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Rediff News  All News  » Getahead » Women's Day: 'I was bedridden and she stood by me'

Women's Day: 'I was bedridden and she stood by me'

Last updated on: March 4, 2011 14:46 IST

Image: Debashish Chakraborty and Ruba

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 an entry from Debashish Chakraborty of Gurgaon:

The role of a woman in society is of immense importance, be she a mother, daughter, wife or daughter-in-law.

With drastic changes in the social fabric over the years, women now hold responsible positions, combining a dual role at home and in the office.

I admire my wife Ruba, as she has been a guiding and supporting force in very difficult times. Both of us met with unfortunate accidents about five years back. She has stood by me when I was bedridden for four months after the accident, both financially and emotionally. She was also badly burnt after a mishap at our house.

In spite of ups and downs in life and flucatating fortunes, we have stood the test of both good and bad times.

She is presently heading a reputed public school in Gurgaon, having held the post for the last seven years. She has been with the school for the last 16 years, teaching Class X to XII students. She has a close rapport with her existing and past students and also with fellow teachers.

We are extremely attached to our son Abheek, who is is in Class VI in the same school.

On the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8, I take the opportunity to salute my wife for her work, zeal, integrity and dedication. She is a taskmaster to her pupils, but also their guiding force and foremost, a good mother to my son.

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.

'It was work, work, work for her, starting early in the day'

Next is this entry from Anjan Dattagupta:

I was in Standard IX when my father passed away after a prolonged fight with cancer. My brother was in Standard V.

Although my father worked in a multinational company and had a decent salary at the time, he was not good at saving and after his death, we came to face reality. It was then that my mother, a graduate started her own journey in stabilising the dwindling boat by applying for the position of a primary teacher in a private school. She started at a meagre Rs.200 per month. That was in 1982.

We had to shift residence from a Rs 600 per month two-bedroom apartment to a Rs 300 one-bedroom and although the difference in our lifestyle was blatantly apparent to me, she ensured we did not suffer. We lived a modest life. It was work, work, work for her, starting early in the day -- cooking, getting ready for school, coming back, having her lunch, taking a small nap or sometimes starting off her work immediately (correction of student copy), cooking dinner, helping my brother with his studies and then signing off at night, thinking about the next day.

It was a normal life to me but now when I look back, I sometimes feel the hardship which she went through. From a housewife to a schoolteacher, from a mother to a single parent, from just cooking and minding the house to doing everything, attending to her own school, attending our parent-teachers' meetings, attending family functions, keeping in touch with all our relatives.

Even today, she is one of the most-loved by her in-laws, after so many years (29 years) only because she never lost contact herself, nor let us lose it. We got another rude shock when I lost my younger brother on December 31, 1996. Losing a 25-year-old son was almost unbearable for her, but luckily she was able to come around because she took my son, born in the same month, under her umbrella and till date he is the apple of her eye. She lives for him, morning to night, with the same energy, with the same love. I do not know whether I have been a good son to her, but to me, she is the best mother in the world.

Sarita Nawalkar also has a similar tale:

My mother is the woman who has made me what I am today.

I lost my father when I was a kid, but she has been both -- a mother and father to me. Rock solid, she has singlehandedly been the strength and support of our family. She was married at a very young age, so she could not complete her education, but she ensured that I could get the best.

Her passion for taking care of stray dogs and cats is known to many in our locality. For this she has to face a lot of hardship and critism. But like her name Asha, she continues to face every obstacle and continues taking care of them. Proud to say that my mother is my inspiration.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

'I found out through her that skin colour is not important to make a mark in life'

Here is what Surbhi Roshan has to say about the woman who inspired her most:

When I think back on my life, I can think of only one person -- and that is my mother -- who is responsible for what I am today. She was a real influence on me.

My mother was always inspiring. She was the most dignified and beautiful person. But she had such high standards of morality that it encouraged me to emulate her.

