With the birth of each daughter, she was losing her health, respect and value. After her marriage, Unfortunately, she became a part of such a conservative society where women were objectified as inferior beings. Whenever people heard about her daughters and not having a son, they tried to show pity and sympathized with her by saying “It’s ok! God will soon bless you with a son, don’t lose hope. It’s Allah’s will” and “koi baat nahi”. There was something in this “koi baat nahi” that made her uncomfortable every time. She wasn’t unhappy about being a mother of daughters but this male-oriented society didn’t let her live in peace. The relatives, friends and acquaintances never stopped upsetting her with their silly and somewhat personal questions. The constant pressure drove her crazy every time. She was all alone, scared and devastated. She didn’t tell her parents about what she was going through. Whenever she tried, she was given lectures about being persistent. Though they were very supportive but even they couldn’t help this matter. All what she got to hear from her parents’ side was:
إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ
Verily, Allah is with those who are Patient
Probably this was one of the reasons that she never dared to raise her voice against the unjust prejudice she was facing throughout all these years. Her husband never blamed her for not being able to give birth to a son, nor did he threaten her about getting married to any other woman.
After sometime, her husband went abroad for business for six years, leaving behind his wife, three little daughters and a whole family to feed. While living in a joint family and being the eldest daughter-in-law of the house, the whole burden of responsibilities was on her shoulders now. Not even a single person by her side but she had to manage anyway. At that time, there were 12-14 people living in the house. Her eldest daughter was 4 years old, the second one was 2 and the third one was an infant at that time.
Her daughters remember growing up while being isolated and confined to one room under all the restrictions. Three of them laughed, cried, played, prayed, learnt, grew up and kept waiting for their baba to come back in that one room. Their mother didn’t have enough time to give them as she used to stay busy with all the household chores and stuff, but there wasn’t a day when she neglected their brought up. Never compromised on their education and nurture. She kept telling her daughters that she would never want anyone to question their upbringing so they have to be the “Good Girls” and her daughters obeyed as much as they understood.
19 years have passed, the journey of her life and sufferings is very long. Her daughters have grown up and the way she raised them and dealt with everything, the people who offered their sincere condolences on the birth of her daughters, are the same who now give examples of Neelam and her daughters.
Neelam Spent more than half of her life struggling with this patriarchal society but now she’s done. She’s tired of everything. She still cries like a kid but now her daughters are there to wipe her tears up and bring her back to life.
This Neelam is none other than my own Maa! While writing this I don’t know if I’d be able to do justice with it but I’ll try to cover some aspects of her life in the upcoming posts.
The other day she was crying and I told her that everything will be alright. We’ve seen her suffering, we’ve seen her submitting herself wholeheartedly to her family, we’ve seen her being completely selfless, sacrificing everything for all of us and this is what has made her “The Real Hero” of our lives. Though we can never pay her back but we have been longing for the time when being forgetful of the things that happened in past, she will be stress-free, genuinely happy and proud and INSHAALLAH, one day we will make this happen.