I being the younger one of two kids was more pampered and adored. I was my mom’s tail, used to go everywhere she went. She was a post graduate but my dad did not allow her to do B. ED, if she would have done it, she must have got chance in government school and had earned nice salary. But men and their egos! Then we were born so she preferred to be the full time devoted mother. She had plans to work later and for that she wanted to learn some courses. She had few savings and registered for different courses like ice cream, baking, food preservation, fabric painting, beautician, mehndi in a courses academy. I used to go with her; I was an all time companion for mom.
Dad’s office and our school was going on smoothly, we were more independent, those days were over when mom and dad had to sit with their kids and make them study, it was more a need based support now and tusharika was there to help me. Mom was getting free time and she felt that it’s time to do something on her own. She had found new friends now. One evening while having tea together the five ladies thought out a plan to start some small business. My mom knew recipes for food preservation items like jam, jelly, sauce, pickles and other such things and everyone were house wives who had ample knowledge and experience of cooking, so with minimal investments they started this venture. Initially they took small samples and distributed to the neighbourhood and friends and relatives, later when everyone liked the items they started taking orders and preparing them and selling. From our school also we were getting few orders. It was little embarrassing for me because few of my friends used to tease me that she sells of things in school, but few teachers also took from us so that was not a problem. It was flourishing not in a huge way but the ladies were earning some profit and lot of confidence. As more orders started to came it became hectic for them because work was more and hands were less and then my dad got the government quarters so we had to leave the rented house. We shifted to the new house. That was very near to my school. But it became difficult for mom to manage the business from far, daily travel was not possible anymore. Since the mastermind behind this idea was far now, orders by customers and seriousness of ladies, both reduced and finally this business was dropped. Mom was not upset because for her we were more important, our school was near, dad’s office was near, it was the posh area of Raipur so she was happy to leave that place. In that rented house our studies was impacted because there were many kids around and they were not studious kids, playing and roaming around was their forte. We, being with them were also becoming notourious so for our future, sacrifice of the business did not have importance.
Mom was not the one to sit idle at home. Bengali cotton sarees is always in demand and she started of getting the sarees from Kolkata and selling it of here. But she was not satisfied with this. Then with my uncle’s help she got a sign board prepared “Hobby Classes : Icecream, Baking, Food Preservation, Fabric Paint, Beautician, Music”. It started off slowly. She ran these classes in delhi also but not in full fledge way, few ladies when told together she did for them. But now she was doing in a proper way. Those were nice days. Continuous batches were there and maximum were for ice creams, one batch started and when they liked it they referred to others and so one by one many people did. It was tiring for her, continuously talking, teaching them, she prepared yummy ice creams, casata, tuty fruity, coffee ice creams. So many times she had to stir the batter, every few hours because the next day everyone will be tasting it so it had to be the best. In our house jams and sauce and pickles were never brought from outside, she used to prepare everything at home. Cakes and biscuits also she prepared. She was earning well. With that money slowly and slowly she was buying few things and doing small enhancements for business. She learnt different styles of painting like golden grass, glass painting, ceramic work. She learnt making soft toys also. By this time di was grown up, she helped mom in various things. She was a trained classical singer and my sis was classical dancer so she also started few batches. There was a time when the whole day there used to be some batch going at home. Our house was full of people. That was a creative phase of our life. This rush was more during school summer vacations.
She was interested in teaching so one day one of my aunts who was teacher called her up and told that in a nearby pre primary school there is a opening for a teacher, if she is interested she can go with her and join the school. She went and accepted the teachership offer, her salary was 500 rupees. Because of her school she reduced the hobby classes. Dad did not like her joining the school and he did not talk to her for many days but mom was determined this time. She knew what she wanted to do. She struggled a lot to save each and every penny. School was four kms and rickshaw used to take 5 rupees each way. To save 10 rupees daily she used to walk from home to school and back. Two months in a year she used to run the classes which were on full bloom and the rest ten months she was busy with school. It was a pre primary school so smalls kids were there, and mom loved them all, they used to get flowers for her. Chocolates were common. After two years she left the school and joined another, she was a PG in economics and in the new school she was hired for economics and commerce and accounts for a salary of 1200 rupees. She was favorite teacher of the students and gained reputation among all the students and teachers. She also started getting tuitions. Dad helped her with accounts. She was happy and she reached where she wanted to reach. She did network marketing also for sometime. After six years she left that school as well and joined another school and here she was paid 2500 bucks.
