My mother and I share a strange relationship. It is one of those quintessential love-hate relationships. So if you’re looking for mushy feelings and sugar-coated words, then maybe I won’t meet your idea of perfect mother-daughter relationship.

My mother is like the falling chinar leaves during autumn in a distant Kashmir valley but always finding itself strewn between pages of a book.

Because you see her love is consuming but yet terrifying. Her love sometimes treads the dangerous path, that is to love or not to love.

My mother cannot differentiate between the sadness in my eyes and the smile on my lips but that doesn’t make her a bad mother.

Because you see my mother was taught to be prim and decent and to never question. So she never questions me when she sees my red eyes or my indifferent behavior.

My mother believes that the only love I will ever need is from a family and the validation stands justified if it comes from the society.

Because you see she was taught that only mad people see therapist and a woman only needs a decent marriage to find her worth in this world.

My mother taught me all about being just the right woman but forgot to tell me what one does when sadness comes knocking at the door.

Because you see she was never given an option to be sad or depressed and that her times were tougher.

Because you see my mother knows she’s raised a rebel of a woman but watches silently from a distance everytime I dissent.

And during those times, I see something that I cannot comprehend much: maybe fear that I’m defying her idea of a woman or maybe hope that I will never let myself live the way she has lived.