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Women's Day: 'She never let me feel handicapped'

Last updated on: March 3, 2011 17:50 IST
Raju Uprade with his mother

With Women's Day coming up on March 8, we invited readers to write in and tell us about the woman they admire the most. Here are the next few responses:

First up we have a heartwarming tale from Raju Uprade of Narayangaon:

Today I am working as an engineer for the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Centre. Born a physically challenged person, I never thought that I would be able to reach this level in my career.

Whatever I am today is because of my mother and values instilled by her. My younger brother and I were both born physically handicapped, with 65 and 60 percent disabilities. But she never let us feel like we were handicapped or dependent on someone. She instilled courage, hard work, will power, determination and more in us so that we could live a normal life. Because of her faith I was able to complete my BE in Information Technology.

I remember one incident that burned the fire within me to do something extraordinary. It was my twelfth birthday and we never had birthday parties or celebrations at our house as we belonged to a humble family. But as a child, I was curious as to why my birthday was not celebrated like other children in my neighbourhood. So I asked my mother and she replied, "Yeh kya -- khud ka janamdin khud se manana. Kuch aisa kaam karo ki desh wale aap ka janamdin manayein!" ("What is this -- celebrating your own birthday. Work hard and do something that has the whole country celebrating your birthday!"). After that, I never bothered about my birthday party.

Last year I went in for lumbar spine surgery. I was hospitalised for 10 days and given bed rest for two months. During that time, my mother gave me the courage to know that I would be alright. Because of her positive attitude, I overcame the fear of surgery. Then in mid-June 2010, I lost my father. At that time too, my mother stood firm and gave us the strength to deal with this unexpected crisis.

I can just say I owe my whole life to my mother. Maa, I want to be your son only every time I take birth.

This Women's Day, write in to us about the one woman who has exerted the most profound influence on you. Send your stories to (subject line: 'The Woman I Admire') along with a photograph of the two of you, if possible and we'll publish the best entries right here.

'I feel all men should be grateful for what their wives do for them'

Last updated on: March 3, 2011 17:50 IST
Sudhir Ranjan Mishra with wife Manasi and son Rishabh

Sudhir Ranjan Mishra of Bhubaneswar wrote in to tell how he is inspired by his wife:

It's the right idea to ask male readers to write in about their most admired woman on the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8. I am glad to share my feelings with rediff readers about the woman I admire most -- it's my wife Manasi.

Manasi is a simple Indian girl, well-educated but not so ambitious as to have wishes that conflict with mine. She always wanted to be a homemaker, but more than willing to pursue a career if given the chance.

I am a fickle guy who always avoided family responsibility. I am the youngest in the family and my siblings are well-settled abroad. So everything was dependent on me when it came to caring for my parents. Naturally, I was looking for the right partner who could shoulder the responsibility and give me the scope to enjoy my laziness.

After seven years of marriage, I clearly feel that it is Manasi who has shaped my life well and earned the appreciation of relatives. Due to her I am a complete man, both personally and professionally. Careerwise, in a short span of time I have jumped leaps and bounds. I know it is a general perception that all men admire their wives, but with the situation I was going through, it's only my wife who managed to change the scenario completely. It may be male ego not to acknowledge it, but I feel all men should be grateful for what their wives do for them.

'Thank you, Mummy, may your soul rest in peace'

Last updated on: March 3, 2011 17:50 IST
Heera Nawaz's mother

And finally, here is Heera Nawaz of Bangalore paying tribute to her mother:

Even though my mother is no more, she remains the woman I admire the most. I wracked my brains so hard trying to think of a woman I admire more than her, but I came up with a blank. Mummy Dearest was indeed the 'one and only', sine qua non person who has made an indelible mark on my life and no woman, living or dead, comes anywhere close.

My mother was a shrewd, brilliant and capable lawyer, but more than that a warm and affectionate family woman. She led a life of sacrifice and pain -- after marriage to someone of a different religion, she sought to give her four children the very best. This she did by working hard, sometimes too hard, to see that our lives were within a comfort zone. In fact, many of our family friends and relatives used to say that she was more of a man and my father was more of a woman! Luckily, this dichotomy was balanced and even though the two of them were so different, they adjusted to each other with perfect equanimity and were the perfect parents.

I remember my mother sending us children off to Bishop Cotton School with cups of nutritious Bournvita to see that we were energetic. I also remember her packing our lunches and making the most delectable yet simple dinners -- all without a cook and without the 'ready to eat' packets that can be bought from most supermarkets today.

My mother never enjoyed herself. She never went to movies. She seemed to be overly focused on the children that she and my father had brought into the world. She wanted us to excel in studies and was always a shoulder to cry on when we didn't come first or didn't get that elusive report on stage.

She often said that although marks are pivotal in life, it is more important to have a good shining character, lips that tell the truth and hands that are always helping others. She inculcated in us good values, morals and principles, like telling the truth, not cheating on others and not getting into cantankerous friendships or relationships.

In fact, it was during her last days that she was very concerned about our relationships. Every mother wants to see her offspring settled in good matrimonial alliances, so she was keen to see that we make no mistakes. She wanted us to have faith in God and for us to pray to Him to guide us into meeting the right person who would be a partner guaranteeing us a lifetime of happiness. She often reiterated that anything short of that just wasn't worth it.

In fact, once when I burst into inconsolable tears that I was just not able to find a suitable partner, she pacified me by saying,
"Somewhere, there's someone who dreams of your smile,
And finds in your presence that life is worthwhile,
So, when you are lonely,
Remember it's true,
Somebody somewhere is thinking of you ."

Thank you, Mummy, may your soul rest in peace.

This Women's Day, write in to us about the one woman who has exerted the most profound influence on you. Send your stories to (subject line: 'The Woman I Admire') along with a photograph of the two of you, if possible and we'll publish the best entries right here.