“I was not rescued by a prince, I am the administrator of my own rescue” – Elizabeth Gilbert
The above quote is extremely true for all the women in my family. I have a family where women are independent and resilient. They have carved their own path and are a continuous source of inspiration.
This article is about my mother. Born in a family of five children, she was the middle child. My grandpa aka “daddy” was in the Indian Army. Regular postings kept their lives exciting and adventurous. My granny always used to say one thing to all her children “whatever you study make sure you finish the highest level in it”. She was uneducated, but not uninformed, she understood the importance of studies and encouraged all her children to excel. As a result, 3 out of 5 children attained their doctorate and others completed their post-graduation. My mother became a scientist and got her posting in a small town. My mother’s profession of a scientist was often mistaken as a typist as for them a female scientist was highly improbable.
After a few months, she met my dad who was her colleague. Both fell in love and decided to get married. As you may guess, it was an inter-caste marriage which was wholeheartedly approved by my mother’s family, but my father’s mother said ‘NO’. Even after years of their marriage and my mother’s uncountable efforts to attempts to please her, she still is unaccepting. Yet she continues to love and respect them.
When my sister and I were born my mom fought all the pressures from the family and society to try for another child (boy). My mother said, ‘I don’t see any difference between a girl and a boy.’ My dad supported her through and through! She managed a full-time career, raised two children and dealt with forever grunting in-laws with ease. She used to listen to all my silly school stories every day with utmost interest. She was always ready to help me with school projects no matter how late in the night. She used to stay awake with me during my exams. The most special memory for me is the prize distribution ceremony at my school. She used to come home early to receive us from our school and celebrate whatever prizes we had gotten. Her smile and encouragement in my small victories then is the result that she is the first person I call if I receive any good news even today. She sacrificed her foreign tours to take care of us. She paid special attention to our birthday parties and made sure that they were spectacular!
She also made us independent and self-confident women we are today. When my sister wanted to study abroad she asked her to get a scholarship even though we can afford it. When the sons refused, she took care of her ailing father during his last days.
My intention of writing this article was to highlight that like my mom, each mother is a gem who is working very hard, sacrificing a lot to ensure that her children are happy and content. They are the ‘Shero’ in our lives and an incredible source of inspiration. They create, they nurture and transform us. All they need is a little encouragement, love, and praise from us now and then!
– By Aakanksha Bhatnagar