When man in the house earns the necessary expenses are done but if woman of the house earns then that money is spend for luxury and investments. She gave Kodak camera, a thousand bucks gift to my sister on her eighteenth birthday. My dad’s mom did not wear any jewellery so she got bangles and chain for her. Di was in college and mom wanted her college going daughter to wear a chain and ring, so she got those for her.
Dad was cool with government quarter but mom wanted own house. Previously also many a times she tried and booked but everything in vain because dad used to spend the money. She was not earning that time so she could not do anything but now she wanted to do. When mom and dad got married my grand pa(mom’s dad) gave her a plot which was worth five thousand then. She sold off this plot and earned 25000 now and with this amount she with my uncle bought another plot in Raipur. That area was not developed so they decided to not make the house there. She wanted another plot for house. She with her savings bought another one in a nearby area for 44000 bucks. Now it was time for mom to push dad and built our own house in that plot. Dad was least bothered, he trusted people easily, he used to give money to the contractor without receipts. Whenever mom forced dad to see and supervise the construction, there used to be fight between them and days of silence. After four long years, after lot of struggle and pains our house was completed,and we did house warming ceremony. Dad took a bank loan for the house. Those days for loans person had to go to the bank so many times for loan sanctioning and dispersement. Not like now when you get phone calls atleast 5 times a day to take money from banks.
She stopped taking hobby classes now and was fully into teaching and tuitions. Our house was rented to a family. We did not move to that house because my school was near to the quarter, we waited till my 12th class. I completed my schooling and di completed her graduation and post graduation and then we moved to our house. Moving to own house makes a lot of difference, quarter was a normal 2BHK but this one was huge. This was the time for competitive exams, every weekend I had some or other exam. I was selected for architecture in himachal Pradesh, but it was very far and would prove costly also so finally ended up in joining a private engineering college in Raipur itself.
New house, new friends, new life started. Di joined the college where she did her PG and mom continued her school. Days were fine but then dad got transferred to a nearby place, it was a journey of 3 hours from Raipur, to travel daily was not something which we wanted. He with his friend took a house on rent and used to come on weekends. They had to stay for atleast a year before getting transferred back to raipur. We three were in Raipur. Daily sis used to go college, she was like Chachi 420, wearing sari and going in luna. She never left on time, just before five minutes she will leave and after full speed driving she will reach college. She with her salary bought a kinetic zing. In our lane of the layout ours was the only house and beside to us construction was going. Labourers who were constructing stayed there. We being three ladies alone at home were scared, so in one room only we all used to sleep, I on bed and di and mom on floor. Di had a stick on her side and mom had red chilli powder on her side. I being the younger one had no such responsibilities. Nothing happened anytime it was just a safety measure. That year mom and dad’s had their 25th wedding anniversary as well. I was studying so did not contribute much, sis saved money and we celebrated nicely. We booked a hotel and gave dinner party for around 100 guests. Mom told, in her wedding reception she did not get these many gifts as she got now. We were all happy.
One year passed by and dad got transferred back to Raipur. We thought to construct the first floor next. We started, construction minimum takes 3-4 months and by the time it started and finishing things were going, it was time for my 3rd semester finals. Papers started and dad used to be in office, sis was more involved in college. I and mom stayed at home and were responsible for the complete construction. Giving the labours water, storing water for construction, I went to order cement also once and when the “thela” for cement came I kept down the books and went to push it through road because those people were shouting. Dad came back now di was going to Pune for CDAC. She left from home for the first time and mom was very sad, I was the sole companion for her now.
All of mom’s exertions and hard work showed their real face now. Day by day mom started suffering from several health problems.I was in 6th sememster of college. Mom went through a very tough time. She had a cist in her stomach for which she was suffereing from severe pain in her stomachache and fever. Check up was done and she was under medication for a month and after that doctors had to decide whether they need to operate her or not. But situation got worse when x-ray was done and the size of the cist just doubled. Doctors had given the wrong medicine. Next day they took her for operation. After cutting the stomach they told her to go for scanning. I was in college. I had cell, I called up dad and asked about the operation, but then he told that they have gone for scanning. The doctor who had scanned told mom and dad that you want to survive just leave now only for some better doctor and hospital. My mom decided that we will leave for Ahmedabad where my masi stayed. Meanwhile dad scanned all her reports and sent them to my uncle and they were searching for doctor there. Di was in Pune that time and so we did tatkaal tickets for three of us and left for ahmedabad. I was in shock. Did not know what will happen next. Mom was not at all well. In the entire journey she was just lying down. We reached our destination. Did not know what this place has for us. We went for check up to the doctor who was very famous gynaecologist. She went through her case history, did her scanning and told us clearly that the cist is very big and also since the infection has spread so it might be cancererous. She was not sure but she was preparing us. She asked us when can go for the operation. My mom told as soon as possible. After hearing cancer I was almost crying, everyone else was scared but mom was so brave and courageous. Doctor gave us the date for operation and told us told us to get her admitted a night before the operation. Hospital was good and costly. Thank god dad had a credit card, we had to pay 70K before then only they admitted her. They had to do few tests and so a nurse came with a syringe and took blood in it. Tears came in my eyes when I saw them injecting mom with needle and taking her blood. I was sad because of her condition and for the pain she had to go through. The ward where she was shifted was cancer department, all cancer patients were there. For few days some or other test was done and doctors used to discuss her case, I could not understand everything but could make out that they are predicting it to be cancer. For so many nights at home I could not sleep, I used to cry and tell god to please make her well, cure her problems. So many kids were there in the floor where mom was there, there head was covered, they were going through chemotherapy. I felt that god is so unfair, why does he make such innocent people suffer.
