The Mark

Rashi was frantically arranging her piling books, cleaning her desk, organizing the closet, picking up things lying away from their designated places. Not much time left, Mother might just come.

She doesn’t want to engage in cleaning, at least not today, she had just completed her 10th board exams and reached home an hour before, still under the exhaustion of months of toiling days and sleepless nights. Moreover, too much cleanliness was not her default character, but she didn’t want to be off the mark, again! Yes, the level set by her mother, the unsatisfied and ever-increasing level. To avoid and resist her mother from nagging and continuous comparison with others seemed to be stronger than her tired mind and body at that moment. Her mother always seemed to find an excuse to compare her to someone in everything. No, the mother does love her but may be due to over expectation, or insecurity within her results in doing so. Rashi understands or at least tries to understand her mother. But as said too much of everything takes on nerves.

She never remembered getting full applaud for anything she has done, be it her painting, dancing or studies, there had to be someone whom her mother finds to be compared with.

No, it is ok even for Rashi to leave some scope for improvement, as a matter of fact, that enthusiasm was a part of her too, but with increasing classes and increasing comparison, she found her enthusiasm dying down and also her interest in respective fields. She still remembers how badly she loved to draw and paint in her 6th standard. But, don’t know why and how her mother always saw something unique in Mili’s painting, much to Rashi’s annoyance. The continuous criticism lowered her confidence many times, And her relationships with the persons compared degraded.

Sometimes she even feels criticizing her, have become a part of the mother’s character, as it seemed to come out too spontaneously. But not today, no capacity to digest  comparison with Riya’s clean room. Riya, her first cousin,  two years elder than her. In terms of cleanliness of the room, Riya is the chosen example by her mother to be compared. Rashi thought I have never compared my mother with others in terms of the time she gives to bother me. Rashi understands the push and pull factor of time, in case of a working mother. She understands, she had instilled that amount of maturity at an early age. She respected her mother for whatever she is, except this factor.

She heard the main door open, mother might have come. Rashi heard her tired footsteps towards her room, “ Clean room, good’. The first time, Rashi was not off the mark.

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