Note: As a part of the 'Mothers' stories. The last post under the title is at: http://aadityaandme.blogspot.com/2010/01/mothers-3.html
Disclaimer: Completely fictitious. Vague.
The school bell rang and a horde of kids rushed out. In the crowd, was Neeta. Neeta saw me waiting at the entrance of the school and waved out to me. I held her hand as I walked Neeta through a busy street.
I would be there at 1 sharp every single afternoon.Occasionally, I bought Neeta a chocolate or two. In fact, Neeta would get one, without fail, when she scored well in her tests.
Neeta would sit on the swing with me to hear stories from Ramayan. It was me who got a five-minute act rehearsed from Neeta for a drama competition in school. I never let anyone touch my dressing table - Neeta was, however, allowed to try my lipstick or my earrings.
I would always buy a gift a day before Neeta's examination results. That's because, Neeta was bound to come running to me with her report card and get a gift after every result of hers. When Neeta would fall ill, I would walk barefoot to the temple praying for Neeta's health.
When Neeta was happy, she would hug me and give me a peck on my cheek. The kiss from the little girl meant a world to me.
But before I could realise, Neeta had grown up.
Now I wanted to ask Neeta what her college was like, what Neeta wanted to do in her life. Neeta only returned a smile now as she crossed me in the building.
It did not matter that I considered Neeta my daughter. It did not matter that I gave Neeta the love I would have given my child if I had one.
I was just a neighbour. I was not her mother. Too bad that people like me who play the role of a mother temporarily end up feeling like and expecting what a mother would.