When this prompt was announced, I was in a dilemma. Maybe it is weird that there is not a single person who comes to mind when I think about the people who have inspired me. Maybe this may sound like an arrogant disclosure, but I assure you it is not!
I get inspired each morning. When I feel the winds blow, when I see flowers bloom, when I hear the birds chirp away. I find inspiration from the books I read, the blogs that I follow, the Facebook interactions I have everyday and the children I see around me. Some of these young children can really make you wonder if age is the only criteria for gaining knowledge and understanding. Some people are definitely born with a nurturing nature.
I see women struggle to make ends meet. I have seen mothers trying to make a better future for their children. Most of them smile through their misery, while most of us whine through the day on comfortable beds and sofas and complain about the things going wrong in our lives. I have wondered how these people live their lives with no luxuries of any kind and yet smile their way through life.
There was a woman who used to come in to help with the house work every morning when my kids were younger. It was a time when I was considering going to work and trying to find someone trustworthy to leave my children with. This particular lady was a good cook. She never smiled much, she just did her job and that was it. It is obvious that she has a lot of problems back home in India. Or else she wouldn’t be here working as hired help in houses. Her employment visa was getting over and if we wanted to keep her, we could hire her and get her a visa. This was a long time ago, before the maid visa rules became so strict in the UAE.
She was a strong woman. I mean a well built woman. To be honest I used to be scared of her. But then I knew better not to judge a book by its cover. So I entrusted my just a year old daughter in her care while I sat with my son helping him with his KG homework. I left my daughter in her care for less than an hour. She was listening to news on her radio while keeping an eye on my daughter who was playing in the kids room with some toys.
After the homework was done and the lady went to start on dinner, I picked up my daughter and took her into the sitting room where her brother was doing his colouring work. She couldn’t speak at that point, but she looked sad and was pointing to her right hand. I lifted the sleeve of her top and I saw a black circle mark on her arm. I was furious. When I asked her what happened, she pointed towards the kitchen.
I couldn’t control my anger, I went into the kitchen and confronted the lady with it. She initially denied it, then she admitted it that my daughter wanted to come into the sitting room where I was seated and the lady was so engrossed in her radio news that she just held on to my daughter’s hand tightly so that she won’t leave the room. I didn’t hear my daughter cry, or else I would have run to her. I am not sure how her cries failed to reach me in a two bedroom apartment! I shudder to think if she scared my child into keeping mum!
There is an inspiration for you. This lady inspired me in more ways than one. Anyone who rarely smiles is definitely not someone you want around your kids. If your instincts tell you not to trust someone, follow it. After that incident I decided to care for my children on my own. I didn’t look for another nanny after that.
My mom was a good student in school. She was majoring in Botany at a college in Thrissur when she got married. She was more capable than any one at that point in time to work and make a career for herself. She would have definitely made a wonderful teacher. She was an amazing athlete in school too. She was good at basket ball and she was quite a champion at shot put too. But she chose to leave all that and take care of us three girls. In this part of the world getting help was next to impossible in the 1980s. She grew up in a house with three to four maids doing all the work for her. Here she was doing all the work and tending to three daughters and their needs. She managed to give us good education and also got us married to respectable people in the society. All with the salary that my dad brought home. She still strives to do her best to help the three of us and our families as much as she can. My dad is with her in everything she decides to do. Together they are the best set of grandparents a child can ever have.
If that is not Inspiration, then what is? They have not accomplished wonders in their lives. But they are miracle workers in our eyes. Lives which seem so perfect from the outside, need a lot of work to survive on the inside. They believed in not showing to the world the pain that came their way and not flaunting the gains either. A perfect balance and a well lived life. I wish we could give them something in return. But they don’t want anything from us. They don’t need anything from us other than love and respect. Not a difficult task at all considering how loveable and adorable they are. 🙂