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With Mother's Day around the corner, we asked our readers to share how their mothers helped them make it through tough times in their lives -- how their mothers have stuck by them through thick and thin, and how they inspired their children. We bring you Kunjal Vaidya's story, from Vadodara, Gujarat, on how her mother single-handedly brought up five daughters after the death of her husband:
My mother Sharada Gajanan Gore is my only parent.
She was only 12 years old when her own mother died. Hailing from a very poor family in Mumbai, she got married to my father in Baroda a short while after.
We were soon a family of seven --my parents, and five of us daughters. Such a big family and only one breadwinner -- my father.
We were living in a rented home, and I was barely a year old when we were asked to vacate by our landlord. This came as a great shock to my father, and he never recovered from it. He suffered three consecutive attacks -- a heart attack, a brain hemorrhage and paralysis -- as a result, and passed away.
You can imagine the state of my mother. Widowed with five daughters to support (and I was still barely out of infancy), she could have easily given us up for adoption, as she was many times advised to do.
But my mother was determined to keep us all together, so she started working in a school as a peon and got us all an education. In the summers, she'd make wafers and dry food which she sold door-to-door. She also worked as a cleaner in a library. She never denied me anything. Even on lean days, she fulfilled my wishes.
I don't remember much about my sisters from back then, as I was the youngest, and unable to understand much of what was going on. But I knew that there was noone my mother could look to for support of any kind, and neither did she ask for help from any of her relatives. All my sisters ran away from home and got married to men of their own choice. My mother received a lot of flak for their actions.
I was the only hope left for her. For years we struggled this way.
Finally, after years of study, I obtaining both my Bachelor's and Master' degrees in engineering, and procured a job. I was relieved that my mother could finally stop working.
Today my mother has five daughters, all very well-settled, including myself. And she has the love and helping hands of many, including all her son-in-laws and grandchildren. She is not a successful businesswoman, nor is she educated, but as a mother she is a complete success -- she brought up five daughters alone, giving them a good education without leaning on anyone else for any emotional or financial support. And I salute my mother for that.
Here are a couple of things I have learnt from her
1. Every problem can be tackled with huge doses of determination.
2. The world may say a lot of things, what matters eventually is what you achieve.
Got similar inspiring stories of how your mother helped yout through life's problems? Tell us about it. With Mother's Day approaching, we want special stories dedicated to mothers.
Email your entries along with your mother's full name, age, area of work, contact details and scanned photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will feature the best entries on rediff.com!
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