I SURPRISE MYSELF

From dreaming a dreamy dream
with my eyes wide open to
living a lifeless life with my
soul completely broken;

I surprise myself by turning the
curve of my lips downside up,
pretending to beat the blues when
already my soul has blown-up.

I surprise myself by
breathing every day,
by letting fate, with me,
callously play.

I surprise myself by letting you
play with my heart again,
when you so carelessly smashed
it without realising my pain.

I surprise myself by letting you
make me believe, every time,
that I’m at fault,
when you are the one
never to apologize for all
your fierce assaults.

I surprise myself by offering
you my world which you
shattered time and again,
and how I end up apologising
to myself for making such
a blunder but still an excuse I feign.

Now when my eyes have chosen to
see beyond that dreamy haze,
I pick up those fallen morsels of me,
I apologize to them in all ways.

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ONE OF MY MAGIC WORDS

Mumma, what are magic words?” asked Joey.

There are three magic words – Thank you, Please and Sorry. And you know where to use which magic words, right?” I asked.

Yes, but why are they called magic words?” Joey asked again.

Because whenever you say these words, it does magic on the other person and other person feels very good. And in turn that gives you happiness too.” I tried to explain…

Ok mumma, I will try to use them.” he ran away immediately after uttering these words…

The same evening when Joey had a fight with a friend over sharing his favorite, he apparently hit one of his friends who went crying back home. When I asked him to say “Sorry”, he stomped his feet, shouted on me and started crying hysterically. Well, these are the everyday stories of being a mother.

Later when he calmed down –

Joey, why didn’t use the magic word when I asked you to? You know your friend would have felt so much better if you would have.” I told him gently…

Mumma, I don’t like ‘Sorry’ word. I like the other two, but not this one.” He told me innocently.

Why is that?” I asked him hoping that I don’t probe him too much.

I don’t know.” He looked at me expecting that maybe I know why he doesn’t like just this magic word.

You know what, it is difficult to use this magic word. Because this magic word makes you realize that you did something bad. It makes you feel guilty (I know for sure he doesn’t know what this word means). And you have to say it when probably you are getting too angry or frustrated with the other person. That’s why you don’t like it.” I told him almost sure he didn’t understand.

Then why do I have to use it?” this time he asked with tears in his eyes.

Because as soon as you use it, you will feel much better. And you can be friends again with your best friend. Isn’t it? Do you want to play with your friend again?” I asked

He nodded.

Then you have to give up your anger and apologize to him. Once you do that, he will also become happy and you can be friends again.” I told him

He called up his friend immediately and apologized. It hardly took 30 seconds for them to reconcile and they were back again to being best friends. They are just two 4-year-old boys who struggle to get over their anger and ego to apologize.

At work, we follow agile methodology of software development. That basically means that we plan the work only for 2 weeks and at the end of the two weeks, the whole team meets and discusses what went really well in last two weeks and what could have been improved. It is also an opportunity for the team to appreciate each other.

My role in the team is to define the plan for these two weeks and set the right priorities for the team. So, if I mess up – the team ends up working on something that might not be needed. And I do have messed up at times which made the team suffer. It isn’t a good place to be at. And when such things happen, I dread the session at the end of the 2 weeks. Because I know that I would be put on the spot and will be questioned on my decisions.

To prep for these sessions, I only tell myself that “It is ok to mess up, but it absolutely not ok to make excuses for it. If I messed up, I need to own it up and apologize and take the corrective actions. There is nothing else that I can do better to rectify.”

Every single time that I have owned up my issues and decisions – it has worked wonders. Sometimes working with other teams, I really struggle when another person is not ready to own it up. You got to own up and apologize – that is the only way forward. Otherwise, it is only a blame game and we adults look worse than the two 4-year-old boys who keep blaming each other for not sharing, snatching and hitting. Somebody needs to tell us, adults, that magic words really work – use them appropriately and you will save so much time and energy.

APOLOGISE WHEN YOU REALISE

Don’t say sorry too much”, I keep telling this to my 3 year old. He just says ‘Shoi Mumma‘, every time I raise my voice or make a sad face. I feel it’s because we use the word ‘sorry‘, quite often with our children.

With my 7-year-old, the case is different. For any antagonistic behaviour, he will say sorry only when we coax him. However, when he mellow down and realises his mistake, he apologises himself. This is what matters the most- realisation of one’s mistake.

