Updated: Sep 17, 2019
As a boy i always looked up to the great men in history. Alexander, Washington,Gandhi, Mandela to name a few. But i also used to wonder who their mothers were and what influence they might have had in the shaping of their life and ideology. Did they matter at all ? How was their life shaped by how their mothers lived their lives and the values they held dear. History is relatively quiet about them or maybe because i was napping in class. As time has passed and my grey cells in my head compete for the grey on my head i have begun to think more about the influence of my mother in my life and what aspects of it have stayed with me to this date and shapes my life for better or for worse.
My mum is a multi faceted woman. Tough as nails, dreamy as a daisy and determined like a tax collector. She had a tough upbringing where she lost her father when she was 16 and then had to bring up 4 younger brothers and sisters and an ailing mother in the 1940's India. Along the way she did a double Masters in Art and History, joined the Army, got married late , had 2 boys in her 40's , lost her husband after 10 years , repeated bringing up 2 boys - this time her own and starting a new career in media that paid for them to get into college and start their careers. When she had a break from the boys she want back and did her PhD in art history and religion to close a chapter on a long held dream. She still thrives in Delhi where she lives proudly at the age of 86 still driving, enjoying her new adventures of learning how to WhatsApp and Face time with her grandson in London. At the time of writing this post she is eagerly awaiting to hear back from her university about the approval of her submission to a post Doctoral dissertation that she wants to do.
Needless to say she was a tough woman to impress growing up. She expected us to be the best and all mediocre attempts were frowned upon. Come third in class and she asked what can we do to be first next time...i retain a lot of that self criticism to this day.
She was a busy women as a i remember her making ends meet to keep us boys fed and clothed. She could not afford to give us pocket money but she never refused when we wanted to buy books or wanted to study something new. She had a simple conviction that knowledge was the light for the mind and light to carry anywhere we went and that no one could that that away from us. That simple idea has had a profound impact on my life.
I think a lot of my confidence and belief in myself has been shaped by this thirst for knowledge and has shaped a lot of choices i have made in my adult life.
Rainbow Ventures pays homage to all the women who have inspired intellectual curiosity and confidence in their next generation.