The strongest woman


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 aΒ  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, sheΒ 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.

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17 thoughts on “The strongest woman

  1. My salute to your mother and grandmother Pal. It is amazing how our mother’s touch our lives in such simple joyous ways. keep sharing your thoughts.

  2. Wow!!! simply awesome… my salute to the very strong ladies in your life…
    you are truly blessed to have such strong role models in your family…

  3. Tikuli – Thanks. Your post inspired me to write this.
    Pix – Yeah, am really am lucky to be part of her family πŸ™‚

  4. Such a beautiful piece of writing Pallo !!! πŸ™‚ Your grandma seems so brave and seemingly courageous – seriously, the women in those times were so different from us today. I sometimes feel we hem and haw for all stupid reasons despite having so many conveniences; and look at our grandmas !! My grandma is almost 85 (touchwood) and the stories that she tells us all of her life is unbelievable. A big salute to them !! And a warmmmmmmmmmmmmm hug to your paati when you see her next πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ She must b really waiting to see Rishi na?

  5. Such a beautiful piece of writing Pallo !!! πŸ™‚ Your grandma was so brave and seemingly courageous – seriously, the women in those times were so different from us today. I sometimes feel we hem and haw for all stupid reasons despite having so many conveniences; and look at our grandmas !! My grandma is almost 85 (touchwood) and the stories that she tells us all of her life is unbelievable. A big salute to them !! And a warmmmmmmmmmmmmm hug to your paati when you see her next πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ She must b really waiting to see Rishi na?

  6. Urmi- Thank u, will surely pass on ur hug to her, though I thought u were actually intending it for me πŸ˜‰ Grandmas are a special treat to grandchildren. Bless all our grandmas (grandparents).

  7. Thanks, Sol.
    Btw, Spamwarrior and Sol- I am dying to know the real name behind these fascinating nicknames πŸ™‚
    Please do break the suspense!!

  8. Grandmas….my all-time fave! Mine was truly self-less as well…she brought up not only four of her own, but ten of her grand-kids and 6 of her great grand kids πŸ™‚ I don’t really believe in life after death, but I often feel she’s still somewhere out there, resting, but keeping a watchful eye out for her kids, grand kids and great grand kids…

  9. I envy you, Pal.
    My real grandmom passed away when my mom was a little baby. And, although her step mother did her duties, she was never the grandmotherly types. So, I have always missed the presence of a real gran in my life.
    I once saw a picture of my grandmother, holding my mum as a baby. She looked warm and cuddly and full of love. Like Ganga, I tell myself that even though she didnt journey with us in person, she follows us in spirit!

    πŸ™‚

    PS: I was pretty caffeine deprived this morning, which is why I dumbly posted the first comment anonymously…Would you do me a favour and delete that one?

    http://www.3madmoggies.blogspot.com

  10. Ganga- Hats off to ur grandma. OMG.. bringing up so many kids!! And here I crib about just 1 !! And yes, I am sure she is keeping watch and taking care of all of you from somewhere.

    Rekz- I’m really sorry about that. One of my grandmas wasn’t grandmotherly at all, so I know exactly what you mean. Luckily the other one was all love and gentleness. He he..will delete the Anon post right away.

  11. The muscle the man flexes
    against a woman oft come to nixes
    so to my mind it always vexes
    that women are called weaker of the sexes.

    Thanks for making me fondly remember my grandma, wo encouraged me to read :))

  12. Ha ha, that was a cute rhyme, Govind. Thanks! And glad the post reminded you of your grandma too. Grandmothers are so special.

    Dear all,
    Thank you for your lovely comments on this. I conveyed it all (incl. the hug from Urmi) to my granny today and she was mighty pleased. Thanks girls, and guys.
    Cheers..Pal

  13. This was beautiful! I am amazed by the thought of such a person. If we could all be a little more accepting like her, this world would be so much more joyous.

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