Monday, April 14, 2014

Role Reversal!

Last year, I dismantled my family. I justified it in many ways (and in many posts), but the fact remains that I single-handedly broke up the family unit I had created with so much love, scattering it into three pieces. I pontificated a lot about my adjustment issues, but it was not I who had to make the most adjustments while things were being changed out of my control. I rationalized that letting go is part of life, but that's easy to say because I was not the one who had everything taken away from me at once by somebody else's decision. It was Atreya!

And he handled it stoically, without once making me feel it was unfair or harsh to him. It took me almost a year to figure that out all by myself. 

So, when it was time to decide what he would do in the five months he had free, I used every trick I had up my sleeve to convince him to come here and stay with us. It was my chance to make amends by giving him back his family and sense of belonging, so that he would feel there was a place he knew and could always return to confidently because it was home. My tricks served me well. He has lived with us for four months, and such four months! 

In the little time that he has spent in our small village, Atreya has done many things he had never done before in the super-city he grew up in. He has made friends from all over the world, hosted many parties, mixed strange cocktails, honed his photography skills, learned to drive a scooter and a car, cooked for himself and his colleagues, taken care of his sister's schoolwork, and set new records of coffee consumption! 

He has also got his hands dirty (pun intended) doing grassroots environment work, cleaning up the village he now calls home. He has talked to villagers about the need to segregate and store waste for him to collect, set up processes to streamline collection and segregation, collected and segregated waste himself from hundreds of households, dealt with government bodies for recycling waste, motivated other youngsters by giving lectures in schools and colleges, and impressed everyone, including me, with his excellent work ethics and passion.

When Atreya was a young child, he was known by me. He was Puja's son. 

Today, roles are reversed. I am known by him. I am Atreya's mom. 

And I couldn't be prouder! 

Happy 21st birthday Atreya! 


  1. What a beautiful present you have given your son by writing this post puja.....congratulations on his 21st birthday. ...

  2. Liked this so much..Can relate to most of it as happened with(around) me. Very happy being part of family, having friend like him. Liked the last part 'Atreya's Mom'. My parents also talk about this so often to people.