Poetry Of A Common Indian Female
If ever you have imagined a lady fighting like a warrior- then, I warmly welcome you to read the life story of Rashmi Suri. And, yes she definitely fought bravely.
Why? Well…read on, and I promise you that you will surely understand her reasons.
I had been gearing up for this day for a long time- right from the time when she agreed to grant me an interview. I knew back then that this would be one epic journey. I entered Rashmi Suri’s building slowly and thoughtfully. I was mentally preparing myself to ask all the questions that I had rehearsed, so that I would hit the right notes and extract as much of her life story as possible.
Rashmi Suri opened the door with a warm, infectious smile and welcomed me into her home. I got myself comfortable on a beautiful looking sofa while she went into the kitchen, and I unpacked all the stuff that I would require, such as a phone, a notepad, a pen, and a laptop- knowing in my heart that this time also, like with Nanda Shetty, I would not require any of those things.
Rashmi’s house seemed truly magnificent. I was constantly checking out the living room with a surreal expression- it was beautifully decorated. She came back from the kitchen with a glass of water, gave it to me and sat exactly opposite me. This was it- my chance to ask Rashmi Suri about her life – which she has lived with tremendous grace – in greater depth and detail.
“Shall we begin?” I asked, trying to dust off the cloud of nervous energy around me.
“Definitely beta.” Rashmi said in a soothing voice.
What followed after that left me in tears (of joy), and I felt overwhelmed by the lady’s determination and infectious energy. Welcome to yet another life journey, people, which will fill you with raw happiness and inspiration- and finally make you wonder- if she can do it, then why can’t I?
Gear yourself up, all my lovely people…One…two…three… Here we go…
Rashmi Khanna (now Suri) originally from Punjab, was born on 29th December 1966 in Mumbai.
“We used to live in a chawl.” Rashmi’s eyes sparkle as she says this, clearly indicating the amount of pride she takes in her journey till now.
“My father was a business man. He used to work as a cloth merchant. My mother was a simple housewife. I was the youngest amongst three children. I have one elder brother and an elder sister.”
Life was normal for Rashmi. Although they stayed in a chawl, there were no visible problems in their life. Her father made sure that he earned enough to give a good life to his family.
“My father insisted that no matter what, children should get the best education possible. And it’s because of him that I am here in front of you. It’s because of him that I am a teacher today.”
Rashmi was an unusual child in many ways. She was generally quiet and curious but very ambitious from childhood. She loved animals a lot.
“I still remember, I was small and in our chawl there were many stray dogs and cats. I used to feed them milk and biscuits with whatever I could buy using the little pocket money I had.”
Life at home was stable; father earning decently and mother taking good care of the family, but one thing that made little Rashmi a little uncomfortable at times was that they lived in a chawl.
“See, I was very happy and content with everything I had. You really learn a lot staying in the chawls. I also learned a lot. The most important thing was to stay grounded. Yes, humility was instilled in me during those years. But I was small, and as a kid when I saw my other friends living in flats and in beautiful big homes I felt I too wanted that. And that’s why I never used to bring any of my friends home.” (She smiles; the smile of someone who has witnessed many brutal faces of life.)
Rashmi was growing rapidly. She was not the topper of the school, but she was not in the bottom list either. As she says, “I was always average in exams.”
But you were not average in the exam of life Rashmi Suri! You cleared it with distinction. And not even you could have imagined that when you began your journey.
In the blink of an eye, with time moving at supersonic speed, Rashmi was 16 and had finished the 10th standard.
“I scored decent marks in my boards. And being a very creative person since childhood, I chose arts. I took admission in K.J Somaiya College in Ghatkopar.” She pauses, “and that’s when my life changed completely.”Rashmi’s face brightens as she talks about her college, clearly showing what this admission meant to her.
Okay, so let’s keep things in order. Rashmi was a shy introvert child with little or no exposure to the outside world.
“On the first day of college, I went wearing a Punjabi salwar suit, and 250 ml oil in my hair (she is joking we know) and entered the campus.”
