She was only 14.
A young girl with many dreams (I believe).
But what she got was an arranged marriage to 26 year old man.
An uneducated and village bred girl she was.
No experience of the outside world.
All these made her a naïve person who did not know that many hurdles are going to be coming her way to last her, her whole life time.
Husband left her in India, for Singapore.
She gave birth to a son.
The son may have been her way out of all the hardships she was going through.
Looking after a alcoholic father-in-law. Tending to the lands all by herself.
Bearing the hurting words of her relatives.
And struggling to maintain her will-strength under all the pitiful looks from a passer-by to the relatives to her father.
She preserved on. She made her son study. She worked day and night to provide a home and a education for the son.
The husband came back for a holiday to India and went back when his leave ended.
She gave birth to the second son. He may have been her favorite for he was a disabled child who was totally dependent on her.
Under the pressure, she did not break.
She did not push her disabled son away.
She did not stop loving her elder son.
She still went on with a strong heart.
Providing a home for both the sons.
Educating the elder son.
Providing the love and support for the second son.
And she was always looking out for her father-in-law.
She grew, not only in age but in wisdom too.
But that wisdom did not diminish her innocence.
Soon after, a third child was born.
The first girl in the family.
Three children to protect.
A drunken father-in-law to look after.
Lands and a house to tend to.
And for all these there was no support from anywhere.
Many would have given up.
But she is a strong woman.
Education doesn’t make a person.
She went on with her life.
God always pushes the person who is already down further down.
Her second son passed away.
That grief did nothing to stop her.
She cried for one day, two days..After that she was back on her feet.
The father-in-law passed away soon after.
In 1987, she made her husband sponsor herself and daughter so that they can come to Singapore.
There is always a belief in Tamil Nadu, those who are living in Singapore are very well-off. They can afford anything and everything.
When she arrived, she knew how wrong that assumption was.
Despite the fact that her husband have worked in Singapore for years, there was no place to be called home and no savings.
A new environment and a mere primary 5 level education did not stop her.
She saved every penny that the husband gave her.
She started looking for a work. All she got was a job as cleaner.
She worked without taking MC and leave.
Everyday she would be up at 5am.
She saved all she could have bought a 3room flat.
All from her own effort. But that did not stop the husband from boasting that it was his husband from his savings.
Neither did stop the husband from abusing the wife and daughter emotionally for he is too like his father a alcoholic.
Life went on. Not perfect. But bearable.
Years went by.
It was the time to get the son married.
She spent enough for the wedding to make the whole village to talk about it.
She spend and spend for her son hoping one day he would be the one taking on the burdens and looking after her.
With the marriage her dream crashed. The son took all the money and the lands and left.
Heartbroken that was the first time she gave up in her life.
She sat down and cried her heart out.
The husband started drinking more. Helping out the family less.
Soon a time came, where she was the only provider for the family.
She bear with it all for her daughter. She paid for everything from the house installments to all the bills to the debts to her husband’s expenses to her daughter’s education. She put up with the husband’s emotional abuse to the police cases to the extra-marital-affairs. All for her daughter.
There were instances when she felt like taking her own life. But she did not.
By now she has lost all her youth. Reaching 60.
Soon a point came, when the family could not afford the house.
There was choice but to sell the house.
The house was sold.
The money from the selling was under the husband’s name.
Then, the husband decided that he wants to go back to the son who did not want to have any connection with any of them. The same son who called his father a drunken fool.
He took half the money with him and flew to India.
Back to the son who threw him out.
Leaving behind the wife and daughter who went through hell and humiliation just for him.
The wife has lost the strength that she had.
Age catched up with her. Tiredness made her weary of the world and those around her.
The daughter was torn between hatred and hurt.
As everyone says, time is the best healer of everything.
Even though time did not manage to heal the wounds fully, it managed to mellow the pain.
Just when they thought, they can go on with life…
The husband and father who abandoned his wife and daughter came back.
To live with them.
No sense of shame for leaving them.
Now again the wife and daughter is thrown into a confusion..
They do want to leave him..not wanting to spend any more time feeling humiliated and having to go through life that is actually hell..
Or be with him for the sense of duty..
The girl who started her life as a teenager with too many hopes and dreams ended up now as old woman who is just too tired to live..
A girl who started her life with a mere primary five level education and with almost no outside world experience.
A girl who worked hard for her children and husband.
A girl turned woman who dedicated her whole damn life for thankless people like her husband and son.
She is the most courageous person anyone could have met in their whole life. The best so far. She loved her daughter and protected her and still do. God Bless her with peace and happiness.