No one is perfect. We are bound to commit errors, each one of us does. I wish we had erasers to erase our mistakes! Since that isn’t possible, the importance lies in realising our mistake and apologising as soon as possible.

At times I lose my control and shout at my children. At times when both of them are quarreling, I go mad and slap my elder son, even when the younger one is at fault. But, within minutes I realise my mistake and continue to apologise until he smiles back. The same thing happens when I am fuming with anger and feel sad about anything wrong that my kids have done, they will rehearse together and put up a small drama just to make me giggle.

Nevertheless, many situations come when elders are involved. Then comes our big egos in between when we feel that we won’t apologise simply because we are not at fault. There’s a cold war in the relations and then gradually the drift begins. So, just because we feel we are not at fault, should we forget the good attributes of that person? No, we can’t.

So, whether you apologise or not, better talk out your differences. Sometimes it’s just alright to have a difference of opinion and you can’t do anything about that, but to just let it be.

There are instances when there is a clash in the perspectives of our older generation and us. We say or do many things which we don’t realise, but, our parents/elders may feel offended. In that case, it’s always good to seek an apology from them, just out of respect.

And it’s not always necessary to use the word ‘sorry’, it just can be your behaviour that should speak.

APOLOGISE IF YOU HAVE ERRED

A world where no one commits mistakes, a world where no one hurts anyone or is hurt by anyone, a world where everything that is right is done – what an easy world that would be! A perfect world! A utopian wish, indeed! The world in which we live is anything but close to it. Because we are imperfect living beings in this world, we are bound to falter. Hence, the need to apologize.

A FEW MYTHS THAT NEED BUSTING

  • MYTH: Strive to please everyone. Then you will not have to apologise.

This is far from the truth. The needs, personalities and values of every individual are different. And so, there is almost always a gap between desirable behaviour and real behaviour. An old aged man may want you to sit by his bedside all day long. A six-year-old may want you to play with her as she sets up her dollhouse. Your boss may want you to work overtime everyday without extra pay. In all such circumstances if one strives to please all others, then s/he will end up fighting the guilt pangs and apologising to one’s own self. The truth is that you can never please everyone. It comes with costs. So, there is a need to apologise.

  • MYTH: Apologising would only make you look small in the eyes of others.

Apologising never makes one look small in the eyes of sensible others. It takes a person of pure and courageous heart to admit one’s mistake and apologise. It lifts off the heavy burden from the heart. Rendering an apology helps earn respect. Of course, there will always be people who don’t think much of an apology and one may feel a loss of one’s self-esteem apologising to such people. Nevertheless, it builds a reputation for oneself as an honest apologiser.

  • MYTH: You must apologise only to those elder to you in age or higher than you in authority.

This is a mere carry-over effect of conventional thought patterns of the yesteryears. Younger ones are at times made to apologise to older adults, while adults never think it amiss to commit the same mistakes. This creates a wrong precedence. Apologising to those younger in age or to subordinates sets up an example for them to follow. When children experience parents apologising to them, they learn to do the same. When couples apologise to each other, it removes hidden barriers and makes way for closer bonding.

  • MYTH: Cowards apologise for fear of consequences. The brave don’t budge.

Well actually, its the other way round. The brave step forward to admit their mistakes and apologise even at the cost of ridicule or punishment. Don’t you think it would take courage to own up one’s wrong and say, “I have done it”? People who don’t apologise are the ones who can’t dare to face the truth about themselves or are apprehensive to pay the price that would come as a result of owning up.

  • MYTH: Once you apologise or are apologised to, the relationship is restored.

While it is true that accepting the apology of someone or apologising to someone smoothens the creases, it does not necessarily restore the existing relationship. Restoration takes hard work. It may not happen at times because one or more of among those involved are unwilling. However, an apology rendered and an apology accepted make relationships at least tolerable.

THE LANGUAGE OF APOLOGY

One may apologise in person, verbally or send a letter of apology if the offended person is staying far away. Also, it is important to note that – apology has to be to God and to the offended person. At times it is easier to confess and apologise to God than look the offended person in the eye and beg pardon. However, it is necessary.

