” When I told mom we were going to UAE, tears started streaming down her face”

“Mumma has always been my role model. I’ve grown up listening to her stories. She’d tell me that whilst growing up she had two dreams–to become a doctor and to travel the world. But at 23 she was married off, and although Dada and Dadi were supportive, she got so occupied with ghar-grihasti that she never realised her dreams.

I remember I was 5 when I’d announced–Mumma, I’m going to travel the world. To which she had said, ‘Phir mera kya hoga?’ And I just said, ‘Aapko bhi leke jaungi!’ But as years passed, I became more aware of our situation–we were doing okay, but we didn’t have surplus to spend and travel wasn’t an option. So, at 18, I started taking up photography work–it interested me and also paid well. Within no time, I started to travel to different cities for work. Whenever I’d come back, Mumma would have hundreds of questions for me – ‘kya kiya?’ ‘kahan gaye?’ ‘Mazze aaye?’ She'd get so excited!

Unfortunately, my parents never got to travel, so Mumma used to live vicariously through me. But she’d always cutely say, ‘Dekhna, ek baar Paris, Maldives aur UAE jaungi.’ I started quietly saving to make her dream true.

And then last month, I got offered a project in Abu Dhabi! I immediately agreed with one condition– I’d take Mumma along. I paid the extra amount, promised a few more deliverables and they agreed! But I didn’t tell Mumma. With my sister’s help, I got her Visa done and then 2 days before leaving, I told her we were going on a trip. Mumma danced around like a little girl. She was so excited that she didn’t even ask me where we were going! So, I decided to keep it a secret.

On the day of our flight, while handing over her ticket I finally told her, ‘Mumma, we’re going to UAE.’ Tears started streaming down her face, she hugged me and said, ‘Thank you!’

Although we had an emotional start, this mother-daughter trip saw a series of firsts–our first international trip, Mumma’s first time by the beach, Mumma also made her first ever brand purchase; she was so happy throughout. But my favourite part of the trip was when she said, ‘Kitna acha hai yeh. Koi kaam nahi hai, koi schedule nahi hai; I feel free.’

For those 5 days, we were two best friends on holiday– we discussed boys, gossiped about our relatives and I bought Mumma whatever she liked! On the last day of the trip, Mumma hugged me and said, ‘Mujhe kabhi nahi laga tha main actually aa paungi. Thank you, beta!’

We came back just yesterday and I’m already saving for our next trip– my parents have spent a lifetime providing for us, it’s my turn to splurge on them and make their whole bucket list come true!”

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