55, 56, 57, 58
Mom, Mom you can do it!
Phew! Planks done!
You’re a rockstar Mom, shouted Adhira in excitement.
Then what about me baby, questioned Gowtham getting back to his starting position.
You too Daddy, she hugged him.
It was a rainy Sunday but this jovial family enjoyed their morning’s working out on rest days.
Gowtham and Aisha, fell in love at the age of 15 and got married at the registrar office against their parent’s wishes. Caste was not an issue here but Gowtham’s job and his educational qualifications.
Gowtham left his schooling at class 10 and since then he started working as a gym trainer near her place. That’s when Aisha met him for the first time and befriended him as her first male friend. Their friendship slowly blossomed into love and when her parents started looking out for groom, she declined all of them.
After several enquiries and verbal fights, she opened up but her parents didn’t wanted a gym trainer as their son-in-law to their only daughter. On the other side, Gowtham’s parents adored Aisha and loved her DIY projects. After so many hustles and bustles, they got married at a registrar office with one condition.
Aisha’s father offered him a lump sum of money to start his own gym and summoned them to relocate to Pondicherry permanently to begin their new life.
15 years passed by and now Gowtham owns 150 fitness centers across the globe and also teaches self-defense techniques to the girl children in specific.
Adhira A Gowtham, is their love of life and is currently pursuing her ninth standard at a government aided school. Irrespective of all the money and fame, Aisha wanted her daughter to study in a government aided school at Pondicherry.
To Aisha, education is not about acquiring knowledge but exploring oneself, and also stay rooted. She strongly believed that government school will provide that.
Mom, did you ask about the Maths tution, Adhira asked chopping the onions.
Gowtham, Adhira and her gang of friends wants to join the Maths tuition at the Xavier Institute. Can we enroll her there; she asked closing the cooker lid.
Gowtham who was busy arranging the dining table raised his head thought for a while and replied
“What about the tuition next street? All my clients said that he teaches well and also its just few minutes from here”.
But daddy, Renu isn’t studying there, right.
Aisha signalled Gowtham saying Renu is Adhira’s best friend.
Hmm, you’re right baby, but isn’t it quite far? I will do one thing; we will get a bicycle for you today. You learn driving it. Once you’re confident enough, we will allow you to join there. What you say?
Okay, but I want a bike and not a cycle, she lowered her voice.
Deal, Aisha smiled.
Did you both plan for this, he smirked.
After few days:
Where is Adhira, Gowtham asked unpacking his bag.
She is yet to come from the tuition, Gowtham.
He saw his watch and felt disturbed.
Can I go, pick her and come, he asked anxiously.
Gowtham, her exams are nearing by, maybe that’s why she is spending so much time there. Please wait she will be here in few minutes.
Shut up Aisha, you are not taking care of her at all. Its 9.30PM can’t you see.
It was the first time he has raised his voice against Aisha.
She knew something was wrong and permitted him to leave.
When he climbed down the stairs, he saw Adhira along with his tuition master.
Daddy, Adhira came running.
Hi Sir, Gowtham handed out his hand.
Hi Sir, Have heard a alot about you. It's my pleasure meeting you.
Gowtham half smiled.
What happened to your bike Aisha?
My tyre got punctured Daddy, so I came walking. Sir told its dark, so he came along with me.
Thank you sir, Gowtham replied and put his hands on Aisha’s shoulders, you’re my daughter Aisha. You’re brave, remember that, he added firmly.
Yeah daddy, she smiled back.
Okay sir, I will take a leave, the master muttered.
Yes, you can, Gowtham told angrily.
Aisha, now that you have learnt driving bike, why don’t you join Xavier Institute?
It’s okay daddy, I love his teaching methods, she replied happily.
At night, what happened Gowtham? Why you look so tense?
I attended a Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) workshop today. I couldn’t accept the fact that children below 15 get abused by their peers and relatives without their knowledge. They target the children as victims and separate them from their parents it seems.
I somewhat feel this tution sir is targeting our daughter.
What made you feel so?
Did you observe Adhira. She is spending over time with him. And, these days she never shares anything with us. Before, she used to call you or me for picking her up but now she isn’t.
Gowtham, she is growing and becoming independent. Please don’t overthink.
I just wish our daughter is in safe hands. Let’s us shift her to the institute where Renu is studying.
Okay, Gowtham I will make the arrangements, you sleep now. You will be tired.
That night, Aisha didn’t sleep. She googled about Child sexual abuse and learned a lot about it. The next morning her puffed eyes revealed her sleeplessness.
Bye mom, Adhira left for school.
She gulped a hot coffee and entered Adhira’s room to clean. To her surprise, she found many new novels based on love and branded gifts.
Maybe Gowtham was right, she thought.
She kept the books where it was and came out. She entered her DIY room and created a hidden camera.
Aisha admires science and she started developing kits that makes her work easier. She recently built a biometric chip which can be attached to a box containing medicines. If any care taker isn’t available, the senior citizens can use this chip to get regular instructions of when to consume the medicine and which medicine at what hour. She developed this keeping her in-laws in mind and got an positive feedback from them.
She attached the hidden camera into a new watch and gift packed it.
Mom, I reached home, where are you Adhira called out.
I am inside the DIY room, come inside, she replied back.
What did the scientist find out today, she asked scanning her mom’s room?
This is for you, Adhira, her mom handed her the gift box.
Fast track watch, thank you mom!
The speciality of this watch is that if there is any emergency you can press the knob and I will get the signal, she said showing her wrist wearing a golden color watch.
You’re awesome mom!
As you’re dear!
Come let’s have snacks, her mom suggested.
They both ate kachori watching Friends. I love this series mom, Adhira said biting the kachori.
Me too, give me a hi-fi, she said.
Maybe I doubted her, Aisha thought and stepped inside the kitchen.
Mom, can you come today to pick me up. We must give the bike for service.
Sure dear, I will, she said.
Adhira left for the tuition.
For few days there wasn’t any signal on the watch.
Aisha forgot about this incident and carried on with her routine.
To be continued.