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In The Eyes Of Her Daughter
In The Eyes Of Her Daughter

© Anuj Kapoor

Drama Fantasy Inspirational

10 Minutes   27.7K    567

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“Yes, I did it mom,” Rani screamed loudly with joy after beating her opponent in the finals of State-level kabaddi championship. Her mom, Kavita, was seated on the front row of the stadium, and waved and gave a flying kiss. It had been a very tough battle for her daughter as she had had to compete in several rounds before entering into the finals where her opponent was very strong. But, she was strong enough and had a great will power to fight her opponent and win a gold medal. Her mother had tears in her eyes when she saw Rani being handed over the gold medal. 

“I am proud of you my dear daughter,” she murmured with a teary smile and gave her a flying kiss with both her hands. 

It was not only the gold medal that made her happy but also that her daughter had been selected to play at the National level to be held at Rohtak, Haryana. 

Her own life was filled with many ups and downs. She herself had wanted to become an athlete and had desired to play for India. She saw Rani being congratulated by her teammates and her coach, and even saw her celebrating her success. Kavita was really happy today to see her daughter achieve the feat she had been unable to. She kept on looking at her daughter, and then her mind moved back to the past where she herself had dreamt of becoming the athlete. 

She was born and brought up in the city of Banaras that is also considered as a holy city. Banaras is also famous for banarasi sarees. Her father, Keemat Lal, was a shopkeeper and sold the boxes meant to keep the banarasi sarees. Her mother, Bimlakumari, was a devoted homemaker and a mother of two children—Kavita and her brother, Ramesh. 

Kavita was 8 years old and was studying in a Govt. Sr Secondary School for girls. She had just come in from her school. It was 2 PM and this was the time when all the husbands were out for work and the wives were busy with household chores. Kavita’s mother also was busy in the kitchen preparing the lunch for her children and her husband as he used to come home to have his lunch. Keemat Lal usually used to come at around 2 PM, but he was late today as it was the peak season. Due to peak time and workload, he usually came late or had his lunch at the shop. 

“Where is your brother, Kavita?” asked Bimlakumari when she saw Kavita entering the house alone. Both of them usually came together, but today she had come alone. 

“He had his extra classes, mummy,” said Kavita

She immediately saw the time and went to switch on the television. “Arre, at least change your clothes, beta,” said her mother. 

“Wait, mom. Today, there is this great match coming up. PT Usha is supposed to run for 300 meter race,” she said in an excitement. 

Her mother didn’t really care about it, and went straight to the kitchen. Kavita switched on the television. During those days, there was only one channel that used to be transmitted and that was Doordarshan. The concept of cable TV hadn’t yet arrived. Kavita took her seat and became excited when she saw PT Usha getting ready for the race. 

“Mom, Look, PT Usha has come,” she called out loudly. 

Her mom didn’t really care and went on with her daily chores as her husband was about to come and he was very particular about time. After a little while, she heard a scream from the other room. 

“What happened…what happened?” she came out of the kitchen to the living room. She saw her daughter dancing in excitement. 

“What is this? You scared me,” she told Kavita angrily. 

“Mom, Look, PT Usha has won the gold medal,” Kavita said. She sighed and then said again, “It must have been a proud moment for her and her family.” There was a moment of silence in the room. And, then, Kavita spoke again, “Mom, can’t I also become an athlete?” 

Her mother looked at her in a surprise. “What did you say? You said you want to run?” she said in a surprised tone and then laughed. 

“You just concentrate on your studies and forget about all these things. You need to get good grades and get into a nice college so that we can get you married into a nice family else you will not get a good husband.” She told Kavita. 

“Mom, what has marriage to do with all this?” she shouted at her mother. “I am asking you if I can run?” she told her mother again. 

Frustrated, furious, her mother didn’t listen to her and went on with her daily chores. “I don’t know anything. Don’t disturb me. Talk to your father,” she said. The doorbell rang. “It must be, baba,” Kavita said in excitement. She used to call her father ‘baba’.

Kavita took the bag of fruits that he had brought and then brought a glass of water for her father. She also made the dinner table ready and was trying to do all these things in order to impress him. 

And, her father was impressed too as he looked happy. 

“Wah! I am so happy today, Kavita. Now, I know you have grown up,” he said in excitement. 

“Keep it up, my little daughter,” he told her proudly. 

“Baba, I want to ask you one thing. I hope you won’t be annoyed,” she said hesitantly. 

“No, I wont. Today, I am really happy with you, my laadli,” he said while having his last bite of chapatti. “Tell, what do you want? A bangle or a paayal or something else?” he asked her.

“No, baba. I don’t want any of these things,” she said and then stopped. “Why are you so nervous?” he looked at her surprised. Then he looked at her mother. 

