My Mom Story: Pillar of Strength

Mothers seem to have a solution for everything. No matter what their lives hold, they’re always a cushion to manage every fall for those around them. They truly are a pillar of strength.

Read stories celebrating the superwomen that mothers are, shared by our readers as part of our Mothers Day contest.

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By Akash Mohanty

We thank the entire world for every small or big favor that they do to us starting from the time we get up till the time we sleep each day. However what surprises me is that most of us (me included) never really care to thank our mothers for all that they have done for us and still keep doing for us from the time we have taken birth. I have never really thanked my dear mother for being the wonderful mother that anyone can ever ask for in their lives. This story is my way of expressing my heartfelt thanks to my mother.

My mother wears many hats. She is not just a caring mother but she is also a loving wife, a devoted daughter – in – law, a considerate sister – in – law and a thorough professional. My father has been suffering from a neurological disorder since the past 20 years and hence has limited mobility. My mother has played the role of a mother as well as a father for me.

I am a Copywriter by profession and I owe it to my mother. I got through the entrance for joining what is arguably the best management and advertising school of India – Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA). I was selected to pursue a specialized course called Crafting Creative Communications (CCC) at MICA. However, I was reluctant to enroll as the course fees for this 10 month course was Rs 5,20,000 and I was facing difficulty in securing a student loan. The interest rates were exorbitant and I was considering not enrolling due to financial reasons. I come from a humble middle class background and I didn’t have the heart to ask my family to shell out a fortune for my higher education.

My mother came to know about my decision and convinced me that I should take up the offer and join MICA. She was sponsoring my higher education and wouldn’t have no for an answer. The 10 months at MICA have been the best 10 months of my life and I owe it to my mother. I couldn’t have even dreamt of fulfilling my dream had she not sacrificed a significant portion of her hard earned savings to make sure that I got the best education.

They say behind every successful man there is a woman. The world is free to interpret this proverb in their own way but I owe my life to the woman I have loved more than anything else in my life – my dear mother.

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By Bhavna Changrani

We lived in India till I was about 15.  My mom’s side of the family lived in the States and finally, our chance to immigrate came around.  I knew right away I wanted to move.  I knew that I wanted to live in New York the first time we visited, I think it was back in the 4th grade.  I pushed, lobbied, and made a case for why it would be better to leave India.  A better standard of life, the ability to actually achieve my dreams, go to schools that I wanted to, and work in the profession I wanted to.  My mom put my dreams and my future ahead of anything that she wanted, had achieved, or worried about.  She left behind a fantastic job, friends, the life/country she knew, and started at the bottom here.

We had the benefit of a large extended family and a support system, but I can say our first few years in the States were a tough transition. Try moving to a brand new country and learning everything all over again. But my mom did it all, without one complaint.  With her support, I got through college, law school, ended up living in New York City, and have crafted the life I wanted.  I know though, it was not possible without her support, endless dedication, and love.

Bhavna Changrani 1

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By Enakshi Ghosh

My childhood had a dominance of my Father’s image. I always thought myself to be as like my Father. Being as my Father meant to work like him in the Ordnance Factory, play the game of Bridge like a pro, smoke a cigarette, socialize with friends like his, do an engineering drawing or solving a mathematical problem with élan, etc. The meaning of growing up meant that I too should be able to do all these.

Somewhere genetically also, I thought I resembled him.

On the other hand my Mother belonged to a different world, which revolved around her children and their academic performance or the household chores and the rest was fulfilled by reading the fat red hard-bound books like a typical Bengali conservative lady. That monochromatic picture of Mother I recall was very boring and I never thought of stepping into her shoes. Throughout my childhood I studied not because of anything, but, the fear of my Mother getting disappointed. The only subject which captured my interest was Maths and the rest was all to please her. However, I had a younger brother, who I thought did more to my Mothers liking. He was academically bright and also toiled hard to excel.  But I had a special skill in drawing and for that I had all my requirements fulfilled by Mom silently, be it my first set of water color tubes or 48 shades of the exotic pastel crayons.

