Just Like Me!

My niece just spent a good long week at my place and it was nothing but wonderful. (The same niece who presented me a little souvenir when I was at her place) Yes, there were times when I was losing it completely trying to keep a nine year old occupied and entertained all day long but I never took it out on her. Well, I tried my best, as best as I could despite not being a fan of the kids. (In my defence, I don’t hate them either.)

But this kid, is really special to me, has always been. I have never met a kid like her. You will see what I mean.

When she was here, I could not help but notice that what my brother and his wife used to tell me was nothing short of true, “She is just like you.” Earlier, when they used to tell me this, I tried ignoring the fact assuming it as their fondness for me. (Yeah, I know I give myself too much of importance 😉 )
But the more I stayed with her, I realised that they weren’t kidding. She is precisely, unerringly like me.

And you know what my first thought used to be? “Oh, my!!! Another mess like me? What is to happen of her?”

She brought the exact replica of my childhood in front of me. It was as if I was looking at a flashback in mirror, only she was a little more cuter and sweeter and the adjectives can go on.

She loves all the same things which I used to love; she reacts the very same way that I used to do. She is fond of colours, loves to sing despite the fact that we are no singers, her tantrums, her habits, her behaviour, the list goes on.

I use ‘Used to” for myself above, because reality hit me hard a few years back and it changed me. Well, it wasn’t a shock to me, because I had been dealing with it for years, only I did not want to accept it. But then I question again and again what will happen of this lovely kid?

I don’t want her to turn like me. I know reality cannot be overlooked or evaded and one day even she will have to grow out of the fantasy land. But, only I don’t want her to be troubled and moved like me.

I use ‘like me’ a lot today which reminds me what I am like. “I am just like her” which again I don’t want to be. So if I am like her and my niece is like me, it is like the genes are flowing down and we will keep creating messes like us. (We should just stop marrying, you know 😉 )

Coming back to my niece, I knew she would grow beyond her age, considering our long known family drama, and the fact that no one cares in our family to keep the kids away from the things which they needn’t know. But I did not see that coming so soon. This was precisely the reason why she was at our place; to avoid the family scenes.

But I don’t think that made any difference.

I know for a fact that when her mother is not around she takes care of her younger brother. She does small things like bringing him food, asking him if he wants milk, looking after his homework- as if she were a teacher. She doesn’t do all of this to enact a mother or a teacher, which most other children would do at her age, she does all of it because she cares, because she knows that she needs to do it. I know it, I know this because I have seen her performing the caring one, I know this because I have done it myself.

So when she came to my place I was happy and relieved that at least she would avoid a little of the drama and could have a week of saneness and being a carefree child.

But something happened after she left, which is still boggling my mind.

This is what happened and this is the reason why I say that I have never met a kid like her.

Her parents did not have the time to come pick her up, neither were we free to go and drop her at her place which would require at least a day’s break. So her father asked her to send her with an uncle that we know and was travelling the same way. I don’t exactly know what is the right age for a kid to be left alone at home; or to let her travel alone for a journey of four hours? But it just doesn’t feel right for a nine year old to be left alone. Though I do remember very well being left alone at home, and so is she left alone most of the times.

So we all thought that she left with the so called uncle and reached safe home, when she called me from home in the night.

I kept checking on her while she was travelling and so did her father.

(Since she has a phone which her dad gave her only since she was alone here. We weren’t supportive of it at all, but since she had it only for the time being, we thought it was okay.)

But today, we got to know the real story, the story that she wasn’t giving away yesterday, the story which was kept from everyone but her father.

In the midst of the four hour journey the said ‘Uncle’ needed to buy a pack of cookies on a railway station for which he got down alone….

And yes, if you were guessing, you might have guessed it right; because he did miss the train leaving that poor little child alone.

After the train moved the panic must have begun in her, but before anything happened her dad called her and warned her off any kind of people. (I cannot begin to think what her state of mind would have been then)

She was left alone for two hours in a journey; she kept playing games, and talking to her father, her mother and me. But she didn’t give away anything. I called her like four times but all she said was I am playing and I will call you as soon as I reach.

Her father reached the station even before the train would arrive and picked her up. Only then must have he breathed a sigh of relief, I am pretty sure about that. But apart from those two people no one new anything.

When they reached home her mother was briefed about what happened, and she scolded her for not telling her anything. My niece’s reply broke my heart-

“Mom, I know you have high diabetes and blood pressure and if I would have told you this then you would have got tensed and then you might have fallen sick, I know you already have a lot of problems going on so I didn’t tell you!”

And when I got to know this, I asked her too, why didn’t you tell me?

And she retorted, “I know you’d have done the same thing. And I am just like you!”

And this broke me completely.

Here, I was trying to keep her away from everything, but I just didn’t realise that she was already captivated in all of it. She was already beyond her years.

I know most people would say that these kinds of experiences make you strong, bold and practical; they give you the strength to deal with life. They sure do, but most importantly you lose a lot too in all of this. It sure makes us strong and resilient, but it also, makes you too practical and feeling-less. By the time you grow up you are hollow inside, and all that is left is a concrete body. You are referred to as pessimistic, gloomy and heartless.