I felt it was utterly impossible for me ever to live up to her. I come from a family of beautiful aunts and daughters and I, with my dusky looks, stood out. All looked upon me kindly as a child, but about whom there was certainly nothing to admire. I was conscious of their pity because my looks fell so far below the family standard. My mother was a lady of great character. She always knew what was right and what was wrong. She was kind and generous and loyal to the family through thick and thin. She made me understand that I needed to excel in other fields for people to notice more than my dusky looks.

She instilled great confidence in me and I excelled in academics and other activities which other girls of the family could not. She supported me when I walked out of the house to work, being the first girl of the house to do so. She supported me when I married a man of my choice -- a decision which was her best and probably the toughest of her life.

She never gave up an idea she had, when it was for me. I might have stayed a weak character forever if I had not found out through her that skin colour is not important to make a mark in life. She taught me to study, to dress up, to stitch, to knit, to cook, to maintain the house and to step out and work as a professional, as a result of which I am holding a high position in my career. Unfortunately, she is not around to see it -- one of my greatest regrets in life.

I count myself lucky that I was born to her. I cannot imagine finding a more perfect person to call my mother. Whenever I think of her, even though she is no more, I thank her for giving me all she did and making me what I am today. I became a better person just by being with her. I live by her credo -- "live life with no regrets". My mother's theory was that there is nothing I can do to change my destiny, but I can change the things that have happened around me, so the only thing I can control is how I will respond to it and make my life exciting.

Thank you Mummy. I'll miss you forever...

Next is Gorakshnath Fulare of Nashik's entry:

My mother gave birth to me alone at home -- in a small juggi in the remote village of Nalegaon at Vaijapur, in the Aurangabad District. The time was approximately 12 noon. Nobody was available in the nearby houses either, as everyone was at work. She did not even have a fine cloth for me and managed to wrap me up with a piece torn off a ghongadi (blanket). She then had a bath herself and bathed me also!

When my father came back from work in the evening, he saw a child and was very happy. It was his third child, the first being a daughter. The second died due to a scarcity of resources and when he saw me, a son, he named me Gorakshnath. Gorakshnath was a powerful character from a navnath (lineage of gurus), who guided humanity once upon a time and has a high impact on the minds of people in India even today.

How my mother groomed me is a very long story, but I have tried to highlight a few instances from her life. She had to go to work when I was only one month old. She alone managed the family after my birth as my father left home for nearly five years, in search of God. People used to say that he had gone mad and the madness increased day by day. I remember seeing him sitting in a temple of Shiva. The temple once filled with water upto two feet, but he sat there for days and nights together. People from the village used to give him food and mother also used to take us along to visit the temple on her way to or from work.

To our surprise, Father came back home normal after Mother worshipped Shiva for 16 Mondays, fasting long and hard. It was not very tough for her as she was left with very little food anyway, after feeding me and my sister from her earnings. By this time my sister was almost nine years old and I was six. I had two younger brothers too, aged three years and six months respectively.

Father took me to the village school and my life's journey started. It was Mother's desire to educate us and she did a lot for the same. Schooling upto Class IV was possible in the village and after that, we used to go to a nearby village for further studies. My academics ended with me passing Class X with first class grades.

Further education was not within our reach, so Mother expressed her desire to go to a nearby town where she and our father could work and we could study further. Father tried to work on it but could not succeed. He had already tried it lots of times before and previous experiences prevented him from doing so. It was my turn then. I went to Aurangabad and did everything my mother wanted me to do, but that is another story.

As of today I am a subdealer of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (Farm Equipment Sector) for Chandwad Tahasil in Nashik District. My parents are living with me and on March 2 we were at Trimbakeshwar for Mahashivratri. We have a unique tool room in Aurangabad, which is being managed by two of my brothers and another is a labour contactor.

I have no more words about my mother and father, except that they are simply great!

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

'Thank you for making me the woman that I am'

Here is Abha Yadav's story:

It's funny that I am writing a tribute of sorts to my mother when our relationship began on a rather tenuous note. Of course, this was so because ever since I learnt to identify the woman fretting around me as my mother, I considered myself to be the supreme ruler of our home and treated the rest of its occupants as my subjects. So I didn't quite understand why people fussed around her. Ever since I started having any semblance of understanding the world around me, I regarded her as a competitor. I didn't understand why my father needed to have long conversations with her, I could have discussed deep stuff with him. So what if I was three years of age? I had the world figured out.