For an apology to be complete, the apology rendered by one has to be accepted by the other. In other words, when forgiveness by the offended follows an apology from the offender, the apology is complete.

However, this doesn’t always happen. At times, simply saying ‘Sorry’ is not enough. Take for example, a person who has been reprimanded by his boss for reporting late to office. If he apologises and continues to come late everyday, there is no way the boss can accept his apology. An apology has to be followed up by corrective action to be effective. The person in the example has to report on time every day so that he rectifies his errant behaviour.

Another example – A woman in an extramarital relationship owns up before her husband and begs his forgiveness. Simply saying, ‘I am sorry, I cheated on you’ is not the end of the apology. It has to be followed by an open discussion on the whole issue and what corrective measures she/they need to take to restore their relationship.

Difficulties in apologising arise because of –

  • People are unable to apologise because of a sense of self-worth. Apologising releases oneself from the burden of guilt.
  • At times people admit and apologise, but are hesitant to discuss the whole thing at length. This leaves behind unanswered questions and creates enough room for misunderstandings to trickle in. An open discussion at the cost of being uncomfortable gives the much-needed closure to the errant episode.
  • Many people do not apologise because they fear rejection. However, continuing a relationship with a false base of trust is not a solid foundation for a lasting relationship.
  • People do not apologise because they don’t want to accept responsibility. It is easy to shift the blame to someone else rather than point one’s finger to self. Learning to say ‘I am/was wrong’ shows the maturity of character.

We not only need to apologise but also need to forgive those who apologise to us without carrying a grudge on others. Our Creator God continues to forgive us each day. We need to forgive because we are forgiven.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – THE BIBLE

WOMAN – THE MASTERSTROKE OF GOD’S CREATION!

SHE IS WORTH FAR MORE THAN RUBIES. Her children arise and tell, “We are blessed to  be born from her womb”. Her husband says, “many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. I am sure, your beauty will fade away one-day but your godliness will ever praise. You have brought me respect, you are my dignity. The works of your hand are creative and worth to be praised in my community. In the dawn, while I am sleeping you leave your bed, kneel before God seeking grace for my family, prepare food and work hard to feed the entire family. Your kindness towards the poor and needy has always brought favour for our family in God’s sight. Your involvement and understanding my professional life brings profit to my wallet and comfort to my heart. Your counsel is full of wisdom and your lifestyle dispels the humbleness of your heart. When I sleep, the warmth and the beauty of our bed refreshes my body. YOU ARE MY CROWN!

You must be wondering, who is SHE!

She is the compiled picture I would sketch assorting the characters of those virtuous women who revealed to meHow does a woman look like!

The Bible says,

The beauty of a woman comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious to God. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

On August 2018, I met such a lady adorned with the inner beauty and from her mouth flows the word of wisdom and kindness. It was my first meeting with her. I was quite apprehensive about her response because I knew she is very introvert, talks less, professionally affluent and very intelligent whereas I am full-on opposite to her personality. Somehow after a little bit of mental exercise, I prepared myself and reached at her place. With a smile, she opened the door, introduced me to her mom and almost spent more than 1 hour 30 minutes of discussion. Since then I have never met her but within those few precious minutes with her words and gesture displayed the character of a woman who follows God’s ways, thinks relevant and speaks words of wisdom.

Do you know who she is? She is our dear Candles online writer – Rajnandini Sahu.   

The Bible says,

“A wise woman saves for the time of famine (difficult time) in her family and her household never run out of need.”

I have a cousin. Recently, she asked me about my savings and like most of the guys, I too failed to answer her. She scolded me almost for more than an hour on phone and the way she started sharing with me about different savings policies, I thought for a while am I talking to my cousin sister or an Insurance agent! Jokes apart, I realized she was right in scolding me on that. Most of the men are very bad in saving money for the future but women are not like that. In fact, they think about the future. A father desires for her daughter’s fat wedding but it is the mother who enables the father to save for the daughter’s wedding.

The Bible says,

“She is worthy of respect and trust-worthy”

I am very reluctant to talk to anyone about my past life and failures as today it is too hard to trust anyone. After a few hours of our chat when she asked me about my past life primarily, I struggled for a few minutes with the questions – ‘Will it be wise to tell her? Suppose she breaks my trust?’ But I assured myself to trust her and since that evening, our bonding was created, we started sharing our deepest secrets and became the first person for wise counsels in each other’s life. How beautiful it is to get such a trustworthy friend! The fun part is, I call her lovingly – Sweet Barlight (Tubelight).