Rashmi was not a simple girl; she was way different from others. She was an introvert yet sharp minded. She was excellent in acting and she was fond of reading. She could portray any character that was given to her. Even though she hailed from North India, she could play a Marathi character with ease due to her extraordinary observation skills. People would look at her in awe!
The fact that she didn’t come from a very rich background did not stop her from imagining a bigger, better and a wonderful future for her.
“The college completely brought me out of my shell. It pumped in the required confidence and attitude into me, which I thought would never come to a shy, introvert child like me.“ She paused after saying this.
I felt as if a grand free flowing river stopped flowing abruptly. I wanted to hear more. Why did she stop? The wait was not long, just a few seconds which felt like eternity.
“You want to know, how it happened, right?” “Yes, I am eager now.” I said, elated. “Want to have tea? It is a long story.” She said.
“I don’t need caffeine to get high. Your life-story would do the job.” I replied and smiled, eager to dig deep into her life, which is filled with hope and enthusiasm.
“I don’t remember exactly; but one day my brother who was a senior in college, told me that there was an elocution competition organized in the college. And he told me that I should take part in it.”
The thing that Rashmi dreaded the most! Public speaking! She was actually scared by the mere thought of going on stage and speaking in front of a huge crowd. Years later, she did the same thing and changed the lives of many boys and girls.
More on that later… The initial scary journey to the stage didn’t stop there. She now had to write on a certain topic.
“See, writing was my favorite hobby. So, when the topic was given to us, that whether the 1982 Äsiads should be arranged in India or not, we had to give our opinion.”
Although, Rashmi had written the entire speech; now was the time to rehearse it. Not a difficult task right? What made it difficult for Rashmi then? Okay, let’s hear from the lady herself.
“I did not tell my parents about the competition and also requested my brother not to tell them about it. Now, although I had written the entire thing, I was not getting enough time to practice it. So, I used to memorize the entire speech in whatever little time I got after college, while coming back home, after doing household chores, and when my mother would go out to talk to neighbors; and while feeding cats and dogs, which was my favorite pastime.”
Rashmi only had a few days to memorize everything. She worked day in and day out to rehearse it, making sure that she did not even forget a single word. Rehearsal was a beautiful task that became a part of her persona during those days, and benefitted her for years to come.
“So finally the day arrived and I was nervous par limit. I entered the auditorium and was waiting for my turn to come. My brother told me that whoever wants to talk, should directly go on stage and start speaking by introducing themselves.”
Rashmi paused for a second upon seeing such a huge crowd. Rather than relaxing and observing others perform, she was told to jump right into the action.
Not possible! She thought. But wait! “I don’t know how, I gathered courage and raised my hand. Bhaiyaa (brother) looked at me in astonishment. Slowly and nervously, I got up from the seat and marched towards the stage.”
Rashmi’s heart was thumping hard and she felt that the crowd could hear her heart beats. Stepping up to the stage she felt she would die and her heart would explode from the anxiety. Rashmi reached the stage, did a formal Namaste with trembling hands to the judges and turned towards the crowd. She froze! So many people in front of her; she doubted that any voice would come out of her throat. She gulped her saliva, closed her eyes – just a microsecond before closing her eyes she saw her bhaiyaa’s face. Rashmi opened her eyes once again; and as if nothing had happened and nothing in the world could stop her, she spoke with miraculously found confidence.
“Hello all, I am Rashmi Khanna, first year arts…”
That was it! It was the defining moment of Rashmi’s life. Her life can be divided into before and after that moment.
Amidst all the speculations, Rashmi won the 2nd prize.
“I can’t tell you how happy I was. I was jumping with joy. Bhaiyaa also couldn’t believe it.
Soon after that Rashmi became the one stop solution for all stage related activities in her college. She won competition after competition and had many awards to her credit. To her delight, in some competitions, the awards were in the form of books; Rashmi’s favorite thing in the world!
“Ours was a small house, so keeping the awards was also a problem.” She blushes as she says this.
