Ever since I’ve come home for summer break, I’ve wanted to say “You haven’t changed a bit!” but I haven’t been able to.
When I last saw you, you were filled with vivacious energy, jumping from one end of the house to the other, juggling a hundred things at once. You were whizzing past cars and splitting lanes on your scooter, creating new adventures every day. You were cracking jokes with the neighborhood aunties and helping Kantaben with her personal problems – all while maintaining your signature “makes everyone melt” smile. But now I see you wake up every morning and head to the kitchen to pop a handful of pills, then head to the garden swing to sip your cup of tea in silence, sullenly rocking back and forth while staring into the distance. I see you snap at Kantaben for being a few minutes late and turn down the aunties’ ‘evening walk’ plans. I see you send the driver to pick up veggies instead of excitedly grabbing the scooter keys.
I know bhaiya isn’t here because he couldn’t get his leave approved, but that isn’t it. I know Dad is traveling because of his new promotion, but that isn’t it either. Something has been off and for the longest time, I haven’t been able to pin it down. But now I know exactly what it is. What you’re going through, this seemingly malevolent, mysterious force, this kryptonite that’s keeping you from being yourself – it’s a natural process called menopause, and all women go through it!
Mom, even more than the physical manifestations, I can read you. It’s as if we share a brainwave and I know exactly what you’re feeling just by looking at you, and all I can read right now is your thirst for freedom. All you want right now is to be freed from these shackles, you don’t want to feel this way anymore and I just want you to know that you aren’t alone mom. Hundreds of millions of women go through this phenomenon globally and there are new natural remedies that are proving to work even better than traditional pills.
But most importantly mom, you’re not alone because you have us – you have me, and no matter how far away they are physically, bhaiya and dad are here for you too. You’ve made us who we are, the values that you’ve inculcated within us all our lives are commended everywhere we go. You’ve given us so much and for us to not be there for you when you need us the most? Unacceptable. We’ll hold your hand through this just like you held ours; we’ll dissolve these shackles in the bountiful spring of love and have the entire neighborhood be jealous of your smile again in no time. We’re here for you, mom, now and forever, and we’ll beat menopause together.