The irony is Tamanna and I, never met on Tuesdays! Tuesdays and Thursdays used to be the most difficult days of the week for they were her counselling days. Tantrums, cajoling, temper shoots, love musings a mix of all was needed to see through these two days with A (her BMC counsellor) and today as I spend the last Tuesday here, I am suddenly gripped with a strange nostalgia, of whether I fared well in this test of mentorship, for remember I wasn’t a mother?

T’s mythophobia scared me beyond my wits. It wasn’t those sudden unearthing of  events that make me gape in wonder that unnerved me, it was the extent of damage they were causing to her psyche that was the major concern. While we struggled through our lives and the emotional baggage we both carried the most important thing that I sought to make her understand that there was a fine line of distinction between lies and imagination. And that while the latter was healthy the former was a strict NO!

To explain her the difference I introduced her to Calvin and Hobbes and tried to unearth before her the power of imagination and that how Calvin never really ‘lied’. I tried to tell her that lies meant her trying to show her own self as someone she’s not. I succeeded at times when she told me the truth about cheating in a ‘maths’ test one day to score the highest and then I failed when her teacher asked me if she really had a cousin in US who was seeking to sending a her Wii for her birthday?

When she once cooked up stories about her trip-in-dreams to Iggatpuri I asked her if she really did this to fit in to a group or whether she was really uncomfortable in being in the skin she was in? In her innocent defensive mechanism she said that she found it ‘fun’ to cook stories. And so as I indulged in pretend play of ‘Teacher Student’ with her somewhere I realised that her very back ground troubled her. She liked to remain in a dream world where everything was exactly opposite. Where people spoke differently, wore different kinds of clothes and had a different lifestyle. She wanted the world to see her as someone she was not. Only because she had this image in her head that that life was ‘fun’.

While this was her ‘imaginative’ mind, the problem lay in her incessant lying to her classmates about her social conditions, about her background and the type of lifestyle she indulged into. She once lied to her teacher that her Marathi marks were poor because everyone only spoke in English at home!

One year and T taught me patience, taught me how difficult it is to maintain a strict face when your child cries but you know you have to be strong to teach her right and wrong. And that though later you’ll crave to pick her in your arms and cajole her saying it’s ok, you will not, instead you’ll just wonder and wonder that how it is not ok!

I couldn’t cure her fully that I would ramble about it here, but suddenly I felt to note down these thoughts? Why today? Maybe because all of a sudden as I stand to leave T and go I am gripped with this sense of self analysis on whether I have been too strict at times? Whether I have lost out on the fun play aspect with her and taken her childish follies too seriously? Whether I have been a paranoid pseudo-mother who was too motivated to do things right?

It’s not that I never had fun, I remember spinning a ‘why butterflies don’t get wet’ tale for her in the most imaginative way while people around me either quit saying they have full faith in my power of imagination or Googled the scientific reason for me to spill out?

It’s just that I am indulging in a self critique today. As I sat in the bus I struggled with this analysis and spoke to the two people I always talk to in my head – GM and Y! But then something else comforted me too and that brought me to actually write this to be frank!

Packing and moving on you discover things which you think are long lost! I discovered my old tattered copy of kiddie Gita today, the one which is ear-marked with all of GM’s favourite teachings. As I smiled and ruffled the pages I stopped at where Krishna says that lies are ok if they are to save your skin, but the moment you lie and that hurts anyone emotionally or physically, even if it’s in your unknown being, know that you have sinned?

I just sought to save T from hurting others and in turn her own self in the long run, GM. So guess you wouldn’t be too disappointed with me, right? I just wanted to make her understand that it’s important that she turns out to be a person whom people accept and love for what she is and for not what she pretends to be, for then she would be lying about her own identity. What would be worse than a self identity crisis, right GM?

T, I hope when I am back from my ‘tour’ (yes she thinks I am off for another office tour, but yes a long one!), I find you as a person who’s happy and confident and loves her own reflection in the mirror!

Loads of Love and Wishes