It was the operation day and I went to the hospital morning only. Di came from Pune as well. They took mom for operation and while going doctor told that if they come out of the OT in an hour that means cancer is there and we have to start chemotherapy but if it takes longer then it means that cancer is not there. Operation was complicated because the cist was tied between different nerves. That day I was just praying to god that they come out of the OT late so that would mean no cancer. I and di were in home. I was calling dad every half an hour and wanted to hear from him that she is still in OT. Mom was out of the theatre after six hours, she was very weak. Doctors told that operation was successful, it was tough but they were finally able to take the cist out. She was brought to the room. Doctor came and checked and told that since my mom used to do lot of yoga, her kidney, liver and other parts were fine and there was no such complication from other parts. She needed bed rest and was there in hospital for around ten days. She needed complete rest and required six months to recover fully. Mom says that she was worried about me, because if anything happens to her then dad will be fine, di was also more mature and was working and settled but I was studying, she prayed to god to keep her alive because I was young and not settled. God answered both of our prayers.
Life settled a little because from the time we came to ahmedabad everyone was disturbed, everything was uncertain, we were only roaming around hospitals and doctors, we were praying and going to different temples. Now mom was fine so that mental tension and worries were not there. Morning till evening I used to be there in hospital and from evening to morning dad used to be there. I used to take some snack in hospital. Dad once gave me 100 bucks, with that money I used to have idly daily, for 9 rupees they gave 2 idlys. After few days mom asked that I did not ask for money for so many days, then I told that I have, dad then realized that long back he gave me 100 bucks and by this time that money should have been finished, then they asked what I was having, I had to tell that I was having idly for last few days, she asked dad to pay me more and ordered me to have something else. Home food was not allowed in hospital so dad used to bring food from masi’s home and I took that food sitting in the parking area keeping a newspaper on the floor and sitting on that I had lunch for so many days. I had my six semester final exams after a month and so I had to study, I had taken few books with myself and studied in hospital in the room. I had to leave from ahmedabad because I had to take my admit card from college. Mom was recovering slowly and she could not travel and also she had to wait for a month there only because of few more checkups. I could not go alone. After mom was discharged, we got her back to masi’s home and she was to stay there for another month. Dad got all medicines, dry fruits and different food supplements for her and kept in her room. She could not get up herself or do anything by herself. We stayed for few more days so that atleast she gets used to this routine. Dad got the tickets and we left from there. Mom came to the balcony to bid bye to us. I was again crying in the auto. For another month she had to be there and none of us will be with her. Relative’s house is after all relative’s house and not yours. You cannot be free and follow your routine.
We reached and called her up and then came to know that has got high fever. For another four days we were in so much tension, very very high fever, temperature was not coming down at all. Doctors gave medicine but that was also of no use. We could not go back and my college was also important. When there is question of life a well educated man also turns to various other ways which initially he thought to be nonsense. Masi’s maid told that nazar lag gayi hai, so she did something with water and bowl, don’t know what it was but mom’s fever came down, it was coincidence or really the result of that we were not sure. My dad who never lights an incense stick, was going to a famous far off temple by walk, he said that he will go for seven times by walk if mom gets fine. I had an old habit of bribing god with one coconut and this time I bribed many gods. All is well that ends well. Mom was fine now fever was not there anymore. I was physically not there with my mom and mentally there only, I was not able to concentrate on my studies. Now I had no option than to focus for my semester. Mom was recovering, no cist no fever, she had reduced lot of weight. They went for checkup and doctor told she is fine but it will take some time to recover and get back to her original shape. I stayed alone with my dad for 36 days, I was cooking that time. Thankfully in that semester I had only one paper a week, so I had ample time to study and my uncle was also coming to india, he planned to visit mom and then take her with him and come to our place so dad need not go to pick her up. I was counting days when she will come.
