Monday, March 9, 2009

True story of a brave Indian woman - Celebrating Women's Day

You can do almost anything you put your mind to…

You can swim the deepest ocean and climb the highest peak…

Be a Doctor or fly a plane…

You can face adversity and still walk tall.

You are strong, beautiful, and compassionate and much more than words could ever say!

Today is yours, and so is every other day…

Happy Women’s Day!

We are celebrating Women’s Day with this real story of a brave Indian mother shared by a blogger who wants to remain anonymous. The story is posted as is with minor editing.

It is appreciation like this which helps us to go forward with this little initiation we refer to as ‘NO gender inequality’.

Thank you friend for sharing this with us.

Our mother raised us with little support from a dad who was suffering mental depression. In a way it proved to be a blessing in disguise, I guess. We realized that mom was by no means a lady inferior to men; she earned all her life and raised three unbelievably mischievous kids alone almost.

Sold a house in a big city to settle for a smaller and a less expensive town where she was born. She wanted to live in a town where no relatives lived, all had shifted to bigger cities. Far and alone, independent and smart enough to build a bungalow, a property that would give her shelter and shield her and her kids and her husband from the world which even wanted to separate them.

She was the 4th child in her family born at 11 months, born in August a year after the independence, a child not planned, her eldest sister was married by the time she arrived, two brothers, the youngest being 11 years older to her. Due to late birth she was born with a deformity, one hand short that got entangled in the intestines in her mothers womb.

Her sister committed suicide after giving birth to 3 kids who later became friends of their Maasi... almost the same age all of them.

It was in 1948, her birth year her dad started a business which went on to become so successful that in those days they became the richest.

Her mother didn’t want her to continue college after school but the eldest brother, a bit of a rebel fought the family and got her into college in nearby city and even an admission in hostel.

In her days in college is when she realized her true self... that she existed.... that she had a life....

When she graduated, this girl, daughter of a multi millionaire family had to be married off... she didn’t want to marry but when the eldest brother talked her into it she agreed.

She knew since she didn’t have a hand, an alliance wasn’t going to come so soon and if it would come it would be coz of her family not her. Still it was this brother who fought for her, she felt she had to listen to him. The younger brother wanted her to not marry but the elder brother too strong, too dominant and too much respected wanted her to.

She did have a few emotions for a couple of guys in college but her handicap would ensure she would never feel comfortable or at ease with them.

Alliance and alliance would go by nothing would work because of her deformity. She was sure she wouldn’t marry someone who was marrying her for her money or family status. Eventually my dad a poor man lived in a hut literally agreed. He was impressed by her snooty attitude that mom used to put on to put off guys. Eventually Mom realized he was too poor to take care of her.

When she questioned it was told that her parents would buy her a flat, everything she needed and dad would be helped. He was a young commercial designer from a big city college, qualified but poor.

Eventually the marriage took place; the flat was bought for them in a suburb near to the eldest brother's house far from where dad lived. Despite dad not wanting it they wanted to protect the sister from dad's 2 younger brothers who were also in the same poor boat, qualified but poor they would use the house if they stayed in the same vicinity.

Soon they had a son, although the mother and the father both had longed for a girl even thought of a name. A boy was born and their aspirations of a daughter led to two more boys.

For a while things were ok. Her mother in law was a very good lady however she didn’t like the idea of staying with the son in his wife's house so often would go back to the hut of the two younger brothers. Dad was mighty attached with his mom and he didn’t like this. This all was affecting him slowly. Dad separated from his friends, who would also taunt him about marrying a very rich girl, about toeing her.

All this humiliation was tough on him. He couldn’t work, couldn’t identify, would fight with mom, got violent a couple of times, left the eldest kid at a bus-stop in a bit city, miraculously he was found. He was even sent to a mental asylum...electric Shocks.... and what not....

It was at this stage a relative, an uncle of mum, told her to get out of the big city, away from the relatives, the eldest brother agreed. She with three kids in a week’s time when she was not sure what to do and what not she left for a small town for a job in a hostel run by that uncle for the communities girls... Mom was BA. Bed.

She went away, her husband not knowing where the kids and his wife were. For four years she lived in tatters although the girls in the hostel were to become her best friends. She always was not sure what was happening. Finally one day, Dad found her out and came to meet us. This was when the youngest of us three brothers just once spelt out, Mom can't we all stay together. I cursed my brother for that because I hated Dad and felt sorry for Mom. Eventually Dad would again lose it.

But Mom somehow gathered the courage and put her foot down for the first time over her elder brother and told him that Dad was staying with us. She decided to go back to her home town where no one knew of our past, about dad's past most importantly. She thought she could revive everything.

