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Friday, January 30, 2015

Breaking Barriers Created By Loved Ones

"I think I haven't seen the hardships of woman near to what my mother's generation saw, therefore I chose to write about the woman who created me."

More of then than not a girl born in an Indian family, even in an educated one is taught everything from a very early age about things that would help her have a family of her own happy. The chapati should be perfectly round, the tea with the right amount of sugar, the veggies with the right amount of salt,even the papad roasted in the manner that there is not a single, tiny black burnt mark. As she grows into a woman she is told to talk softly, keep her head bowed while talking to elders, talk in low soft tone and laugh well like a lady. These are the things I never understood as my mother still tries hard to make me imbibe them but when her mother (my grandmother) taught them to her, the times were those of understanding.

You might think my mother was brought up in a very conservative family and hence the rules, but it sadly wasn't so. The family was broadminded, yes but as far as women were concerned there were norms to be followed. There was even more pressure to be all of the above to maintain the family name when you marry into another. My mother did a B.A. (Hons) in English literature from Cambridge. She took up a job with the airlines and traveled many countries and then she married the man of her father's choice as was the norm then in India. My dad was more qualified, an M.B.B.S but the family orthodox. Thanks to the training by her mother, the bride survived a small town after Cambridge and the airline life. The old way thinking of my grandfather dictated that the daughter-in-law of our family doesn't go to work. So my Cambridge educated mother was given a dose that education was important but family was more and then she had two kids me and my brother subsequently and she dedicated her time only being a mother. 

When both of us were old enough, she got bored and the boredom got to her. Being very active always this was the worst phase of her life. The next stage was irritation getting into her being and becoming her. She used to scream at our smallest mistake and the prisoner in her had its time in captivity, the bird now wanted to fly. I clearly remember speaking to my aunt then because somewhere I a free spirit and somebody who always does what the heart wanted understood the layer within her being that surfaced, it was the being pleading to go out and it was my mother. During all her years at home she had been offered various jobs but couldn't go against my grandfather to actually take up one. So she convinced and consoled herself that her primary duty was being a mother and looking after her family.

I was furious and the rebel in me motivated her. Now I thin I either motivated her (her version) or she did it because I was on her head (my version). It wasn't easy. There were heated arguments but in the end she just said it "Give me one chance to be what I want to be. I can be a good mother and a teacher. I wish to educate children. I will go crazy doing nothing and you will loose me." I think that changed my grandfather's mind. He told her to do whatever she wants as long as her duties as before weren't affected. She was the happiest that day.

10 years later...."Mrs Vasanti Vashi (mom) gets the best teacher award". Its her Nobel prize and she thanked many people starting with me and my grandfather. He was to be thanked, for after his initial resistance when he saw her work, her happiness and the appreciation he heard about his daughter in law, he was the most supportive person in the house. The equation changed, trust me I don't get how the minds of people of that era worked, but it worked towards the best. I now at an age where I walk towards marriage I realize that what she did was a great sacrifice at one time and a very bold step at the next when she chose the "And"  for as Albus Dumbeldore told Neville Longbottom "Its easy to fight an enemy but very difficult to find your friends" and in my opinion hardest to fight the ones you love and respect, your family, your people, which in my mother's case was a father (though by law). When I talk about mom I proudly say she is a good daughter-in-law and a great wife and an inspiring mother and a talented teacher.

"This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus". 

Here is what you should do, reject the OR and embrace the And with Gillete, watch this not to miss inspiring video:

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