Thursday, August 1, 2013

As Beautiful As Your Work



Beauty and brains are not an exclusive preserve of young working women. Right? Let me introduce you to an unlikely muse – an elderly homemaker, living on her own in a quaint little bungalow. So fierce is her passion for life, that she defies other stereotypes of beauty.


Is her work as beautiful as her looks? Well, you be a judge of that!

Her life was a fairy tale. A loving husband, two kids and an active social life - she had it all. Years flew past, her daughter got married and her son moved abroad for work. Then one day, it all began to fall apart. She watched the love of her life slip away, as the emperor of maladies snatched her husband at a time when she needed him the most. Her house was burgled. She had to wrestle with the UP police, threatening calls, income tax authorities and uncooperative banks. For a tech-befuddled lady, who never stepped out alone, challenges came from every direction. She knew that the only way out of difficulty was through it. 


When she decided to live on her own, treasuring her independence, she made her first impactful presentation.

When she enrolled in a computer class at age sixty-five, she made her presentation. Read Here

When she refused to pay a bribe, stood in the queue for hours to get her passport renewed, she made her presentation. “Why didn’t you pay a travel agent to do it for you?”
“I’d rather buy a ring with that money,” she quipped. And she did.

When she traveled to the US and held her own against a rude immigration officer, she made her presentation. “Why do you come here every year?” insulted the officer.
Misty eyed she replied, “Who wants to come here? If it wasn’t for my grandson, I wouldn’t visit your country.”

When she teaches underprivileged children associated with NGO’s, she makes her presentation.

Today, when she fights for pension, rectification of inflated electricity bills or errors in house-tax computation, she continues to make her spirited presentations. 
Ma with her grandson
 She is my mother, aged seventy. She zings up life with unbridled optimism to be a part of everything that is contemporary. Unlike me, she laughs easily, owns an exquisite collection of saris and loves meeting people. As I write, she pings me to FaceTime on her latest gizmo. No, it’s not about a recipe. She wants inputs on downloading a new app. I don’t know what or who guides her to face such tumults at this age. What I do know is that when one loses hope, one loses everything. And Ma thrives on hope.



Ma, you show what courage is all about,

And we are proud of the things you do,

I am no poet but I would like to say

Your work and your style are as beautiful as you.

Someone rightly said that age is just an opportunity in another dress. As the evening twilight fades, the sky is filled with stars invisible by the day.



79 comments:

  1. What an AWESOME post on a BEAUTIFUL LADY penned by a proud daughter !

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  2. I do not need to tell a writer of your calibre how well written this post is. I do not need to mention how your mother is an exemplary personality and one who inspires. I only need to mention here a Wish - that in a world racing away from basic bonds that make us human, I wish there were more women like her, and more daughters like you. Beautiful post!

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    1. Such lovely words Sakshi, thank you.

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  3. Your mother is beautiful. What a lovely tribute

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  4. Wow..powerful words;for a powerful woman!

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  5. Loved reading about your mother, Alka! I have a special corner for moms. Incidentally on the same prompt, I am writing on my mother as well. They are so special! Beautiful post and a great tribute to her!

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    1. True. I just couldn't think of anyone else.

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  6. Applause! Wonderful though your writing is this time the applause is all for your mother.

    I particularly liked that "Who want to visit your country..." Superb!

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    1. I should write another post on her interactions with US immigration officers. When she said who wants to come here, he told her to go back by the return flight. Exhausted after an 18 hr flight, she called my brother and finally they allowed her to stay for a month.

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  7. Wow... Great post Alka. You are lucky to be her daughter.

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  8. Beautiful presentation about an elegant and graceful persona. Salute to the Great Lady and her proud daughter.

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  9. What a lovely tribute, Alka! You must be so proud of her. They don't make them like that anymore do they? :)

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    1. Her zest for life is inspiring Corinne. Thank you for tweeting this.

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  10. Such a heartfelt and lovely post ! I am almost your Mom's generation, and I too, wrote about my Mom :-). I actually found myself nodding and smiling when I read about her straightening out the US immigration folks, refusing to bribe, and facing all kinds of troublesome bureaucracy , on her own. My Mom was like that too. She too went to meet the grandkids in the US, and had a similar skirmish. Please convey my respectful regards to your Mom!

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    1. Aww. I have been following your posts. Often I am too lazy to comment. After winning a slew of contests who doesn't know you in Blogosphere. Ma is reading the comments and I am sure conveying her thanks. Thank you.

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  11. What a beautiful tribute that was. God bless the both of you.

