Why my mother doesn’t ask me when I’m going to settle down

Painting by John Currin

Painting by John Currin

My mother always pushed me towards education and for a long time, I never wondered why. She wanted to see me fly away into my future with scrolls that documented my achievements before she died.

“Mama, don’t you worry. I’ll make it big someday,” I would tell her.

She looked towards the painting on the wall and replied, “That’s what I thought before my marriage took me away.”

I often wondered about my reading habits and who I got them from, until one day I discovered piles of books in her old cupboard. Well, that wasn’t all. I uncovered sketches, paintings, books and essays. I realized a big part of her passions have been living on through me.

All these years, my mother has never pressured me to find a husband and have children. And the reason lies with her dusty creations, hidden inside a steel cupboard.

People grow old. Their passions don’t. I never really knew her before she was married with children.

But she told me, “It’s not about marriage and kids, or a man who loves you. It has always been and will always be about how strong your nerves and bones can get. You cannot blame anyone if you get weak. Be it a man or a woman, hardships will frequently arrive at your tired feet. So, before you wish to sail away with a man of your life, tell yourself not to lose your treasures after being labeled as his wife.”

Submitted to ArtParasites by Asra Naaz