On In InnerVoice

She The Hero: The Story Of A Woman Who Never Retired 

She became a grandmother of her eldest daughter's child in her middle fifties. Savitri, who gave birth to four, but mothered many. And how did I know her? Well, here's how she got to know me, followed by a small incidence.I lived with my grandparents since when I was one-year-old, my parents were just settling in Delhi and I would have been too much of a burden, so they sent me to Kota. Across the street lived a family in a big single-storied house with three guava trees. And that's where I met, Savitri, with her husband and four children. I grew up with her only boy Shubhu (Shubham, apparently), he was older than me a bit, actually four years. Savitri's other children were Kavya, Tanya. And as I was all the time with Shubhu, I was treated no lesser than a sibling by them. I called Savitri- Aunty, but as I grew older and older, I wished I could call her Maa.Savitri was always quick in her chores, be it cooking or housekeeping, she was nothing less than those legendary Indian mothers, like those that we see in movies. Sometimes I felt jealous of Shubhu, that he had a mother who lived with him under the same roof, that he can demand anything from her and she would make him any dish and that he could just get his hair massaged with hot oil and then talk about school to her followed by sleeping on her lap. Not that my grandmother wasn't that good with all those stuff, but I don't know how I saw my mother only in Sangeeta. Once, when I was 11-year-old, while I was waiting for my grandmother to return from her school at Shubhu's home. Shubhu and I were waiting at the table for Savitri to serve us lunch. She called Shubhu's sisters to serve them lunch too but they just didn't seem to get bothered. They showed up one by one, Tanya di, making the worst of a face seeing a fried potato sabji, screaming in a crying sought of a tone, "I don't like this dry sabji don't you remember? You never take care of my likes and dislikes, only the others matter to you!" and she bashed her steal plate and went away. Savitri herself didn't had lunch and she might have been terribly hungry as she was fasting for last 16 days (she had a faith wherein every 3 months she would fast for 16 days for her husband's health). And after a few minutes, when I was playing cards with Shubhu, I heard her calling Tanu di's name saying, "Aaja Tanu, aaloraseelibanadiye" (Come Tanu, I've made the potato gravy the way you like it.) That's how I met Savitri, her love for her children, and of course, her selflessness.

She is the one who fed us

She is the one who taught us lessons, that we overheard

She is the one who protected us from the world and taught how to face it

She's the one who'll be our well wisher forever

She is the one who kept us alive

She is the whole reason for us to smile

Savitri has been there whenever she was needed

She might have scratches and maybe Savitri might see things in a blur like these pictures that I made

But beneath is a rainbow coloured heart, that sacrificed her life for you selflessly

If one asks, who is God? I'll say, Savitri. I might not know her now, but she taught me the biggest thing, loving your family

As of now, I know her as I know the air, the earth, the rivers, as she's as eternal as these are!

Savitri is now old, much older than how I remember her. But she has taken care of all the things that happened to her. Of course this isn't the full story, and believe me, I am still trying to figure it out. But I guess I will never be able to know her and how she does it all?She still feeds her children, her grandchildren and every person that crosses her path, giving them her love, serving selflessly.At some time in your life, you will realize that you are your mother's whole world, while she might be an annoying reminder of things and chores.Believe me! Every time she breathes, she thinks of you. So, take your time and use it in the best way possible, to thank Savitri.