The Dream Flight
The Dream Flight
The day Kironmoyee's second child, a daughter was born, there was no grand celebration like the time of her first-born son six years back. Her husband did not even show any interest for her naming ceremony. And so, her birth certificate was registered as baby Kironmoyee Basu. It was during her admission to school that Kironmoyee named her daughter Indira ,after her mother who died when Kironmoyee was eleven years old.
Kironmoyee's son went to one of the top schools in the city. But when it came to her daughter's school admission ,her husband Ranjan got the form from the local Government school.
Kironmoyee was the only daughter of a retired headmaster. When her father got her married to Ranjan she was still in college. Soon she realized that even though her husband could make enough money from his leather business, his male chauvinism always stood as a barrier in their relation. With time, Kironmoyee lost interest in her ability to speak her mind and became indifferent to her husband.
So, when he showed no such interest in the birth of their daughter, she never complained. But when Ranjan got the form of a different school for Indira , Kironmoyee disagreed.
But Ranjan had his justification.
"What's the use of putting her in an expensive school and spending so much money on her studies?'' he said casually.
"She is not going to earn money and take care of us. Afterall we got to get her married, this is the norm. It's better you save that money for her marriage '' he said sarcastically.
As she grew up, Indira could not understand why her brother goes to a different school.
"Ma, why can't I go to dada's school? I don't like my school uniform at all, and the girls in his school don't have to tie their hair with red ribbon like me." She complained.
"How do you know that ?'' Kironmoyee asked with a smile.
"I have seen them from our window when dada gets down from his school bus ''
But her biggest complaint was the discrimination in toys. Ranjan wanted his son Akash deep to become an engineer. Though Ranjan earned enough money from his tannery, he could not gain respect from people. He dreamt of selling off his factory once Akash deep gets a good job and enjoy his retired life. And so Ranjan used to buy toy cars and robots for his son. He also bought a computer for him. But for Indira it was only dolls and doll house.
"Ma, dada gets so many different toys, but I get only dolls and nothing else.''
Kironmoyee laughed and said "what else you want? Girls play with dolls only."
"I want aero plane." She demanded. "A remote control one, that will fly in the air.'' Indira's eyes sparkled when she imagined her toy plane flying.
''And who will fly the plane?'' Kironmoyee asked.
"Why? me, I will fly it'' Indira said. "I will become a pilot, ma.'' Indira said in a determined voice.
Indira used to tear pages from her exercise book and made paper planes out of it. She jumped with joy when the plane flew for some distance before falling on ground. She picked it up and again flew in the air. Kironmoyee felt delighted watching her daughter clapping with joy to fly her paper plane.
Kironmoyee knew it was a dream which will never come true. Ranjan will never approve such a thing. He did not allow Kironmoyee continue her studies, and he will not allow his daughter to follow her dreams.
But Indira's determination to become a pilot became more and more strong as she grew up. She studied hard and was doing good in her studies. On the other hand, Akash deep did not have any interest in studies, he used to spend time playing and with friends. He could not get through his engineering entrance exam even in the third attempt. Sinking into depression, Ranjan started falling sick. At one point of time, he had to stop going to the factory and could hardly get up from bed. Ranjan, refusing to accept defeat, tried to persuade Akash deep to appear for the exam again.
Kironmoyee came and sat beside him and said. ''leave your ego, let Akash go to the factory. Otherwise whole day he will be doing nothing but spending time with friends. If things go on like this, very soon we will lose everything."
Ranjan accepted his defeat and started training Akash deep factory works. The life that he desired for himself through his son's success remained an impossible dream for him .
Slowly, Akash deep took over his father's factory and Ranjan remained at home.
Indira finished her school with very high grades and was preparing for her entrance exam to become a pilot.
Kironmoyee tried to convince her daughter that she was chasing an impossible dream , as Ranjan was already looking for a match for her to get her married.
Bur Indira's childhood dream had turned into her passion, her tenacity, she was getting stubborn.
"I won't get married now ma, you tell baba.'' She said. Kironmoyee felt the determination in her voice.
'' He has never listened to me all through his life, you expect him to listen to me now" Kironmoyee sounded gloomy.
Within a few months, Ranjan found a suitable match for Indira. A boy of their similar cast whose father owned two saree showroom in Burrabazar, and they had their own house and a car. Ranjan could not have asked for more from his to be son in law. There was no scope to complain, as he met all the criteria a suitable groom must have . Ranjan also promised to keep no stone unturned in his daughters' marriage. He had enough gold in savings for his daughter so that she gained enough importance at her in-laws' house.
Indira used to cry putting her head down inside her mother's lap.
"Don't get me married off ma, she begged. I want to become a pilot ma. It is the only dream of my life."
Kironmoyee's heart used to cry in pain to see her daughter's agony.
And the day Indira saw the advertisement of pilot's training in the newspaper, she stopped eating and locked herself inside the room.
Kironmoyee approached her husband and said, "all through my life I have listened to whatever you said. I even left my studies and took care of this family. You have always considered man superior to woman. You have always done what you thought was correct. You yourself saw what happened to our son in spite of you giving him all the facility. Indira need not earn money and run the family, but its her right to live her life the way she wants, in her own terms. I do not want her to live a life like I have lived, in her in-laws house. She wants to become a pilot and she will be. She will live an independent life and for that even if I have to leave everything, even you, I will. I will stand by her.''
Kironmoyee herself could not understand where she got so much strength from to speak for her daughter. Maybe the strength of motherhood to save her daughter from distress.
Ranjan was looking at Kironmoyee, his voice choked with repentance. His wife seemed as an unknown entity to him.
"Call her.'' He said softly.
Kironmoyee bought her daughter in front of Ranjan.
Indira's heart was pounding with fear, she was preparing herself for heartache as she was certain that her dreams were going to break into pieces.
''You never told me that you wanted to be a pilot.'' Ranjan put his hand on her head with affection .
Tears rolled down her cheeks. "I was scared." She said, her voice trembling.
"I will tell them, my daughter has gone to become a pilot, to cancel the marriage will not be a big deal. Go, live your dreams.'' Ranjan said.
Indira hugged her father and started crying loudly
"Thank you baba," she said. ''I love you baba. ''
A week later, Indira packed her bags and went for her training to Delhi. And a few years later , she joined a reputed airlines as a co-pilot.
One day, Indira planned for a vacation for her parents.
Ranjan and Kironmoyee sat inside the plane, Indira was the pilot. Ranjan's heart filled with joy for his daughter's success as the plane started running on the runway, he was a proud father. After the takeoff, there was an announcement from the cockpit.
"……..And , this is your Captain from the flight deck Indira…
Ranjan could not hear anything else .........