I am about to do the hardest thing today. 

I have always wanted to tell the story of my mother but I didn’t have the guts to do it. Finally, today, I am ready to share my mom’s story.

The motive of sharing her story is simple and that, is I don’t want any women like her. I know she was a strong woman, she was an educated woman but what is the benefit of education when you cannot take a stand for yourself and when you cannot save your own life?

So, here I go.

My mom was a single child and because of that she received a lot of love from her parents. My maternal grandmother was a very strict but very strong woman. She did best conditioning of my mom but may be because of her nature my mom become weak. 

My mom lost her father sometime before her wedding. I heard from many people that my mom wasn’t a really good talker and remained silent most of the times Maybe this was one of her great weaknesses and perhaps this was the reason why she suffered silently. 

My mother completed her Bachelor of Arts and got married to my father who was hardly educated (I think he hadn’t even completed matriculation or 12th standard). But, I knew that he was a regular drug user. I remember the harsh times when he would hit and hurt my mom very badly when he couldn’t get his regular supply of drugs. I cannot forget the bitter incident when he tried to burn my mother because he was heavily under the influence of drugs.

Flashback to a dreaded incident that kills memory is the one where my mother fasted for his good health on Karva Chauth. Karva Chauth is basically a ritual where the married women fast (without food and water) for their husband’s long life. Though I don’t remember clearly, I think I was around 5-6 years old and my younger sister was around 1-2 years old, on that auspicious evening of Karva Chauth,  He came in the evening drun and threw us out of home.

Immediately, my mother took us to my maternal grandmother’s home. My grandma wasn’t present in the house but thankfully, she had given the keys to the neighbours. My mom, sister and I stayed at my grandma’s place for the night and left early, the next morning.

I don’t know why we had to go back to that house where my drunkard father was present but I think my mother was not ready to face anyone that day. Wow! Here she was, praying for his long life and good health. Now that I think of it — The irony of the situation… my mother’s inability to stand up for herself makes me very sad. 

When we reached home, the worst thing ever was still waiting to happen to us. On that day, my mom tried to kill herself. I hate this about her, the most. Thankfully nothing happened to her that day but she was suffering and silently dying each day. As for my father, he was not a bad person. Ironically, he was the best father when he was sober. Under the influence of drugs, the worst of him came about and we couldn’t recognise him anymore. 

One day, my mom fell sick. She was an asthma patient. We took her to the hospital and she took me and my sister also with her. I don’t know what the doctor said but my dad and mom came home with a big bag of medicines.

When we returned home, she went to the washroom and sat with us. When my dad moved his hand towards to give her a glass of water to take medicines, she fell on his arm.

Ah, she died!

I cannot forget that night when my mom’s body was lying on the floor for a whole night and people were putting big pieces of ice on her body. On that night, I really had no idea what I was about to lose, neither for many years to come actually. But, as I grew up (and still growing as a person), I am doing well.

I feel her absence and miss her terribly. I really wish she took a stand for herself at that moment. If she did, she’d still be with me today.

So, in conclusion, by stating this story, I would like to request all the women (especially the married ones) to take a stand for themselves when they face issues in marriage. You have your kids who miss you and need you every moment. You are strong and you can survive without men, too.

Generally, stay away from drugs because you are not only ruining your life but you are ruining the lives of your loved ones, too.

Thank you,

Keep smiling,

Riya Om

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