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"I remember how my mom defied the stereotype and stood by me when I wanted to call off an engagement because I wasn't happy with the way it was going. My mother advised me to just end it..."
“I remember how my mom defied the stereotype and stood by me when I wanted to call off an engagement because I wasn’t happy with the way it was going. My mother advised me to just end it…”
My mother Tulasi Kohli named me Laxmi as she would fondly call me ‘Jhansi Ki Rani’ She named me so because I survived premature birth. She told me that I was a warrior and inspired me to fight it like a warrior. My mother is my inspiration.
I was born during the seventh month of her pregnancy in our very own home. My father served the Indian navy, while my mother stayed with my grandparents in a village in Uttarakhand.
During those days, there was hardly any hospital closer by, and nor did we have appropriate healthcare facilities. My mother was very young when she gave birth to me as she ensured that I survived. My mother treated me like a princess, I am still her little princess!
I think of my mother as a strong woman who has overcome all odds to ensure that I live and fight every battle life throws at me.
My mother is my biggest support system.
She has always been my pillar of strength. She is my friend, philosopher, and my guide. She let me make my own choices, be it my interest in a particular subject, my profession, marriage, or anything that may be. She stood by my side through thick and thin. I’m fortunate to be her daughter. I have to thank her for where I am today.
I remember how my mom defied the stereotype and stood by me when I wanted to call off an engagement because I wasn’t happy with the way it was going. My mother advised me to just end it, explaining that there was no need to continue the engagement if I wasn’t happy. She was proud of me and my decision.
Little did I realize that the next year she would assist me in finding a man for me. He turned out to be a wonderful person and I’m married to him for over 16 years and have two amazing children. Thank you, Maa, for teaching me not to settle for anything less than what I deserved.
Her life was not perfect yet she chose to do many things in her lifetime by putting her family first.
She was just 11 years old when her mother passed away, and she had to drop out of school to support her family. While she took care of the family, her elder brothers completed their education and started working. She raised her younger sister; imagine a eleven-year-old taking on parental duties.
Despite being married off at a young age, she pursued her studies independently. While my father was away serving the Navy as a commander, my mother had to take care of the family with no help from others. She did an excellent job at it, and she also stood by my dad’s career, accompanying him to other cities.
My mother believed that the education of women was a tool of development. She taught several women in the village to read and write. She would conduct classes post-dinner after finishing the chores of the day.
There was hardly any electricity in the village, yet my mom never gave up as she would conduct her classes under the shade of a lamp by her side. She was so relieved to see those women progressing and managing to read the letters addressed to them.
She inspired and empowered so many women in the village. She believed that if you educate a woman, you educate an entire family.
My mother is my biggest inspiration. She recently told me of an incident in which she applied to the local panchayat for permission to open a school in her village, which was approved. Although she had got the approval to open a school, she assigned it to a woman from the village. The woman’s husband had abandoned her and my mother wanted her to have a better life with dignity and respect. It was a secret that my mother hid from everyone, including her own family. I was moved to tears while hearing about this incident and I hugged my mom.
While I write this I look back at many moments where we both have cried together while some of them were of joy and others were of sorrow. Those little moments of sharing each other’s grief made our bond stronger.
Dear Maa, I love you!
I remember she enjoyed swimming a lot. She was constantly eager to learn new things. She is a tech enthusiast who enjoys experimenting with various machines and gadgets. She is a fantastic chef who would not allow you to leave her house without eating a meal. Apart from the other traits, her parenting is something I want to follow in my life.
My mother, whom I fondly call “Eeja,” has set high standards for my sister and me. As the old adage goes, a daughter is a reflection of her mother, but I’m not sure if I would be able to match my mother’s compassion, love, and care. She has been a pillar of strength for the entire family, and she is our hero. Maa, I love you!
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Laxmi Todiwan - Founder Indian Women in Hospitality. She is a Professor, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker and a Blogger. An award winning hospitality professional with a career spanning over two decades; people engagement, training and development read more...
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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