Written by Sachin Singh
It has been more than a year since my mother left for the heavenly abode. I miss her every single day. I remember that dark night when my sisters, including me, were sitting around our mother perched on the bed. Her condition was deteriorating. The family doctor was feeling helpless as it was the peak of Covid second wave. Our mother had not been infected with coronavirus but it was a critical brain tumor operation that had left her paralyzed and vulnerable. At around 4:30 A.M she breathed her last.
But my mother gave her heart and soul, to make sure we were brought up well. When I was class eleventh, my father’s business toppled down. Since then, our family has been struggling financially. My sisters and brother started teaching the village boys and girls at a nominal fee. Our family could somehow manage two meals a day. We never expressed our distress to anyone and kept struggling silently. I remember that the dearth of money was so deep that I avoided cutting my hair and shaving in a saloon. We bathed without soap. Such was the importance of a single penny. My mother was my guiding force and she would always encourage me to study further. In every difficult circumstance that life threw on us, I took advice from her.
It was the month of March. I was expelled from school for not depositing the fee for the last three months. I came home and I was terrified from within about my future prospects. A strong will to stand upon my own feet seemed a very distant possibility. However, I never let my mother know about the school incident. For three days I remained at home feigning a surreptitious smile. On the third day I decided to go to school just to take a final chance to plead to the school principal for providing me some time so that I could arrange for my fee. I was walking on the road towards school when I saw my mother coming from the opposite side of the road. She beckoned me. As I came near she put some money upon my hands. I couldn’t control my tears as my eyes fell upon her ears and neck from where her miniature earring and Mangalsutra had disappeared. I knew that she had pawned her jewellery to some gold merchant in lieu of money just to sustain my education . Likewise there are numerous sacrifices that she made for the family. Perhaps, sadly enough, the cumulative weight of all sacrifices eventually took a toll upon her.
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