Like all other children of this country when the time came to decide on the future course of my life, I wanted to study with Maths as my major. However, miserable performance in the Sr. Secondary board examination left no choice but to study with Biology as my major which had no relation to my likings. This catastrophe in the board exams had completely eroded my Dad’s confidence in me and he no longer was keen to know on what I was doing. I continued to float in that uninteresting ebb of time. My eighteen years suddenly seemed to be losing its edge among the boring college lectures and mundane to and fro travel from the college to home.

In this crunch time it was my Mother who so long had been home bound always, who now brought out an option to study at the Art College of Kolkata. It was very new and neither, I nor any acquaintance, knew that such an alternate study stream existed. In spite of resistance from my Father and his circle of friends, my Mother was almost audaciously confident to get me admitted to such a college. In those days, joining an Art college from a middle class family was unheard of, as doing nude study and mingling freely among sexes was still a taboo in my society.

However, once that door was shown to me by my Mother who stood beside me like a rock pillar, it was up to me to cross the hurdles of entrance exam and get admitted into a place where I thought I could relate my being.

The journey from then had been so wonderful and it would not be an exaggeration to call it awesome, enjoying every day to its core among creativity, friends and lectures. Then came a fantastic stint as working as designer at a renowned shoe company, and then going to National Institute of Design for further studies was a dream come true. Today after all this  I have come to realize that what I am today is what I always wanted to be and nothing but only this could have been the best.

This story though does not end here. Till now I feel my Mother’s tense grip on my hand, as we together held on to each other to cross the wave of traffic on the 400 ft wide Jawaharlal Nehru Road to reach the gates of the Kolkata Govt. Art College from the other side of the road. That journey was for her to break away from her inner world to make me reach the gates of that world where I would eventually find my true meaning and she braved every bit of it to make me accomplish it.

Enakshi Ghosh

Today also while crossing the road I feel that strong grip on my hand which one day held me closely to tide over and reach that world of dreams, joy and happiness.

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By Meera Srinivasan

My mom has done so much for me, that writing one incident is going to be real hard. Today being my grandmom’s death anniversary, and my mom being her favorite child, I am going to share a special story of what my grandmom did for my mom, which my mom always treasures as a fave mom-memory.

My mom and dad dated for over 8 years with both sets of grandparents refusing to cave in and let them marry, despite none of the usual suspects like caste or language or even status being in the picture. My grandmothers simply did not like each other, and the lesser said about my grandfathers, the better!

Seeing my mom be so steadfast, one day my ‘naani’ (maternal grandmother) called my dad over and said that although he was not their ideal son-in-law, she respected her daughter’ choices and would welcome him into the family, on one condition – that her daughter work, earn, see the world and enjoy every comfort that she deserved. My dad promised (and I am proud to say, stuck to his word on every count). However, his parents (just to spite my mom’s parents) insisted on a wedding in Tirupati. This cost a lot, and my mom’s parents did not have enough money to organize as much jewelry as they would’ve liked to. In the Iyer tradition, the mangalsutra consists of 2 gold pendants, one bought by the bride’s parents, and one by the groom’s. My paternal grandparents (just an hour before the wedding) said that they had not bought the pendant, ‘assuming’ my mom’s parents would’ve arranged for that too! My naani knew that my mom would’ve literally walked out of the wedding, at this stage, seeing her parents put up with so much drama. She did something radical, something that most Indian women would never easily do – she took off her mangalsutra, removed one pendant from it, washed it well with soap and water, and just snuck it in. My mom never knew. Nobody noticed what my grandmom had done! My mom wore the pendant for many many years after the wedding, until May ’88, when my grandmom, on her deathbed told her the story. By then, my dad’s parents were really close to my mom and readily accepted that they had been in the wrong. My naani, ever so gracious, told my paternal grandmom, that her daughter was worth her weight in gold, and that traditions were only in one’s mind.  It is evidence of my mom’s love and selfless nature, that she looked after my paternal grandparents like her own, and made sure that her dad moved in with her too, after my naani’s death.

