I always believe that every face has an inspiring story behind it. but few of them really leave a lifelong impact on you. Though there are many who inspired me some way or other but she was exceptional. life is extra-ordinary if you live it that way with same sets of ordinary circumstances. Her environment was no different but she made herself distinguished from others.Here is the story of one of my Aunt-in-law (distant) who really had a great impact on me even if i had a very brief acquaintances with her.She was really #madeofgreat!!
Muin Banchibi na? (Will I survive?)
Muin Banchibi na? (Will I survive?)
That was the first sentence she had asked me on my first encounter with her.
I was shocked. Not because I wasn’t aware of her situation but because till “that moment” she was a stranger to me. Just a week before my husband had informed me that one of his Distant Uncle and Aunt would be visiting our place for some medical purposes as The Aunt had been detected with something called “Malignant nodes” in her breasts. They were coming for TMH (Tata Memorial Hospital) Consultation. They would land up at my place first as Mumbai was new to them. Then they would arrange for their accommodation somewhere near the TMH.
I had met Uncle once or twice by then in some family functions at my in law’s place. But I had never met Aunty. In fact my husband even didn’t know much about her as he had just seen her once or twice in some family gathering. The only thing we knew about her was she was a Senior Lecturer in a women’s college at our hometown.
We weren’t even sure if it was really “breast cancer” or not as we were told that they’re coming for the confirmation as the doctors there weren’t sure about it and referred to visit TMH.
It was around 4 a.m. when they reached my place. After the ritualistic pranam and welcoming, she suddenly caught one of my hands and asked the above sentence.
She was looking perfectly fine though I was said that since few months the treatment was going on and the problem was since two years (apathy of medical experts in our place that lead to different kinds of wrong diagnosis)
I cajoled her and said “Everything would be fine”
Since then automatically “exploring life of an unknown person started”
Next day they visited TMH. As expected all sorts of tests were prescribed. However while they were looking for an accommodation, I insisted them to let her stay at our place as there were not many people to accompany her and stay with her during all those medical processes (May be Destiny was conspiring to let me have some real experiences that would shape my further life in a better way)
After a week Uncle left saying that he had some important dates with court to appear (Uncle is an advocate) for his clients. One of the cousin brothers of Aunty had accompanied her. Both of them were staying at our place.
Slowly, I came to know about her story. She was the second daughter born to school teacher and had no brothers. Since childhood she understood that she was never welcomed as she was expected to be a son while her parents had already a daughter. (Horrible reality that in most of the family the second daughter never gets a heartily welcome)
Another reality was her parents were always looked down upon as they had only two girl children and no son.
The typical environment around her made her strong and she excelled in her studies. However again another misfortune struck as in her teens she lost her father. With much difficulty her elder sister was married off. However she resolved to stand on her own feet. She handled her own finances by taking tuition.
After her studies she joined as a junior lecturer in a college. She took care of her mother and all the financial needs of the family. But she was never interested to marry and that wasn’t acceptable to her mother.
She married to Uncle in quite a late age…at the age of 34. By that time she was already earning handsomely (that was the reason why Uncle married her as he himself was struggling in his own career to be established as a lawyer). Even though she was married to a SP (superintendent of police) family and she working but not a day went by without reminding her by her in laws that she had brought no “dowry”. Almost every time she was criticized for taking care of her mother(being a daughter) as well.
Sometime late marriage creates problem having children. Same happened with her with four back to back miscarriages. That added her with some more extra hard taunts from in laws as well as Uncle himself.
Soon her marital cord became a sore one. However after going through heavy medications she finally was blessed with a daughter.
She thought things would start getting better. But as Uncle grew in his career as a lawyer, her married life became more and more aching one. But she really enjoyed her blessed time as a mother and forgot about taking care of her own self. Her daughter was barely 5 year old when she started problems with her breasts. She wasn’t aware of Breast Cancer symptoms neither had she ever imagined that she would have it.
Carelessness, ignorance finally landed her in TMH Mumbai. As she was diagnosed with Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; also known as intraductal carcinoma) at the threshold of second stage, so her survival was a question mark though the doctors were hopeful if her body respond to treatments strongly.
During talks, she always said that she wanted to live at least another five years so that she could spend some more time with her daughter. After her daughter was too small to understand the complexities she was going through.
The treatment was going on for months. But surprisingly no one from her family was with her though her in laws were a joint family including daughters (her sister in laws). Sometime she would ask for help to her distant relatives. Some of them would turn up for one or two days.
Just imagine, sometime she would travel by her own to TMH and have the Chemo and return to my place all alone. Quite pathetic.
She was going through the toughest time of her life, away from her daughter, no support from family and demoralizing words from her husband when she needed his moral support most. But she was not disturbed, she was positive, strong and she made it very clear that nothing could stop her trying her best to come out from the life threatening situation.
More importantly she was always cheerful, helping others by giving suggestions/advice. She was even motivating me to do something. Whoever would visit our place those days, looking at her everybody would get surprised by the lively smile on her face. Only an “Iron will” person can have it in the darkest hour of life. I had never seen such a person in my life till that day.
Sometime she would feel weak as she knew it would be next to impossible to fight with the “death Angel” knocking at her door. May be she was knowing that she was fighting an already lost game. But next moment she would become more resolved to live or at least try to live as much possible as.
After surgery, followed by another set of four chemo and radiations…she was said that things were cleared though she would have to in constant monitoring. For that only she had to visit once in four months for checkups and medications.
After staying around nine months she left for her home town. Again it was all over again a challenge to manage daily day to day works. Though she was sounding great in phone,but maybe she was struggling with her surroundings.
After six months, one fine day we were shocked to hear that she was no more as she succumbed to a severe cardiac arrest. I still don't know what went wrong...but i was shocked. Well as they say, nothing can stop The death angel…TRUE!!
Her life was not bed of roses. But she lived it as an warrior challenging her own ability to deal with every adversity in her life. My acquaintances with her were a very brief period of my life…I mean few months only. From a stranger to the most “iron will” person in my life, she was really made of steel and #madeofgreat.
When someone can be cheerful and normal even standing at the edge of the death wall surrounded by the hostility…what more is needed. She couldn’t defeat death but she surely lived her life with triumph at every stage of it.
She is the most steel will person in my life leaving an indestructible footprint realizing me that “nothing should stop you to try to achieve things that you want”. Your fight defines your life not what you get at the end of the game…victory or defeat. Sometime “a good defeat” is much better than a “bad win” …she would always say me this.
This post is written for Tata Motors (http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/ #madeofgreat campaign.
Thanks for stopping by my post. Lionel Messi is the Brand Ambassador of Tata Motors! Let me know how do you feel about it. Express your thought for the question below. The best comment would stand a chance to win an Amazon Voucher worth Rs. 750/- from Tata Motors.
What do you think of Tata Motor's association with Lionel Messi?
Last date is 24th November, 2015