“Amma, BlogAdda has announced a new contest”, Pooja declared enthusiastiaccly to her mother. Pooja is an avid blogger and her mother was her critic. Her mother, Lakshmi, was an English Professor in one of the prestigious colleges in Kerala. Pooja highly valued her mother’s perspectives and feedback.
“Is it? What is it Pooja?” her mother asked curiously.
So she read out aloud:
“Blog about women's safety with Smart Suraksha and win attractive prizes.
“I/she wish I had Smart Suraksha with me/her”
Popularize how at the press of a button, a woman can alert up to 5 of her contacts and the police simultaneously with this fabulous app. Blog about instances when you or any other friend you know had faced a threatening situation and using this app would have been a life-saver.”
Her mother, who was busy sewing in her machine, removed her specs and walked towards her daughter. She eagerly read the terms and conditions and understood the depth of the topic. Then she sighed and said, “I wish I had Smart Suraksha with me”
“What?” Pooja asked adorning a confused face.
“Yes Pooja. Looking back and thinking about that incident, I really wish that I had Smart Suraksha with me”, her mother said.
Her mother continued, “It was fifteen years before. Do you remember your Parvathi chithi’s house-warming in Bangalore? It was in the month of April. You had gone there a week before with your Krishnan mama. Your appa couldn’t come because bank audit was going on. And I travelled alone to Bangalore.”
Pooja nodded. She did remember that function very clearly although it happened fifteen years before. After all, that was the first time she stayed away from her parents. She was only ten years old at that time. She was excited and homesick at the same time; excited because she could have a fun time with her cousins. She also remembered that trip to Thirupathi and the fever that followed. She still remembered how much she missed her mother and how worried their parents were.
So her mother mother continued, “I caught an auto from Bangalore Central station to your thathi’s house. And then I realized that he was taking me through wrong direction. I felt really terrified. I sensed that something is indeed wrong. But I didn’t know how to come out of it. I closed my eyes and tried my best to not to look panicky. I shuddered at the thought of what can come up soon. Finally, after rehearsing many times, I said, Anna, ondhu nimisha. Munche Police station hogi. Nan anna duty mugisbittu nanagoskkara kaaitha idhaare”
Pooja was awed. She always knew that her mother was a very bold lady. But having the presence of mind of asking the auto-driver to take her to the nearby Police station to pick up her brother who was waiting after duty time was heights of courage!
Lakshmi was born and brought up in Bangalore. Her marriage with my father, a bank officer, gave the opportunity to live in different cities and be a part of various cultures.
Unmindful of Pooja’s awestuck stare, her mother continued, “You should have seenthat auto driver’s face Pooja. It was death-stuck! He asked me if I am a resident of Bangalore. I said yes and added that I know every nook and corner of the city. He understood my implicit remark and he dropped me at the Police station as instructed. He even refused to take money from me. I didn’t insist either. Why should I? I though he deserves that. I caught another auto to your thathi’s home. I reached a little late, but I didn’t share that incident to anyone.”
“Amma, you didn’t even tell appa?” Pooja asked. She was still in a shock.
She said, “I did tell him. But, only after reaching back to our home”
“What did he say?” Pooja asked with oozing curiosity.
“Well, he said that he always knew that I am a startler! He added that he is very of proud me. Also asked me to always take care and be vigilant” she said.
“I am proud of you also amma. You are indeed a startler!” Pooja added and hugged her tight.
“Enough bud, go and write your post!” she said with a wink.
And Pooja knew what she should write about. She should write about her amazing mother – The Startler!