It was Sheoli's first birthday party which was not being held under adult supervision and was at her friend's apartment in Delhi. Anu was finding it hard to accept two things. One, that her daughter had grown up and two, how much of the rope should she loosen?

Sheoli was super excited to go and had just finished straightening her hair. She was wearing a dress which her aunt had recently gifted her and was a designer label from New York. The matching stilettoes made the ensemble complete. She was on cloud nine. She looked beautiful in her own eyes.

Her kohled eyes made her look all grown up and Anu wiped off a tear looking at her. "Oh! How lovely her daughter looked", she thought.

But the impending thought of the party made Anu stress out. She knew that Sheoli had a sensible head on her shoulders. Anu also knew that she was clear in her choices, yet a mother's heart was apprehensive. Anu controlled her own fears and emotions and put on a smile. She did not want to spoil her daughter's mood. She did not want to pass on her own thoughts to her. Not today.

Sheoli hugged her Mom and said,"Mom, I know you get stressed. But, I know that I will follow your instructions and will be back by ten. Also, if I am getting a wee bit late, I will call".

Anu felt proud of her daughter. She had all her systems in place. She respected her boundaries and today it was Anu's turn. To loosen her strings. To let go. To let live.

Today she remembered her mother and how she herself had given her a very hard time. She would purposefully do things to irritate her mother. She would bounce deadlines. She would never abide by the rules. And, never give the right answers. But there was a reason for this. Her mother always passed on her fears to Anu. At seventeen, Anu had all the hormones on her side and she rebelled at each fear, at each rule, and at each instruction.

Looking back wistfully, she felt that she had done her homework well.She was ready. She had given Sheoli wings to fly.

But will Sheoli fly too far?Or will she find her way back home?