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This story was originally written for a book of children’s stories.

Riya was a lass,
All of sixteen.
Bold and boisterous,
Tall and lean.

Her friend was to throw
A party one day.
Riya wanted to go
Her mother said “Stay

Too late it is,
This party of yours.
Dangers await you
Beyond these hours.”

Fuming and furious,
Riya screamed.
“You’re suffocating me
And crushing my dreams!”

Incensed and infuriated,
She stormed into her room,
Slamming the door behind her,
Her mother could only swoon.

Her father returned
Early from a meeting,
Finding both parties,
One gloomy, the other seething.

Comprehending the situation,
From his hurt wife,
He entered her abode,
Carrying gifts of lemon ice.

“These are for you
To keep your anger bare
While I tell you a tale
Of your mother’s childhood scare.

Your mother was seven,
Innocent and forgetful,
Having forgotten her bag
At the nearby swimming pool.

She slipped out of the house,
Unbeknownst to anyone.
She did not want to frighten
Or get scolded in return.

It was late at night
And the streets were dark.
This little girl of seven
Was alone in the park.

She found her bag;
She headed home;
Her footsteps speeding up,
In the silence of the gloam.

She saw a dark figure
Emerge from the night.
It offered sweet candy,
With teeth shining bright.

Your mother said no;
She rushed past him.
Her hair yanked back,
The beast had grabbed them!

She twisted and turned,
She thrashed and flailed,
She screamed until her throat
Was raw as a rusty nail.

Heads poked out and lights were lit,
They were no longer alone.
The neighbours arrived, armed to the hilt,
In an instant, he was gone

Your mother still carries
Memories of that day.
Her fear for your safety,
Is why she wanted you to stay.”

Riya stood up,
Her anger drained away.
She walked to her mother,
And began to say,

“Mother, forgive me
I stepped over the line.
I understand that you
Just wanted me to be fine.

And while I understand
The moral of your strife.
You cannot let your past
Affect my future life.”

Her mother stood and embraced her
Hearing the wisdom in her voice
“Child! You’ve convinced me,
You leave me no choice.”

On the way to the party
Both women reflected
Today held a great lesson
So they both introspected

Mother learnt to let her daughter,
Grow up into her own woman.
Riya learnt that her mother’s lessons,
Could never be forgotten.

For while there is merit,
In being independent,
Always heed their advice.
For all parents say,

And all parents do,
They do only for you.

Abhijeet Krishnan