The Bible says,

“In her life, after the Lord comes her family.”

I came to the world and immediately occupied her place in my Mom’s bosom. Since then our catfight broke out. Until we left home and moved to Delhi and Kolkata respectively for our professional life, there has hardly been a day when we haven’t fight, pulled legs or complained about each other. Even today, when we meet on vacations, fights are mandatory but honestly, her physical absence is always deeply felt and it has taught me many things with regards to dealing and respecting a woman. Often, I offer my seat to a lady on the crowded bus thinking about my Didi (Elder sister). I feel, if I respect this lady, God will surely listen to my silent prayer and bless my Didi.

Whenever it comes to family, I have always found her sacrificing everything and she always advises me “to put family first in everything that I do”.

Think about the world without such women, how devastating it would be! Yes, it is about these women who bring completeness in our life. We tend to think and categorize women as weak, vulnerable and risk factors in our life whereas it is not the truth!

God created everything yet He didn’t find a perfect companion for man. So, He gave deep sleep to man and took one of his ribs and formed a woman. When God brought her to man, the man said, “Now it is done. This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “WOMAN”, for she is taken out of the man.”

Yes, SHE – the Woman is our need. She is God’s Masterstroke of Creation to bring completeness, beauty and value.

Thank you, God, for HER and thanks to every woman!

THESE WOMEN IN MY LIFE – BALANCING FOR BETTER 😌

I am sure, the title itself creates a very negative image of me in the minds of my readers. Trust me, I am not a womanizer. 😛

I am really blessed to have them in my life. I always praise God for all these beautiful women in my life who along with my male comrades wrote a number of articles, poems, quotes etc., to bring hope in the lives of many.

Today, on this special day, I have listed out, a few praiseworthy attributes they possess as a woman that I observed in them with my limited knowledge. I have also included the first article or poem that they had contributed to Candles Online as a sweet memory and for the readers to know about their beginnings – small or big.

The numbering before the names are not RANKS but just the way I listed them while writing this piece.

Now, without delay, meet the world’s 34 greatest women as under:

