I am just back suitcase shopping. Not for me though! I do not travel.

Come Monday Utpal will board a train and leave for Mumbai to fulfil his dream of working in the movies. The stage is set for him as Mrinal and Abhigyan wait for the shooting of their next serial. My mind goes back to 2006 when I had gone suitcase shopping for him as he was going to boarding school. He was 4. We bought a little red bag and filled it not just with the things on the list given to us by the school, but also with a plethora of dreams yet to be revealed and fulfilled. Today one of these comes true.

Over the past years as he moved from class to class we packed many suitcases for him never forgetting to tuck in the yet unfulfilled dreams.

If his going to school the first time was a rite of passage for the two of us, today as he moves into the adult world is yet another one we both have to go through.

I remember when he left for school the first time, I wept like a baby, a mix of feelings gushing through my mind, and my heart being ripped wide open. Was I doing the right thing in sending such a tiny tot to a big boarding school. The mind jumped in to quell the heart: it was for his good; education was what would make the dreams come true.

The primary years ended and we moved to secondary school, then the final examination and results. School days were over. Then came college in another city a few hundred kilometres from here. His BA in hand, Utpal came to Delhi for his internship and then secured a job in a digital media start up. But that was not in the dream box.

I was happy having him at home, seeing him every day. It was comforting but as I said not part of the dream. I was quite happy the way things were but not the God of small things to whom all dreams were entrusted. He had to make them come true. So the universe conspired to make things happen and they did at lightning speed: a phone call or two and before we knew it Utpal had a job offer and even a place to stay for the initial days. It was time to go.

The last few days have been busy shopping, packing, cooking special treats. No one is saying anything. Each quietly counting the days till the suitcases are ready to move and our little Utpal with them.

The coming  days will be hard. Keeping a brave face is hard. The half packed suitcase in the room stares at me and I feel my throat constrict and my eyes well up.And I am not the only one. Though no one says anything. There are so many things I want to say but can’t. I find myself patting his cheek or giving him a furtive hug and walking away.

I know I have to let him go as that is the only way he will be able to find his wings and fly and let him go I will as there is no other option. I know that when it is time to leave the house, I will send him off with a smile and the right words but I also know that when the car is gone and one has stopped waving goodbye, I will break down and weep.

But suitcases with dreams have a destiny to fulfil.

I will simply pray everyday to the God of small things to take care of my darling child and walk with him always.