#CelebrateingtheRainbow at the workplace – share your stories of Pride!
This is just one of the many stories of the wonderful mentoring my mother does effortlessly. As a kid, I grew up watching her always go the extra mile to help others.
Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash
Shanti was just five years old when she first came to our house, hiding behind her mother, who would help keep our house clean. She then started accompanying her mother to our house every day. She would quietly sit in one corner and play with a broken doll. She would be very happy to eat anything that my mom gave her and in return would coyly smile.
Gradually, they became like a family to us and would take care of the household chores when mom and dad went to the office. One day, mom asked if Shanti was interested in studies, and she nodded.
Mom started taking out time to teach her every day and when she grew up a little, she helped her get admission to a nearby school. Shanti’s mother was not very impressed, but she respected my mom’s decision and didn’t question it. She was worried because other kids in her society were not going to school and she feared that if Shanti gets an education, she might not find a good husband.
My mother, who has herself faced a lot of struggle as a child to complete her education, knew very well how important it is in one’s life. She assured her that whatever she is doing is for Shanti’s good and convinced her mother to continue with her education. My mom was raised by a single mother and she has seen how she fought with society to provide good education to her five children. Her relatives would suggest marrying off the daughters at an early age, but my grandmother paid no heed to them. While other girls in her village were sent to their husband’s homes, my mom and her sister were sent out of the village for further education. They stayed far away from their home to build their careers. Today, when my mom is a successful working woman, she leaves no stone unturned to help others.
Shanti grew up to be a bright student and would come and sit with my mom every evening for her studies. Eventually, Shanti herself wanted to grow up to become like my mom. She was her role model and she looked up to her for everything. When it was time to decide on her college, she expressed her desire to become a nurse, just like my mom. That was a very emotional moment for my mom and she did all that she could do to get her into nursing training.
Shanti’s mother was even more worried about her because sadly, nursing is still not considered a decent profession in our society. All she wanted was to get her married off as soon as she could. Shanti’s father, on the other hand, was a drunkard, who would snatch away all the money to buy alcohol. He paid no attention to his family and took no responsibility for their children. Shanti grew up watching her mother struggle and she didn’t want to enter into marriage to have a similar fate. She got all the confidence and support from my mother and went ahead and applied for nursing against the wishes of her family.
Today, she is a registered nurse, earning a handsome salary and married to a man from the same profession. She did what nobody else could do in her family or her society. Her cousins and friends have continued to be domestic helpers or work as daily labourers. They wasted money on alcohol and never gave importance to education. She is the only one to come out of that and build her career. She owes it completely to my mom for being her mentor from the very childhood and supporting her in getting a new life. My mom, on the other hand, says, it is all her hard work and dedication that today she is able to lead a life on her own terms. It takes a mentor and a mentee to achieve success, it is never the effort of just one.
My mom was also the backbone of her wedding, organizing a small celebration at the nearby temple. People from the medical fraternity all came in to bless the new couple and I watched my mom greet them all as the perfect host.
My mom never boasted of how she completely changed Shanti’s fate and life, she did it in a similar way she did to many others. This is just one of the many stories of the wonderful mentoring she does effortlessly. As a kid, I grew up watching her always go the extra mile to help others. The help she extended was not just financial, it would be for the overall development of the mentee. She instilled confidence and strength, especially in the little girls who dared to break the shackles.
In a way she mentored me too and gave me a life lesson to always be helpful to others, to never fear doing the right things, and to walk in the chosen path alone when no one else is there to support you.
In her professional life too, she has been a mentor to thousands of nursing students who would look up to her not just for studies but life lessons and more. Her patients would look up to her for the very strong psychological support she provided that helped them recover faster. I dedicate this post to the woman who has touched many lives with her presence, guidance, and mentoring and I proudly call her Maa.
Editor’s Note: For IWD 2023, we’re publishing #MentoringStories in both fiction and non-fiction, for the IWD2023 theme #EmbraceEquity. See all mentoring stories here.
Writer, YouTuber, musician, painter, HR and now running a venture to raise funds for cancer patients.
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