After my naani passed away, my mom treasured the pendant even more, and wears it today close to her heart – its her mom speaking to her everyday.

It is true that you can express your love to your mother only by unconditionally loving your daughter. I was blessed with girl 2 years ago, and in every single thing I do for her, I see the unconditional love my mom had for my sister and me, the effort she put in, in raising us, the lack of censure, the joy in her eyes when she talks/even thinks of us. Truly, I am blessed.

Meera Prashant

In the picture – the cycle is complete – my mom with my daughter!

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By Nikhil Dehadray

It was in the year 2007 that I earned a seat for myself in applied arts in Pune. As a child I always believed I wanted to be an artist as I grow up. But the dream soon came crashing down as I could not see myself fitting into the course and the syllabus. It started haunting me and right before the final exams I conveyed my interest to my parents. I wanted to be back in Mumbai and do something else. coming from a professor parents middle class family, it wasn’t a very easy decision. Everyone from my family though supported my decision, surprisingly my always annoying sister did too. My mother strongly stood against me. She forced me to stay back in Pune and finish my exams and earn grades. She was stubborn and seemed like anything but like a Mother to me then. She won the argument and I had to stay back and drag myself through the exams.

I did not come home those vacations, stayed back until the results, did not speak to her all this while. And as I got through the course with fairy high rank, my mother sent me a letter congratulating me on the same and then asking me to leave the course and come back home.

It shook the world around me. I did not have words to describe my emotions then and 7 years later I still don’t.

Nikhil Dehadray

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By Sangeetha Somanath

When I received this mail and decided to participate in celebrating this amazing bond, I did not know what to write. On a daily basis you take for granted what your mother does and most of us will never admit it. But when I sat down to write about my story, I realized I don’t have a single story or moment. Its only now, that I am married and a mother myself, I truly understand what she has done and keeps doing even today (although her health does not permit her).

Like everybody, I have many moments that are unforgettable. But, the one thing that stands out in my mind is the time I became a mother myself.

I did not go to my mom’s place for delivery. Instead, my mom had come over. She came about a week before my due date and from the day she arrived, I could see she was not the same. She would forget things, she would say the same things again and again, her motor skills were slacking. My father lives in another country and my mother has been managing the house and us (we are 2 sisters and a brother) by herself since the past 12 years. I figured it was suddenly taking a toll on her and she was depressed. so I would talk to her for hours on end trying to cheer her up and my pregnancy took priority in the household. I delivered a healthy baby girl and returned home from the hospital. Like any new mother I suffered from the baby blues and was in a very bad mental state. But my mom would silently do her bit and make all the post pregnancy food and stand for hours on end in the kitchen trying to make things for me. I suffered from Postpartum Depression and would often lose my cool on my hubby and my mom.

One afternoon, after I finished my lunch, I was tending to the baby when I noticed mom get up from the dining table to get to the sink only 10 steps away. I looked lovingly at her. She had no idea I was watching. moments passed by and she was still near the dining table moving back and forth. I suddenly realised she is not able to move, actually moving very very slowly. She wanted to walk up to the sink but she couldn’t. I was devastated. It was like my vision of power and strength was suddenly beginning to dwindle. I realised its not depression, its old age. Suddenly she looked so old. I began crying.

What followed was a marathon of tests and hospital visits trying to figure out her ailment. She said she wanted to go back home and I agreed. My brother took her back home. She had intended to stay with me for more than a month but had to go back within 2 weeks. After getting back home she was diagnosed with having cerebral fluid build up in her brain which affected her motor skills. She underwent a surgery for the same and is now well recovered, thank god!

What touched me the most was when I called her to talk to her after the surgery, all she kept saying was how bad she felt about not caring for me, like she had planned to, after my delivery. I swelled up. Even after going through so much physical trauma herself all she could think of was what she could not do for me. Truly, God could not be there everywhere that’s why he made mothers.

