Mamma Achiever

image By Wayam Magazine 10 May 2024

“Mamma, Principal Mam wants to meet you in the school tomorrow.” Riya said as soon as she came home from school.

“Yes! Even I got a call from the school office.”

“Why have they called you?”

“Did you do any mischief in the class?”

“No, Mamma!”

“Don’t worry. They have called me for some work related to your school’s 100 years’ celebration.”

“You? How can you help?”

“Let’s see!”

“But you will have to speak nice English with Mam…”

“Oh, Really! I will try my best.” Mamma said winking at Riya.

The next day when Riya came home from school, her mother had still not returned. Daddy was working from home that day. He opened the door and immediately went to his room as he was busy in a call. Riya got very angry as there was no one to talk to her. This had never happened before. She hastily ran to her room and slammed her room’s door.

Few minutes later, when Daddy came there, he saw Riya sitting on her bed sobbing.

“Daddy, had Mamma called?”

“Yes! But why are you crying?”

“I wanted to give her a nice surprise. But she is not there. Even you didn’t talk to me when I came.”

“I am really sorry. Now stop crying and tell me what the surprise is…”

“My drawing is selected in the final round of our school’s drawing competition.”

“Which was organized to celebrate your school’s centenary year? That’s great news! Mamma will be very happy.”

“But why hasn’t she come home yet?”

“Riya, you are in the fifth standard now. Don’t cry like a baby! After her meeting, Mamma wanted to pick you up from school and treat you with your favourite ice-cream but the meeting got delayed.”

“Parents’ meeting?”

“No! To celebrate 100 years, your school plans to have some paintings done on the school walls. They had called Mamma to discuss the theme.”

“How can she help them?”

“Mamma who becomes your age and plays with you, helps you with your studies, untiringly listens to your endless talking and questioning, becomes your punching bag when you are angry and depressed is also a fine painter….”

“I know that. Our teacher always asks her to make our school charts…” Daddy just smiled. He then got some old catalogues of Mamma’s paintings. Beautiful peacocks, mesmerizing sunrise, beach sands glittering in the sunrays, bullock cart riding in the dark, flock of birds flying in the sky… the list was endless.  Mamma had beautifully captured nature in her paintings.

“But I have never seen her do this!”

“Painting needs a lot of concentration and time. After you were born, she had decided that her entire time was yours. Painting was her passion but you are her priority. She went to your school today only because the call was from her daughter’s school. Otherwise, she had got so many opportunities before, that she has refused. Two years ago, a famous company had called her to make a series of paintings for their offices. Though it was a prestigious opportunity, she refused it straightaway.”


“English was giving you a tough time. You were having problems with spellings and reading big sentences. She was worried and wanted to completely concentrate on your studies.”

“Mamma used to patiently sit with me for hours to practice. I had got full marks in the final exams that year.”

“It gave you so much confidence. That’s the beauty of a mother! She knows exactly when her child needs her.” It suddenly reminded Riya how she had asked Mamma the day before to speak ‘nice English’ with her Principal Mam but Mamma took it so sportingly. Riya felt ashamed of herself.

“So many of my friends’ mothers work... Even Mamma can! I am grown up now.”

“She can! But it is her choice, which I respect!” 

“And I take her so much for granted…” Riya sighed.

When Daddy and Riya where chatting, the doorbell rang.  Riya ran to open the door. She was delighted to see Mamma standing outside. Riya hugged her as soon as she came in. This was a pleasant surprise for Mamma as she had expected Riya to be very angry at her for coming late.

“Are you alright, beta?” Mamma asked as she settled down.

“I am first-class. What did Principal Mam say?” Riya was curious.

“They want to me to create murals, some paintings on the school walls as mark of their 100 years’ celebration. They had called me to discuss different themes.”

“How does Principal Mam know that you paint?”

“Long back I had painted the entrance wall for your school. By the time you went to school, they had it re-painted from some other painter. ”

“Because you refused them…” Mamma was taken aback by Riya’s words. Riya then narrated to Mamma the entire conversation that she had with her Daddy.

“You were too small that time.”

“But now I am big enough. Are you going to accept the work now?” 

“Of course not… I will give them some ideas but doing the entire painting work will be time-consuming.” 

“When is the celebration?” Daddy intervened.

“10th March! Riya’s badminton tournament is scheduled around that time. Even you will be out of town. It’s not possible. Since International Women’s Day is around the same time, I will at-the-most give them some ideas on women achievers across the world.”

“What about my Mamma achiever? You take care of me and Daddy round the clock. I know we are your priority. You sacrificed your career, your passion for me…”

“That’s not sacrifice. It was my choice, beta!”

“Mamma, all other things can be sorted out but you have to say ‘yes’ to Principal Mam this time. It is a golden chance for you. You left your passion for me but now you have to take up this project for my sake. Please Mamma!”

“Ok fine. Let’s do it!” Riya persuaded till Mamma had to finally agree.

“We celebrate women achievers who pursue their dreams but women who give up their dreams to raise their children should also be celebrated. Their effort is easily forgotten. By-the-way, Riya’s drawing is selected in the final round of school’s drawing competition.” Daddy said as he updated Mamma with Riya’s achievement.

“That’s wonderful!” Mamma was thrilled.

“Like mother, like daughter...” Riya said and she hugged Mamma tightly. It was a proud moment for both of them.

-Prachi Mokashi


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