Every mother dreams about her child’s future as soon as she or he is born. But there was a twist in my mom’s story. It wasn’t just my grandmother dreaming about her career, her own daughter was dreaming about hers too. My mom got married on 25th December 1992, when she was only 15.
Allah ta’ala gifted me her on her 16th birthday, on 3rd October 1993. Since that day mom and I celebrated our birthdays together since they were on the same day. She used to spend her days planning to make things special for me on OUR birthday and I too remained busy in selecting the best possible gift for her. I would call myself my mother’s birthday present, as I showed off my importance to my siblings.
My mother always dreamed of seeing me as a doctor. But life had its own plans. Even after studying relentlessly during my O and A levels years to end up in a medical college, life took me towards a completely different field. I got into ACCA. I don’t know how but it just happened. Mom was upset but never let it wrinkle her forehead. She supported me unconditionally and respected my choice. After all she was a mom.
I belong to a society, where girls are meant to get happily married in their late teens or early 20s. My dad, following the societal norms, wanted to me to get settled too and so I got engaged when I was 18. But luck wasn’t with me on that aspect too. After 3 years, the commitment was over. This left me broken and hopeless. But I had mom! My superwoman!
She held me tight and guided me towards completing my studies. Every day she reminded me that my name was ‘’Urooj’’ which meant height and prosperity. This name was a gift from her to me, which always gave me the courage to stand up again after every downfall. After the completion of my ACCA and supply chain management, I decided to work further for myself and opt for CFA (USA). The society had to say lots of things about me which included:
“Itna larki ko nai parhana chaiye usk dimag kharab hojaega.”
“Beti ko kin kamon mein laga diya hai.”
But again I had mom and dad! Mom made sure to let these people know that they will get their daughter married to only the most deserving one. Till then they want their daughter to happily study, because she likes to study. Mom is mom! My armour my shield! She didn’t let the taboo of “log kya kahengey’’ destroy my dream of becoming a chartered financial analyst.
While mom was fighting for my happiness, I was thinking about hers. She had spent 24 years of her life for her family. This journey had eradicated her childhood and made her jump into adulthood before she could enjoy the perks of being a teenager. I had seen mum making phenomenal drawings for her sister in law and brother in law i.e. my phuphu and chachus, for their school projects, given that they were school going, and she cared for them like her own children. I always felt that there was unrecognized and unidentified talent within her, which was never exposed due to the immense responsibilities she held as a daughter in law.
One day, mom came up with random wish that how great it would be if she could opt for fashion or textile designing. At that very moment, I understood exactly what she needed. She needed some space and time to work for herself. We searched for good fashion schools immediately and got her name enrolled into one. Mom and I decided to divide the household responsibilities and chores and support each other. We took turns cooking, chopping vegetables and with general chores in the kitchen too. I wanted to lessen her burden and help her so that the entire responsibility of the household did not merely fall on her shoulders.
First, she wasn’t certain if she should go for it, but I knew it was either now or would be never. I had to stand up and support her. Now, every day, mom and I discuss our homework and complain about the immense load are teachers put upon us, like friends. The time is near when mom is going to become a qualified textile designer and I am to become a chartered financial analyst, inshaAllah!
Mothers and daughters are undoubtedly meant to be best friends. Here are a few words for you mommy, from my diary.
“It’s time to dream, it’s time to fly. Together you and I can reach the sky.”’
This article is submitted by Urooj Hasnain Poonawala