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The Woman

    There once was a woman who was on the wrong side of middle age. She walked with a gait which suggested a glorious past. Yet time and hardships had taken a toll on her. Though her face was still beautiful and shining, her body had borne the brunt of hardships. She looked weak and emaciated. She looked like someone who had seen a lot of struggles but was bouncing back. She had a very big family. Most of her troubles were because of her big family. In fact her family was so big, it was second largest in the neighborhood. She was neither too rich nor too poor and she somehow managed to get along and support her family. But now-a-days she had to borrow money from her rich neighbors or relatives just to move things along.

    She had two relatives who are important to our story. One was a very rich brother and the other was a rowdy brother. The rich brother was very influential and he in fact supported a lot of the woman's family. He was a very shrewd businessman and controlled a lot of businesses. He was a happy go lucky kind of a guy and everyone used to love him. The brother was just the opposite. He always created trouble and gave the woman a bad name. The woman had been very patient for a long time. But she could not hold back her anger towards her brother any longer. The root cause of friction between her and her brother was a small piece of land which their forefathers had left for them.

    Into this scenario came a new baby. The woman had given birth for the umpteenth time and though the baby would be a burden for her she still felt happy. You see, hope springs eternal and every time she gave birth she hoped that the new born would be her savior, her caretaker. And who can discount a mother's love, no matter how many times she gave birth or how much of a burden the new born would be, the love of a mother comes from within. What is more surprising is that a mother will always find some love to share with all her children leaving no one out. So, the new baby boy was welcomed with joy by one and all and he was the cynosure of all eyes. The baby boy was very sharp and he showed prodigious talent from a very young age. The mother wanted to give her son the best of everything, but her earnings were limited. She worked a little bit harder and gave the boy good schooling and the boy did not disappoint her. He came first in whatever he participated. He never had an inkling to the hardships his mother was facing. In fact all his family members chipped in with something so that the boys life would be better. They gave up a percentage of their earnings so that the boy could have the best of the education and comforts.

    The boy grew up to be a very creative and intelligent boy. Day by day, the Mother started to believe that this boy would be the one who would take her out of the doldrums and get recognition for her. Slowly she started investing in some of her own businesses with some help from her rich brother. Now, though the brother was a good person, he was out and out a businessman at heart. So though he was helping the Mother, he had his own scheme of things. He was lending money to the mother to start her own business at a very large interest rate. In spite of this the Mother borrowed the money based on the faith she had on the boy. She believed that someday, he would grow up and becoming bigger than his uncle.

    The rich brother meanwhile was having some problems on his home front as well. He was running out of qualified people to run his business. So one day, when he visited his sister, the Mother, he saw the young boy, well educated and ready to come out into the world. He was impressed with the knowledge, industriousness and intelligence of the boy. He also saw the hardships his mother was going through to get the boy educated. He also saw that the Mother had given all she could to get the boy educated and she could give no more and hence the boy's learning  would become stagnant. He discussed this with the Mother. He explained that he could give the boy a much better education, education at a much higher level. The boy would work with the best in the business, work with the best tools and there was no way she could give education of that quality to the boy on her own. In fact, because he was so impressed with the boy, he would bear all the cost of educating the boy. The mother need not do anything except give her permission to let her brother take the boy and get him educated. The Mother, always thinking about what was best for the boy gave her permission readily.

    Within a month, the boy packed his bags and left for his uncles' abode. As soon as he kept his foot in his uncles house, he was awestruck. He was received cordially by his brothers who were already working with his uncle. He also saw that his uncle was helping out talented youngsters from other not so well to do families. Everything was spic and span in his uncle's house. His uncle's house was completely air conditioned and he felt very comfortable there. After the effects of wonderment had subsided he started to feel a little bit home sick but he grit his teeth and decided to tough it out. He put his heart and soul into his education and excelled in his studies. Slowly he adjusted to the new environment and became the best among the students. As soon as he finished his studies his uncle offered him a job with a six figure salary. The offer was too good to be true and after thinking for sometime he decided that he should take the job. He thought that he could work for three to four years and make as much money a possible and then return to his mother. He called up hi mother and conveyed the information to her. Though she felt sad at first that her son was not coming back, since she always wanted the best for her child she agreed.

    The boy started working for his uncle and he was so good that within no time he had increased hi uncle's business tenfold. He and his uncle got a lot of recognition for his work. Like this, he worked for three years. His mother, the Woman, on the other hand was eagerly waiting for her son to return. But, even after three years, there was no inkling of her son coming back. She was hearing about her sons' success and she was very happy for him. But, somewhere, deep in her heart she also felt a little sad because her brother was getting all the attention and not her due to her sons work. So leaving aside her shame she called her son and asked him to come back. The boy thought long and hard about it. He thought about the spic and span neighborhood of his uncles' place and the dust ridden chaos of his mothers place. It was not that he did not like his mothers' place, in fact he used to feel home sick now and then, but he had got adjusted to his new lifestyle and it would be very difficult for him to go back to his old lifestyle. Also, he had not saved as per his expectations. So, after thinking for a long time he made the decision to stay back. He decided to stay for at least ten more years and then go back. He called up his mother and told her of his decision. And while he was in the midst of telling her of his future plan of coming back after ten years, she cut the phone. She did not have any need for sons like him.

    The woman felt very sad at the betrayal of her son. But then again, she had to live on and she was expecting again. She would give birth to another boy in a few month and hopefully this one would turn out to be her savior. Hopefully....................

                                              That is the end of the story of an eternally hopeful woman. But before you finish reading, I want to ask you a question. Do you think what the boy did was right? I leave the answer to your judgement. But before you leave, one final thought, the woman in my story was none other than Mother India and the boy in the story was YOU.......