Rashmi finished her 12th standard and later took admission for B.A in the same college. The teachers did not allow her to go anywhere else, they loved her a lot. Later she finished the B.A course also with flying colors.
“After finishing B.A, for studying M.A, I took admission in Mumbai University; meanwhile we shifted out of the chawl. My father purchased a new flat. I still missed our old home sometimes.”
As a means of earning some quick pocket-money, Rashmi started giving tuitions. Nothing was really problematic till now.
But Rashmi was unaware of the storm that was not too far away.
“I was in my final year of M.A and my family started searching a suitable boy for me.”
The family was in a filtering process of the boys while Rashmi was giving her final M.A paper. Sometimes a small mistake or you can say slight carelessness can cause a lot of trouble later. And contrary to her persona, she did commit a mistake. It seemed small but years later turned out to be quiet big.
“It was the last paper and although I knew all the answers, I, after making sure that I would pass, left the classroom and straight away went home. I was too happy that my student life was over.”
You should have answered the complete paper Rashmi!
“I did pass the exam and clear my M.A Economics but I scored 49%. That is 1% less than half way mark. I didn’t know how serious it would turn out later, but I chose to ignore it when I got a job as a lecture at Bhandup College.” She says, “I think if I would have answered the entire paper, definitely, I would have scored more.” She continues after a momentary pause.
Life was set now! A respectable job and she had an optimistic view of life. What more could she ask for? “My parents decided that it was high time for my marriage. And one fine day a proposal came; we went and met the boy’s family. It all happened so fast that I didn’t even realize it when I got married.”
Rashmi Khanna officially became Rashmi Suri by marrying Ajay Suri- who was working in the pharmaceutical field.
“As it happens in films and in reality my life completely changed after I got married.”
And it changed for the bad! “I met my husband a few times before the wedding and I found him to be a decent man. I could relate to him on many levels.”
Rashmi’s voice is excited while talking about her early marriage days; as she revisits the past, she seems happy.
“I told Ajay that I did not want to work after marriage. I would only work for some time, after that I wanted to see the world, experience new things, and explore nature.”
After the wedding, Rashmi shifted to Malad-a suburb in Mumbai, and started commuting to her work from there. It was a grueling journey from Malad to Bhandup and then from Bhandup to Malad. It was tiring.
Any reader, who is familiar with the local trains in Mumbai, would definitely understand how difficult it was for Rashmi to travel at peak hours.
“I thought with the kind of nature I had, I would mingle with my husband’s family very easily.”
But it turned out the other way. Rashmi was not received according to her expectations. It was strange and uneasy for the new bride.
“I came to know that on the day of our wedding, due to some misunderstanding my husband’s family was slightly angry.”
This slight anger that Rashmi is talking about turned out to be more than just slight.
“People would not talk to me nicely. I had to reach college by 12:30 P.M. So, for that I would get up at 7:00 in the morning; do all the household chores and then I would leave at 10:30. At night, I would reach home at 9-9:30, and again, I would go straight to the kitchen.”
Rashmi was finding it hard to cope with this routine. “Listen, I am not saying that I didn’t want to do the house work. It was my duty as a bahu (daughter-in-law) and I loved doing that. My mom had taught me really very nicely; how to handle the kitchen. But the thing that was affecting me was the behavior of those people.”
The behavior did affect Rashmi a lot. She expected to be treated nicely when she came home exhausted after her work. Not the taanas (insults) and the cold faces, “I thought that there are problems in every family. And mine too will go away with time.”
Then a day came in her life which changed everything else. It was time for an angel to come into her life.
“I forgot everything else when I came to know that I was pregnant, five months after my marriage. I was happy beyond dreams. Equally happy was my husband Ajay.”
Upon arrival of this surprising news, Rashmi started weaving dreams of a nice future for her child. Rashmi, for a moment forgot all the discomfort she was facing till then. Rashmi is about to say something, but at the last moment stops herself. I could see her beautiful moist eyes and a single tear that flowed down from both of them. Though she didn’t say anything I realized that what she was about to say was truly painful. After pausing for a moment and wiping her tears with one hand Rashmi slowly began to talk.
