Inspiration: Economic crisis in 1964 Same problem differerent attitude
The economic crisis the world is facing today takes me down the memory lane to the day in the year 1964 when my father died leaving behind an uneducated wife with a gigantic responsibility of bringing up four daughters and a son. All were studying at that time, brother being the eldest was still in college and the youngest sister in standard four. And we were going to one of the most expensive schools of Delhi. Not only us she also had the responsibility of my father's sister and her daughter.
What did she do? I really don't know how much my father had left behind or how she managed. I am writing this on the basis of the changes that took place in our household. She was told by all the relatives that she will have to remove us from the school and move to a smaller town but she took the advice of one well wishing friend who told her not to do so. (That is why it is very important to have a Krishna with you). She also got support from the company my father worked for. Unlike the companies of today they allowed her to stay on in the house till we were settled.
Life went on as before but with changes. Her French chiffons and silks were packed off and she took to wearing white suit made of the cheapest material. She did not ask my aunt to leave the house nor did she ask her to pay for her food and lodging. In management language, she made her an asset. My aunt being educated, paid back in full by giving her support and stood and got a house constructed for her, which became a source of income for my mother. Some of the friends and relatives stood by her and others when they realized that she is not going to ask for anything returned later. She did not hold grudge against anyone. As during my father's time our house remained open to all. Her table always remained replenished but with a difference. The daily course of non-veg disappeared. It was always simple dal-sabji meal cooked in dalda. Pure ghee vanished out of the window. When people say dalda is bad for health, I laugh at them. Same with all the expensive dry fruits and fruits. Only peanuts and bananas.
Things remained the same even when my elder brother and sister started working. They did not try to revive the old standard. Nor did they try to get extra for themselves. Frills were out of our lives. My brother had already taken a decision that he will not get married. There were still three others studying and we had to be married off also. I went to college with just two dresses. I could not demand a third. My elder brothers and sisters were in the same boat to the extent that my brother did not discard his torn shirt.
He would wear it under his court in winters. The dignity with which she lived and the relationship she maintained with friends and relatives won her so much respect that she did not have to move out of the house to hunt boys for us. In '73 all of us having completed our education and my three sisters having got married, we moved out of the company house. People were shocked to see how she could afford to give all that was given to us. Not once did the house get painted before any wedding or akhand paths were conducted. When she passed away in 2000 she had just 8 white dresses to her name. I am not writing this to promote my mother. The whole purpose of writing it to make the people realize that there is always enough for your needs. If my mother could manage to keep the ship afloat and sail through the crises, why can't we. Sacrifices have to be made at the micro level to take care of the macro problems. Today, when he can afford to be extravagant my brother does not do so.
If this is a global problem then we all have to make some sacrifices.
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