The reality of being a single mother in India
Widow…the word consumes itself. Being a widow at the age of 28, and a single mother is a life of daily struggle. The fight for respectable existence is a hard one for most single mothers in India and is unique for every mother. “Where’s the father/husband?” is an extremely common question, from school admission to places like supermarkets. On knowing the truth, people change their attitudes.
When I went for my son’s admission to school, I was instantly asked after filling his school form how I would manage paying his fees being a single mother and would I be able to cope with my job and his studies alone.
Not just school and social places, but even in the supermarket my motherhood was always questioned. Once while I was shopping in a supermarket, I met one of my schoolmates who I had not been in touch with for years. She said, “Poor you. May God bless you.” She also suggested I should get my kundali checked for any “dosh” due to which my husband might have died. With tears in my eyes I walked away.
I had two roles to play at once
Answering the world was not that difficult after a certain period of time after my husband passed away. I learned to fight alone and was a proud mother to my son. For him I was a supermom. But being father and mother both at the same time takes a lot of courage. As a single parent I had to ensure that I had to love him like a mother and be his inspiration like a father.
As a single parent I had to ensure that I had to love him like a mother and be his inspiration like a father.
From running the house to earning a living to involving your child, to many other things. Everything just doubled up for me. Facing my son’s questions was something I had to learn. He always used to ask, “How did my father die in an accident?” “Why did it happen to him only?” All his friends have their fathers. “Why can’t I have a dad now?” “Are you going to go away, too?”
Yes, I was strong, independent and proficient. But sometimes when my son asked me such innocent questions, I used to break down. Many times my days seemed to be longer than usual. Long working hours and juggling between my responsibilities and then no shoulder to lean on at the end of the day used to make me feel weak emotionally. I still gathered courage every morning to fight the situations.
He was a very good friend
Prasanth used to be my team leader in the renowned company where we worked together for two years.
Prasanth’s words always gave me strength. As he guided me through my tenure his words always gave me strength. He always used to say, “Come on, cheer up, lady!” “You are strong like a lioness, you have come off strong in all situations of life and you will surely be a good mother to your son.” We started meeting each other more often for lunch, dinner and he even used to accompany us to the park and children’s play zone on Sundays.
Since Prasanth was very fun loving and very sensitive at the same time, Arush felt comfortable with him and he used to enjoy his company. Whenever we had any plans for an outing with Prasanth, it always excited Arush and there was a different kind of happiness in his eyes. One day my son asked me, “Can I call Prasanth Uncle Papa?” I was shocked and had no answer to his question. My eyes welled up. I made him understand the situation and told him that we are just friends.
Related reading: He bowled me over when he asked about my children first
There was a knock on the door
Prasanth and I had been good friends for 6 years. One night while I was at home doing my chores, there was a knock on the door. I opened it and to my surprise it was Prasanth. He asked me “Won’t you let me in, I need to talk to you?” and smiled.
I said, “Go ahead.”
He looked into my eyes and said “Do you mind talking to my mom?” This question was unexpected and so it surprised me and confused me at the same time. I asked him, “What are you saying?” and he replied, “I want to marry you and Arush.”
I asked him, “What are you saying?” and he replied, “I want to marry you and Arush.”
I simply started crying and replied, “I need some time.” But the confidence and trust in his eyes, the sparkling love had almost already convinced me.
And the very next morning his mom called me and said “My son praises you a lot and wants to marry you.” I shared this news with my family and they were very supportive. We got great support from our families, friends and colleague at work and everyone was part of our happiness on our wedding day. We got married on 29th December 2016. Now we are excited to welcome our second child, due in September 2018. And more than anyone else, it is Arush waiting for his younger sibling. Life always gives you a second chance. For me it has turned out to be magic.