Back in her college days, when Mama was single, she was part of the theatre. She often reminisces about this. One time, she played a man in a play, and wore a paranda as a beard because the beard had been misplaced.

Mama used to paint. She was, or rather is, an artist. The thing about artists is that the magic is always in their fingers, even if those fingers have trained themselves to not crave a brush anymore. We still have her paintings hung up on the walls in our house. A reminder of a time she lived differently.

She was also trained to shoot guns, as a measure of self-defense. Oh, and she crochet-ed like no other. In college, she was training to become an educator and a teacher.

She hasn’t been able to pursue any of that after marriage as the responsibilities of looking after a house and children snatched away most of her time- time she could have spent being the next Picasso or the next Meryl Streep, or simply being the one and only Abida Sikandar, founder of the first country for women.

I have noticed that we do not generally talk about the time when our mothers were single; what fears they had, what struggles they had to overcome, most of which some of us are facing currently. In this narrative that surrounds mothers, as selfless beings who are supposed to single handedly keep the institution of family intact, looking at our mothers as women who once lived full lives, and who want to continue to live full lives outside of the house, the husband, and children, is in itself a revolution.

We need to let our mothers have a space of their own. Let’s celebrate mothers as women. Tell me, have your mothers kept contact with their previous life? And what do they do now?

@_aisha.hamid_

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