  1. Rajnandini: (First Article) I never found her. She found a piece of Candles (Printed copy) from somewhere and sent me an email, years back. And then, she never stopped sending till now… Her love for doing something good has never let her take a step backward. The best attitude as a woman which she has which I tried to learn, is her disciplined life. Whenever I share a new idea with her to start something new, she would discourage me` saying, “Bhai, check if you can manage to do it first… I personally don’t want to get involved in it… I have already so many on my plates.” And you know what, I don’t feel like going ahead with my idea anymore afterward when she says. But that was for my good and it does help me many times. I know, I am very enthusiastic when I start something fresh but after some time because of time constraints, I lose interest. If I ever try to introspect and retrospect, I look back to her though she is much younger to me. She derives that respect from me because of who she is. She has extended her hand a bit and created a blog of her own recently. Do have a look at it.
  2. Aastha: (First Article) She made me her Dada. She included me in her life. It has significance. Why so? Because I always search for people and bring them in my life. In her case, it was another way around. Once, my wife said, “Aastha says everything on your face and I really like her for that“. I agreed to her. She never shies away to utter what is right. I am very straight forward like her and really proud to have her as my sister – siblings do have similar attributes… Isn’t it? 😉 Another sparkling attribute she has, that’s she is not a woman of many words but a doer of what she professes. When it comes to work, she is completely into it. Read her heart more at her own blog
  3. Saakshi: (First Article) If you want to know how to shower goodness then learn from this woman. I have never seen such a lovable girl like her. Despite her daily portion of pains, when she laughs aloud, my heart fills with love for her. She is a child in her and the fun part is, I call her ‘Daughsis‘ (daughter- sister). Her age makes her my sister but her heart makes her my daughter. A girl or woman like her teaches all of us to be very simple-hearted in life, not to be so complicated. She is an excellent writer and has a blog for you to read her more as well.
  4. Kalpana: (First Article) An easy woman to talk to and convey the message. But her smiling face shines her beautiful character and personality. I think probably everyone on my team has got at least a comment or two from her. She never ignores a single message in the group. She is the only teammate who once beat me in regards to the number of comments left on the site recently. Being attentive to all, being an amicable person, are some of the great qualities of a woman that I always learn from her and everyone should learn as well. The best part about her is… she stopped writing for her blog after joining Candles Online.
  5. Sreepriya: (First Article) Does she ever get angry? I have never seen her so. She never says, ‘NO’ to me. Why? She is very good when she writes her heart out on her blog. Tolerance will be the word if I have to give a name to her person. I know, I have quite a number of women like her in my team… But she somehow stands out alone in regards to doing everything with a smile on her face.
  6. Prabhjot: (First Article) Commitment and loyalty are two beautiful attributes of a human (not of a woman only). And she has always been a very committed writer even when she lacked motivation. Once, I told her to take a break if she wants. But she said, “This is the only place where I write… I don’t want to lose that opportunity.” I am really grateful to her friendship and her loyalty to Candles Online which actually made me move ahead with my many plans. She was the sole receiver of all my ideas initially. And she also shared a lot of her own ideas in the beginning.
  7. Pradita: (First Article) Apart from Aastha, she is another one who calls me Dada and because of them, I feel like in a family more than just a writing community. If I have to learn from this woman then I won’t be able to finish praising her. She is an ace writer. No one will deny it that – she is the Sachin Tendulkar of Candles Online. A powerful thinker – her poems are simply out of the box. She is the only one I am jealous of… Why?? Because previously, I used to think I have a better sense of analogy but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO… She has beaten me there… 😦 . I am happy, that she has been beating me in everything. She has a library of her own, displaying her talents so visit her blog to read them yourself.
  8. Preeta: (First Article) I will never forget one thing that she told me once when I asked her, “Will you forget Candles Online as you started working?” Her response was, “How can I forget my roots“. She made me proud that day. She is a souvenir preserver. She stores memories and I relate that very well, as I keep storing memories in some form with me as well. I was amazed when she posted a poster that I made for her on her status after a year or so. I like to store She is a quiet observer and always shows concern if she feels something is wrong with the person close to her. Great attitude!  
  9. Vipra: (First Article) Obedience is the word that I can use for my beloved daughter. An adorable kid, who’s soon be the best woman in the world. Yeah, that’s my wishes for her. She researched me and found me. Nobody has ever done that. She simply listens to the instructions and obeys, no arguments and rude responsesI am not saying that all the women should be like that. I am just picking up a few of her beautiful attributes which makes her a fabulous woman.
  10. Aditi: (First Article) She demands. Who can demand? The one who thinks she has authority over a friend. Love that attitude in her. She complains a lot as a friend and I love them. She is a writer who enjoys doing so and doesn’t write when she is not motivated. She is a happy going person which always sends a positive vibe to people around her. Read her articles on her own blog.
