Swara was 22 yrs and ten days away from her final B.A. exams when her family told her it was time for her to get married. She revolted with all her might, she wanted to study more she told them. Swara’s family was not too well to do financially, aslo Swara was the eldest amongst the 4 sisters, there was too much pressure and Swara had to finally give in! She didn’t enjoy her marriage at all she was crying all through the 3 days as she had to give her exams and get married at the same time. Swara still managed a good score.
Swara was married to Atul an engineer who saw her in one of her plays and instantly loved her. He was a good and a decent man. After marriage Atul got transferred to Bombay. Though Swara was a little uncomfortable with the thought she was also excited about living in the big city. Bombay was a blessing in disguise for her. She loved the city the instant she put her foot on its soil. As they settled down Swara started looking for teaching jobs. Ideally she would have liked to study more but Atul did not have too many resources to fund her. After 5 months of search she finally got a job in a posh school in Bandra.
Swara flourished in that school, her lack of English skills were never a hindrance to her. She would teach Marathi and Music to 1st to 5thstandard children. Slowly and steadily she won hearts of everyone in her school, right from the kids, teachers and parents. At 26 Swara gave birth to twins Astha and Aniket. As responsibilities increased so did the expenses on the house. She managed both school and children amazingly well. She got up at 5 in the morning made everyones dabba, got out of the house at 7 took a bus, then a local and then again a bus to reach Bandra. She would then pick her children from the day care at 3 in the afternoon and then get home do the chores of cleaning, washing, making dinner and ensuring at the same time that she spend enough time with her children and help them with their homework.
Years passed by, Atul was doing great at his job and was now drawing a handsome salary. Aastha and Aniket got into their 9 th standard. Meanwhile Aastha showed a special liking in singing. Swara put her under the best Gurus she could afford. Atul wasn’t too keen and was skeptical about singing to be taken up as a profession. But Swara knew the pain of not achieving one’s dreams so she ensured that Aastha and Aniket wouldn’t ever would have to make that sacrifice. Aastha by the time entered her 9th had started winning singing competitions all over the city. It became increasingly difficult for Swara to handle her job, Aastha’s career and their studies. All of the family was struggling. Their would be quarrels and tensions all the time. Swara made a decision that it was time to give up her job and give her family all her time.
Swara’s decision helped to restore the family’s sanity. It gave them a lot of support knowing that Swara would always be there for them. In a span of a few years, Atul got promoted to an executive post in his company, Aastha got a big break in a music talent show and Aniket went off to US to complete his masters. All the three of them got settled and extremely busy in their work. Swara though felt lonelier and lonelier.
It had been ten years since Swara had given up her job and become a home maker. She would see her friends and realise when she spoke to them that professionally they had achieved so many things. She always wanted to be financially independent and now she had completely lost that. She found it difficult to sleep at night. She would not raise an opinion on the family table. She became quieter and started to remain ill. Swara would close her eyes and would hear her teachers voices in her head, telling the young Swara that she would make her town proud. When she saw herself in the mirror she realised she couldn’t do anything that people would remember her for. The young Swara was lost and she just couldn’t find her anymore. Swara had completely lost her identity. She was Atul’s wife, Aniket’s and Aastha’s mother, that’s all. Where was Swara, who was she really?
Atul and Aniket were mostly too busy to notice. If anybody saw the change in Swara it was Aastha. Aastha very well knew that her mother had sacrificed her every dream for her family. Especially for Aastha’s dream of becoming a professional singer. Swara would roam with her everywhere for competitions, make sure she did her ‘rias’ , give her hot water everyday to gurgle, take her to the best possible teacher. As Aastha missed her classes ,Swara would go to her school and college and get all her notes ready so that Aastha didn’t have to waist her time in collecting notes and could directly start studying. She would fight with Atul when he questioned Aastha’s intentions of singing as a career. If Aastha was a established singer today it was only because of her mother.
Aastha would take Swara for a walk everyday, one such day Swara saw a child trying to make a paper boat in the park. He was trying very hard but he just couldn’t do it. Swara got up from the bench and went to the kid, sat down beside him and taught him to make the boat. Swara smiled with him was patient with him and seemed to be having a good time . That’s when Astha found her solution. Swara had to get back to teaching that was the only place she would find herself back.