For instance, I had the brilliance to know that it was unsafe to touch fire, so I allowed mother to light the cooking gas, or the beautiful lamps in the house. Why did she have to make a fuss about not going near them? Most of the times I did not pay any heed to her and did what I wanted. You see, an autocractic dictatorship should never be encouraged, I knew that since I was little. So obviously I was the queen and she ran errands for me (which sounds a bit autocratic actually, but if I were Queen it was justified). Well her friends certainly thought so -- how splendidly they would shower me with so much attention and importance. They always wanted to talk to me and had funny things to ask me and I gave them the best possible answer that I could. I don't know what made them laugh so much though, I'm sure they lacked the intelligence to decipher my conversations. Oh mommy! I didn't sometimes approve of her choice of friends, didn't she know that one is known by the company one keeps. Phew! I think she got jealous that her funny friends were talking to me and ignoring her because after a while, she would tell me to go to my room and sleep.

As I grew up, I could not understand why my father had to buy gifts for her too when he bought something for me. I usually made a fuss about this and take her gifts too, but after some time would usually return them thinking that maybe she is poor and is more in need of them than I. I think that was very wise of me because she seemed very happy to have them back.

However, as I grew up and observed her closely, I realised how selflessly she did everything for me and my brother. She would wake up early morning, at five and prepare lunch for me and my brother to carry to school. And she would walk me to school sometimes. When we came back, there were always delicious hot meals and a very patient mom ready to listen to whatever stories we had to tell from school. She would try to make our lives as easy as possible and would be a wonderful friend to discuss things with. The most important thing was that she treated me and my brother as equals and gave us the same motivation and strength, without any bias towards the son of the family. If anything, I was treated as the son of the family.

Soon I was in college and peer pressure grew. Instead of resisting my crazy ideas, I was amazed to find her supportive and someone who could actually give me brilliant ideas. I wonder how she managed to be so contemporary in her approach, she hardly ever went out of the house. This made me confide in her for the most trivial things and we became best friends. Soon, I started working and she was the happiest at each little achievement. I found her to be a soothing balm for all the worries of the world.

Then I got married and she became lonely. She worked so hard to make my wedding a perfect one, everything that she did was done with so much love and affection that perfection was inevitable.

I think she was the one who suffered most when I started working and then when I got married and no longer had time for her. When I got married she told me that my husband should be my priority and I had even lesser time for her.

She is growing old but her love for me seems to grow more than ever. Like many mothers her life was dedicated to her children and her family, but the way she raised me wants me to go back in my childhood and relive all the beautiful moments together with her. Thank you for making me the woman that I am, Mummy. When I am sometimes sad and get the feeling that life is unfair, I turn to God and thank him for the best gift that he could ever give to me -- MY MOTHER -- and then I think he was unfair to everyone else, because I have you.

And finally, we have a tale from Krishna Kishore Bonagiri on a woman he admires:

She was my schoolmate. Rather than saying I still admire her, I must say she is the one who shaped my life and career. I somehow liked her very much, and wanted her to notice and think of me. She was one of the toppers in school and I was an average student then. So I used to think that she would like a boy who studies well.

Till then, I was a very normal student who came to school early and copied homework from the toppers. But after I started liking her, I wanted to become top student too. I wanted to build a better career and lead a successful life with her as my life partner. Having no destination or goal till then, it is only because of her I created goals for myself. I achieved them all with that inspiration -- I became one of the toppers in a year and now have a successful career.

I loved her almost till the end of my education, but never dared propose to her because of my timidness. Then I came to know that she deeply loved somebody else. I could not have her as my life partner, but I don't regret it, because after we became friends, I found her attitude and aspirations were different from my own. She is a little egotistical too, so I don't admire her as much as I used to. But one thing is for sure, she is the one who helped me build a successful career. She is the one who shaped my life.

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.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh