When my father passed away in 1971 we were left absolutely stranded with no experience in life. I was just nineteen my brother fifteen and my sister ten . we were absolutely lost.My mother was just forty and like most women in those days she was only a matriculate .
We just couldn't understand how would we survive .Savings were there but there was a vast span of life to be taken care of and the savings were not sufficient .
Our relatives from both my father' s as well as my mother's side came up to help they wanted us to go and stay with them so that they could take care of us because if we continued to stay in our existing home it would not be easy for them to visit us often. They all meant well and the reasons put forth by them were also not wrong .
But life had taught us that how ever well meaning, once you become dependent on others ,they would start taking you for granted .
My maternal uncle said that it would be very difficult for us to stay alone so he decided for us that we should go and stay with them . He had even bought the tickets and everything was agreed upon. Our friends and neighbours too said that that was the only sensible thing to do and that was the done thing .
The night before we were to leave , we four ; my brother ,my mother ,my sister and myself were just sitting together when suddenly I clutched my mother and said " Maa lets not leave this place , lets stay back " and will you believe it ! it was as if every one was waiting for the cue my brother too said the same , my sister also started crying and said that she did not want to leave the place and my mother looked as if she was just wanting to here this from us ,as if she needed an excuse to stay back . She knew that it would not be easy to stay with other relatives specially as our lifestyle was so different from theirs .
So in that instant we decided that we were not going . The news was conveyed to my uncle who naturally did not like it but we had decided on it and that was that. He told us that if we wanted it that way let us stay back but if ever we needed his help he was always there .This was very kind of him , but the actual reason was that he thought we would not be able to cope with our decision and would need his help sooner or later.
This particular decision we took that night was the turning point in our lives ad my mother always gives me the credit for taking that decision .
Having to stay alone on our merits , having to stand on our own feet gave us tremendous self confidence . The same friends who had said that going to my uncle's place was the best thing to do now applauded our decision of staying back , the company my father had worked with offered me a job and also sponsored my post graduate studies. This was a big help .
WE were bent upon proving to the world that we could survive without any one's support . My mother at times had bouts of depression, and to help her over come that, her friends started taking cooking lessons from her this not only helped keep her busy it also gave her a feeling of contributing towards the family income and this was a great moral booster.
Today after more than 40 years we just sit back and think of those days . How one decision of not taking any help from our relatives helped us in achieving this life style of ours My sister is a successful business woman my brother a CA and I am now retired from service and leading a comfortable life with my children and grandchildren.
One thing is sure had we gone to stay with my uncle we would never have achieved what we have. Simply because there's was a very conservative thought process. May be we would have been leading the traditional way of life comfortable but staid .
The feeling of achievement would always have eluded us .
What makes me happy is that even today my family gives me the credit for the decision though we all know that it was not my decision alone every one was equally involved they all had the right to veto my suggestion but they did not Everyone wanted it but I took the risk or responsibility of suggesting and that 's why they call it my baby
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