( Jonathan Livingston Seagull quotes)
The red rose that my mother pinned next to my two and half year old daughter’s curly hair, as she stepped out to her neighbourhood nursery school, remains fresh in my memory. Her bag was a teddy bear with a pouch. Her frock had been a pink one with frills all round. It was a contingency of sorts- sending off a toddler to the school.I was preparing for the civil services examination and she had too much energy which made her run around my books. The first letters she learned were in her mother tongue.
I watch her as she packs her bags for her freshman year at the University. She is an aspiring astrophysicist, who can trounce anyone with her debating skills and her knowledge about Feynman’s hobbies and Roger Penrose’s CCC( She tells me it is conformal cyclic cosmology!) She keeps her hair short and will snort like Sandra Bullock in Two Weeks Notice, if I mention the episode of the red rose. She is a great fan of Ramin Karimloo. (I have to ask her about how his name is spelt.) And she thinks that my music sense is hopelessly retrograde. Apparently scientists use the word retrograde a lot, vis a vis stars, implying some sort of deterioration.
What do I tell my child, as she checks her strong young wings, confident of the wind and the sun ahead in her flight?
What do I caution her on, as I look beyond her and see a world which is a mix of all colours of human emotions?
What armour, what sword, what food, what drink?
Instead I pack her favourite tee shirt and the Bhagvad Gita that my mother has kept for her grand daughter. It is quite a few decades old-a gift from her office, when I had entered University.
“Can I have Chechy’s room?” Little girl chirps by my side.
“There you are Amma! One practical little brat is there to console you,” my daughter laughs.
“You better Skype with me every day. Maybe google hangouts? I will be like that Manju in Khoobsoorat.” I threaten her. It is totally useless.
“Amma, Chechy is planning to sit in the campus whenever she chats with you- so that you do not see her messy room,” Little girl whispers conspiratorially.
Masterminds at work indeed.
“Why don’t you just relax, Ma? Watch something with us…”
To relax, I call up my mother and seek advice. She has already planned a temple recital of the Srimad Bhagvadam on the day my daughter starts her classes.
“You simply do your best and leave the rest to Krishna.”
Right. That was sage advice indeed.
And so it rests.