Saturday, November 21, 2015

With a spring in her feet , a smile on her face she is - #madeofgreat

I have encountered so many people who have left a lasting impression in my life, there are many from my family, my friends circle, from public life, my acquaintance, bloggers, online many….. I was finding it difficult to narrow down on one person and was thinking whom to write about…. Just then my house door opened and in walked my house help Lakshmi. As she walked to the utility area, it struck me that I should write about Vasanta.

Vasanta was my ex- house help some 7 years back. Before that, I had known her ever since this housing society came into being  9 years ago. She was then my neighbours help. We would use the services of each other’s maid when one of them was on leave. But Vasanta was the one who would often be on leave and my neighbor would ask my maid to pitch in those days. This was very frequent. And Vasanta had a reason for this.

Vasanta’s story was not a common “maid story”. She was not married to  a husband who invested time in drinking or other wayward activities. Although from a lower economic background, he was a hardworking man , the  difference was he was fighting terminal TB and she would often take him to the Government hospital for treatment and attending to him, that was the reason for her taking leave. Her family of her parents and in-laws were living in a remote village in Orissa and  near Vijayawada respectively. With two Kids aged 3 and 1, she would tend to her husband, work in our society and look after her kids all single handedly and all this with an eversmiling face. I have never seen her rant, curse her fate or indulge in self-pity even once.

Very soon, her husband succumbed to the disease. She borrowed money from us and took her husband in an ambulance to Vijayawada. After a month, she came back with a smiling face. Out of wonder, I asked did she never cry? She said she cried and relieved her traumatic days and it was done with. She had to move on...... I and my neighbour advised, she should go back to the security of her in-laws or parents. But she said, that there was no work in village and she would not be a burden to the family where she had young siblings. She herself was around 19 at that time.

She rejoined work with us, She admitted her son in a  boarding school for under privileged boys and would bring her little daughter to work who was two years then and had a walking disability. The daughter would lie in the balcony. Her love as a mom would ooze out when every now and then between her work she would go to the lying daughter ,cuddle her and massage her leg diligently.

She also ensured her employer had a clean home and she was also trust worthy. Atleast, I never entrusted my house keys with her, but my neighbor would entrust an open house with keys to her. That was the trust she had gained. That is another secret of her success. She does not work looking for money alone, but works from her heart and there were times she would do the necessary work without even we telling her .There was no shirking of responsibilities or half-hearted measures. Money is an automatic by product for the good services she rendered.

Life went on for her. After some two years, She  decided to put her daughter  in a girls boarding school. She moved to stay with her and work with in the boarding school which offered her shelter too. She was gone  for two years.

Again one fine day, she landed at my place with the same smiling face. She said, Now, that her daughter is big, she quit the hostel and has started working in one of the pent house which offers a one room home for her and works as a cook. In her free time, she brings work  from a garment company on a weekly basis and does tailoring work. In the evening, she seeks permission from her employer and makes bondas, samosas and earns selling them to the nearby construction workers. Tailoring and cooking  dishes, she said she learnt while at the hostel. Although, her children study in a funded school, she has to spend an yearly amount. Many of us help her. She saved amount to conduct her sister’s marriage. She also helps her in-laws financially. I was amazed at her learning and entrepreneurial skills. She even picked/picks  up few phrases of english and tries to communicate with us. When I and my neighbor meet we don’t stop admiring her courage, determination, learning and entrepreneurial skills and think  this maid of ours  is a perfect example of #madeofgreat and  empowerment.

Where did she learn all this? Which university did she go to? Did she attend any self-development program or read personality development book  on how to live life and apply them practically? I think she is a classic example of what happens to us may not be in our control, but what we do with what happens to us is completely in our control.

Married at around 14( she can’t say this correctly, she says "maybe 13 or 14") widowed at 19 with two small kids and she is now an empowered strong entrepreneurial woman at 28 and a dedicated and loving mom, she corrected her daughter’s defective leg with medical advice and her persistent efforts of massage has put her daughter back on strong foot. Last summer vacation, It was a pleasure to see her daughter walking perfectly, she brought her son and daughter to show me and my neighbor.

