Yes that's me, if you didn't guess already.
So what do you see when you look at this picture of me? It's me as I am right now, taken just a day back, the way I am now....with myself, spending time with me.
Yesterday I was waiting at the bus stand to pick up my younger one, and there was this woman who was walking past. She took a look at me, I was wearing a plain black t-shirt, in fact the same I am wearing in the picture here, and a skirt, that was as long as my knee. I think that's a pretty decent and acceptable length, no? So, she took a look at me, and saw the tattoo on my leg, and happened to see it on my hand too, and for some weird reason, could also see the one on my nape.
And the moment she saw my tattoos, she kind of gave a smirk and looked at me again, actually, even though she had passed on, she turned back and glanced at me. I could see the disapproval in her eyes, checking me out to understand what kind of a mother was I, the one with the tattoos and the skirt, and what kind of values I would be imparting.
It was all there in her look.
And let's be hones here, it's not the first time I got it. I've seen it many times, most of the time unspoken, when people judge me by the tattoos I have and the clothes I choose to wear, whether I want to wear makeup or not, whether I tame my hair or not, whether I return home by a certain time on that tick-tock or not, and whether I drink or not....the list is too long actually so let me not bore you to death.
But that lady, even as she smirked and looked back at me, didn't have a clue about me. She didn't see the early morning alarm that I dismiss each morning and jump out of the bed, literally. She didn't see that I sleep for only maybe four hours a night and then wake up and work the whole day, trying to spend as much time with my babies, while working and doing things for the house. She never saw the way my sleep-drenched eyes were finding it difficult to concentrate, and how I passed the day gulping mugs of tea, in an effort to fight off the sleep and the exhaustion.
She never saw the hot meal I had prepared for my kids and set ready for them to come home and have, or the things I had packed in their school lunch to make sure they ate healthy through the day. Or those quick last-minute projects I helped finish or pack up, or the many ways I wiped those baby tears while encouraging my younger one to go to school and promising her that mamma would be right there, waiting to pick her up back in her arms. The many times I had woken up at night to make sure my babies were comfortable and properly wrapped in their comforters, even as they kicked and pushed me to the edge of the bed in their sleep, and do each night.
Or the many smiles I put up through the day for them, even if my heart and mind and senses may be at some far-off place. Or the endless moments when I may have felt lonely and sad and depressed, but always jumped around my babies and chosen to act as fools with them, just as babies and kids love you to be......the many times I chose to be there for them, the way I taught them to respect others, teaching them values and the importance to dream and live and let the world be a fair and happy place, to care for others and help as much as possible, to aim for the best and do what makes them happy, to reach their dreams with their hard work, and so many other things that every nice and fair human being should be.
Oh and yes, that lady, and all those who judge me by my tattoos or the length of my dress and whatnot, could not possibly know how I teach my kids to never judge, to never kill someone's character with a glance, to instead know a person, understand that person, and agree to disagree.
I am not defined by the tattoos I have, and trust me, I am gonna get many many more, it's my body and I can decorate it the way I want, thank you, and I will wear what I please, you may look the other side if I offend you, and I will go out with the friends I want to, or even strangers if I want, and dance and have a good time and head out for parties and come back when I feel I want to, thank you very much.
Just as I give you my permission to continue judging me and be jealous and miss out on the chance to live your own life instead, I promise to myself that I will continue doing all those things that make me happy, that truly define me for who I am and still be the best mommy my babies could have, one of the bestest friends my friends could have when they need unconditional love, support, brutally honest advice, a possessive protective friend and a shoulder to lean on, and one of the most non-judgmental, understanding and trusting and caring person, if you too will care to understand me.
It's your choice ;)
- Debolina Raja
And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