Monday, May 30, 2011

Woman Of Strength

                   She was all of five when they all left for the native place. Life in Mumbai she hadn't experienced much. She had a younger sister. Her mother was pregnant for a third time. She enjoyed her carefree time in the village. When it was time to leave everyone but her was ready. Yes, she was left behind by her family to live all alone in the village with the extended family. Her parents and sisters (her mother delivered another girl child) left for the city.
                   She lived in a house with 5 other children, her cousins. There were elders but all too occupied with their farm work and children. She had to learn to do her chores. Money was scarce so was the care. She attended a convent school and struggled to keep up with the strict rules. Embarrassment and poverty were constant companions. In these hard times the only company she had was that of her cousin sister Jalaja. The two girls were elder than all the rest of 5 cousins. They shouldered all responsibilities together. 
                   Life progressed in the village. She excelled in studies. Her family came to visit in the holidays. They now had 2 sons too and the parents were happy they had sons finally. All were cared for in the city and she wondered what wrong she had done to be left alone. The siblings treated her like a stranger. She was dark complexioned than  her sisters. This became a point of teasing for them. She beared the hurt.
                   Soon she grew up to be 16 and completed school. She had adjusted to the life in village. She looked after her aging grandmother in all these years. She felt at home in the village. Then she was called to the city by her father and all the struggles started again.
                   She was deprived of the city life, the clothings, the  language spoken in the city and many more things, but one thing she had was STRENGTH. The strength to start life again. The strength to hold on to herself and not give in to "fitting in". She was looked upon as an added burden by her siblings. They all were a team and she was the stranger. She was looked down and constantly teased. Her companion here was a neighborhood married woman not much older than her. She became her elder sister in city. Guiding her and sharing with her the ways of the city. 
                   She graduated and got a good job. She worked hard to get into better places. The sisters now worried that because of her dark complexion she would not get married early and their marriages too would be held back. 
                  She married at a mature age to a railway employee who owned his house( which was of prime importance) without giving any dowry. Within a year she gave birth to a baby girl. The child had to be cared for and needed the supervision of elders and she was a first time mother. She went to her mother's home . The siblings (the house had two rooms) constantly complained how they were disturbed because of the child. Her father persistently asked when she would be leaving. This enraged her husband and he took her and the child back home. She had to care for the child and the house and also carry on her job. Her child was sensitive and fell ill several times and needed to hospitalised. She spent sleepless nights nursing her child back to health when everyone around broke her heart by saying, "The  child is not going to last much. If you want it to live, you should quit your job." She couldn't quit as the money was needed for the expensive medicines. 
                 The child bridged the gap between her home and her. The child touched the hearts of her siblings and parents. They wanted to care for the child. She and her husband shifted to a house closer to her parents. Four years of extensively caring and nursing, the child began to develop into a healthier one. 
                 Time slipped by. One of the sisters got married , while the other one( the beautiful of the three) is still to be married. One of her brother (epilepsy patient) stays at home. The other brother works and manages somehow. She had another baby boy and her family is complete.
                 In all these years, several times her father fell ill. She and her husband were the only people who cared. Her mother had to be operated upon and she was the only one at her side.
                 A few days back her mother was hospitalised and she was the one who cared and stayed with her. All the years of pain she left behind. All she has is sympathy and forgiveness for everything they did. She selflessly works and cares for all. Every mother cares selflessly for her children even if they value her or not. This is one daughter who selflessly cares for her parents and siblings even if they value her or not..
                She is still the close aide of her cousin Jalaja and her city neighbor ( who know stays distant but in contant).
                 Her daughter is not half as courageous and strong as her. Her daughter stayed with her and saw her through all the tough times. Her daughter may not celebrate Mother's day but knows that her mother is the one who brought her back to life. Her daughter is right now writing this to let you know of this one "Woman of Strength" 
                 Yes this woman is my mother ... :) 
                                    
                                 That's me and Mom :)




P.S :  This is the first one of the "Woman of Strength" series and I thought to start it from the woman I draw strength from. I am still to hear who is going to help me carry on the series. This could be any of the woman you know of.. Please mail me at maithili.bhatnagar4@gmail.com and let me know if you are willing to write .. waiting to hear from you guys ;) 

9 comments:

Mystical Skeptical Me said...

Yes, indeed she is the Woman of Strength.:) It's not easy to make way for a girl who has been daunted by her color. It is one truth that saddens me. Me being fair complexioned but on a heavier side do understand such stupid physical aspects! :| Jeez, I am blabbering again :D Your posts make me do that :P Once again, you manage to get the best of writing in your post! I love it, more so because it's on your mother. Love it :) :D Keep Writing :) :)

maithili said...

MSM I m too on the heavier side and it makes me irritable when someone comments on it.. But the world is like that.. you either fit in or you don't, people will always have a problem with you.. I wish even I could let go of such comments and not get affected by them but I stil have a long way before I m that strong minded.. :)
Thanks for commenting..

chirag said...

salute to your mother
this one i can say to this post
and i want to touch her feet because
i want to get blessing from your mother.

vl help u if i came across anyone like this

maithili said...

@chirag : that was a really heartfelt comment :) thank you and do let me know when you come across.. I have a feeling that this series is going to last long..

Mystical Skeptical Me said...

:) Maithili: Yeah! I couldn't let go...and then suddenly I realized that I need to look after myself and my mother helps me in that, even though she comments the most :P :D Keep Writing! :) :) It's from an admirer :D

Red Handed said...

YOU ARE ONE LUCKY GIRL TO HAVE SOME A PRECIOUS GEM IN YOUR LIFE!
THAT'S ALL I GOT TO SAY :)

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

Truly, She is a woman of courage. I wish all the luck to her. And her daughter might not be with her, but she knows what her Mother has been through, and she loves her. Doesn't that count?

Very nice post, it gives inspiration to many, to hold on, just a bit more.

Cheers,
Blasphemous Aesthete

Natasha said...

wow! Truly a woman of strength :) She has overcome so many obstacles and has come out victorious! So inspiring and she has raised a wonderful child :) Hats off to your mom!

maithili said...

@Redhanded: Yes I m very lucky to have her :)

@Blasphemous Aesthete: :) I wish I were half as courageous as she is

@Natasha: Yes she has indeed come out victorious. She is a fighter :)