Finding Swara…!!

Swara Kulkarni was born a star. Right from her time in school till her college. She danced,sang, acted,was the kho-kho team captain and also had won the college student election without any opposition. She also always managed to be top three in her class when it came to studies. She was the teacher’s darling. Everyone in her school and college knew her. Her teachers always told her that they were very sure that she would make the people of her small town very proud some day.  Swara had no doubts about that.

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 realised her mother needed her. Swara was struggling and it was too painful to see her mother this way. She sat her down one day and had a long chat with her. She realised that because Swara had too much idle time she would think of unnecessarily negative things. Swara needed to keep herself busy. Aastha enrolled her in a English class, a violin class and a computer class. Swara did get busy with all the classes, but she was still not happy. Aastha would see that once she came back for her class she would neither touch her English books nor play the violin at home. Keeping busy was not the solution. Swara had stopped loving herself, and Aastha had to somehow help her fall in love with herself once again. Aastha knew the problem but she didn’t see a solution to it.

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.

Smita tai was Aastha’s fan and her former teacher, she was also a founder of a school she ran. Aastha went to her and told her about her mother. Smita tai heard her story and asked her to get her for an interview. Swara went for the interview and did not speak much. She just told Smita tai about her liking of Music and languages. She also showed her the dairy where Swara had made her own songs and given them tunes. Smita tai was really taken aback ,there were about thousand songs written in that dairy. Swara told her she had opened it after a span of ten years.
Swara started going to school. The first few months were the most difficult. On her first day she went into the class and went blank. She couldn’t say a word,  she ran out of the classroom. Smita tai was standing there. Swara couldn’t control her tears. She told Smita tai may be she did not have it her anymore. Smita tai lestened patiently and told her to forget about it and try again the next day. Swara realised this was her only chance to redeem herself, if she let go of this opportunity she will never come out of her cocoon. Day by day Swara got better. She started enjoying herself, the children loved her songs. They would almost wait for her period to come. Swara came home one day and hugged Aastha and thanked her. ‘’ I’m happy again, and its only because of you.” Aastha hugged her back tighter and said, “ Welcome back, Swara!”
It took Swara a whole eleven years to find herself back. She found herself in the songs she wrote, in the laughter of her students, when her student won a singing competition and ran to her to show her the trophy. She found herself when she won the Best teacher award for three years in a row and Atul was introduced as Swara’s husband on the stage. She finally found herself when she started loving herself once again.
Swara is 50 years old today and she is the Principal of the same school. Well, her teachers weren’t wrong after all!!!
I’m only a housewife, I’m afraid.” How often do we hear this shocking admission. I’m afraid when I hear it I feel very angry indeed. Only a housewife: only a practitioner of one of the two most noble professions (the other one is that of a farmer); only the mistress of a huge battery of high and varied skills and custodian of civilization itself. Only a typist, perhaps! Only a company director, or a nuclear physicist; only a barrister; only the President! When a woman says she is a housewife she should say it with the utmost pride, for there is nothing higher on this planet to which she could aspire.”
John Seymour.





6 thoughts on “Finding Swara…!!

  1. Dear dear aditi, khup chan lihal ahes, kharch lagnanatar khup mulinch ayushya badlun jat, mazya sisterch lagn ti 10 th madhe astana zal beacuse of my family is uneducated even the she was very good at studies but she was not lucky as swara..she is still struggling….khup mulinch dukkha ahe tyana je hav te milat nahi kinva kadhi kadhi family sathi khup kahi sacrifice karav lagat.

    ani aplyala avadanarya goshti karnyamadhe khup anand ahe… khup moti ho ….best of luck…aditi


  2. hi….
    Thoughts come easily .. they are the most silent and non controversial elements within us .. they challenge our imagination most of the time..keep it up…

    All the best..for your future..



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