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Three women who loved me, and showed their love openly, whom I lost too early. They've left behind only memories, which I must put down.
I hail from a joint family with loads of women—grandma, great aunts, mother, aunts (dad’s sisters and his brothers’ wives) my cousins and more. In fact we women inmates outnumbered the men. So it was fun and merriment all the way whenever members of both gender gathered together on special occasions.
Now, from among this huge crowd of female relatives there were three outstanding ones with whom I shared a special type of bonding. Such a pity that they went away to a better world rather untimely.
So now, as I advance in age I have only memories (of them) to lean on during my private moments.
To begin with the youngest of them all, Polly (my uncle’s daughter) was my proverbial soulmate. Born just a couple of months apart – we were virtually inseparable. Whenever my family and I landed up in our ancestral family home, we spent greater part of each day together. From breakfast to study through lunch, gossip and siesta, followed by evening walks, soirees or gatherings we were always spotted together.
In our mutual interactions we shared a unusually deep bonding. We understood and empathized each other’s pleasure and pain, sorrow, suffering and anxiety. When hauled over the coals by irate adults (read guardians) we wiped each other’s tears and wept on one another’s shoulders.
She treated me like a superior, goddess like being. To her my word was the Law. Gospel Truth. It was a tad awkward, but she persisted. Such devotion and loyalty is hard to find. We rarely fought; but when we did Polly was always the one to reconcile. During our adolescence, we had no secrets from each other. We thought, felt hoped, and dreamt alike. We were convinced that we would be inseparable upto our dying day.
But good things always come to an end. In the twenty fourth year of our lives Polly died under mysterious circumstances. A loving heart stopped throbbing.
Next on the list was Gauri, wife of another uncle. She had three daughters of her own, yet as the oldest girl in the family I got a lion’s share of her affection and attention. My nickname for her was Mamoni (literally ‘gem of a mother’). She displayed an impartial and balanced attitude towards all four of us. She was a mild disciplinarian who never hit any of the children. At best she would glower at us or perhaps tweak our ears. That was enough for us to pipe down and behave ourselves.
When I entered my teens, mamoni (like my own mom) adopted a frank and friendly attitude with me. We would openly discuss about birds and bees; alongside she cautioned me about pitfalls which usually dot a teenager’s path. She defended and argued on my behalf, when she found me being criticized or ridiculed by two of dad’s sisters who were domineering and forever nitpicking. Gratitude mingled with love welled up in my heart.
Sadly, before I was eighteen, she succumbed to tuberculosis, aged barely thirty eight.
Last but most outstanding of all was my daadi – my father’s step mother (yes you’re reading that right). But her disposition gave lie to the image of a selfish, cruel stepmom. Not only she adored her step kids but also lavished affection on their progeny. As I was a confirmed foodie she would often painstakingly dish up my favourite stuff. I remember how as a pesky kid I would throw tantrums and trouble her no end—pinching, kicking, pummelling and more…Surprisingly she never reacted, or reported to my parents. On the contrary if the parents tried to thrash me for misbehaving she would step in and shoo them away. Did you know, just like mamoni she took my side against the not-so-nice aunts who were her own daughters!
While I was still in high school some odious folks brought a matrimonial alliance for me. The elders wavered since the guy was a medical graduate. Knowing my mind pretty well, she quashed the proposal, much to my relief. She was the happiest person around as I achieved one milestone after another in academics and my professional career. Daadi was further delighted when I finally tied the knot and eventually had a baby girl. Though she died at a ripe old age, hardly a day passes when I don’t think of her. She meant so much to me.
Image source: YouTube
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Am a trained and experienced features writer with 25 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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