She was an illiterate mother. Couldn’t ever help her daughter in her studies or go for report days.


It was the dad who always went for important functions. The daughter, Riya was extremely proud of him and imitated him in almost every way.

Riya would wear his jacket, carry a briefcase and pretend to be like dad- important, influential, her hero! The mother would silently watch from between the kitchen doors.

This was another school day. Riya came back home, tired and threw her bag near the door as soon as she entered, removed her socks and flung them across the room. Her mother went around picking everything while Riya spoke about her day at school.

Riya – There is a Parent Teacher Meeting tomorrow. Tell dad to come!

She (mother) – But he isn’t in town. He will come only next week.

Riya (in a high pitch) – But what about my meeting? Who will come now? What am I supposed to say to my teacher?

Mother (in a worried tone) – I’ll come if you want…

Riya – …I don’t have another option. Alright, you can come.

And so came the next day.

Both, Riya and her mother got ready anxiously.

All her mother could think of was how she would let her daughter down. She would make a fool of herself and Riya would hate her forever. She felt sick.

They took a cab to school but neither spoke a word. They entered the gate and Riya got busy with her friends. The mother walked towards the classroom. It was full of parents and their children. She chose one of the benches in the corner and sat isolated. Riya walked in a little later and sat with one of her friends.

The parents were called by the teacher one after the other and were spoken to one-on-one. And then came Riya’s turn. The mother was too nervous to even stand. She somehow walked out of the class, unnoticed and hid in the washroom. A few minutes later she walked back towards the classroom and tried peeping inside. And she saw Riya talking to her teacher.

He (teacher) – What do you want to be when you grow up?

She (Riya) – I want to be like my mother.

He – Housewife?

She – Complete!

And the mother ran to hug Riya in tears and could have sworn this was the best day of her life.

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