The day has come. As it comes pretty much in every household in this country.
From the time the child is born, all our energies get focused on the child. The world starts to revolve around her. And if the child happens to be a daughter, she connects with us like nobody else can.
From the time my daughter was born, the first time I held her in my arms, the first time she smiled at me, I knew that she is the centre of my universe.
She had the capability to turn me into a jelly. I could never say no to her for anything. Her smile every morning used to brighten up my day.
Watching her grow, and yet be the same little girl is an experience I will never trade for anything.
Last one year (12th!), was extremely stressful for her and for me. The choices she made in terms of what she wants to do with her life, I stood by her. Through all the stress of Boards and all the entrance exams, she never lost that smile. She was the sunshine of the house.
I would sit till late in the night while she studied. I went with her for every entrance exam. I held her while she cried with disappointment when she didn’t make it through couple of entrance exams. I heard her crying with joy over phone, when she did make it through one of the colleges she want to be at.
All the preparation, all the fights (yes we fought too but they never lasted very long), all the dreams, all the hopes, all the insecurities, I tried to be her pillar of strength. I kept my emotions in check so that she could let them all out.
And then it all boils down to this day. From today, she joins her college in a different city.
She will be lifting the anchor and be ready to set sail.
She will create a void in my life that will be very hard to fill.
There will be no morning smile or a hug anymore.
The only contact (while she is away), will be the calls.
Life will be tough. Waking up in the morning and getting ready, without the cheerful smile is going to be so tough.
She will get a group of friends and perhaps even the guy who will become her new anchor.
I hate Indian culture. It makes us so closely knit. Makes us believe that the reason of our existence is to bring lives into this world, nurture them and then watch as they move on with their lives. Why are meant to create such strong bonds?
I will be at her orientation today. And tomorrow I will leave. This perhaps will be the real cutting of the umbilical cord.
I only hope that in times to come, through all her life, she will always turn to me when she is most happy and most stressed in her life. I hope I have taught her well enough how to handle all that life throws at her.