Once in the small town she sold her big city flat and built a bungalow. Probably living 4 years away from the influence of relatives had made her think, independently at that. This time she was clear in her mind. She started tuitions as she didn’t want to leave the house to dad. She stayed home, did tuitions from 7 in the morning at our house to 11, cooked and would again get back to tuitions from 2 to 7 in the evening again cook. The three kids would keep eating piles of rotis and this lady with one hand would cook and make rotis for everyone including her husband.

Dad mellowed down but was never able to work. He would assist in the kitchen and in the tuitions but he would have a spell or too when he would lose once in a while in a year or so. Eventually the three sons graduated, Mom exhausted all her savings of the flat of big city in raising these kids. In the nick of time I started contributing and so followed the two little ones a few years later.

In my life there is no great hero. I have the greatest heroine.... It is my Mother. For us three kids it was always Mom... and nobody else....

If this wouldn’t teach me that a woman is equal or even stronger then I don’t know what would.

I don’t know why I am writing this to you guys. I actually am a little weepy at the moment but anyways, just wanted to tell you girls that what you have started is a wonderful thing. Strangely this just kept getting longer and longer...

I just hope people will understand, realize that women and men are two different sexes and nothing more. There is nothing better or superior or inferior involved in this. Most still don't understand but unless efforts like yours are made, they never will.

10 comments:

Winnie the poohi said...

I am touched beyond words !


My mom singlehandedly supported her brothers and sisters when my granpa got bed ridden coz of paralysis. She married late.. and my aunts still help their brother who is in no so good condition...

I guess thats the reason why I have no hangups of being "less" than anyone..

Even my dad had no gumption in washing my mom's sarees or utensils or anything.. if mom was late or tired.. though he did it on his own and mom never expected him to help..

We have always been encouraged to think independently.. I am lucky to have had such good parents.. Thank you for reminding me of this :)

You my dear are blessed too. We need more guys like you here!

Usha Pisharody said...

That is one of the most heartfelt and moving stories of life itself, that I have ever read.

Kudos to this Wonderful Woman, for being who and what she truly believed in and being the source of inspiration, not just for her children, but for all of us.

With a handicap and having to manage both family and livelihood, she did so with such grace and courage, that I can only bow my head in supplication to her beautiful spirit.

Indomitable and Strong. Unputdownable. Words I have used for my Grandmother, in a post on my blog, are what I would like to gift this warm and loving human being today.

Thank you, Anonymous, for sharing this and for helping to make one understand that we are what we make of ourselves, with a never say die spirit.

Thank you!

Solilo said...

Anonymous friend, that is one heartfelt piece from your life. I salute your mother for fighting all odds and bringing up her children with self-respect and courage.

Kudos to all women who makes difference in others’ life without expecting anything in return.

Happy Women’s Day to wonderful women everywhere!

Indyeah said...

The emotions were too overwhelming when I was reading this story ..and even now when I sit here, having finished reading it..

Hats off to this woman!
And I am just in awe of her!of all that she is..

''In my life there is no great hero. I have the greatest heroine.... It is my Mother. For us three kids it was always Mom... and nobody else.... ''

And that makes me even more proud that her sons turned out so..:)

''If this wouldn’t teach me that a woman is equal or even stronger then I don’t know what would. ''

Anonymous..hats off to you too for being all that you are ,all that your mom made you..and for sharing this here so generously....

Anonymous ((hugs))for I wept too at so many places while reading this...

May god bless you and your loved ones...:)

Indyeah said...

@Winnie:-Thank you too..... so much for sharing all that you have...and now I know the heart that beats behind that brave ,strong girl and the mother and father who made it so..:)
((hugs))

Kislay said...

What a great story . The lady epitomizes Shakti , in all its forms . Hats off to her .

Ajit said...

That was an inspiring story...
as Kislay rightly said... That lady epitomizes Shakti...
Kudos to her.... may God bless....

Poonam J said...

....am so overwhelmed with emotions, a lump in my throat, misty eyed...and at a total loss of words....Women have hidden strength and with this strength alone she can carry the weight of the world.Only woman has the ability to hold it all together when everything is falling apart....Your mum is my heroine too.I made my husband read this, and for a man who rarely shows emotions, he too was touched by your mums true strength.

Varunavi said...

Your story my friend brought my memories back.

"In my life there is no great hero. I have the greatest heroine.... It is my Mother. For us three kids it was always Mom... and nobody else.... ---- these words are for my mom also

My mom never had a peaceful life,full life was struggle for her but always had a smile on her face.

Each word of urs i felt is mine

I am crying,can't write more

Sandhya said...

'I have the greatest heroine.... It is my Mother.' This line is like a tribute to the great Mother!

You too are great, who has recognised what she has done to you. God bless you all.