My Maternal Grandmother – An epitome of sacrifice, love, and love. She was filled with love and pride for her kids, grandkids and great grandkids. She was there when we cried, celebrated, succeeded or failed. She was hardly 14 when she got married in a struggling two member family – a widowed mom-in-law and posthumously born husband. All her life she dedicated her sweat and blood to her family, selflessly. And when she died, she left behind an affluent family of 7 kids, 17 grandkids, and 3 great grandkids (at that time). She was particularly close to me, and I am still in awe of her ethics and principles of life. How can someone love her family so much…so much that when she died she was thinking not about her pain, but about her family. SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO LOVE SELFLESSLY!!
My Paternal Grandmom – I haven’t yet met anyone as beautiful as she was. She was that unique blend of spotless beauty with loads of brains. But my grandfather was a legend in himself – a versatile man with deep political knowledge, towering personality, and intelligence. My grandfather was the Finance Minister of a princely state, and a close friend and confidante of then King. Britishers used to look up to my grandfather for political and financial advice. My grandfather’s personality could easily overshadow anyone’s persona; but my grandmom, though less educated she was, maintained her dignity and individuality. Her sons grew up to be Class I administrative personnel; yet she dominated them with her sharp memory, and knowledge. She read regularly, and had a passion for movies and songs. She held to her grace, and never ever let my grandfather or her sons take away her individuality. She left a deep impact on her sons and grandkids. She taught me, “HOW TO BELIEVE IN ONESELF, EVEN WHEN SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE BETTER THAN YOU’.
My Mother – My mom inherited most of her qualities – love, selflessness, and ethics – from her mom. But she went a step further. She has an immense courage and a rare strength. Usually a dove in her regular day-to-day dealings, she quickly turns into a tigress when she perceives a threat to her loved ones. She has led an exemplar life – at points when my father lost the courage, she displayed the rare strength to go on. I really admire her capability to spring back, when life deals a blow. FROM HER I LEARNT HOW TO BE COURAGEOUS, AND ROAR LIKE A LIONESS!! It is her lessons that have helped me to look straight into the eyes of adversity, when it strikes.
My Mom in Law – My MIL (as everyone these days call) is a dexterous one. She has worked very hard all her life to MAKE IT HAPPEN, for her husband, her kids, and her students (she worked as a teacher for 35 years of her life). She met with a life threatening accident that crushed both her legs. She was bedridden for almost a decade. Yet, it was her sheer will power (and her kids’ care) that made her stand on her feet. We have had our own share of usual MIL-DIL struggle; yet she amazes me with her tremendous confidence and will power. She is very sharp, quick to respond, and has a great presence of mind. SHE TAUGHT ME THE STRENGTH OF WILL POWER.
My Masee (mother’s sister) – She is my masi, but hardly 13 years elder to me. She has always been like my elder sister, who is a mirror image of my mom – quite justifying the relationship name ‘Maa + see’ (like mother). She spent her early 20’s with us most of the time, and has supported me in my troubled teens, early youth, and early married life. She has been a rock like support to me. And even now, when she has teenaged kids of her own, she is usual self –selfless and loving as well. SHE TRULY TAUGHT ME HOW TO HOLD ONE’S GRACE IN ALL THE WAKES OF LIFE.
My Best Friend Rachna– Ahh!! Har ek friend zaroore hotaa hai!! But this one is special. She has been a rock solid strength for me all my life. It’s been a decade since we met; yet we are in constant touch. She has that spiritual connect with me, where we get that intuition that the other one is not well or is feeling down. SHE TAUGHT ME WHAT RELIEF A FRIEND’S ‘I AM THERE FOR YOU’ CAN BRING TO YOU!!
My Daughter – SHE TAUGHT ME THE MEANING OF ‘LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT’!! I still remember when I saw her for the first time. She was awake and looking straight in my eyes, and I fell in love with her instantly. She still is my first love. The other day, one of my colleague remarked that she thought I have only one child as all I talk is about my daughter. She has and will always hold that special place in my heart. I don’t know I cry when she cries, and I rejoice when she laughs out loud. I remember, on the TV premiere of ‘Rowdy Rathore’, I and my hubby were laughing; not because we enjoyed the movie, but she was in fits of laughter. And seeing her laugh so loudly was enough for us to enjoy. I don’t know how she manages to manipulate me into sharing my most prized possession…even my Parker pen. Her one smile, her one troubled look, her one look of pain…is enough to stir strongest emotions in my heart. It’s because of her I got to know the best emotion of the world – parenthood.