As a kid I was timid and and lika a recluse, I secluded myself from the crowd or strangers. More often than not, I found it hard to mingle with people. I preferred to stay in my cocoon and hardly socialized. At school, I was good at academics but a zero when it came to sports or dance or even elocution's for that matter. I would participate in offline activities like drawing, essay writing, rangoli competitions. You get the drift right?? But there were a few exceptions like singing and fancy dress competitions where although I had to face ogling eyes of audiences, I fared considerably well (nevertheless I shivered out of nervousness from within). Post marriage when I was posted to unknown city and I lived on my own, my personality took a 360°turn and I became an extrovert. It was a turning point in my life and realization set in of all the opportunities I let go out of my coyness. That’s when I decided I will push my daughters to grab opportunities that come their way and teach them that “Participation is more important than the outcome”
Last year their creche was planning to observe Children’s Day and conduct Fancy Dress competition for them and also a Dance programme. I jumped in joy full of enthusiasm.Pumped all my gusto into my daughters by means of narrating to them how much fun it will be, and how they will get to wear new dresses, and so many uncles and aunties will say they are ‘Good girls’, exclaim and cheer when they dance and the euphoria hit them too... I decided on dressing them up as Krishna and Radha. On November 13th they ran temperature and the zeal all three of us deflated just as a balloon that got pricked. That night once they went to sleep, I packed all the dresses and accessories hoping against hope that they would be fit to atleast go on stage with costume and come back. (Yes, I’m a crazy mom!!!) Next morning, the temperature was slightly above normal but weakness prevailed. They were dull yet asking me when was I going to dress them up? They went on stage as Krishna and Radha for the first time. Then came back, they changed into white party frocks and again went on stage with rest of their kins and shook a leg to ‘All is well’!!! All was well only till then coz fever increased by a few notches by evening. We took them to their paediatrician and they underwent a three day course of medication and were back to normal.
In May this year, we had Family Day function at work. They were organizing competitions for kids in the age range 5-12 years. Hyper-excited me, sent a reply to that mail asking if we could get three year olds to participate too. The response elated me coz they said three year olds could participate with parental supervision. This time I was brainstorming for something new coz I learnt from my previous experience that dressing up as Krishna and Radha was very common. One of my colleagues suggested ‘Cheerleader’. I got pom poms, brought gift wrappng sheets, cut them into stripes, stapled them into a backless top that they already had. I cut a long stripe out of drawing sheet and dangled colourful stripes from that sheet all over and made it as a mini skirt, attached same stripes to the stockings and made matching wrist bands. For the other one, I planned to dress her as a tribal lady. I asked my domestic help to get some mango leaves, made crown, necklace, and skirt out of leaves the previous night. Packed paint bottles to paint her body with colourful stripes, some flower rakhi to tie on arms, wooden bangles and a wooden flute. The night before the event was a nightmare, Abbas and I slept quite late as we prepared the tribal costume and also were googling for some tribal song. By the time we called it a day, Mannu had begun showing signs of diarrhoea. Phew! We spent the whole night cleaning her bum and changing her diaper. She was quite alright by afternoon but weak, her excitement uncluttered. Both of them jumped and did their small bits on stage with audience going ‘Ooh’ and ‘Aah’. I loved every bit of it. Back home all 4 of us curled into our beds to get a good night’s sleep.
This time when their school had intimated about sending kids dressed as Krishna and Gopika on Srikrishna Janmashtami, I was a little apprehensive. I suppressed my enthusiasm down and only announced about this event to kids a couple of days back. All was well till the D-Day morning. Mannat woke up earlier than usual and first thing she asked was “Are you dressing us up as Radha Krishna today?” I exclaimed “Yesss!” We were all set to leave home with both of them well made up in their new avatars, when Tammu tripped and fell down. She began crying and showing her knee which was in pain. We smeared an ointment there and told her she will be alright. Memories of previous two instances had faded from my memory but they hastily came back to me when I went to pick them up from the day care in the evening. I saw Mannat quietly sitting in a chair with her left heel neatly dressed with a bandage. Before I could inquire what had happened to her… the caretaker told me that they had a Matka breaking ceremony and a teeny weeny piece of Matka must have bee lying in some corner. Mannu’s heel got pierced by it and she kept mum without informing anyone. They only came to know when they saw blood red footsteps all over the floor. Sigh! The wound was a minor one, thank god for that!
I always do the ‘Nazar utharna’ act when we take kids out among crowd and have people’s eyes fixated on them. I am not sure if it works at all, but it’s just for self-consolation. But ultimately all these incidents have thrown me in a fix. Are they mere coincidences? Being an optimist, what I want to deduce from all these happenings is “ There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross