Thursday, July 27, 2006

In Our Own Shoes.

It’s now become a ritual to meet her daily. Every morning as I get down from the bus and walk the long stretch down Theatre Road, I see the familiar sight of two human figures holding hands and walking towards me. As we approach each other, gazes locked, she makes it a point to smile at me and wish me good morning. I return the greeting as always with a smile, get near, and pat the kid on her head. This has been a routine affair for the last few months now.

Initially I used to feel very uncomfortable at the prospect of having a lady almost 10-15 years senior to me wish me “good morning ma’am”. Now, I have gotten used to it. Every morning, she makes it a point to stop and ask the kid to wish me morning while the kid shrinks into mumma’s shins. Then follows 30 seconds of polite conversation when she asks me about the progress of the elder daughter and while I give a brief account, I try to grab whatever I can of the kid’s cheeks. And then I smile sweetly at her and walk away. After a few steps, I turn to look back at her. And as usual, I see the familiar sight of mother and kid holding hands and walking down the streets.

I have a weird feeling whenever I look into her eyes. If I could trust my gut feeling, I think she wonders what would it be like to be in my shoes. What do I appear to her? A young girl in her mid twenties who is a teacher in the school where her elder daughter studies? A young girl who has a job, a career, a set of friends? A girl who holds the key (according to her) to her daughter’s academic performance? I would have shrugged off the gut feeling had she not asked me for my email id yesterday on the pretext of wanting to be in touch with me even when I am gone from here. Why? I mean, I wouldn’t be the daughter’s class teacher anymore. Then what might she want to have to write to me?

Perhaps she thinks I am lucky to have the life I do. Perhaps she wonders what it is to be in my shoes……

Strangely, I am sure she would be greatly surprised to know that her feelings are mutually reciprocated. Sometimes I wish I could be in her shoes. Everyday when I see the familiar sight of mumma and baby holding hands and walking down the streets, I feel an inexplicable pang. I wonder how it feels to be the mother of two kids. I wonder how it is to wake up every morning, get your kid ready (all the more since most of the time, I have trouble getting myself ready, leave alone attending to someone else), drop her to school, and discuss her academic performance with the teacher. I wonder how it feels like when a lady 10-15 years your junior bends down to pat the kid’s head.

Perhaps she will never know….

Perhaps it’ll be a long time before I get to know……

She wishes she could be like me….

And here I wish I had a life like her. At least the part of her life I get to see every morning….

Suddenly I realized that I was still staring at mother and child while I had already reached the school gate. I shook my head and smiled to myself. Life…. Somehow you always ended up wishing for the things others have, never mind whatever God has given you.

sunshine.

11 comments:

Scorpion King said...

No comments ;)

Scorpion King

mintykulkarni said...

hey,
i think "grass is always greener on other side".
Anyway, nice post.

its me said...

hmmm.. that is soo true.....

Rose said...

Very true..

Anand said...

well thats the thing..we always believe grass is greener on the other side...instead of thanking god for giving us this life!
Guess all of us do the same!

Inder said...

it is the game everyone of us play - putting ourselves in other's shoes. i think that makes life more interesting :)

Abhi said...

Ismein kya hain madam jee ? I will parcel you one of my kids . And the way I am getting desperate , I will have one very soon . Bass thoda sa intezaar aur.

manish said...

"the grass on the other side always looks greener" !!

anu said...

now is d time to publish a post wid title ' in our own tags'..i no pj..u r tagged !

SID said...

hey! just went through all your posts and I must say you write very beautifully. Couldn't stop myself from going through all your posts.

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

This post was beautiful, you know, the way you express the feeling and put it into words. And don't hurry about standing in the other's shoes... you'll perhaps be there soon! :D