The role that a mother plays in a child’s life is beyond compare. My mother was fierce, compassionate, and the most important one – always fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves.
But one fateful event shattered everything before us, and I lost my most precious person forever.
Hello, my name is Nadira Banerjee and I am a journalist, much to my parent’s dismay. Papa named me Nadira as he was in awe with the movie Mughal-E-Azam, which really is a big deal in our country. But people often made sarcastic remarks about my name and religion. Just imagine, what a few letters strung together can change your course of life’s trajectory. But my parents always supported me, no matter what. Even after being bullied for many years in my school days, my parents stood by me which was not an easy thing to do. The place where we used to live before was a nasty one, filled with educationally illiterate chaps who couldn’t handle girls being sent to school for studying, let alone to do jobs. Even my relatives protested against me when I joined college, as they wanted me to settle down immediately. I was 19 that time, and they wanted to rob my freedom, at that very moment they decided my fate- have children and make your husband happy. Nothing else is required of me. But then I got admission in Delhi School of Journalism and I ran away to Delhi that night.
It’s been 8 years since I graduated from college, got married and now raising a girl all on my own. 2 years ago my husband met with his untimely demise and he left us, me and my little baby girl- Avantika. Due to the nature of my job, I have to shift from places to places and it hugely impacts Avantika, but she’s learning to adapt these changes on her on. So mature at such young age (she’s 9), while I was a lousy kid when I was like her. I know she misses her papa, but she doesn’t vent out her feelings. But being a mother, her eyes can’t lie to me. Even though we are alone now, what matters is we are alone…but together, and that makes us strong for each other.
My momma works at a news station as a reporter, which I know by now because she is kind of famous in our neighborhood. Everyone calls her “M.P ki reporter” and I couldn’t be happier. But lately she comes from work late at night, completely stressed out and on some days; extremely angry. Once I asked her ‘momma, why are you in such bad mood nowadays? You don’t laugh as much like before, you don’t spend time with me anymore, you have black circles under your eyes now, what happened to you??’
‘Uff Avantika, so many questions for such a small girl. The world is filled with bad despicable people, who are rich and they think they can get away with anything they like. But till I take my last breath, I will never let it happen. Will never let wrong people win the battle.’ I was befuddled by her answer, but kept quite sensing her tone. Days passed and she became more ferocious and paranoid. She would not let me play outside anymore, didn’t leave me alone with my friends and after some days the matters escalated towards worse. I wasn’t allowed to go to school anymore, my friends came to my house and left notes for me to study. The next morning I woke up to a heavy shattering of a glass, somebody threw a stone and broke our window. Momma was not home, I was scared out of mind but I had to deal with it alone. I went near the window and saw 5 men, with guns protruding from their pockets, laughing at a distance. When they spotted me one of the hooligan came near my window and said- ‘tell your reporter ma to leave this area for good otherwise there will be consequences.’ They made awful remarks about me and my momma, and left after kicking our door open and splitting it in two. Mom was furious that night and vowed to keep me safe from all the harm. The next day there was an article about a woman, who was a reporter for a news station, accused of writing a fake article about a billionaire politician. That woman was my mom. But my mom was adamant upon her decision. She vowed to bring down that man who was responsible for killing my dad. Apparently my dad disagreed to give loan to that billionaire, as he was selling a hoax land to another company, a shell company but needed the money for his dirty work. He wanted to buy my father, to make him work for the shell company. My father denied his part in any of the wrong doing and enraged by this that man shot my father in market place in front of robot peoples who did nothing to save an innocent man. What a wonderful society we live in.
‘Avantika come back soon within 4pm’ mom said as I left for market to buy some groceries. The people who used to adore us before cursed us now. Said momma was responsible for all the bad names our town is being called for. What bullshit. Without talking to anyone, I decided to head straight home once I am done here.
As I reached near our house, there was huge crowd in front of our door. People were shouting for some unknown reason, and some were cheering. One even said- whatever happens, happens for a good reason. As I neared the door, I went cold. I froze in my place and fell on ground.
Someone shot momma, not once, not twice, but 8 times. Scarlet blood oozing from her wounds, her soul left earth before I could ever say her goodbye. A man from behind shouted- ‘take this girl with us; she has no one now to protect her.’ Someone snatched my by hair and pulled very hard, it was getting so tough to breathe. And then everything before my eyes went black, as something very hard hit my head.
I surrendered myself to complete darkness.
Hey guys, after suffering from writer’s block I am back now with a new short story. It is based upon the increasing social injustice happening in our country. My motto to portray through my story was-
‘keep your head high when you are forced to stoop low.’
– Pia Majumdar.