I’ll take this day to tell you about the woman who shaped me into the person I am today.
For the first 15 years of my life, I feared my mother more than I feared my father which is very unlikely in an Indian household. My mother was a very strict and uncompromising woman who would never deter or compromise with what she stood for and believed in.
When I was 8, I was racing back home from a friend’s house when I fell on the road. I somehow came back home with both my knees bleeding and my pant spoiled with blood. My mother saw me and told me where the antiseptic and cotton was kept. She did not move. She did not ask me how I had hurt myself. I was shocked but the rest of my life was wrought with similar experiences. When I was 12, I got my first period. I didn’t know a thing about body dynamics so she sat down with me and told me all that a 12 year old child could understand. I kept asking absurd questions and she relentlessly tried to answer as many as she could. However, that was that. When I was crying with my new stomach cramps, she paid absolutely no attention to me. I understood that I was on my own.
When I was 14, I was first catcalled by a random guy on the street in front of two other friends of mine. I hadn’t felt more embarrassed before. I came back home with tears streaming down my face. I told my mother everything. That day, she sat with me and told me that the world will keep testing me till the end of time. She told me that there was no place for ignorance. She told me that I had to be unforgiving. She taught me how to protect myself and stand up for my own self respect.
When I was 16, I had my heart broken for the first time. I locked myself in my room and even after multiple requests from my mother, I didn’t open the door. I even misbehaved with her for fault of hers. This time she told me that not all people who come into my life are meant to stay there. She told me how important it was for me to let go and not hate the person who had done wrong to me. She told me that the burden of hate is heavier than anything else in the world and that forgiveness opens the door to peace and happiness.
When I was 20, I had my first encounter with gender inequality in public place. This time my mother taught me to fight for myself, she showed me all the game and asked me to never ever give up on what I deserve. She told me that I must always secure what is rightfully mine. She told me that world was full of people who will deny me my existence and that I was born so that I could challenge each one of them.
I’m grateful that I was born to a woman who made me understand that my fight is mine alone. I’m grateful to her for making me a woman who’s not only strong but also a beautiful human. My mother didn’t just give me lessons, she has led by example. She has shown me the face of this world that I’ve set out to conquer.
Here’s to the woman who raised me right. ♥️