Story of a young professional leaving his family, to seek better career abroad...
| A Letter from Mom
It was around 7:30 in the evening and I drove in my car, returning home. Driving through Times Square, in evening, is a real nightmare. A whole lot of inimical traffic contravened us.
“Why the hell are you so quiet?” Preeti asked, as she sat beside me in the car. I didn’t respond to her question. Soon we reached our apartment.
Preeti got into 203, where she lived with her friends. I took room 204, where I lived alone; unable to get appropriate room mate. We both were rooted in India, and worked together in one of the major I.T. companies of New York.
As soon as I entered my room, I saw a letter at my door. It was a letter from mom. I smelled the same fragrance, as I did in her every letter. “The reason I was quiet throughout the day was that I missed her a lot”, I guessed. The letter took me back to the days, when I fought with her, in India.
“It is so simple mom. As we are living o’er here, we can live there”, I shouted. But mom was afraid. She thought that I might get lost in the rush hours of New York. She was right, but I couldn’t understand her view point at that time.
I was desperate to earn in lakhs. I wanted to make a mark and stand up tall. “Please mom! Try to understand. All my engineering efforts are wasted o’er here. I’m not getting enough money as I should get.”
Mom pleaded, “Don’t worry my son. Whatever you’re earning is enough for a fresher. You will certainly earn better as the years passes.”
“I can’t wait for years. I need to earn a lot more than I am earning now. I want to give you a better life, mom”.
Mom was still certain that I should not leave the country and wait for the opportunity there itself. After dad’s death, mom had been so alone. I spent years studying engineering and couldn’t give much attention to her.
So definitely, mom now wanted me to stay with her. Mom is very simple woman, satisfied by few small pleasures of life. But I wanted her to get all the pleasures that she had sacrificed for my studies. Being warm blooded, I wanted to earn as much as one can; and give mom all the pleasures of life.
Finally mom said, “That’s it! Stop this debate. Nobody is going to New York. Neither you, nor me.” These words sounded very harsh to me then; but I now regret that had I followed them, my life had been better.
I received a call from one of the major I.T. firms of New York and I was unable to resist the offer. So I made one of the most hash statements of my life, “Mom I am going to New York. It’s fine if you don’t want to come with me.”
In sheer excitement, I came to New York. I joined the company and soon found a place to accommodate. I and mom kept talking on the phone and everything seemed pleasant. A good place to stay, good food, a handsome salary and to add to it, a very good friend, Preeti; what else did I want.
Soon, months passed and I never got time to imagine that I was away from mom; since such a long time. She kept on writing letters, but I never got time to reply.
I kept on trying harder at work, with a hope to improve performance and rise in the salary. Initially, I thought that I would make a mark in the New York City and the world would know me by name. But I soon realized that there were hundreds of Himanshus scattered everywhere in New York, earning lakhs but living empty lives.
Suddenly, Preeti knocked the door and entered my room. I was still standing at the door with mom’s letter in my hands and eyes about to shed tears.
She was puzzled as she had never seen a tear in my eyes. “Is every thing alright? What’s there in your hands?”
“It’s a letter. My mom’s letter”, I said while a sense of pride filled my heart. “So what are you waiting for? Open and read it.”
I knew what mom would have written, some do’s and some don’ts. No matter how many letters she writes and how many times we talk on phone, I still missed her a lot. I badly needed her near me, to make some meaning out of my empty life.
With shaky hands, I opened the letter. As soon as I finished reading it, I was shocked. I stood still, while the letter fell from my hands.
Preeti was frightened. “What’s wrong?” she asked. I was barely able to speak. I was choked. Somehow I uttered, “Mom is coming o’er here, to stay with me.”
There was no bound to my happiness. Mom really is a great woman. She sacrificed her love for our home country, for the sake of her son’s happiness. And I was barely able do anything, except weep.
- Himanshu Pancholi