“I was three months pregnant and it was monsoon season in Mumbai. I wanted an umbrella for my journey till college.” Rashmi’s voice is choked; tears are freely flowing from her eyes.
She immediately wipes them and as if nothing has happened, she continues, “So, I asked for money at home for buying an umbrella…” I sensed that the pain which Rashmi felt while speaking this was beyond words.
“The answer which I got shattered me completely. My husband was not at home. The answer was a clear- NO! I had a baby inside my weak body, plus I was constantly working and doing those unimaginable train journeys. And on top of that, in that condition also, I was continuously involved in the household work; in the morning and at the night. Half the time I was semi-conscious. Hardly anybody except my husband saw the hard work that I was putting in. And, after doing all this also… “She paused,
“I didn’t get the money for buying a mere UMBRELLA?” Rashmi fought really hard to contain the tears, “Let me go to hell…but, what about my child? Wouldn’t the child suffer when I would suffer?”
Rashmi takes a brief pause; and looks at me intently. As, if she was not sure whether I understood the intensity of her emotions.
I did Rashmi Suri! “I left the house that day in the morning. It was foggy outside and the rain would not stop that day. I was too numb to think anything. Without an umbrella I travelled from Malad to Bhandup in the heavy rain. I was completely drenched in water by the time I reached my workplace. I was feeling seriously cold, but I was not concerned about myself. All I was wondering was, whether my child was alright.”
Rashmi’s eyes were completely teary and her voice was totally choked. I took some time to ask my next question.
“So what happened when you came home that day?” I asked, after few moments when she was slightly normal.
“There was a fight. My strength was at its lowest. I was really tired from the whole day’s work, so fighting or replying back was out of question. I kept quiet.”
Things stayed like this for a while. Then, rather than improving, it went downhill and got worse.
But wait! The worst, the darkest day of her life was yet to come.
“I can’t forget that day. The Black Day!” Rashmi said with her voice resonating sadness, we, that means my husband and I was forced to leave our house when I was six months pregnant. There was a fight that had happened at home. I along with my husband left the house in the morning. We didn’t even change clothes. We just packed our bags and moved out.” She pauses and quickly adds,
“I was six months pregnant and homeless!”
Rashmi’s words hit me like a bullet!
Just imagine Rashmi’s situation. A baby inside her womb, and she was out on the road with her husband. Rashmi was devastated. She didn’t know what to do.
“We took temporary refuge at my parent’s house for some days and meanwhile we started searching for a little place to live. I didn’t want to trouble my parents for too long.”
This search for a place to live was not easy for Rashmi and her husband. It took quite a toll on the couple.
“I didn’t even once, lose hope or accept defeat. The houses that we liked were too costly on rent, and the others who were cheap, were far away. I didn’t want to travel long distances, especially with the baby inside me.”
At last, after a lot of struggle, the couple found one 10X10 room, below a staircase, in an old building. A well-wisher arranged it.
“It was a small room. Only a room! I paid the advance rent with whatever little money we were left with, and we shifted there. There was hardly any space to keep my books or my husband’s medicine samples. One more thing I forgot to tell you, I was on the verge of entering into seventh month of pregnancy. The sad part about the place was that although the bathroom was within the 10X10 room; there was a common urinal for all. It was simply unbearable for me. I was working still, so that I could help run the household.”
What seemed at one time, a time-pass job for Rashmi, had become a necessity for her. “However troubled I was, I couldn’t think of leaving the job.”
Life can be really cruel sometimes. Amidst all this a day came when Rashmi found a reason to live once again. She gave birth to a baby girl. Rashmi named her daughter- ‘Prapti’.
“My happiness knew no bounds, beta. Prapti was so fair and beautiful that I really forgot all my worries for some time upon her arrival.”
A tear quickly escapes from Rashmi’s eye, and finds its way to her hands. It was khushi ka aansu (tears of joy) I would say.
