I recently joined the Toastmasters club in my company. Now, I wasn’t sure about introducing myself to everyone. I wanted to sit in silence for as long as I could. I don’t know if this was due to the fear of stage, the fear of strangers, or plain laziness. I finally mustered up some courage and came up with my first speech. In the hindsight, I always wanted to speak about my mother and this was the only possible introduction I could think of.
You all must have seen those old Bollywood movies where an estranged lover would spend days scribbling pages and pages of letters for his loved one and then tear them away and throw in the bin; I have been doing the same for a week now for this icebreaker but still haven’t hit the perfect note. It doesn’t matter; let me begin this imperfect rendition of the story of my mother and me.
Our story begins much before my birth. A Karnataka brahmin from Andhra Pradesh, shifted to Bombay to establish a branch of the company he worked for. My mother, a Sindhi from Bombay, worked in that firm. They met. They fell in love. They fought for their happiness. They convinced my grandparents. They broke traditions. They married. And that is how I was born. One peculiar story comes to my mind from this time. My father, not wanting to disobey his wife or his mother, gave me two names, Kamal Karan. Our time in Bombay was filled with such incidents. For me, this city is a synonym for love and new beginnings.
We shifted to Hyderabad soon after. I spent my early childhood there. I made my first friends and I started to paint. I was living a king-sized prince-sized life. Like the storm just after the calm in the sea, our lives shattered in 2006 when my father suddenly passed away. We were devastated. During this testing time, my mother displayed unsurmountable resilience. She protected us and played the roles of both parents flawlessly. An epitome of courage and perseverance, my mother single-handedly made sure we had a normal childhood. Hyderabad is the city where my mother became my role model.
In 2007, she found a job in Ahmedabad. New city, new people, completely different life. This is where I grew up. Hyderabad had changed me. Now, I found solace in books. Hogwarts, a fictional school in Harry Potter, became my home. My love for reading developed in my high school. I readily woke up at 4am to delve into the lives of my favourite characters. Fantasy fiction became my reality. Daydreaming became a common phenomenon. I was doing well in studies and after 10th, I started preparing for engineering entrances. My mother still doesn’t know what I did when I told I was studying. I read comics and I wrote poetry. Ahmedabad gave me my mindset, my attitude to face the world and my love for reading.
I moved to Calicut to pursue my engineering. I learned more about life there. I participated in every possible event, attended as many seminars as I could and danced whenever the seniors told me to. I was a full-time meme maker at one point of time. I laughed; I cried; I enjoyed; I partied; I protested; I studied; I lived. At the convocation, my mother and I cried tears of joy. This was the culmination of her hard work and determination.
I moved to Bangalore in 2016 to start my career with Schneider Electric. In the last 2 years, I have made some friends for life, I have learned about my work and had a few amazing co-workers. My mother teaches me financial management now. Bangalore has presented itself with a lot of opportunities.
We have learned that life is full of happiness and tears and we have just started to live it.