The gurgling laughter, dimpled smile, innocent doe eyes with the long curled eyelashes, smooth cheeks, tiny fists waving in the air, roly poly thighs and a cute little diaper to protect against... toilet malfunctions. It seems just yesterday that this baby girl communicated her needs in goos and gaas, understood only by her mother who babbled right back in a series of coos.
Now this baby is advising her mother about computers, hair colour and the latest trends in fashion, how to look hip and trendy and frankly to 'get with the plan'.
She's become the confidante and a guide of sorts. When did this transformation happen? Did the 21 years just fly by? Today I am the one who is at the receiving end of care, where just a look can convey happiness, sorrow and other nuances of my mood to her. She is my FRIEND. She goes shopping with me as she knows the latest deals in the mall or even online on all the myriad shopping sites. She bonds with me over coffee or Maggi, wipes away all my cares with a flick of her wrist and a nodded understanding to convey that she empathises, she compounds my happiness with her own special brand of humour.
It's like she's an old-fashioned doctor who knows her patients' every creak and twitch, and just by feeling the pulse knows exactly what to say. She gives her prognosis and the medication - usually her company - always works.
How did she become a SUPERWOMAN who with her magic kryptonite can make it all fantastic for me? Finito -- all bad and evil in my life banished by her into the dark hole of the Universe never to haunt me again.
I raised her well, I must say, but little did I know that it was so well that she would be my pillar in all times and oh! The joy she brings to my being just by the way she arches her eyebrows when I'm being silly by exaggerating my problems, or when I continuously stress over a fight I had with my sister.
Where did this come from?
Then I throw my mind back to 20 years ago. I am wearing bootleg jeans and a stringy vest, my hair is in a perm with corkscrew curls, blood red Estee Lauder red siren lipstick on my lips, and those ugly but fashionable-at-that-moment clogs on my feet. I am telling my mother that she's imagining her problems by exaggerating them and overreacting to them. They're serious, she tells me, they bother me. I clasp her chubby, fair little palm and tell her, "C'mon let's go for coffee at the Taj and all will be well." And she is sceptical but plays along. And guess what? We definitely feel better after wolfing down the wafer biscuits and thick creamy cappuccino. Then we go shopping and chat some more - more accurately, I advise her on the "in" things to do and finally when we reach home and I see her laugh about something stupid I'd said I know that my plan worked.
Once she called me SUPERWOMAN... and here I am calling my daughter SUPERWOMAN. So now I know where it came from.
As I enter my bedroom to hit the bed I smile a satisfied smile and I know I will always have a SUPERWOMAN and my SUPERWOMAN will always have hers.
Read Part 1 of Pink Power: The Many Hues Of A Superwoman here.
Vandana Shah is an award-winning author and her new book "Ex Files" is a bestseller. She has also won the award for best lawyer in India. Share your thoughts with her on www.vandanashah.comSuggest a correction