My trousseau was ready. It looked resplendent as my mother displayed it all on the bed before packing it.
She had hand picked the finest of things for me. She and my sisters have a very good taste in clothes and have always been praised for the same. That was the reason I always left these matters to them.
“Aren’t you excited? Look at this.” She picked up a red sequined saree. “Every woman who sees this is going to envy you.”
“If I ever wear this.” I said. I was always this nerd lost in my books.
“Aji sunte ho,” She called Papa inside.
He looked at the bed, his eyes blurred with tears. I ran and hugged him. The thought of going away from him kept gnawing me inside.
We cried a lot. For a long time we stood hugging each other. No one spoke.
“You have always been partial to papa with your love.” My mom spoke.
“Your mom has given you a lot of gifts. But the gift I have given you is education and the gift of self-reliance. Your husband is well read and successful. He can of course support you. Older women will tell you this. Make you feel guilty for working. You decide for yourself how you want to put your education to use. Don’t be a prey of the guilt trap they set for you. Whatever you do, don’t lose yourself ever. “
He was always been my go to person for any advice. I knew what he wanted to say but the correct realization came much later. His advice and his gifts have stayed with me even after all the material things have long worn out.
They always will.
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