But the fact is we aren’t heartless, we do have a heart, just ours is shielded with facts and truths. It is not that we don’t love ourselves, we do, with all our might we do. But when it comes to our loved ones, we go even a step further than we could, or we should and love them with borrowed might.

And this is what I didn’t want her to go through. I didn’t want her to grow beyond her years, but she already has and I can do nothing about it.

I am just like ‘her’, and she is just like me…


PS: I attach the two links here that I refer to from my previous posts.



Published by Moushmi Radhanpara

A bilingual writer, Moushmi Radhanpara has authored three poetry collections so far, namely POSIES and 03:21 AM –An Ode to Rust & Restlessness, and Resignation of an Angel. She is also scribbling an unplanned rough draft of a story as a part of NANOWRIMO 2020 and hopes that something might come out of it. She has also co-authored two books, The Lockdown Stories and Mirage so far. Her poetries can be found on her blog https://aestheticmiradh.com/ and a few other online portals. She believes in the fact that a better reader makes a better writer. Reading a 100 books a year is her latest obsession. She can be found either drunk on coffee or hiding away from everything and admiring the gorgeous sun.

29 thoughts on “Just Like Me!

  1. I got smile when you said ” mess like me” afterwards it touched me moushmi..you are behaving beyond your age..??? Well…you are beyond maturity then…but don’t worry..there must be reason behind all these..imagine that she is reminding of the mistakes you have done in past or you may help her..it can be both …be in touch with her.just enjoy creation..already your mirror image is talking to you

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your niece has already matured beyond her years, Moushmi. It is amazing that she did not once mention about her loneliness or her fears during the times that you called her after she was left alone. You must be proud of her.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Moushmi… just read this post and it made me feel very sad for you and for your niece. I can’t imagine the pain of growing up way before you are actually supposed to. I have had a very happy and long childhood and I always remind myself that I am having a rough adult life now because nothing can be happier than the days I spent being a kid. Even though I don’t know who you are or where you live I always feel connected to you because of your writing. I have always found a way to connect to your posts. But today I was pained to read your post. I wish I could write something to make you feel better. But I can’t. I can only pray that you find happiness and love. You and your niece have so much love and care in your heart. My mother always tells me that kindness is the biggest virtue and in some unexpected ways the kindness we show to others often comes back to us. And based on her and my experiences I can say that you and your niece would find that love and kindness some day… ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, Mona. Your comment touched me.
      If only we get half of that love and care we’d be overjoyed.
      And I think I fail to mention that we did not have compleetly sad childhood, I mean we have everything, we get whatever we want, we have the best parents as everyone else, it is just that, emotionally, the scene could be a lot better. I don’t know if I make any sense here…


  4. This really gave me goosebumps when you mentioned she was left alone in train. But Thank God she managed it very bravely & reached safely back to her home.
    Yes! She is brave & matured girl , you all should be proud of her.

    Isn’t this good that you got one more chance to enjoy your childhood & recreate memories that you had missed.
    Very well penned Moushmi.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I believe that everything happens for some purpose, this incident makes you all understand how precious she is (like you :)) and also it makes her even more strong & brave.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The post at first gave a smile on anyone’s face also the title captioned “Just like me”.But as the post went on nd on it was entirely a different level .Tending to be grown up nd worrying abt others at a very small age is nt easy ,we tend to bottle up evrythn thinkn dat’s the best fr us and the one’s around us,i totally understand that feeling and happy to hear dat she was safe evn though she was left alone in dat train ..Everyone has a different version of life and we have to live through it nd never let go of hope nd has she is just like you ,you can guide her well.
    Be strong nd be positive.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Left alone in train!! Omg!! this brought back my memories as exact same thing happened with me in childhood and i was left alone in train as a 10year old when someone accompanying me and supposed to take care of me got down to buy something at a station!! (I dont know why they do this and cant wait!) ..this girl is really strong and mature beyond her years just like you!! Her replies did stop the heart!
    And the way wrote it again is a masterclass! Went through all kinds of emotions while reading it! Goosebumpy ride!!
    PS: curious about the “Used to” part! What had happened? (If it’s shareable only then)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your honest opinion.
      She definitely melt my heart.
      And for the ‘used to’ part, well it is nothing too serious. It was more of a combination of several unwanted things all of a sudden. I wasn’t capable enough to handle so much altogether and it made me the practical person that I think I am today.
      I say I think because even today, emotions do overcome once in a while and i hate it, because then I am irrational, and want unnecessary attention, which I know, I am not going to get.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok…atleast it made you stronger than before and one simply cannot develop a emotionless heart overnight….specially for a super emotional person! But the bad experiences atleast give some sort of weapon to deal with similar situations in future…you test them and realize it still needs improvement which comes in the form of next event…and that’s how you evolve….and you know that you will get better of these one day! I can understand the disappointment of finding yourself tricked by emotions when you felt you were strong enough but tests like these help uncover the chinks in your armour right! And you know you are doing well when you realise that slowly it is taking a bigger adversary to make you cry!!

        Liked by 1 person

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