W powered home -Legacy of Strength

I love reading and listening to Sudha Murty. She comes across as someone from my family – focused on good values, education, living simply, working hard and having compassion for others. Her stories are no different from what I have grown up listening.

My family has a gender dominance of women. No wonder, the women rule, but its not been easy. Each one is gifted and blessed with qualities and traits that are unique. No two women in the family are the same but the foundation of character is the same for all. Many times, people are surprised when they come to know we are from the same family because as individuals, each one is unique with their own strengths and idiosyncrasies.

Grandmothers, they were proud home focused women. They had their rules, house proud , loving and focused on family, prayers, cuisines and service. Homes were open for guests all round the year. Everyone was family and you addressed them as mosi, chacha, bua, etc etc, depending upon the family connection. Visitors were priority and had to be served well. Atithi devo bhava was followed in letter and spirit. Festivals were home cuisine, lavish spreads and family gatherings as casual affairs, nothing formal and structured like today. The best memories of foods and flavors and conversations comes from those days when grandmothers ruled.

My mother was the eldest in her family and became a doctor. Family legend has it that when she was a young girl and my grandfather used to be posted in far flung, godforsaken places for work, she had to travel by horse carriage to school. One day the carriage man fell sick and could not collect her. Remember there were no mobile phones, rather not even landline phones. So, when grandpa returned home in the evening, he discovered that the lil girl had not returned from school. He re mounted his horse and galloped away to discover his child sitting pensively at a little roadside kiosk waiting for her father, in total wilderness at dusk. It’s a sight of sheer tenacity and bravery of the girl not budging from the place, confident that her father would come to fetch her. Now 80 plus, my mother remains her stubborn, tenacious and quiet self even today. Our experiences shape us.

All of my mother’s siblings are proud women achievers in Sciences and Arts, trailblazers in many ways. They are well known in educational circles in the city and have shaped the lives of countless students, specially women by lending emotional, financial and academic support in different ways. There is no structured foundation running but our home is witness to changing the lives of countless who came to its threshold for support. Each person is a story. Unfortunately, very few beneficiaries have carried the legacy forward. Some, I would say, were outright ungrateful. However that has not deterred anyone from continuing their good work and helping out strangers, despite objections from the younger generation.

The grandchildren of the family have solid foundation of character and service. They are carrying forward the legacy of strength wherever they are in the world, each one differently. May the force be with them.

 

 

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About the Author

Writer in Me

Born in small town India to professional parents in an age when working women were a rarity. Grew up among the bright,liberal and educated minds, who valued education, freedom for women, character and values. read more...

10 Posts | 7,876 Views

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