We were talking to each other like always. Her smile, her carefree attitude with calibre to handle responsibilities and her unparallel ability to understand situations always made me at an angle with her. Though we had that generation gap factor between us yet the kind of bonding we shared was more than friends. A part of me has always yearned for her presence in the office corridors to speak out. So today also we were opening our box of thoughts in front of each other like any other day. She took the upper hand in initiating the topic. And with the flow of words coming out from both the sides, I suddenly found tears flowing out of my eyes. And needless to say, from the other side also. The story she told me about the sudden demise of her husband and incidents around it brought the most emotional aspect of me on the front foot.
It is the story of late 90’s. Liberalisation has already happened in India but still there were few parts in the country where social dogmas were prevailing. And in that era, a love story happened. Not like the usual ones but quite an unusual. Silence was the main pillar of this story. The two talked too rarely with the words but their eyes told tales without reservation. Their marriage was the next step in their undeclared love. Everything seemed like happy-go swing. They roamed different places with love in heart and modesty in eyes. After a year, their love blossomed with a flower in their hands, a sweet baby girl in the lap. Their happiness was at the seventh heaven. A few months later, they shifted to their hometown with the family. Life was on track horizontally and the verticals were not seen anywhere. On one evening, they turned up at an official function and her husband was greeted by everyone for the hard work and efforts in professional life. After all, he was the esteemed IES officer.
But what the next sunshine might bring in the life, only destiny could have the cognizance.
The family headed towards a temple to pay their homage boarding an early morning train. It was like any other morning but with an extra fun element. There were talks, there were laughs and there were cries of a little two years old baby. The train halted for a while at a local junction and the father got down to fill up the bottle of water. He was involved with the task and didn’t realize that the train resumed its journey. As soon as he perceived this, he ran to catch it up. The train went ahead while picking up the speed and so did he to narrow the gap in between. She called at the top of her voice from the train, “Go back, and don’t push yourself so hard. You can board the other one.” But the fate has already decided with the next coming sequence in the story. He succeeded in clutching the handle of the doors. She got her breathe back and backed on the seat to relax. But wait, the other second she saw him hanging on to the door with single hand and making himself lowering a bit to take the papers back that dropped from his pocket. And the next second, a high pinched scream was heard reporting from the train and it echoed to quite a far. She had lost her everything. The past two minutes of the day had changed her entire drawing on the canvass. He skipped the stairs and slipped down the train. He was no more now. The cry of the mother admixed with that of the baby though the toddler had no idea how things shifted the other way. And her mommy was on the floor with the expressions she had never encountered before.
The young lady was only 21 years old when all this happened. Yes, fortune kept on rolling its dice on the game of snakes and ladder of life and she was bitten hard this time. The time slowly moved with its pace and things began to take casual outlook but with different angles. She had not received the mental support needed at that hour of time from her husband’s family side. In spite the vice versa happened. She could have remarried but she chose the tough path, the path to move ahead alone with her daughter or more of, for her daughter. She also took the decision to support her in-laws’ family despite the fact that the respect she deserved would not emanate from that side. And she did all this with smiling face and shine in her eyes.
Today after 20 years of struggle, she achieved what she aimed at. Her daughter has completed her CA in her very first attempt and is working in a reputed firm of Mumbai. Her in-laws’ had realized what she left behind to take all of the family ahead. And her face exhibits an expression of contentment and rejoices. She has not failed. She passed the exam of life with the distinction grade as a mother, as a daughter-in-law and most importantly as a human being. But still the loneliness of her life and sequestered tears of her eyes make its appearance when somebody close to her heart exchange dialogues about the past happenings. She made her mark on almost everybody’s heart with her 440V smile but that has not taken away the incompleteness from her.
Today on the occasion of women’s day, I want to give her due credits on behalf of the life and applaud her for what she has sustained while going through all this, her self-respect and integrity. No matter how small her achievements seem to the world, she is one of those hidden gems in the crust of earth which gleams more radiantly with time when camouflaged with stones.
This is for you ma’am and for all those women who bear the diseased mentality and still move on to change it with their love and honesty.
You bear the load when other looses the hope,
You gear the ones who see in you their support..
Your smile twinkles in the darkest night,
You fight the situations bigger than your might..
You come out with seven colours,
You bring the rainbow of achievements out from others..
You fall, you stand up again,
For you journey is your prize and never calculate for the gain..