Missed part 1?
I ask, ‘what have you got to say?’
She stops crying and sits down. ‘Mom, I can’t be an engineer.’ She lowers her eyes. ‘I auditioned for a singing competition and they selected me.’
I can’t believe my ears. We’ve spent Lakhs on her education and all she cares for is a singing competition! I keep mum and stay put.
She continues, ‘music is my life, Mom. I don’t want to become a frustrated software engineer. I want to make music my profession. I’ll have to move to Mumbai for three months. The competition will be held there. Please say yes.’
‘Unbelievable!’ I glare at her and dash out of the room.
Now I wish I didn’t turn back to listen to her stupid, immature request. Music can be a hobby. But how can you think of it as a profession? We’re middle class people. We aren’t made for such fancy dreams. I keep muttering as I stop at the door of my younger daughter’s room. She’s talking on phone with someone. I feel proud of her. She cares about my emotions. She wants to become a Doctor. All she thinks about is her career. She isn’t distracted by music, movies, friends and parties.
Suddenly a faint shout from a distance disrupts my thought. I look around. It seems someone’s calling my name. But the voice is too low. Nevertheless my daughter’s conversation with her friend brings me back to the present. I strain my ears. Why? I hate eavesdropping. Yesterday I didn’t do this. I stopped, peeked inside to check on her and left immediately.
‘I’m tired. I can’t take it anymore.’ She says, irritated.
I furrow my eyebrows. What is it?
She continues, ‘I can’t tell you how tough it is to pretend to be someone I’m not. There’s constant pressure on me to prove myself. I don’t want to be what Mom could not be. I want to take Arts. I want to study literature but Mom wants me to opt for Science.’
She goes silent. Probably the person on the other end of the line is speaking. I don’t fathom what she is saying. She is my ideal daughter. She promised me she would become a Doctor. That she would pursue my unfulfilled dream. This is not real. I convince myself. How can she not like Science?
She starts speaking again. ‘Is it my responsibility to pursue her unfulfilled dreams? Am I not supposed to fulfill my own?’
I jerk back. Her words have knifed my heart and soul. But it’s just a dream. It’ll be over soon. I console myself. The noise is back to disrupt my thoughts again. This time I hear my husband’s voice. He’s calling me. But his voice is distant. I hear the hoots of horns. I sense a clamor. Suddenly I feel a jolt in my body. I turn back in fear. No, there’s no one around. I run back to my room and find my husband sitting on the bed with his back to me. I decide to tell him that something weird is going on. I’m apparently time travelling in my dream while they have no clue of it. I walk over to him and before I can call out his name, I catch a glimpse of his laptop screen.
‘What’s this?’ I blurt out, surprised.
To Be Continued…
Written by Chirasree Bose