I debated long and hard before I embarked on this post for one simple reason- I have exhausted my quota of sappy posts with the one on Valentine’s Day and this is one of those topics that is hard not to get sappy about. I figured I’d keep this as matter of fact as possible and maybe even try humor- but then this is one of those topics where a little bit of misplaced humor is all it takes for things to blow up in the face. That leaves me with just a wee bit of wiggle room to write something decent. And I am writing this post just for that challenge.
I have been pretty lucky to have had women working hard to fix me- all my life. It was my mom at first trying her best to make a decent chap of me and it must have been hard because she continues to try to this day and obviously the results are not yet there to see. It is entirely to her credit that she has persisted in her task all this while and in that time gave birth to another child and brought him up just fine. And all this happened while she woke up at 5:30 in the morning, cooked breakfast for two people, lunch for two others and a special feast for the most important person of all- our maid, and then scrambled to go to her office- for all of 27 years. She came back tired, started cooking again, cleaned up and then went to bed tired, every single night. Oh did I tell you, I aggravated her every day by my antics and none of the three men in the house ever made it easy for her. Yet, she continued to work on us, one by one, all at once- every single day and continues to do so.
The second one was all the fantastic teachers in my school and one heck of a lady Principal. They had a tough one in their hands with me. I was hard to contain – a virus that spread chaos everywhere. Yet, they never truly lost it. They worked hard on me- they saw something in me I never quite did. Today I struggle to handle an active dude at home and am utterly blown away by how much patience all my teachers had. They must definitely have been popping pills every night and cursing me, day in day out. But they never gave up. They kept trying to plumb the depths of my soul to redeem something they were sure was there. And somewhere in that epic struggle, they actually made me believe in myself. I tell you, that is a gargantuan task. To paraphrase a Tamil saying, “For making something of me, someone needs to build a temple for all of them and worship them”.
Along the way, the friends
From the maids at home to the the friends in the neighborhood, the aunts, the relatives – they have all been incredibly patient watching me mess up everything in front of them and yet, cheering me and egging me to go further than I have ever been before. From making me sit in a place for 45 minutes and sing “Viribhoni” until I got it right (how will I ever forget that) to gently guiding me through adulthood, they have done it all. And there are those who nudged me to note that special person who was interested in me. You know who you are.
And now, the wife
A friend, then my girlfriend, my fiance and finally my wife. And a rockstar at that. Can you imagine living with me day in and day out?. Nope, you cant. Trust me. Calling me eccentric would be doing that word a disfavor. And if you have to deal with two such, one 34 years old and the other 4, you would be excused if you were cursing the day you met me. And that she does, every single day. But she also makes my lunch, my dinner, folds my clothes, hugs me (occasionally), cleans my toothbrush holder (an hour ago), scolds me, instructs me, tries to get me focused and most importantly loves me. A lot. If she ever bailed out on me, things would be so much simpler for her. And so much painful for me, I just can’t imagine. Yet, she trundles along. From 6 in the morning to 11 at night. From the time she prepares out lunch boxes to when she washes the last vessel (often mine), she keeps doing it. My own parents wonder how she puts up with me. Yep, true story.
Through the 34 years of my existence, these women- my mother, my wife, my friends and my teachers have never given up on me. And here is why. Women just dont give up. They are fighters. They fight through pain and failure. Through suppression and bias. Through abuse and shame. Through a world filled with us, the men. And they do so every single day. Never once giving up on the people and things that matter most to them. Again, us, the men. They are warriors in the greatest sense. Not the ones with the guns and cudgels. But the ones with courage and persistence. And they truly deserve to be celebrated every day of the year.
So I will continue to thank my stars everyday for having bestowed upon me all these remarkable women. Someday and somehow. If I can even return even a smidgen of their favors, I would be thrilled to bits.