April 6, 2015

The Birth of Togetherness

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As I drove across town to reach office, I happened to see the impressive billboard ads for being - #together by Housing.com which had me reminisce a special bond. One that I will always cherish. My relationship with my in-laws had always been a formal one. Not good. Not bad. But just plain old, formal. Or maybe a bit ceremonial. I and my husband stayed in 1500 kilometers away from them for work and of course in a different city!

But things were meant to change. And like in a stereotypical Indian family, things change after the arrival of a new person. So things changed for us as well! The birth of our son bought the two families together and my in laws shifted in with us in order to help us raise our son. And evidently to help me out to pursue my career. Things were not so formal anymore. In fact they started to improve. We had lighter moments together enjoying my son’s pranks and nurturing him together. The newly found bond that tied us together was my son.

It was a usual day for them. But not for me. I was disturbed due to some conflict at my office. Bad day at office! And I am absolutely touchy about it. I was trying to hide my anger and frustration at home but somehow, my voice gave in. They could sense resentment. I tried to be all quiet and to hide myself in some corner of the house so the volcano inside me won’t explode in front of them. But it exploded on my husband instead.

But I must say I am lucky to have an understanding family who keep forgiving all my mistakes. And my husband didn’t take that personally and tried to talk. But then again, I went into this silence wherein I just didn’t want to talk about what happened at office. We had to go for my son’s friend’s birthday party the next day and my husband reminded me that I was the one who had to decide on the gift and buy it. This was a perfect opportunity to escape home for some time and spend some ME TIME...well me time which I was actually planning to spend cursing my office. As I was about to step out of the house when my mother-in-law volunteered to join me. This was a shock. She is the kind of a person who doesn’t like to move out of the house a lot. And never has she ever come out with me to any place. Well, I couldn’t say no to her. So I just smiled vaguely and asked her to come along. But yes, I was secretly disappointed. I just wanted to be alone.

 As we walked towards the nearby toy store, which is around ten minutes away from my house by walk, she started to talk. But there was something different about her today. She spoke like a little girl. Excited to share her stories. She told me about how when she was a young woman she went out to watch a movie with her sister and how she found her father in law was waiting for her outside the theatre.

Without a thought, she mingled into the crowd and disappeared. She didn’t want to be escorted home like that. She wanted some freedom. There were so many things she shared from her childhood that day. How a snake slithered inside her frock when she was eight years old and she could feel something cold moving on her back and how she shrieked and jumped as the snake fell down and disappeared. She kept talking, excited and happy. And I was mesmerized to see her this way. I had never known this part of hers. She was a little girl at that moment with me.

All this was such a unique experience that I completely forgot about what happened at my office. That day, I developed a special bond with her.  I still don’t understand what made her come out with me and open up like that. She never asked me what was wrong or if something happened at office. And still, with whatever she shared, all the anger I had, disappeared.

I will always remember that day as a sweet memory with her. She not only made me smile, but also laugh out aloud with her stories, when I least expected that to happen! And this was indeed the birth of our ‘Togetherness’

Onomatopoeically
Meow
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