I’ve been reading a lot of entries to the Mother’s Day contest being held by Indus Ladies. They range from pathetic short stories like mine, to interesting tributes, to the author’s mothers. Though I found some of the real-life experiences too gory for my liking, most of the entries that described either the lovable antics of the children or the touching sacrifices of the parents really pulled at the strings of my heart.
So, here’s a tribute to the strongest woman I know.
She was nearly 15 when she got married. From a remote village in Tamil Nadu, where she spoke nothing but Tamil, she moved to the fast-paced and very cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, thrust suddenly into English-speaking social circles. Then blessed with four children in a row, she had her hands full. When suddenly her husband retired, and almost immediately passed away. The children had not even completed their education.
Not fully educated, no bank balance, no friends, poor relatives. I would have crashed in that situation. But not this woman. She held her forte. And once the children had grown up and got married and had their children, this lady, was again called upon, to perform the motherly chores for her grandchildren.
She looked after 4 of us girls. In a tiny two-bedroom apartment. On a limited budget. With no maid-servant. No fridge. No grinder. And no TV, for God’s sake! Should I even bother to mention that there were no Diapers in those times? Feeds, potty, bath, cooking, cleaning… she did all this, single-handedly. And she never once grumbled or complained. Never bore a grudge. Even her eyes did not betray her struggles. And today, she eagerly waits. To take care of her great-grand-child in the same way that she did all her children and grand-children.
This awesome woman, is my grandmother. Mrs.Shanpagavalli Raman. The most graceful, angelic woman I have ever known. I love you, Mummy. I wish I were a little like you.