Vasanta,true to her name renews herself, has a spring in her step and sports an ever smiling face-  she, to me is an achiever and #madeofgreat in her own way, and these are the kind of people)  we should learn about in schools to create confident gennext!

This post written exclusively for tatamotors #madeofgreat
The #madeofgreat campaign is the first time Tata Motors is undertaking an overall brand association campaign with a brand ambassador. It rides on a strong consumer motivation of ‘Seeking Excellence’ and ‘Self Belief’ which is showcased by the confluence of two global brands-Tata Motors and Lionel Messi. The campaign builds upon Tata Motors’ DNA of trust, authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation.

The best comment on this blog post which answers the question  "What do you think of Tata Motors' association with Lionel Messi?", will receive an amazon voucher worth rs 750. ( this is for the readers here)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday stealing - to break the "break"

I am never short of ideas and thoughts, so many of them criss cross my head even when i am meditating that i take quite some effort to silence them at times. I do express them also at many platforms but when it comes to my blog page, my thoughts get silenced and ideas don't flow. Today, i forced myself to open this page and write something, but words were incoherent, i blog hopped and found a meme on Shilpa's page and so today i use this Sunday stealing as a tool to break myself from this "break"

  • Is there anyone else in the room with you atm? What are they doing? Nobody
  • Do you show your teeth when you smile, or do you prefer smiling with your lips closed? I don't show my teeth
  • Would you rather be told the truth, even if it isn’t what you want to hear? Yes, i want to be told the truth.
  • What is something that you plan to buy, as soon as you’ve saved up the money for it? actually nothing, i want to give away or sell so many things from my house but if i still have to buy something, then i want to buy a....... mmmmm.....maybe a bread maker portable one.
  • Do you play Sudoku? no....i am bad with numbers, but i am surrounded with sudoku experts at home - my mil, husband and son,  so  the sudoku squares are always filled with numbers in paper and in magazines. We have a sudoku video game too.
  • Have you ever had a migraine? .ohhhh..... many times...... i only have to walk in the hot sun, skip a meal or smell oily stuff and rest assured i get a migraine attack....the frequency has reduced though. I like to stay away from sound and light when i get a migraine attack.
  • What was the last book you read for pleasure? just finished reading Paul Brunton's " In search of India", i loved the descriptive writing of the journalist author, I travelled back to the India of 1930's through that book....the last few pages i lived in Ramanashram, Tiruvannamalai.,an excellent book especially if you are a spiritual is more like a spiritual travelogue...for me, it was a pleasure read. 
  • What was the last item of clothing you purchased for yourself? a blue stole
  • .Your first serious relationship, do you still talk to him/her? Yes, I do.
  • Who is the last person you texted? my maternal uncle ( mama)
  • How close is your family? very close, God bless!!
  • Is there anything too serious to be joked about? yes .For instance,a serious idealogical difference can be comical or joked about  ( without hurting) but not a health issue.
  • Do you like to understand and have good knowledge of things? of things that interest me, I would like to have good and deep knowlege, and of things that don't interest, i don't like to have good knowlege...just superficial knowledge will do. 
  • What is worse? Back pain or shoulder pain? my lower back pain, i have to be careful while i travel on bumpy roads expecially in an auto or two wheeler and while i do some yoga asanas.
  • Have you ever almost fallen off of something high off the ground?not high off the ground but i had a serious fall and tripped on a shallow ground some 5 years back. My ankle ligament twisted and tore while i was on an evening walk with my friend and i was on a pop cast for 6 weeks. This leg break slowed down my pace of life and altered my outlook towards life too. A phase which slowly initiated  me  to spirituality . 
  • What’s one fruit you love in drinks? Pineapple 
  • What is something simple that you’re afraid of? I am afraid of cockroaches or any pests like houseflies. My house is pest free and now i want my plants to be pest free too. Every morning, when i walk into my little balcony garden, i don't want to see aphids. i am afraid, if they attack, my chilli plants get affected. 
  • Has this weekend been good? So far so good
  • How much time do you take to get ready in the morning?  maybe 20-25minutes( with a shower, tea etc)
  • Last movie you watched in a theatre and with whom? Uttama villain a kamalahasan movie.( i did'nt like it) - with husband and close friend's family.