Back to Delhi, my tryst with the Delhi Metro is yet again in action. This public transport presents various insights to eyes that try to soak it all wherever they go, whatever they see. Of late, the subjects of my interest were mothers and daughters who travelled together, huddling in ever increasing, swiftly changing, of varied shapes and sizes, coloured in various hues – crowd.
While travelling alone, I prefer taking the coach reserved for women for reasons not relevant for the present course of discussion. So, getting back to where we were, these mother-daughter duos or trios are intriguing in many aspects. It is difficult to imagine one without the other, like a rainbow which went transparent.
The daughter sees her mother as an ideal. She is the first entity who reflects to her what being a woman would be like. She observes her actions while growing up and tries to imbibe within her the same ideals she witnessed in probably the only woman she observed in close quarters (the implications of nuclear families!). The mother on the other hand, sees in her daughter, a reflection of the times gone by, of what led to what and resulted in what. It is with her experience that she tries to guide her daughter to ensure that only the best reaches her princess.
And it is this sense of providing the utmost security that leads to conflicts, at least as far as what I understand, and my understanding may be very limited as compared to many others, so please bear with me.
We are all born different – daughter from mother, son from father, brother from brother and the list goes on. Children, when grown up, wish to try new things, at times just for the sake of it. Parents mostly resist this ‘adventure spree’ because they have faced the consequences ‘once upon a time’, not so far away so as to be not recalled in the most precise details. Memory does start acting up with age but then experiences and their impact last a lifetime.
In this ‘war’ between the old and the young, what suffers most is creativity, passion and the ability to rise from the abyss of a bottomless pit, if at all one does fall into it. Let us just agree for once that no matter the kind of education, family, upbringing – life at times does act up. It is for then that we need to prepare this young brigade for. And let me clarify it here, before you start drawing abrupt unintended conclusions, I do acknowledge, with all my heart, the role of elders in providing us with all sorts of comforts (many of which are not essential but only luxuries) and shaping our personality.
How about striking a balance – the elders being the guiding force, the torch bearers, that one bend in the road that one could turn to without any hesitation or fear – and the youngsters forging the threads of their life, using shades they prefer and quality they intend – for it is only then that new experiences could be learnt, new failures could emerge, new stepping stones created.
So, while on one hand I see a mother holding the hand of her daughter, clasped hands, ensuring the little one does not get lost, on the other I also see a mother daughter arguing on why the mother should not wash in the corner of the coach, the cover of the water bottle which fell on the board (yes, it’s a true incident – on the Violet Line to be more precise), as was proposed by the mother who thought no harm in it, because water does evaporate (in this heat, even more quickly).
It has to be a mutual learning process, for after all we do grow together, don’t we?