  11. Kuljeet: (First Article) I have a privilege of talking to 99.99% of my teammates. But I get the best reception from her whenever I call her up. My heart fills with joy listening to her exuberant voice. She makes people comfortable. That’s a quality which makes a woman stand out as the best. And now I know, why she is called the “agony aunt” by her cousins and family members. 😛 That sounds funny but a beautiful title to earn.
  12. Nilla: (First Article) She is the Big Mama of all… Caring, Warm, Loving, Concerned and what not. I rarely message her but whenever I message her she replies with the same warmth as she always does. She is an excellent caregiver. She is the only American among all of us and we are really proud to have her as our teammate.
  13. Sony: (First Article) A cousin who came to write with me after a lot of persistent attempts by me… but she is one who accommodates herself easily. Sometimes she amazed me with her thinking that she had reflected on her writings. She bends down instead of staying stiff and break under pressure.
  14. Prerna: (First Article) If I want my teammates to be enthusiastic and passionate about writing on Candles Online then I will wish them to be like this young girl. She is quick to submit her article, an ardent reader of all the articles published and passionate about writing. She grabbed the opportunity when offered as if she was eagerly waiting for it. This attribute of a woman of this age can really bring them to the top.
  15. Geetmalini: (First Article) She is a soft-spoken, warm and an adorable woman though she is unbeatable in regards to acquiring knowledge. An excellent storyteller and a great human being.
  16. Shwetha: (First Article) She is a wonderful woman with beauty, brain and strength. She has also a very good sense of analogy when she uses the words for her sweet and small poems. I believe those who can think well can have that talent reflecting on their lives. She thinks deep and when she wrote a motivational and inspirational write up she created ripple effects among the readers. She has that innocence on which her whole being is built amidst the chaos around her.  Trust me, she has the capability of boosting someone’s morale big time. Perseverance, that’s another attribute which she has that makes her very different than others.
  17. Shivangi: (First Article) She is Rajnandini’s fan… So, I don’t think I should say anything good about her… 😦 . Jokes apart, she is a very sweet girl and always knows how to express without hurting the person in front of her. Most women do that… Isn’t it? Read her articles on her own blog as well.
  18. Vidhi: (First Article) A very talented girl. I love her writing and always wish if she writes more Candles Online. But I know she is a student and needs to concentrate on her studies. She has a thinking brain and always tries to do what is right.
  19. Sanskriti: (First Article) Yeah, the Spooky Girl is very focussed on her studies. A woman focussed in her life can change the world. If you ever get an opportunity to visit her blog you will find, how focussed she is about what she writes.
  20. Ashrita: (First Article) She is one Bold and Beautiful woman. She speaks her mind when she writes. Her words are powerful and she deals the issues from the front. Read one of her bold and very poignant article on her own blog.
  21. Payal: (First Article) An adorable girl who is very sweet. She is an ardent reader and very observant. A very powerful attribute of a woman to be learned by all.
  22. Aparna: (First Article) A jolly and jovial girl with lots of dreams to achieve. She is passionate about her life and the purpose of life. Her clear knowledge about God and life at such a young age motivates me. She has a bigger part in my life like a daughter.
  23. Hina: (First Article) I haven’t interacted with her much but I appreciate her for showing interest to be part of the team and contribute few articles before getting occupied with her home, work and family.
  24. Smruti: (First Article) A multilinguistic and very power packed writer. Her life has trained her so. She is a fantastic woman despite her struggles. She can write fabulously in Hindi, Urdu, English and Odiya. She represents those women in the world who shine when tested in the heat of a fire.
  25. Avishikta: (First Article) She is my cousin. She fetches visitors. Her words are catchy and strong. She is a very adorable and intelligent female. She never writes very big and long yet never fails to get the attention.
  26. Kriti: (First Article) I haven’t interacted with her much but she explains one such attribute of a woman which is always regarded by all. That quality is – Cooking. Her blog is dedicated to all her experiments in the laboratory called, Kitchen.
  27. Khristina: (First Article) One of my favourite cousin whom I adore so much. She is a brilliant singer, a brilliant writer and a very passionate and focussed about her aim in life. Apart from being a very skilful writer, she is also very compassionate and caring woman.
  28. Megha: (First Article) I haven’t interacted with her much but I know, she is a multifaceted writer. In regards to writing, she has all the knowledge and wisdom. Her blog is the witness of her capabilities.
  29. Ruth: (First Article) Brilliant dancer and a gorgeous woman to behold. A great leader and passionate teacher.
  30. Samarpita: (First Article) A very simple lady with a mind and heart to give away her life doing things for people. She has always made herself available for serving the people around her with much humility. A great attribute to learn from her.
  31. Sulagna: (First Article) Till now no one has amazed me like her with her flares of words when she writes a post or article. She is an extremely talented woman and very vocal (sharing out) when she wants to put a point across everyone.
  32. Deepa: (First Article) A lovable and very emotional lady but she is very adorable. When she writes (in her blog), she pours her heart out. That’s something very remarkable about her.
  33. Pratibha: (First Article) She is a retro girl with a style. She sprinkles gold flakes when she writes her sweetest poems – small and impactful. Her blog is the witness to what I said about her.
  34. Asha: (First Article) She is a great friend, a very intelligent female to have on the team. Her inputs are always great as she is a thinker and a vivid reader. I enjoy seeing her passion for books and learn that attribute of her – being passionate. Despite reading she writes very well as well in her blog.

