Do you want to know about a real man and a real woman, who firmly believed in “never give up” and “gender equality”? Then you should know about my grandpa and grandma, the epitomes of optimism.
Grandpa and Grandma were blessed with a baby girl and they thought, “Oh! That’s great! A daughter is a treasure. Thank God”
Grandpa said,”I believe in “gender equality”. A family is complete only when there is both a daughter and a son. So next time, I need a baby boy”
Grandma replied, “Hmmm. You are right.”
And they tried for the “gender equality” for six times. Unfortunately, the gender equality plan was a fiasco and they were blessed with more baby girls. Grandpa and Grandma realized that optimism is not a good idea in every situation. So, they had retired and lived happily ever after with their seven daughters.
Grandpa and Grandma were government employees. They were rich and socially in a very good status. Actually, the only family to have a radio in the village at that time. So basic facilities like food and a shelter were never a problem. Daughters who were good girls, who obeyed each and every word of parents, were given top priority and they got more gifts. One of the gifts included gold bangles. My mom wasn’t the favourite child of my grandparents. Youngest daughter (Lesly) and my mom’s twin sister(Celine) usually got more gifts.
My mom was very angry and declared,”I, Teresa, the 3rd child, hereby declare that I don’t want any gifts. I will study hard for a job and will earn gold bangles on my own.”
There are women who are good at declaring their stand on a particular issue but deviate from their words/promises. Maintaining integrity is a rare quality that we see in very few people nowadays. My mom is a woman of her word. It was not a forgettable promise of a teenage girl and she studied hard to get a job. Luckily, the situation at that time was perfect for a determined lady to chase her dreams. There were no distractions like Facebook, Instagram and selfie addiction. The absence of an online world is a blessing for those who focus on the offline world. After years of hard work and determination, she earned a state government job, as a lab technician, at the age of 20. Mom wasn’t in a mood to relax and she aimed higher. After 2-3 years, she got a central government job with a better salary.
The best example that made me realize that my mom is a woman of her word is her marriage. My mom married my dad, despite the vehement opposition of my mom’s family. Marrying a man who is of a different religion would hurt the reputation of her family. For my mom, life and love isn’t a profit-loss business. She knows it is a lifelong commitment and there is no going back. So instead of happily singing “breakup song(click here)” and cheating the man after giving dreams, like many women do nowadays, my mom married my dad.
Thus I, the prodigal son, was born after a few years.
Years passed by and almost everything changed. I was a college student and my parents unlocked the middle age life. The only thing that didn’t change was my mother’s love for her gold bangles. Indian women are obsessed with gold. It is a sign of status and honour. Most of my mom’s gold jewellery was sold to meet the expense of building the home. The only gold jewellery left was the gold bangles. Every night she looks at the gold bangles that she bought on her first salary. It reminds her of her young age and beautiful memories. My mother keeps those gold bangles inside a steel tiffin box which was then kept inside a steel almirah.
I was busy with college engineering projects and seminars. All I had was an old desktop computer that was big in size and too difficult to carry from one place to another. I needed a laptop badly and I was trying to convince my dad about the need for a laptop.
Dad said,”Hmm.. Will think about it later.”
I knew what is the meaning of “Will think about it later.” It means “it is never gonna happen in a million years.”I was furious. Despite my talent for coding, I was denied a laptop. I went to my room and saw my mom.
I — “Dad never helps me. You? you are only good at narrating your boring stories.”
(I knew that if I add some “masala”/ movie style words on my dialogue, my gullible mom would believe it. So I started to mix more lies and insults)
I — “I am the only one in my college without a laptop. Last week, the whole class laughed at me for not having a laptop. Why should I waste my time talking to someone who doesn’t even know what a laptop really is? You are good for nothing, go look at your stupid gold bangles and sleep. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have moms that understand and help them. That is why they are successful in life. Oh, I’m sorry that you don’t know who they are. Ha”
Mom said nothing and left my room.
A few days went by and mom came into my room and said,”I have a good news for you. I have managed to get 50,000 rupees to buy a laptop for you.”
I — “Omg! Really? Thank you, mom, But how? You robbed a bank ha?”
Mom replied,”It is magic!” and smiled.
I — “Thank you, mom!”, I was very grateful and started to display my fake caring.
I said, “Did you eat anything? You should drink Women’s Horlicks every day for your health.”
Mom — “Hehe… Ok, my dear son. Good night”
I — “Good night? Not looking at your gold bangles ha?”
Mom — “Naah… Today mom is very sleepy. Will look at it tomorrow. Good night son. Love you.”
Mom left my room and I felt something wrong. I opened the almirah and the old steel tiffin box inside it.
The tiffin box was empty.