It’s true that if we pursue things with kindness then it is sure to mend things but the issue with us is we don’t follow constantly and after keeping abreast for some time, we let the things down to entangle.
I wish to share a real story which inspired me to believe,
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” –Albert Schweitzer
Navigating into the days of 80’s.
It is an old instance of 80’s but I remember each & everything because the family was close to me and I had the opportunity to peep into it to recover minute details. It is a story of one of my Aunts, in our family, we call “Bua” (father’s sister).
A nice submissive lady, Meera, short stature, protruding big eyes and long black plaited tresses dangling on her back is still etched in my mind. She left for her heavenly abode at a very young age of 34, leaving behind six daughters in a lust of a son and at the time of seventh delivery, she breathed her last along with the much awaited son, a still born baby. There was some complications during giving birth to the child. I don’t wish to indulge in details, its better not to touch the bitter past.
Her life was over in split of seconds and a gang of six girls stranded…the future seemed dark & dreary. It wasn’t an easy task ahead for my family or Mr.Lal (Bua’s husband). The eldest daughter was of thirteen years and the youngest one of one and half years. Half of them were not even apprised with the term, “Life & Death.”
My grandparents were torn, a grief for the departed daughter and heart went out for her daughters, a direct impact on their life of losing a young daughter. A tunnel of darkness and a blurry future that all one could see. None could fathom how the family will be managed. Mira’s in-laws were in cosmic space and now she had joined them.
Varied ideas were summoned by the paternal & maternal Uncles in the interests of the daughter’s future, but none clicked. Even those who were pursuing with the ideas were apprehensive but just to fulfill the quorum suggested peppy ideas.
After racking brains, finally, Mr.Mr. Lal’s elder sister put forth an idea of second marriage to safeguard the future of the daughters, who needed a doting mother to guide the gang….It wasn’t an easy. Who would dare to shoulder the responsibility of half dozen children, it wasn’t a big thing in early eighty’s, still.
There were ample discussions & repercussions on the subject, the discussions led to bullets firing at each other. An idea of a stepmother, an image that flashed in the minds was of Lalita Pawar & Susheela playing step mother roles in films and the music the stepchildren faced…all had the pictures of these two ladies which were screened on silver screen in 70’s & 80’s. None could picture Nirupama Roy in the lead role of a mother.
Mr. Lal’s sister adhered to her plan and secretly started the match making. Her love and concern for her brother helped her to enact wisely, now I say. I was also too reluctant to go for the match making, my inexperienced soul acted more on emotions. I myself was in early teens.
Finally, a match was found after lot of ruckus in the family and in a simple ceremony, the marriage was performed and the participants were few close aides. The girl was well aware of the circumstances and was ready to risk her life…it was a risk because she could not fathom her dreams that every girl secretly savors in her heart. She accepted the turbulent marriage as adventure and was ready to navigate…really it was a daunting task and she had accepted willingly, no coercion, no compulsions, even her parents were doubtful, but she convinced them. God has dawned on her to make the decisions.
Now the future of a gang lied in her inexperienced hands, whether she is going to make it or break was entirely in her hands. Mr. Lal was emotional for his daughters and was apprehensive about his new match and watched each and every movement of hers with suspicion. The first three girls too were apprehensive and not ready to mingle. So, at home, a detective agency was on their work.
The heart breaking moment was that the youngest two peppy daughters didn’t even know that she was a new mother. They encased themselves in her arms and thronged the new mom with numerous questions of her sudden disappearance… (They took her as Meera, so innocent were they?)
The New mother, Bala was a lady with golden heart and the questions of the young toddlers melted her and she was in tears.
She took the task boldly and managed the things in a neat way and cared about the emotions of each and every child. All were different in their own ways and they yearned for mother’s attention and care, but were reluctant to submit themselves to Bala.
Bala took the reins of the household in her brave hands, though she wasn’t given real freedom. The main gear was in the hands of Mr. Lal and he didn’t wish to give up. He even had a fear that the love for the lady might make him weak & he may not be able to justify his responsibilities, it was a natural instinct. The motherly instincts of Bala was more pronounced and she personally took great care of each and every daughter and gradually she made a space of her own in their hearts.
It was her constant effort of kindness which melted their suspicion and it was replaced by love, they started calling her “Mummy” replacing “Nayee Mummy.” This was their confirmation of accepting Bala in their life.
Finally, she won the battle of scorn with kindness and she inculcated good habits in each of her Fantastico & peppy daughters and made them independent in managing their studies as well as well versed in cooking, stitching and all household tasks.
She was a Fantastico mother of six daughters and a son that she bear & raised with the help of her daughters. At present, all the daughters and son are married and busy with their life but they are in constant touch with Bala and Mr. Lal is no more. Bala is associated with our family and we never felt that she was an outsider. She managed all the relations well binding them in one strong string of love and perseverance. Yes, she sacrificed her life, her dreams for managing the incomplete duties of Meera, which her own sisters would not have dared to deliver.
Bala’s way of delivering things erased the image of a cunning stepmom.
May God Bless Her!
By Ila Varma.
Image Source : here