Balance for Better is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, which we all observe every year on March 8. The 2019 initiative is aimed at gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women’s achievements, according to the International Women’s Day website. And as the leader of Candles Online, I would proudly dedicate this article to all the women associated with me as my teammates working together for a cause, a greater calling – balancing well for the better.

Wish you all 34 great women, a very HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY!

(Featured Image: Google Inc.)

WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WOMAN!

There were probably many authors have written, describing the virtues of a good wife, but before being a housewife, she is a WOMAN, a daughter, a sister and later after marriage, she is a wife and a mother. Most of the women have these virtues and display them time and again, making the lives of men easy and meaningful. 

Today, I am writing about one such woman, the one who made my hectic work schedule even more tumultuous, on whom my first impression was “she is  killing my free time, and too dependent” but she changed it to  “glad I met her and helped in however way I could.” She defied many obstacles, she might have felt helpless throughout that entire journey but never hopeless, she never gave up, and in doing so she displayed some virtues, I’ve mentioned, so seamlessly. 

I was working as a junior resident in one of the busiest and prestigious medical institutes and posted for a limited stint in Surgical oncology department. There came an old age couple, the husband with extensive Liver metastasis of Neuroendocrine tumor, surgical resection was not ideal, so was referred to Medical oncology. 

She, being the only attendee of the patient (wife) was uneducated, quite devastated, didn’t knew the language of that land (Tamil), bankrupt (surgery to the primary tumor and subsequent chemotherapy in a corporate set up ate up all their savings) with no relatives or contacts in that town, came all the way for her husband’s treatment. Unfortunately, her husband’s tumor was a rare one and the medicine prescribed was not on free supply and would cost a good 30,000 rupees per month or more. She didn’t have that money, but what she possessed was unmatched dedication, and resolve to get the treatment done somehow.

She was not an acquaintance; she was just from my hometown but made me her beacon of hope. She kept visiting me in my working hours, disturbing my work, seeking help, and she wouldn’t budge when I said: “I can’t come every time to translate what the medical oncologist is trying to convey.” (my work would get delayed, patients I am attending to, had to wait) She would plead, demand, wait and somehow win me every time to accompany her and her husband to the medical oncologist and made me the unofficial attendee. 

She worked on finding Telugu speaking people in that area, managed to find a place to stay free of cost, and through me she could get the scan dates, reports etc at the earliest, managed to find some donors to help her financially, met the political leaders of that area to see if they could help her by any means. Facing each difficulty with patience, resolve, finding ways to get help, going past the humiliations and in doing, so she displayed all the virtues of being a good wife. 

Here are a few of her virtues that we all need to learn… Let me explain. 

WORKS like a servant

They stayed for more than five months and later would travel once every month for the treatment. Total treatment spanned over 16 months and every time she was the only attendee. (her sons couldn’t come to help).  She never complained, she always said “they work hard, send me money and take care of their families, they can’t afford to leave the job. I am perfectly capable of taking care of my husband, and I can manage.” 

Having patience like Earth

In spite of many odds like not knowing the language, not being educated, not having much financial support, being old herself, not knowing anybody in that area, a terminal condition of her husband, nothing deterred her resolve to fight for her husband and to give him as many days as possible. She faced every odds and humiliations with patience.

Beautiful and resourceful

She was bankrupt but somehow could arrange enough money for the patient’s treatment. Probably it was her resolve that melted God Himself and help came through various sources. 

Advice like a minister

Time and again she adviced her husband and sons that “we can’t give up trying.” Her husband wanted to be at the comfort of home and accept fate and sons would say “we don’t know anybody there who would help us.” She proved them wrong; she managed to get help, did everything she can and her husband lived for 16 months. 

Feeds like a mother

Out of gratitude and probably Love, she would bring me home cooked sweets. I don’t enjoy desserts, I always resisted, but she would either force feed me or convince me to at least taste it. She was always thankful to me for helping her and her husband. 

Today, when I sit back and think about her, her struggles and her patience and how she fought, I feel proud of her. She is nobody but a stranger to me, but I am glad, I met her, helped her and earned her gratitude and love. You might think, any wife would do the same when her husband is on death bed, true, I won’t deny. But what made her special was, never once she blamed the system nor god nor fate. She took everything in her stride and only focussed on what she can do to save her husband

She was an example, one among many living, look around, in your own lives, you would have come across thousands of such women or heard of, respect them, love them, treat them fair, support them and let’s learn from them — happy woman’s day in advance. 

Note – I didn’t mention her name because I don’t know her name. I always addressed her as Aunty or Amma.