My Mother, My Inspiration
Created by Parentune Support Updated on Mar 11, 2016
My earliest memory of my mom is of her telling me a story, helping me go off to sleep on a dull dreary afternoon. To be honest, I don’t remember how old I was at the time. But post that, there have been more and sharper memories—like her coming to fetch me, and my two sisters, from school and then all of us going gallivanting in the older parts of the city (Lucknow) on a merry rickshaw ride.
But among the memories, which I am sure all children, have of their mothers, there is one personality trait of hers, which today, as an adult and a mother to a 4-year-old myself, I totally understand and in fact respect—her ability to be an equal in a household in times when women were just mere shadows of their husbands. Though she was a homemaker, someone who fussed around her children, she was a feminist in the true sense—a woman who rather than signing slogans believed in living them and passing them on.
She ensured that my sisters and I learnt driving when it was so totally thought of as an unnecessary skill in girls. She pushed us to join sports such as swimming and judo (and trust me, I am talking of at least 25 years back if not more (later 80’s)), did not encourage us to learn cooking or cleaning or household chores (the way the other girls in our joint family did), and time and again, just reinforced to us that we are in no way less than the men, if not better.
Fast-forward 2000s, I was off to meet a guy for marriage, in the typical Indian scenario. While the rest of my family was happy with the match, my mom told me on the way to the hotel, that in case you are not sure of the person, don’t agree for the marriage.
And there are numerous such incidents where this lady from a small town, highly qualified, willingly settled into a home with her husband and children, ensured that she and importantly her own girl children, did not get lost in the background. Time and again, she reinforced to us that even though we may be girls, we are always ‘ekkis’ if not better than the men (on a scale of 1-20, we are at 21 if not better).
I am a happier woman today cause of this self belief.
Contributed by Ankita Talwar