Life Changing Moment
Updated: Feb 3
The article is about how one decision altered my mother's life forever. My mother belonged to an affluent family. My maternal grandfather was a well known auditor in a reputed company. The family was self-sufficient and there had never been money related issues by the Grace of Almighty. They lived a lavish lifestyle. My maternal grandmother never thought twice before spending money.
My grandfather had three sons and two daughters. All of them received the best education. He raised them very well.
He wanted all his children to be independent ,especially his daughters. He never discriminated between his sons and daughters .
Though my grandmother had different views. She wanted her daughters to be married to boys who equally matched their status after graduation. She never wanted her daughters to pursue a career after their marriage. During the 1970's very few women went out for work . Most of them would settle down as home makers and look after their families and children while the men were the real bread earners.
Once a fortune teller had visited their house and forecasted that my mother would work after marriage. My grandmother rebuked her for making such an announcement. Little did she know at that moment that the forecast would actually come true in the future.
Time passed and my mother completed her graduation. My grandfather wanted her to pursue B. Ed and earn a degree in teaching. My mother didn't like the idea but she agreed half-heartedly. She could not say 'no' to her dear father. My grandfather got her enrolled in one of the best B. Ed institutions.
As the college was out of the city, my mother would have to stay in the hostel during the course period. It was like a punishment. My grandfather went to leave my mother at the college. It was a three hours long drive from Delhi and both of them hardly exchanged words during the course of the journey . My mother was sad and angry at the same time. She had always lived a comfortable life. And here at the hostel she would have to manage things like washing and cleaning on her own with no help. She felt lost and uncomfortable. At the very sight of the college, she started crying.
My grandfather could read my mother' s face very well. Seeing her uninterested, he asked her to accompany him back home. She happily agreed and sat inside the car.
Halfway down the road something struck her mind and she asked her father to turn the car back towards the B. Ed college. She had now made up her mind and there' s no looking back now. She pursued her B. Ed course and received the degree after a few months. She thought her ordeal was over. But life is full of surprises and shocks. Circumstances change, sometimes for the better, other times for the worse. My grandfather had gone down to Tiruchirappalli for an audit and there he succumbed to a massive heart attack. As he was the sole earning member, now the family struggled hard to survive.
Within a few months, after this incident, my mother was married to my father. He belonged to an educated middle class family. My eldest aunt had raised all her six siblings after my paternal grandmother's death. My father was the youngest of all. My aunt never demanded any dowry from my grandmother. She only desired an educated, beautiful and well mannered girl for her brother who was like a son to her.
My father had a decent job with a nationalised bank. My mother struggled hard to adjust herself in married life. Once a relative had commented that all she knew was to sleep and peel peas and watch movies. This remark hurt her and she took it as a challenge. My father earned fairly well but his salary was not enough to meet the needs of a growing family. It was then she decided to work after my younger brother was born. She was lucky enough to secure a good teaching job at a government school in Delhi. Had she not pursued B.Ed at that time, she would not be able to work and make our life comfortable. We had a very carefree childhood.
My mother now realised the importance of education and farsightedness of my grandfather. It was a life changing moment for her. One can be robbed of riches and wealth but the knowledge and training the person acquires during their lifetime can never be stolen. It's the degree which came to her rescue during hard times. An educated person always finds a way to deal with difficulties. Avenues are always open for an educated person.
My mother balanced her professional and domestic life very well. My father also supported her and helped her with domestic chores. Both of them raised me and my brother very well. My mother had always been a dedicated wife and darling mother to us. She would get up as early as 5:00 am in the morning and would cook lunch and pack tiffins for our school. I know it was not easy but she managed it very well. I salute her. She worked for thirty two years.
Education is a blessing in disguise. It helps one confront life challenges and emerge as a winner in every situation. It gives a person courage to deal with difficulties and make them more confident. So one should never underestimate the importance of education in life and grab every opportunity to learn because it is a key to a happy and successful life.