The unimagined future


I swing with Laddu on my hip swaying to the upbeat tempo of Mental Manadhil. She shrieks with laughter as I do. We circle in the tiny space between the stove and the kitchen island. As I turn, I notice the okra smoking on the stove. I rush to turn the heat down and salvage the rest of it. The song changes to a melodious Maula wa sallim. I croon along and glide across the room to where Ammu and Pattu sit on the steps doing their own thing, their feet tapping in time to the music. I kiss them on top of their heads and head back to the kitchen.

An hour later, sitting on the recliner with Laddu on my lap, my mind goes back a few decades. I wonder if this is the future I had imagined back then. Probably not I figure. Intrigued by the images that snuck in as I went down memory lane, I linger, fixating on the image I thought I would morph into growing up.

Hair in a single braid snaking down my back. A modest shalwar or saree lined with creases from the never-ending domestic chores. Worry lines, exhaustion writ on my face.

I turn the image back and forth in my head. Why did I as a child imagine my future to be staid and bereft of joy? As a child, did I only notice how weighed down by responsibility adults were? Or were the unguarded, happy moments played out away from the prying eyes of children around? I will never know.

I look at the children around me. Will they look back on these days at a mom who sang loudly and often, a mom who got down and danced even if she had two left feet and imagine their future filled with song and dance? Is this part of a legacy I am handing down? Time will tell.

In the meanwhile, I will do well to remember that this is perhaps one version of the future that my children will envision.


Author. Parent.

5 thoughts on “The unimagined future

  1. Enkay – this made me smile..! For a period of time, Hari tracked the moods of individual family members in our journal. He had animated faces for me for all the negative emotions – flipping out, angry, disappointed. But on the positive ones – jubiliated, happy, silly…. just a small curve on my face. Had my epiphany for the day – I am having a ton of fun raising these kids, but I am not fun myself!

  2. My daughter’s friends think I am a “cool” mom (whatever that means) but my daughter herself thinks I am too stuffy. And she keeps reiterating that she does not want to have children in her future, and I beat myself for unwittingly making her believe mothering is hard.
    But I think I am just taking myself too seriously !

    1. LG, You are a cool mom! I remember going through phases of “I am never getting married and definitely no children” so am sure that is bound to change. Plus, am sure it is a lot of what your daughter sees around her and not just at home.

  3. You are a wonderful mom! The gals will remember just that 🙂 yes I am sure there will be blog posts of you battling the teen years but hey that will be fun too! 🙂 the gals are lucky to have you & your Saathi as parents! As I always say am lucky to have a friend like you

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