“I was feeling happy and scared at the same time. Happy, because God gave me a princess-like daughter; and scared because I was not sure how I was going to raise her. I was really worried for my princess-like daughter.”
The birth of their daughter did bring a sense of joy in the couple’s life. But now they were faced with the herculean task of raising the child and providing her the best possible lifestyle that they could.
Did the couple’s wish come true? Read on… “I didn’t want to bring my daughter to the small house that I was living in already. I just didn’t want to. I told Ajay, let’s shift from that small room and Ajay instantly agreed.”
But there was a catch! The baby was just born, their income was small, and in all this chaos they wanted to shift to a better place. And in order to do that they needed money, of which they had very little.
“Luckily we found one nice flat for rent and for booking that we had to pay Rs. 15000 rent altogether.”
Rashmi fell silent after saying this. It was clearly evident that she was transported back into the dark times of her past. I felt awkward. “I collected some money by mortgaging some gold, and booked the flat.” She paused, “There was no way I was taking my daughter to that small place which could barely contain two people. My daughter deserved better than that.”
Life was at its brutal best! But it did give Rashmi something to cherish…
“How bad could it get? I was prepared for it. Now, I had a clear reason to live. My life, my daughter was with me. And, I was ready to face any extreme that life could have thrown at me.” She says with determined expressions, “and everything, just for my daughter.”
Brave woman- Testing times- More testing times- Even more testing times- Go to hell testing times- Brave woman wins!
Inspirational – That is Rashmi Suri!
Wait! Where are you going? The kahaani (story) is not over yet…
The hard work had just begun for Rashmi. The couple shifted to a new rented flat and was unaware that one more Jhatkaa (shock) was round the corner.
“I was earning decently and was madly in love with my daughter. I prayed to God day in and day out, so that no more troubles would come flying at me.”
Speaking of troubles, they did fly towards Rashmi, even when she didn’t want them.
“My daughter was around 4 to 5 months old and one evening, I was at home with her. There was some problem with the flat owner and he wanted us to vacate the flat.”
Imagine! Just when everything seemed to settle down; this took Rashmi by storm.
“I had been homeless once, and I did not want it to happen again.”
The only thing Rashmi could do was pray.
“With teary eyes, I prayed to Sai-Baba with my daughter in one hand; I prayed that I would not become homeless. I didn’t have the strength to go through it all again.”
God does listen to you, if you pray with all your might. The prayers did work; and after nearly spending three hours out of the house with her small daughter, Rashmi was back in the house. That is the power of Prayer!
“I cannot tell you, how happy I was. Honestly, I did not even once lose hope.”
Rashmi started working relentlessly, keeping Prapti at baby care. Slowly, life shifted its gear. Slowly and surely Rashmi’s life gathered speed.
“I was working as a lecturer in the college. That was a big support. Since I was determined to buy my own house, I couldn’t afford to leave the job.”
True. Rashmi couldn’t afford to lose the job. But you are well aware till now how Rashmi’s fate worked back then.
“The circumstances took such a drastic turn that I was almost forced to give up the job.” One more trouble! But the lady fought, and fought hard.
“If you remember, I told you that, I scored 49% in my final M.A year.”
“Yes, I remember. What about that?” I asked. “A little mistake cost me big time. The college where I was working was putting pressure on me to improve my score by giving an improvement exam. Although, they did hire me because they required teachers; but, as per rules, I had to score 50% or more.”
“Otherwise?” I asked with a frown. “Otherwise, they would fire me from the job. ”Rashmi’s voice turned cold as she said this.
I quickly calculated the effort she had to put in for this improvement exam. As if she understood what I was thinking, she said,
“I was living in a rented house, my daughter was very young; and I had to work at college to support my husband in running the household. How was I supposed to find time to study for an exam?”
If Rashmi didn’t give her improvement exams, she could lose her job. And that was the last thing Rashmi wanted on this earth.
“I quickly enquired when and how I can give my improvement exam. Mumbai University was an option. But I thought that I already tried from there once. I didn’t want to risk it again. 50% or more was doubtful from Mumbai University.” She says, “A friend suggested Shivaji University, Kolhapur.”
