“Sanya! Sanya! Where are you?” yelled Vani, as she entered her home after a long day at work.
“Coming, mummy!” said Sanya in a scared voice. She had been in her room upstairs, painting.
As the little girl walked down the stairs, her mother did not fail to notice the paint stains on her shirt. She knew what was going on. “Have you finished your homework?” Vani asked, pouring herself a glass of water.
Sanya said nothing.
“Tell me the truth, Sanya,” Vani looked straight into her daughter’s eyes.
Of late, Sanya had developed an interest in painting and Vani wasn’t very happy about it. She thought her daughter was simply wasting time.
Her voice shaking, Sanya confessed, “I was finishing my drawing, mummy.”
All hell broke loose. Vani scolded Sanya for not focusing on her studies and forbade her from ever painting again.
“Nani is coming over this weekend. At least, then there will be somebody to watch over you until I get back from work,” Vani said.
Sanya was still looking down, but the joy within her knew no bounds. Nani loved her paintings. She couldn’t wait till the weekend. Without uttering a word, Sanya went upstairs, back to her room.
On Saturday afternoon, when she got back from school, nani was waiting to receive her at the gate. Sanya jumped into her arms and hugged her. The caring embrace of her grandmother assured Sanya that everything would be alright.
After lunch, Sanya took nani to her room and showed her all her paintings she had hidden under her cot. Nani had a surprise gift for her–a watercolour set! “You should paint more, my child,” she said.
Sanya was elated. But pouting, she said, “Mummy doesn’t let me paint, nani.”
Nani realised how much painting meant to her granddaughter. So, the next day, when Sanya was away in school, nani nicked a painting from Sanya’s room. She had read about a local art competition in the newspaper that morning, and she was going to send the painting as Sanya’s entry.
A week later, Sanya was summoned by the headmistress at her school. She didn’t know what she had done wrong. With fear in her eyes, she knocked on the headmistress’ chamber.
The door opened and Sanya froze upon seeing her mother there. Dragging her feet, she walked up to the headmistress’ table and wished her good morning.
“Congratulations Sanya, you have won the first prize in the district-level children’s painting contest. You have made us proud,” the headmistress said handing her an envelope. Inside it was one of her paintings, which portrayed her family, and a handwritten compliment that read, ‘You have it in you. Don’t give up painting!’
She didn’t understand how this happened, but she was over the moon. Must have been Nani’s work, she thought.
Sanya looked at her mother, expecting a look of fury. But to her surprise, Vani was beaming.
Sanya knew her mother would never be the same from that day onwards.