Sangeetha Somanath

I love her so much! She is the epitome of strength, love and endurance like I have never seen. It feels unfair to only narrate this one incident. Mothers are so great! Everything they do and say is worth remembering and living our lives by. I can only TRY to be like her but I know that’s impossible.

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By Satinder Ahuja

I lost my Dad during my final year law exams. I had my last paper 4 days after the day we lost Papa. I was too attached to Papa and was too too sad and did not wish to take the exam since I could not focus on studying and was only thinking why Papa had to leave us so early.

My Mom stood up for me and my siblings like a pillar of strength though she was the one whose loss was the biggest, her life partner.

She came to me one day before the exam and just said one sentence, “Your father wanted you to be a lawyer,  study to fulfill his wish.” And I understood.

I studied, appeared for the exam and because of my Mom I could fulfill my dads wish!

She is the strongest woman I have known. I am proud of My Mom.

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By Shivani Sharma

Every Mom is special as she truly embodies God’s presence on earth.

I take this opportunity to share my special moments shared with my mom. She in all sense is a friend and a mentor to me. A friend with whom I can share my stories of friends, colleagues and even office gossip & a relationship mentor as to how to deal with patience and love with difficult people around me, be they be my relatives or friends.

When I was young then she use to take me out for shopping, to buy school stationary, for hair cuts etc. and now I feel privileged that I can take her out for her shoppings, pamper her with facials, spas and do grocery together. I love all my moments spent with her as special, whether sharing morning or evening tea, car rides or vacations.

She has all the love in the world and care. I have had quite a interesting life till date starting from an ailment in which I was bed ridden for couple of months and then to the most difficult period in which I was dealing with the legal system .

So I will start with ailment. I was bed ridden for 4 months with very bad pain in my spine. I needed support even to get up from bed, do daily important chores and there she was with me , standing right with me, up at nights to help me go to washroom or bath, making me eat food, ensuring that I don’t get into self pity or feel sad . Even when I used to catch up on my sleep, she was up ensuring that I am not disturbed by anyone and she used to be awake all night.

She was my support system at that difficult time and to this day she is my support system. I could see tears in her eyes seeing my pain but she never showed it in front of me.

This was true even when I was going through a difficult relationship failure in my life and juggling with the legal system. She allowed me take my own decisions and at my own time even though she had to face social pressures.

My relationship with my mom is most special as we are friends, more than a mother and a daughter in true sense.

Love you Mom.

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By Supriya Newar

MAA

If you can hear me Maa, then do hear on,

For I bow my head to you and promise to carry on.

Though my heart aches and I still can’t believe you’re gone.

 

But you leave behind lessons for a lifetime,

Without any preaching, through your spirit you will continue to shine.

For you didn’t know what it was to regret or complain.

You took on life in all its hues as it came.

 

I wonder where you learnt to cook the way you did,

I wonder why the kajal never left the rim of your eyelid.

I wonder what made those eyes sparkle when they heard ‘Kalimpong’

I wonder how the woman became a little girl each time she heard the hill song.

I wonder how you could leave the land you loved so much at 13?

I wonder how you could embrace motherhood at 16!

I wonder how you would be the first to break into a dance?

And how coolly you carried on in your broken English with such confidence!

I wonder Maa, where you got your positivity and courage from?

I wonder Maa, with all that fate denied you, how could you march on?

 

And it humbles me today, to know how easy you made it all look.

As you continued to participate in life’s little joys, knowing your time was up.

I can never thank you enough for being such a paragon of strength and will.

I can never thank you enough for signing off with a smile, when you went still.

I can never thank you enough for never growing old.

I can never thank you enough for your heart of gold.

I know you can hear me, so do hear on.

Bless me my dear mother and I promise I’ll try to carry on.

P.S.: She fought an epic battle with a smile and the curtains fell only three months back. Her hand was in mine, till the last. She was 66. We celebrated her 66th b’day in the hospital, 4 days before D day.

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