The Master Key
I hereby make a prophecy that 20 years from now, Yog will become some form of automobile engineer. While a car mechanic is also an automobile engineer, like any other starry eyes mother, I think he will be somewhere in the likes of Dilip Chaabria or working with the ISRO on the creating the shuttle to reach the black hole near Saturn. This prophecy is based on a simple fact that ever since Yog was able to focus his two eyes together, he is just obsessed with engines, cycles, bikes, cars, tractors, trucks and aeroplanes. For someone like me, who just not into automobiles of any kind, this is really a very big deal.
When he steps down to play in the evening, on the road, his favorite pass time is to climb on top of parked motorcycles and try to open car doors to see if he can climb into the driver seat. He is also happy to take a free ride with the passing auto-rickshaws. He loves to carry my scooter key with him and will try and fit that key in all the machines that he passes by. The same key in the ignition, in the petrol lock, in the trunk, in the cycle and in the auto as well. In his eyes, it is the Master Key which will make the hidden engine run to his commands.
Similar to Yogs Master Key for automobiles, Yog and Toyna, both have a master key for life as well. That Master Key is called “Mama”. Right from the time they wake up, till the time they get into bed (and sometimes in the middle of the sleep as well) they have one solution to all problems of their life – Mama. Where is my book, my pen, my shorts, my homework, my friends, my father, my sleep, my fun, my life? All answers are supposed to be with Mama. As a mother, I think I ought to feel proud that they love me so much. But I cannot fool myself into believing that. This is not love. This is a one way, life endangering dependence. I think as a mother, my role is not be the answer to all their problems. My role is to be help them discover their own answers. If they are dependent on me for such basic life surviving skills, then I am surely not doing my job well.
The easiest way to solve this problem would be to let them fall, let them fail. In the process, they would learn that one, falling hurts and two, how to walk more carefully next time, so that they don’t fall. But then, as a mother, it is so difficult to let your child fall, let her fail. Would I ever be able to live with the guilt, that I could have protected them from falling, but I still let them fall and get hurt? As each new school session starts, I promise to myself, I will let Toyna decide how much she wants to study. I will not intervene. I will let her fail or let her stand first, based on what she wants to do herself. It cannot be my decision. It has to be hers. But then, I cannot help check her books at the end of the evening for unfinished homework or incorrect sums. It is just in my blood. I guess I cannot digest my food till I know her homework is done.
So at the end of the day, if Toyna is dependent on me for her studies, I think it is because I have made her dependent. Because, I cannot afford to have her fail one class. Because, I think that she is not ready to own up her life, just yet. So the next time that she yells at the top of her lungs, standing in the middle of the bathroom, asking for her towel, I guess I better not complain. I did have a choice, after all, and I still chose to be their Master Key. Alas! I am not proud of this fact, but I guess I am willing to live with the guilt of having them dependent on me, than living with the guilt that I didn’t do enough.