“I want to become an athlete,” she said hurriedly. Keemat Lal looked at her in a state of shock. There was silence for a moment like it was before when she had told her mother about this. 

Her mother didn’t even look at her. 

“What… what are you talking about?” Keemat Lal asked her. Then he looked at her mother, and asked, “What is she saying? Did you just listen?”

“Yes, she asked me also but I told her to ask you about it,” her mother told him. “I told her that it is not possible,” she said again. 

“So, you are still asking me?” he asked his daughter. “How dare you ask such a thing? We are a very reputed family and we do not do all these things and I can’t even imagine my daughter doing such things,” he scolded her. 

“But, baba, I want to become an athlete. My coach has also told me that I have very good stamina and I can be a very good athlete,” she told her father. 

“So, that teacher is filling all these kinds of nonsense in your head,” he said angrily. 

“But, baba …” she said

“No, and no means no.” He put her hand in front of her to interrupt her in between and asked her to keep silent. 

Keemat Lal turned to his wife and instructed her, “I am going to the shop and by the time I am back I expect her nonsense should be done with.” “And, you, go back to your room and concentrate on your studies.” He turned to Kavita again directing her to go to her room. 

Kavita rushed to her room and began to sob while cuddling her pillow. She had always wanted to become an athlete but hadn’t had the courage to speak about it to her parents. It was her coach who realised her god gifted talent, and it was he who persuaded her to speak with her parents. She had tried speaking to them a lot of time but just couldn’t find the courage to do so. Her coach even asked her if he could come and talk to her parents. But, it was she who had told him not to do so. She wanted to tell this on her own. She knew that it would be tough to talk to her parents about this because of the society they lived in. She lived in a very orthodox family, and it wasn’t so easy for a girl to fulfil a dream of her own. It was very tough for a girl of her age especially in the city where she lived, and the reason was simply, “log kya kahenge”. 

Few hours later

Keemat Lal came back at night from his shop. “Where is Kavita?” he asked his wife. 

“She’s in her room and hasn’t come out since you left.” She told him

“I hope she’s fine,” he said, worried that she might not have done something to herself. 

“She’s fine. Do not worry. Just give some time to her. She will understand and then forget about it.” She told her husband. 

Some days passed and then months, and years. Kavita grew up and completed her graduation in BA and then completed her masters in Arts in English Honors from Banaras Hindu University, which was considered the most prestigious university. 

And then the time came that her parents had been waiting for long — to get her married to her groom. But, it’s not that she wasn’t happy with her new life and a new partner who had entered into her life. In fact, she was more than happy and got so busy that she forgot all about her ambition. She even gave birth to two daughters, and was happy the way her life had been shaped up. But, still, there was something missing. Somewhere in her heart, she felt lonely for not having chased her ambition and her aspiration. She felt sad at times whenever she even thought of her past. And, then something strange happened. Something that she didn’t expect. Her younger daughter came to her one day and asked her, “Mom, I want to become an athlete and want to pursue kabaddi.” 

She felt very excited and was very happy just like when a child is happy upon receiving the toy of its own. She felt like hugging her daughter tightly as if it was she who was the one to take up athlete. Her daughter watched her in surprise, and then asked her, “Mom, are you okay?”. 

Kavita told her, “No. I mean Yes. I am OK and very much excited.” 

“So, can I become one, mom?” she asked her hesitantly. 

“Yes, Yes, Yes,” Kavita told her daughter. She didn’t want to do the same mistake that her mother had done. She knew that she would persuade her husband to let their daughter pursue the career of her own. And, that was also not difficult at all. Her husband was very happy and in fact, the whole family went out that day to celebrate. 

Days passed by and Rani brought a lot of fame to her family by winning a lot of championships. It was Kavita who supported her whole heartedly. She went with her all through the championships as she wanted to see her winning. She guided her like a coach when she did something wrong. She even motivated her to carry on whenever she felt that her daughter was not in a good frame of mind. 

And, then the day came when she had to fight in the state-level kabaddi championship. More than Rani, it was Kavita who was worried about whether she would be able to do it. But, finally, she did it. “Yes, she did it,” she said to herself while thumping her fist. 

“Mom, what are you thinking?” Rani asked her mom who was lost in the past. 

She woke up all of a sudden like someone who wakes up from a long sleep. And, then she got up and hugged her daughter tightly. 

“I am proud of you, Rani,” she told her with tears in her eyes. 

Rani took out the gold medal from her and garlanded her mother, and then told her, “This is for you, mom. I don’t think it would have been possible without you.” 

“No, my darling, it’s because of you that we have got such a thing. You are our champion.” And then both of them hugged each other while sobbing, though the tears were of happiness, the tears of achieving the aspirations.

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