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Since I was little, I have been hearing many stories about Mummy and Papa, their childhood, their youth, their struggles for jobs, their struggles after taking over the responsibilities of marriage and whatnot. Both the personalities have been the same yet poles apart.
When I think about values, I weigh them on the same scale which binds them together. But when it comes to handling a certain situation or reacting on a situation, they both are totally different.
From their old-time photos, I can say that my Mom has always been a simple yet beautiful lady. Her dusky complexion and sharp features have always made her stand out when it comes to physical appearance. And what to say about her inner beauty? There is an ocean of affection within her, and the affection is not only for her husband, her parents and her children. It is for anyone she feels deserves affection and attention, be it the house-help working at our house or a small street dog who, only she understood, was thirsty and fed the dog with water. Her simplicity and values captivated the attention of her ‘to be Dadi-in-law’ which led to the union of my Mummy and Papa.
She has been a strength of our family even being at a “Follower position” as Papa has always been the decision maker of the family. But a small yet very impactful incident happened in my life made me change my perspective when I witnessed “True Beauty” of my mom. She emerged as a “Dark Horse” during a very critical phase of my life. She stood up like a lighthouse radiating light of resilience & pliability that helped me in those formative years of my life. It not only shaped me academically but also personally.
I have always been an intelligent girl yet a very average student and our family never felt anything wrong about that. My parents, thankfully, have always been particular about shaping their children to better human beings than just achieving high scores and be competitive all the time. We have always been taught about winning and losing so failures have not haunted us for a longer period of time. “Doing your best” & “Acceptance” has always been one of the biggest learning for us through both of our parents as both of them have been high on spirituality.
It was in the year 1996 when I completed my 12th standard in Commerce with Maths with very average scores and that wasn’t the score I expected but unfortunately, I had to face the hit. My family and I were alright with the scores but we experienced the real slam when we realized that the score was not getting me admission in a good college.
The best college for my choice, of course, was near my house and I was behind the cut-off by a mere 1% to get admission there.
That time there were very few colleges which came out with the course I aspired to do to build my career in that stream and the college near my house was one of them. In spite of waiting for all the cut off lists, I couldn’t win a seat there. Simultaneously we were approaching other colleges as well which were neither near nor too far my house. The cut-off lists used to come and just go without letting me have a seat in the college. My friends and my cousins were getting admissions and I was getting a daily alert of not being able to make it. I personally didn’t want to compromise on the subject as we never did anything just for the heck of doing something. We have always been serious about whatever we do.
The difficult time had started and I could feel my confidence descending day by day. I was in a typical situation where I had to either compromise on my studies or compromise on the choice of college.
Each day was a struggle for me and my Dad as he was accompanying me where ever we could see a ray of hope. And during that period, there was a time when we lost the path of what exactly we are aiming at as all the best possible options were getting closed eventually.
I guess ultimately what meandered in our minds was that I should at least do my graduation irrespective what course as “Graduation” is the basic minimum qualification anyone in India should have to get into a job. The courses and the college which could offer me the best future were demanding huge money which I declined, considering the financial load I would give to my Papa in return.
I remember how we were left with few options where it was just like succumbing to the situation. Somebody suggested that I should get into Nursery teacher training as this is one of the best options for females in India. I had never aspired to be a teacher but half halfheartedly my papa and I went to get the admission form. We discussed and finally made up our mind to get into that. This was like losing the battle. I didn’t know that on one hand my Papa and I were battling with the unknown, my mom, on the other hand, was struggling with pains her daughter (me) was going through. I didn’t know she was hating to see me kneeling down and compromising with my future. She was feeling disgusted with the gradual lowering of my confidence.
The next day we went to submit the fees and while my dad was parking his scooter, we saw the students in their peculiar uniforms for the same course. I was disturbed but yes I was there for it. My Papa noticed an expression of discomfort on my face and he immediately restarted his scooter. He asked me to board the scooter so that we can rethink about other options.
I got relaxed for not getting into NTT but at the same time was really afraid about my future. Then somebody suggested and we decided to pursue a simple course through correspondence as admissions were almost closed. I again reluctantly agreed and we got the forms.
I didn’t know that all this while my Mom started getting agitated to see how her daughter’s future is at stake and above that, the age where I should really enjoy, would get wasted. She just didn’t want this to happen with me.
Next day when we were supposed to submit our forms for a correspondence course, my mom suddenly emerged and erupted her new side of personality. I guess the power of submission all the way long had got her to gather different energy. She suddenly and very assertively asked me to get ready and collect all my certificates and announced that she will see how her daughter doesn’t get admission in the course which is good for her future and that too in a good college. My dad was sceptical and asked her to calm down on which she very aggressively said, that she demands just one day and she will ensure that my future doesn’t get spoiled. She again announced that her daughter doesn’t deserve to sit at home and she would not do a correspondence course. Her daughter deserves to be as normal as other students and deserves to enjoy the graduation as anyone else would do.
I was scared to see her fury but wanted to flow with her, wanted to go in any direction where she could take me. She noted down the list of the college where she wanted to visit, wrote down the preferred courses they were offering and the % required, discussed the routes and buses which would take us to those colleges and she was all set.
I was quiet and was enthralled by my Mother’s personality. She knew what her daughter could do and to what extent she would be willing to adjust for a better future.
It was a warm day and we visited some 3 colleges which were at least 18 to 20 km away from our house. That time commuting used to happen only by local buses and we used to prefer buses than autos to avoid the auto fares. We carried water bottles and some food with us to ensure no unnecessary expenses happen. In one of the colleges where admissions were already closed, my mother took permission and went straight to the Principal. She narrated the whole actual story in front of him and luckily the principal was patient enough to hear what she said. I could witness the truth behind the quote “where there is will, there is a way”. He finally agreed to offer one seat in his college and gave me 2 options for the courses out of which I happily selected the course I wanted to get into. My mother deposited the fees, I submitted the form along with all certificates and my admission was done. I felt light and I am sure my mother would have felt like winning a battle. She ensured that she motivated me not to fear the commuting time and hassles I would go through for three years. She made me ready for the hardship which I would have to encounter and I too got mentally equipped.
Next day I started going to college and started my normal life. I was delayed by 2 months to enter the college life but its better late than never.
I topped in all the 3 years & in all my subjects as well. I graduated with flying colours.
I now sometimes feel that Moms knows better what their children are capable of and what is the extent their children can compromise or take on the hardships. She knew commuting a long way may not be a problem for me but sitting at home and doing a correspondence course; not having a normal life as all my friends would definitely create a problem for me. Honestly, all the hurdles I went through my graduation was worthwhile because it not only gave me more confidence and knowledge but it also shaped up my future very well. I was built stronger mentally by facing all the hardships yet led a normal student’s life.
That dark horse was my mother and I still owe her for what she did that day. Her energy, her goal, her commitment made her truly beautiful and admirable. I am proud of her and I am sure she equally feels proud of me that I didn’t let her endeavour go waste.
The dynamite inside her exploded at the right time. She still goes to her shell of docility to garner her dynamism for any such despairing situation.
Image via Pixabay
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