    Your mother is very pretty!

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  12. What an awesome tribute to your mother Alka. I love your mom's attitude and determination. Now I know where you get your beautiful genes from :)

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  13. Your mother surely is an inspiration Alka. Convey my regards to her :) Her fotograph reflects her Smile and courage ! hOPE we all enjoy life every min like that

    Btw if u submitted for Mia contest do mention the youtube link (which is in T & C's for contest I guess. ) Do check the link

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    1. Thanks dear but the link is there in the third line of the opening para and the TVC is embedded towards the end.

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  14. What a touching tribute to a feisty woman from her lovely daughter!

    Your mother is an inspiration to all.

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  15. I remember your talking about her and her intention to stay on her own despite her age and other problems. She is as beautiful as you, in all ways :) Hugs to both of you. And all the best for the contest.

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    1. Oh yes,I have shared my thoughts with you. And you too are one woman with amazing guts and grace.

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  16. Loved the post. May our Moms be with us forever!

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  17. That was a lovely tribute to a real woman of substance and wish more had the courage and conviction to do all this, Alka!

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  18. Moms are a true inspiration for most of us. Loved the post, Alka.

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  19. The indomitable soul of your mother has been well captured by this stirring piece. I was touched by the poetic conclusion.

    You need not contest for awards, you already have the prize.

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    1. You nailed it, as always. Yes, this post is not aimed at any prize.
      The fact that I have friends like you is an added bonus. Heartfelt thanks.

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  20. All that we are, and all that we ever hope to be. We owe it to our mothers.
    A lovely tribute. Such women deserve more than just awards :)

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  21. Wow!! What a beautiful tribute to your mother!! You must be so proud of her!! She is truly a Mia woman! :)

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    1. Oh she cried after reading this though it was not my intention.

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  22. We need more women like her to produce more daughters like you:)I don't see a 70-year old woman in that photo...what am i missing?!
    All the best on the contest...!

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  23. The post is very touching, poetic, beautiful, and kind. and most of all it has awe inspiring love.

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    1. And this is the MOST PRECIOUS comment I ever received. I won my prize already. Thank you Enan.
      Love and Blessings.

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  24. She looks so prettyin the Pic.It seems,traditionally women in your family are good looking?
    It is so encouraging to read of and meet such ladies who are so self confidant.

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    1. Ha ha. No its just that we are photogenic and we upload only good shots.
      Thanks Mr Chowla.

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  25. Very touching. And true, beauty is what beauty begets! And here I am referring to the inner beauty.
    All the best for the contest.

    A Grain of Sand

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    1. Welcome here Stuti.
      Thank you for the wishes.
      With such lovely comments I won this contest already.

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  26. She is an inspiration. I wish my mom can read it, she is avoiding her computer lessons. Salute to her and now we know where you get your good looks from. She is beaauuutiful. :)

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  27. Wow! Salute your mum for her courage of conviction and you for putting forth so beautifully!

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    1. Thank you Deepak. She is reading this and getting all emotional about it.

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  28. Truly a spirited, never -say-no Mia woman. Gr8 post. ATB!

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  29. Loved reading about the strength of your mother Alka. It is women like her that inspire. All the best for the contest.

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  30. Hi Alka,

    Beautiful emotions are reflected here. I am sure every daughter/son will connect with it. I respect your mother for her courage and salute you for depicting it so well.

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  31. Lovely.. Truely inspiring post.. Even my mother has gone through these same things and I must say she is so courageous unlike me.. I gather strength from her.. What a lovely poem you have penned down for your mother.. Lovely idea.. I hope I will be able to confide in my mother too of how strong she has been.. I am proud of her as well.!! Keep writing..!!

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    1. Please convey my regards to your lovely mom Priya. Thank you for taking time to pen a few words here. Means a lot.

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  32. wow, amazing feat really. Such confidence. We never know what we will face in our lives.

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    1. Yes, Bhavana. Life can be unpredictable and unfair at times.

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  33. Salute to ur mom for being a fighter...

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    1. Thanks. Such lovely comments have strengthened her even more.

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  34. awesome! hats off to her!

    this post made me a bit emotional

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  35. Lovely post! First i thought it was about a forgotten movie star.

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    1. True, she is our rock star in many ways. Thanks Giri.

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  36. Beautiful post Alka. There is so much that we can learn from our elders.

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  37. ..that was very cute..
    A best tribute anyone can get..
    Mother daughter.. a combo I guess

    ...

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  38. Alka this is a great tribute to her mom.She is a source of inspiration to many people. Three cheers for her!!

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