were cut from a different cloth.  They accepted my head-strong, quirky ways. My father was a go-getter himself, so when his daughter showed similar traits, he hadn’t much to say, though he had lot to say. BTW, which parent  would want their daughter to do night-shifts. But all said and done, they wanted their kids to be SUPER ACHIEVERS. EXTRA ORDINARY. When my father’s friends emphasized their daughters on doing household chores, my parents barred us from entering the kitchen. Study hard. Work Hard. Their only motto in life.

Little wonder, my siblings are doing super-good in their respective fields, while I am trying to build my career and reputation so that my parents could look up to me, at least someday, if not today.  Marriage has mellowed me. Family has suddenly assumed  priority.

But I was not the same Jini 10 years back. Bubbling with enthusiasm and excitement I had enrolled for a a Pg in Journalism and Communication. Once I was through with the cause, I joined the Asian Age Newspaper. Given that my house was a good 20 kms away from the press, the editor took pity on me and put me on the features team. (For the uninitiated, the newspaper industry demands night shifts, features team can leave early). I was enjoying my time in the features department. I made pages, wrote some frivolous stories, solicited celebrities and all. And, more importantly, I reached home on time, i.e., before 8 pm.

But then after spending a considerable amount of time in the features department, I was shifted to hard news desk. Here the reporters were supposed to stay back and proofread copies when the first drafts were ready. Simply put, the reporters had to stay back till 1.00 or 2.00 am in the night.

Now the actual story starts here. My parents were unable to understand my obsession for Journalism. They wanted me to quit this industry (though eventually I did). But I was stubborn and wanted to continue it at all costs. And my returning late nights literally terrified them, especially my mother.

But then their fears were not unfounded. Once I was returning home around 2.00 am (I can feel goose pimples while writing this) I felt this boy following me. I don’t know from where I got this courage from, but I was absolutely fearless. (Probably, the hymns that I keep singing while riding alone gave me the confidence to take him head-on. I rose above fear). Let him follow, I told myself.  So he followed me for at least 10 kms and then suddenly he speeds his bike and stands in front of me, saddled on his bike. Now, let me tell you, the entire road was deserted and silent, so much so that you could hear the pin drop. But then instead of stopping my two-wheeler and getting frightened, I simply maneuvered my vehicle and went my way.  Luckily the boy didn’t follow. What If he had? I had decided to punch him left, right and center.   Anyway, when I shared this story with my parents, they didn't seem disturbed enough. And that disturbed me, for i thought that they will crack under the weight of my revelation. But what I came to know later on was that my mother never slept before me after that incident.  She would stay wide awake till 1am or 2 am and keep praying for my safety till I returned home. Once she would hear the gates of the house opening in the night, she knew i was home and thereafter she would sleep peacefully thereafter.

I showed the same spirit when there were riots in our city in 2002. It was international news. But I can vividly remember, taking my two-wheeler and riding alone on deserted roads and sometimes with my peer in the curfew hit areas of the city. It gave me a different high.

Those were the days.  I was a rebel, a maverick, hot-blooded woman to the core, courageous from every fiber of my being. A wild, pompous prick to be precise. Nothing could stop me. Neither rain, pain nor shine. If rains flooded our areas, I would take a ride in an open tempo to the office. Literally. Those were the days. 

I still have the same spirit buried in some corner of my heart. 

I will ensure that this blog post remains accessible in an un-altered state for a minimum of one year.

This blog post is written for Mountain Dew 'Rise Above Fear' contest held in association with indiblogger.  

1 comment:

  1. Very inspiring story. Hats off to your courage...Keep up the same and fight along. Very nice..


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