Finally An Adult
Our faces inch closer. Is it an early morning sigh I hear or the sigh after a day of tiring work? “Another essay”, bellows a tiny neuron from one end of your brain as your hands reach out to pick one of the gazillion sheets on your desk. Your eyes sift through thousands of letters strewn across the pages, the pages that define me.
The morning sun dazzles my eyes. I turn over to the other side of my bed to avoid the rays but the charm is already broken. The silence of the early morning is now evaded by the cacophony of the morning commercials, the same high pitched voice of the Caucasian lady trying to sell the master dicer. I have been waking up to that advertisement for eight years and I still haven’t got used to it. The ritual practiced by my dear father, switching on the television every Sunday morning, has been an inevitable part of my life ever since I can recollect. Never a Sunday missed.
Lying in my bed for I don’t know how long, I finally hear the clanking of metals utensils. My mother is awake. It’s the sound of her red bangles, one in each wrist, hitting the utensils and the glass tumbler, it is the sound of her toil for the preparation of our breakfast. It’s almost time. From a room away, comes a call,”Mona! Wake up!” Like the call of prayer for Muslims, this is my call to begin my day, have my breakfast and then exactly at half past nine, I go to my room for studying.
It’s supposed to be a usual day except like my gut feeling, it turns out absolutely different.
There is an unexpected call. All of a sudden both my parents are rushing past me to dress up. Why? I have no idea. Before I could even comprehend the situation, my father swiftly takes out his bike. My mother sits behind him, nods in my direction and quickly says, “Take care of home”. Both of them speed off. The tail light vanishes, the figures get engulfed by the increasing distance between us. As I bar the gates, one thought lingers in my head, ‘take care of home.’ It is only after I enter the kitchen to get my breakfast when her words finally dawn on me.
The kitchen is nothing but a mess as if a hurricane blew past. The stove is smeared with last night’s curry and the black granite slab is an artist’s work. I guess it’s time to work.
Wetting the rag, determination etched on every fiber of my muscle, I scrub the stove clean, wipe the granite slab and wash all the utensils till they shine. As I leave the kitchen, believing all my chores are done, I realize that even the floor needs a bit of sweeping and mopping. And not just the kitchen floor but the whole house. Grabbing my broom and mop, I get to work. I take around five hours to complete all my housekeeping chores. I wonder how my mother has been doing the work every single day of her life, without flinching.
It’s respect and love that bubbles up in my heart after I complete my job. When my parents return home, I find my mother strangely happy. She asks me in a surprised tone, “Did you clean the house and the kitchen? And the bottles, did you fill them?” I nod my head in affirmation. Satisfaction engulfs my heart. I can bet all the riches in the world but I have never seen her happier. “Oh well, you really have grown up,” she smiles at me.
The moment. It’s then that I realize adulthood isn’t just about leaving your nest but it’s about growing while understanding your responsibility. Guess what, I am finally an adult. An honor bestowed upon me for sharing the family responsibilities.
~ Eisheeta Barua | Edited by Afreen Zeb