My grandma, an educated, courageous lady had lost her husband during partition and came to India with her five kids. My dad was merely six months old. Grandma would work as a nurse in a government hospital to give her kids a stable life. Eventually, her struggle had ended. All of her girls and boys had secured government jobs in various fields. My dad had become a doctor.
As time passed by, mom entered dad’s life. Grandma turned into a dictator. She disapproved mom’s going out and spending time with dad and us, her kids. Mom obeyed. A sweet, docile woman she was. She never raised her voice, never complained and restricted my dad to do the same. When I asked she said, “Your grandma has fought all her life to get a life and that too without your grandpa. At least here, she wants to be the woman of the house. You are too little to understand her emotions. Respect her always. Remember, she has crossed many hurdles to raise your dad”. I learned patience.
Old age took grandma in its grip. Mom stayed beside her and put unrelenting efforts to comfort her until the very last minute. I learned compassion.
My brother and me, we were at our teenage when our dad had passed away. Mom was broken to the core. She had consumed seventeen sleeping pills in three days to sweep the reality under the blanket of sleep. We were afraid, devastated. But, she had woken up. She knew she was all we had. The woman who never entered a bank took complete financial control of the house. People had cheated. She had learned from her mistakes and fought back. She had never compromised our dreams and always stood by us. Yes, I learned strength.
Now, we have settled in our lives. I have become a mom too. But, this woman still inspires me. She sings, writes, cracks jokes, makes various delicacies, spoils my child, argues over politics and loves us unconditionally.
She has given me life and taught the art of living. I don’t treasure any particular memory of her. I treasure her wholly, my beloved mom.