Being a woman myself, I have never considered myself to be a burden. I believe that if you give a woman exposure to the world and empower her to think independently, she can never be a burden.
Am I being overtly effusive here about my own ilk? No, I have had the good fortune to personally interact with many such women, who are backbones to the very existence of their families. Without them, life would not be the same. One such person is Rupa Ashoka Mandal.
Rupa has been the pillar of strength and love to her sister-in-law, Malini, ever since she was diagnosed with 4th stage of bone cancer. A of people talk about being caring, but very few people walk the talk, Rupa is one of them, who has walked the talk, and shown what it is to be the backbone to the family. Unlike any other disease an individual does not get cancer, the entire family does; in other words it makes the whole family suffer.
It is not easy being a caregiver to a person suffering from terminal stages of cancer, more so when your own children are at the threshold of giving major public exams. Not only did Rupa manage to mother her own children but she was able to give care and love to Malini through her debilitating and painful chemotherapy sessions and her mood swings.
As if this was not enough, Rupa even mothered and looked after Malini’s young children aged 6 and 10. When it was difficult to manage school schedules of the young ones with their mother’s intense and difficult chemotherapy sessions, she home-schooled the young children, just so that they do not lose out on academic development. Who says sisters-in-law do nor get along and cannot be the best of sisters/friends? Rupa sure broke the cliché’.
Emory Austin (popular inspirational speaker) says, “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” Cancer is a disease like that, it requires you to sing, even when there may be no song on your lips. It takes strength to become the backbone of not just your immediate family, but your extended family as well.
Not just for her family but even in such emotionally and physically draining times, Rupa has been around for her friends too.
There are many such women like Rupa around us, who are the backbone of the world’s they inhabit. We just fail to see and appreciate, perhaps because they are not shouting from the rooftops or not in public spotlight.
Whoever says a woman is a burden, is not pausing to appreciate, feel and understand what the woman in their life (can be anyone mother/ spouse/ partner/ daughter) is doing.
Malini succumbed to cancer; but the image that remains in my mind is that of someone who put up a brave fight against the disease. No matter how much she was hurting inside, she always had a faint smile/ or tried to smile, whenever someone went up to speak to her. Personally I believe I have been enriched as a person just by being a peripheral part in Rupa’s journey. Life is all about evolving and being inspired by the ‘seemingly everyday’ people around us.
As some has rightly said, Strong women wear their pain like stilettos. No matter how much it hurts, all you see is the beauty of it.
Those who would like to share their views by participating in the woman’s day contest, can check the details here: http://www.indusladies.com/forums/blogs/induslady/indusladies-4th-annual-international-women-8412/