Finally the day came, I went with dad to pick them up, I saw her standing in station, I hugged her, she was very weak, but I was happy that her internal problems are not there anymore and I will take good care of her. We went home and days passed by. I dad did everything for her, we were happy to see her back to what she was before. My exams started and among all my semesters I scored highest percentile in that semester. I was so happy, we all were happy, it was tough period of our life. But I learnt one thing that these turbulent times bring out the best of you. Tough times bring family closer to each other.
Good times were coming now. In sixth semester I got selected in campus. I had job before completing my engineering. Mom and dad were proud of me. The day I got selected, my dad sat on sofa and took the phone and called up all his friends and told that I am selected in campus. Mom gave party in her school. Di treated her friends in Pune. Di got a job by this time and was working in a mnc. First floor was also completed and was on rent.
For my and my sister’s all major decisions were taken by mom. She was very clear that she will educate both her daughters and make them independent and then only she will get them married. My sister was a step ahead, she wanted to go to onsite on her own and then only she will get married and she was strictly against of arrange marriage. She did not want arrange marriage at all. There was no restriction as such for any of us. Dad always worked in air conditioned office so mom always dreamt of us working in a sophisticated environment.
For our school also while in class 11th , for choosing subject she came with us and made us choose mathematics. For that coching classes were required and mom gathered information about different coaching classes and did our admission there. Apart from studies for extra curricular activities also mom was very eager and wanted us to learn different arts. When my sis was in class 1st, she admitted her in dance class and made her learn for eight years when we were in delhi. She made her karate as well. After coming to Raipur she admitted me in music class. I learned for 2 years then for 3rd year she gave the fees but I did not go, I did not like the teacher so left. She was very upset. Again after 1 year I took admission and learnt for another 2 years. But could not complete 6 years because I had board exams in between so learnt for only 4 years. Mom regretted always that I could not completed my music course.
Di already left and it was time for me to leave now. I had to join the company. There was a five months gap after my final 8 semester exam and joining the job. In those months I was crazy myself and making everyone else as crazy as me. In those months I used to go for movies with mom, go for shopping, I helped her in house works, I experimented a lot with my cooking skills and go to different places. I already got the offer letter but did not get the actual call and date. Got it just before two months of joining and became tension free after that. Uncertainties create confusions. After I got the date, we booked the tickets and on the date left for mysore with all the bag and baggage. Mom and dad came to drop me. When your parents are with you and they know that from next day morning you wont be with them, they get anxious, they get sad but they are not left with any option because they know that kid is leaving for their better future, it is for the good of their child, they get upset but cannot show that, they feel that it will weaken the kid’s excitement. They do not know what they do or say, they become sad. They become crazy. And after you leave they cry silently but hide from you.
They dropped me and came back to Raipur. They were alone now. Out of four now only two people are there. Once you join the job you come home as a guest. I completed my training and was posted to Bhubaneswar. For two years I was there and every month I used to go home. Then I got married and frequency was less but thankfully you have something called mobile now because of that I am always in touch with mom and dad. I am just a phone call away from them. Skype and mobile are the greatest technologies if you want to stay connected. We do video chatting and every day we talk atleast twice. Marriage has not changed my life atleast in this aspect. My relation and friendship is still the same infact more close.
Responsibility of a woman as a mother never ends. No matter how old you are it is your mom only who asks you that whether you have taken your breakfast, lunch dinner, yes she will enquire about all your meals. She is the most worried if you are not well. Mother first is a teacher, then a friend and when you get married she becomes your inspirer and guide, and when the daughter herself becomes mother then she spends again many sleepless nights like the time when daughter were born.
When di was expecting she went through many complications and mom was there with her to take care. From morning till evening she was with sis, she was admitted for few days, mom stayed in hospital. Mom herself got fever but she did not regret, for initial few days when a baby is born it is very tough time for both mom and baby, both need extra care and mom did everything possible for her without thinking of her own health. Now she is behind me to conceive and deliver. Before 30 I should deliver because for few more years only she will have that strength to care for me and my baby as she can do now. She always says one thing that you will come to know when you will be a mother yourself.
HATS OFF to all the mommys, I salute your strength, your vigor, your courage, your love, your affection and you. You are above all.