Kolhapur? How was she supposed to travel that far with a small baby? Life is unfair!
Her daughter was barely five months old. Come on man! God couldn’t do this. What would she do? Feed the baby or study and give the exam?
“I enquired and found out that it was alright to give my improvement exam from some other university. I was happy to hear that it was relatively easy to score good marks from there.”
“So what did you do?” I asked her. “I had already taken the admission form by travelling to Kolhapur once. That time too, I was in very bad shape. My health was not at all supporting me. I doubted whether I would be able to give the exam in that state of health.”
Rashmi’s face shows the many difficult seasons it has witnessed. When she was talking to me, I could see those seasons coming to life once again.
“Form filling was done, and one more thing, they gave me the facility to give a few papers then and a few papers after some months. This relieved me as it was a little less burden!” She smiles, a very beautiful and a warm smile.
“Then one day, I packed my bags and with my husband and daughter, left for Kolhapur. It was a tiring journey via S.T bus. I was too weak to travel and was crying the entire journey. My husband consoled me. Finally we reached Kolhapur and found accommodation. I would study in whatever time I got. Ajay would look after Prapti while I was studying.” She stops to drink water and continues,
“Next day, at the time of the exam, we entered the huge Shivaji University. We searched for my examination center with great difficulty and found it. There was a bench outside the exam hall. We sat there, I revised whatever I could, checked my watch, closed my books, and it was time to go.”
Rashmi took a brief pause as she said this. “Then?” I asked, with visible excitement. Still no answer! “What happened then?” I asked again, very gently this time.
Rashmi looked right into my eyes, stopped a tear midway, which came out of her left eye, and gently spoke. Her eyes were filled with tears of joy, because she knows, she is well out of those frightful, dark times.
“I gave one last look at my baby Prapti, who was in her father’s lap and I kissed her. I was doing everything for her. I got up from the bench and looked at my husband who with a nod of his head wished me luck. And I looked at my daughter one last time before I went in. I turned around and straight away headed to the examination hall. I was too teary eyed to look back once again.”
If you were to describe true love, courage, determination or anything related to optimism, meet Rashmi Suri once. Her life is full of all these values.
So that was it! Again! Rashmi entered the examination hall and gave the exam with the hopes of crossing the barrier of 50%, in order to save her job.
“I hope you knew all the answers and you did answer all of them. Not like the last time.” I said jokingly.
“No, no… I could not afford that mistake once again. I wrote till the final bell rang and my hands hurt. And, even after that.”
Rashmi Suri, you deserve respect lady!
This schedule continued for Rashmi till she gave all her papers that year. Rashmi did pass with very good marks.
“I scored 59%.” She blushes, “the marks were more than required.” I felt as if I am suddenly surrounded by an air of positivity, filling my entire being with hope. I was blown away by the way Rashmi Suri narrated her story. She fought all the way in her life and all this for one simple reason!
“I did it all for my daughter.” Hats off to you Rashmi!
“I did my improvement exam…”Rashmi is smiling as she is speaking, “They were paying decently also.”Rashmi just could not stop blushing. She looked endearing when she smiled and blushed.
“If I could do it despite all the odds, anybody can do it.” She says firmly, “every girl or woman has this power. It just takes a right or a wrong situation to unleash this power.”
Life became slightly stable for Rashmi. The job which she needed badly was safe now, and there were no visibly big problems around her or her family now.
Life did surprise Rashmi once again but this time for the better. She was about to give birth to her second child.
“Shubham was born and I could not have asked for more. We bought our first house just before Shubham was born. I firmly believe that both my children are lucky for me.”
Rashmi’s life moved on and it was better now. At least, certainly not as bad as compared to when she began her married life.
“We didn’t have a very high budget, so that’s why we bought the flat at Shahad- a faraway place from Mumbai. Although it was connected by train, it would take me one and a half hours to reach my work place. I had to change two to three trains to reach college. Sometimes, I would be so exhausted that I would be angry on Prapti also.”
