A small tribute to the person who matters the most in my Life...

Tuesday, June 28, 20110 comments

"Damm, I am getting late for college, Where is my breakfast?"
"What’s for dinner today? I am tired of eating the same foodeveryday!!!"
"I have a function in school today. Have my favorite pair of jeansand my blue t shirt been washed and pressed?"
"I have to stay awake the whole night today to prepare for mytough papers tomorrow. Who is going to make tea for me when I feel sleepy atnight?"
"I have to wake up at 4 'o clock in the morning tomorrow. Who willensure I don’t miss it?"
“I want to do this but Dad won’t let me do it. Can anybody convince himthat this is the best thing  for me to do?”

These are just few of the numerous questions being asked everyday by all members of my family – some gently and politely and some out of frustration and with aggression. And we know if there is a person in the family who has the answers to all these questions, its none other than my Mom.  Since the time I can remember of my existence, I have seen my mom doing so much for all of us that, sometimes I wonder if Ican ever do even 1% of it for her before the end of this life. Starting from the beginning of the day till the time we went to bed at night, I can’t remember of even a single thing that could have been done at home without her involvement, especially because most of the time may dad was away from home for his job and it’s my mom who was the soul and brain of our family.

My mom, Smt Niyati Padhy, is the 4th child of her parents and she has 3 sisters below her. Being born and bought up in a small place in the rich traditional state of Orissa, my mom is the perfect example of a true Oriya woman with Indian culture running in her blood throughout her body. But she is so different from a lot of people of her generation and her surroundings.With a broad mind and thoughts of high standards, she is just a kind of God, a role model for all of us. Always being able to adapt to situation and ready to accept things is something I have learned the best from her.

By profession, my mom is a retired school Headmistress. I can still remember the days when I was a kid of 2 years and she used to leave me at my maternal aunt’s(Momi Nani) place or at home with my uncle(Kama Kaka) or with my paternal aunt’(Lata Nani) place and go to attend her B.Ed classes. My mornings were the most horrible times of the day, when I used to see her off for the day and the thoughts of me being alone without her throughout the day used to haunt me very badly.

She started her teaching career as a teacher in K.C Public School in Berhampur when I was a KG student in the same school. I know about how much KG kids hate to go to school in my part of the world, The fact that they have to be in school for 6 to 8 hours outside of home without parents forces them to hate school. I was one of the few lucky kids who would be with his mom even at school. She didn’t take any of my classes then for the first couple of years,but whenever I found some free time, I would go about searching for her in all the classes going on at school. I would calmly watch her teaching her students,from outside of her class hiding in a corner. Sometimes, I would also go straight into the staff’s room to meet her when she would be checking her student’s assignments or evaluating examination papers. “How often did I tell you not to enter the staff’s room? Why are you trying to get me into trouble?” She would yell at me. Then when I would start weeping, she would take me to the kids play area and spend some time with me at the sliding chutes and merry go round rides corner.

She next joined Maharishi Vidya Mandir in Berhampur as the first Principal of the newly opened school in our city. After spending 5 years at KC Public School, I too moved to Maharishi Vidya Mandir where I studied for a year. Its at this place where I became the official student of my Mom for the first time.She used to teach me Geography at school and so I can say: “She is the one who showed me the world as a mother and also as a geography teacher.”

When Sona(my brother) was born, it became a little bit difficult for her to take care of we three kids. Then my Dad too moved to Boudh which is far from Berhampur. So the responsibility of the whole house was solely on her and due to this, she had to quit her job and just be the manager of our family.

Days passed and in this phase of my life I used to see her perform her duties as a perfect house wife and a perfect mother. Throughout the day she would be engaged in taking care of Sona along with me and my sister. Additional responsibilities of my cousin (Mili Nani) who used to stay with us was also on her. She carried out her duties perfectly and wonderfully managed the house both as a house wife and as the owner of the house.

After Sona was admitted in school and all three of us were grown up enough to take good care of ourselves, she got an offer to join Helen Keller Red Cross school for the Deaf and Dumb as the head mistress. People who don’t have any experience of dealing with physically disabled children, let me tell You,Its the toughest job on earth to teach, manage and help these unlucky children.And I can proudly say that My Mom championed this art and came out with flying colors.The rare blend of professionalism and compassion that my Mom is gifted with actually helped her do the job so neatly. Its under her leadership that the school excelled and grew from strength to strength –be it them having their own big building or be it the ratio of deaf and dumb students graduating out of high school. Frankly speaking, its only this phase that I could realize how much my Mom was special. She would wake up very early in the morning, finish her daily activities, finish the big traditional worship procedure, cook breakfast and lunch for all of us and then leave for school at 8 am in the morning. She would return from her school in the evening and then again would start with cleaning the house and cooking dinner. Her stamina to work continuously and tirelessly throughout the day would amaze anybody who knew her. This phase of her life spanned for about 10 years. In between, I remember,she had to undergo a training on teaching deaf and dumb students in Bhubaneswar for 1 year. She would visit us every weekend during this period. OMG.. Her tenure with HKRC school for the deaf was LONG!!! Its during this period that, I grew up to be a boy from a kid, I learned driving, Graduated from High School to enter my Intermediate, completed my engineering and joined my first job with IBM.

Days passed, I moved to Kolkata, then to Bangalore, and then to Atlanta and now in Arkansas. I have grown up. I am so far from her but she is always with me, every moment. She is my biggest strength in any circumstances in my life. She is the one whom I can count on when I am low. She is the one with whom, I would like to share all my happy and sorrow moments first. She is definitely the one who would be my strength and force to take any decision, take any challenge or take on any opposition in life. And she is the one who can moisten these eyes which normally always remain dry even during the worst times of life (exception: when I am totally drunk). I can realize how much I love her as I am writing this blog. Jesus!!!  Sometimes tears flow for no reason and sometimes they fail to appear when You want them to pour down!!!

There are few people who can and who do explicitly express their love and affection for people and I am definitely NOT one of them. There are plenty of people around who need love and care to be explicitly expressed to them and my Mom is NOT one of them.

Bapa(My mom as I call her),
I could not find any precious thing on this earth that I can give You in return of what You have done for me. The best I can give at this moment is simply something which comes straight from the deepest core of my heart “I LOVE YOU….Thanks for being there!”

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