The winter morning in Pune and a nice warm bed with a blanket is a sure shot bad combination for getting up and preparing tiffin for your kid and then rushing yourself to your office or through the daily chores. But duty calls and so with a mild reluctance, I got up, refreshed myself with a cup of piping hot ginger tea and woke up my teenage daughter. She too begged for another five minutes and finally got up mumbling something about mother and God being unfair to school children. A thought crossed my mind as to when my daughter would grow up and would get ready to face the new day as per her schedule on her own terms. Anyway, my thinking was cut short with the sound of the doorbell. "Ah, the milkman !", I said and brought the milk packets inside and kept it for boiling. At the same time, I had put the green chilies and fresh coriander in the idli batter for making 'appa' or 'appe' which my daughter loved.
"Where is my uniform?, I can't find it .... ", my daughter's shrill voice brought an abrupt end to my routine kitchen work and I started in the direction of her room. "Oh, don't bother, I found it, why did you keep it in the upper shelf ? I have told you to keep it here not there, see now I am getting late...", her excuses and suggestions were left unanswered when the door of the bathroom closed. I hurried with a sigh of relief for my precious time would have been wasted in searching what at times is impossible for me to find, it being the handiwork of skilled craftsman at meddling things. The milk was now boiled and the appes were ready and packed in the lunch box along with the water bottle.
With this, we both sat down for plaiting my daughter's hair into nice two pigtails. This time is when my daughter enjoys the light massage and combing and feels comfortable only in her mother's style of plaiting. This is the time when she is the best child in the world and I am the best mother.
Waving good bye, we smile at each other and I remember the time 8 years back, when my five year old would wave good byes with prim and proper uniform, polished shoes and two well tied pony tails. At times, I had to help her climb into the van as there would be a heavy school bag on her delicate shoulders. How I admired all the children neatly seated with their spirit still trying to adjust to the new day ! A sense of deep love and admiration envelops the mother while watching the child learning to grow up in the world. This same situation is contradictory for a mother while receiving her nursery child back from school. Who would believe that this is the same group of school children seen in the morning ? With tempers soaring and hands going in all direction, not to mention few kids bawling and others looking with anticipation at their van uncle for some comfort. The girls would have their hair all flying in the air, their ribbons in their hand (that is better than losing the ribbons completely) and their face covered at times with tears or mud or paints (depends on their games and activities) ; the boys would look worse with their shirt buttons either undone or lost, their face and hands showing signs of some scuffle.
Every mother literally scans her child coming out of the van to assess the mood and accordingly calm the fiery nerves; which at times is difficult. Most mothers wonder at whether the child is the same as the one who left for school in the morning ! Such a transformation is very difficult to digest indeed. The physical appearance along with the temperamental behavior is a big change to handle; but which after a good lunch which should mainly consist of their favorite snacks; again reverts back to the same gentle behavior.
After a couple of years, the same child grows into a teenager with different set of problems where instead of the transformation taking dominance, it is more of a transition to a mature and responsible person. The two words have their own usage but in personal life, we exhibit both ie transformation and transition which is instrumental in defining and developing us in all facets and realities of life.