But amidst all these little problems, Rashmi was quite content. “It was a loan, but most importantly, it was my own house.” This is what she craved for all her life. Finally she got it.
“My husband and I have worked really hard all our life, so we can raise our children well.”
Today Rashmi Suri is a well-respected lecturer. Her students are mostly from lower income groups and from vernacular mediums.
“I teach Economics, irrespective of class of the students. They can be rich, they can be poor, they can be from English medium, or they can be from any vernacular medium; I do not differentiate. But I pay special attention to children whose parents are not financially capable and who are not comfortable with English.”
Rashmi Suri is made of steel! Many times in her career she has been subjected to dirty politics at her work place. She was made a victim countless number of times- a conscious effort to put the brakes on the wonderful work that Rashmi was doing- to improve the children’s lives. By now, we know how strong headed Rashmi is. She fought back each and every time and came out victorious. Just like a phoenix that rises from its own ashes, Rashmi rose higher and higher, every time she was made to fall down.
During a career that has spanned over 20 years, Rashmi Suri has been a teacher, a guide and a mentor to thousands of students.
“My children have grown up now and they are beautiful. I still make sure that I go out of my way to help any student that needs it.”
“Why?” I asked her. “Because, when I see a child living in a chawl, who has big dreams in his or her eyes, I see my reflection in them. I make sure that they do not stay confined to their current circumstances. I want them to dream dreams of a bigger, better, and brighter future.”
One word, seven letters… R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
“We have our own bigger and more beautiful house now, compared to what we started with. Prapti is doing MBA and Shubham has just entered college.”
“Honestly speaking, my life has been a roller coaster ride, that too sometimes a very bumpy one, but…” “But what?” I asked, impressed beyond words after hearing her life saga.
“I enjoyed each and every turn and each and every bump of it.” What a spectacular journey Rashmi Suri has had. Any weak hearted human being would have given up in the beginning. But, Rashmi persisted.
Today, Rashmi has everything that she didn’t have earlier. “Have you asked me everything? Or do you still have questions? I have told you almost everything.”
“Thank you very much for agreeing to be a part of this book. I will be grateful forever.”
She smiled in return, a warm smile, beautiful, serene and effortless.
I got up, touched her feet, and picked up my things to leave.
“Bye,” I said, I was feeling sad. There was something more but I couldn’t come up with the exact question. “Bye beta. Best of luck! For your book, I am giving my blessings to you and it is evening. It is believed that blessings given in the evening are even more powerful.”
Her goodness was infectious. I was still lost in thinking what I wanted an answer to. I smiled in return, turned around and stretched my hand to open the door. As I touched the handle, it dawned on me, the thing that I wanted to ask, after which her story would be complete.
“One last thing.” I said. “Ask, beta.” She said, still donning a warm smile.
I gathered myself up and asked the question, whose answer would change something in me forever.
“When you were about to enter the examination hall in Kolhapur, you were in extreme pain, and you felt that your future was bleak. Your whole life depended on that exam. Despite being under pressure and in intense pain, how did you give the exam? How could you even write properly when you knew your daughter was waiting for you outside? How did you get all that strength?”
Rashmi listened to me carefully, thought for a microsecond, and then spoke; words, which only a mother can speak. I listened carefully, my eyes transfixed on her face.
“As I was about to enter the exam hall, as you said, I was very nervous. I was not sure whether I would be able to write my paper also. Then I looked at her. Her face made me calm. My entire body was filled with energy that very moment. I felt I could do anything. In that single moment, when I saw my daughter’s charming face, my fate did a complete turnaround. Yes, my daughter gave me the strength to face all odds.”
She spoke, I listened. She stopped speaking, I looked at her blankly. I said bye and walked down the stairs, bearing her inspiring story in my heart, and a tear in my eye.
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About the Author: Virendra Desai, is an Advanced Business Strategy Advisor & Subliminal Communication expert. You can write to the author at [email protected]