Tale of a Courageous Single Mother / Vanisha Uppal

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Yes, she changed her priority after . She took an easy option that seemed to be good in the beginning. Later in life she realized that her financial and emotional dependency was being treated as her weakness; especially when it comes to be a housewife and a full time mother.

In order to earn respect and to prove herself perfect to her own family, she gives up her own natural expression, her individuality and physical health.

But now she wants equality; same freedom, money and respect as men. One might call her egoistic but this ego pushes her to grow independent and she is not ashamed of it.

How will she take charge of her life after 10 to 20 years of working as housewife and a full time mother, whereas she has nearly lost her self-confidence?

Recently at PTM (parent teacher meeting) at my daughter’s school, I met Puja, mother of my daughter’s friend. Seeing from behind I thought her to be 25 years old, but seeing her face, she looked about 55. Yet her eyes were fresh, looking for a reason to hope.

While waiting for our turn she asked me “Is it very difficult to get separated from the husband? My life is a mess, after 15 years of our marriage, my husband is still possessive and controlling. I feel I am done, but who will support me? My parents are so innocent. Where will I go? What will I do? From where will I get the money?

She shared all this with me because she knew I had separated from my husband four years back. It was a long and tough, yet a magical journey to find happiness, to be more confident, to face the challenges and to let it go.

Since my daughter was born, my life completely changed like most of the females in India. I gained much weight yet I was weak from inside. I did my best for my child and family. In the middle of it, it was usual disagreement with my husband, no closeness, and difficult to communicate, that made the life bad to worse.

There was no love and respect left in the relationship. We tried to adjust for eight years in the name of the child, family and social pressure, but the loneliness and sadness was eating me up.

One day sitting in the balcony, I thought, why am I living; is it just because I am not dying? What is the purpose of my life? It could not be a feeling of missing all the time. I had two options, continue to live in a bad relationship until I die and pretend everything is ok, or to take a risk. Anyway there was not much to lose.

I decided to go to Rishikesh alone to spend some time with myself. That was my first big step. I came back, armed with mediation techniques. They were powerful. I was eager to know more about myself with the help of them. By practicing intensely for two years, I got more clarity. Gradually I became more calm and peaceful yet happiness was missing.

I pursued my dance classes after a very long time, without any motive – it simply made me happy. My health not supporting me in the beginning, yet I continued. I used to do my daily chores slowly to accumulate energy for the evening dance class and gradually my health also improved.

I also started organizing retreat for my mediation teacher; again without thinking what I will get out of it. These two activities gave me courage.

One day I told my husband, if we don’t have love and respect for each other, it is better to live separately. I took my daughter and came back to my mom’s place. My life had never been so miserable – a constant nagging from mom, sister and aunt for a year to go back to my husband. I failed to make them understand that some communication, respect and love are basic needs of a marriage.

One day mom asked me to leave her place. I was unofficially thrown out. I found a decent apartment at an even better place in no time. The required furniture was provided by the landlord.

After sending my daughter to the school, sitting at home, I was thinking how to manage the rent of Rs.20,000/- and daily expenses. I had some savings, which were fast flowing out from my bank account. My prioriies were, first to stabilize my health, second to occupy myself especially in morning and third some regular income was needed. This all was worrying me at back of my head all the time.

In the middle of struggles, two things supported me, first my daily meditation practice and second my dance classes in the evening, which I never discontinued even during the financial crisis.

Soon the meditation trust which I was working with started paying me the salary of Rs.15000/- per month. In additional I took up a part time job, teaching dance to the small children twice in a week. The money was exactly covering my needs.

Whenever I needed more money somehow it just came to me. When I needed shoes and clothes, someone gifted them to me. A scooter? My friend gave me her old one, which was perfect. I felt God is with me all the time; even he was taking care of my smallest needs ahead of me.

I had much free time in the morning; I started writing articles despite my poor academic background. I learnt from my mistakes and life kept sending me the required help. I wrote five books on my childhood stories “DKWILT”(Don’t know why I am like this). Not yet published anywhere. It was all adding to my happiness account.

Seeing my efforts, mom realized that she had been hard on me and offered me to take care of papa’s books and stationary shop, which was in a bad condition.

I found it challenging and creatively. Mom also started paying me some salary and I left the part time job and stopped taking money from the trust. Life became comfortable.

I am happy doing my writing, working at papa’s shop, learning dance, conducting retreat once in three months. I realized everything is temporary, for short time but my sincerity, totality and the joy is real.

The life continues bringing me more and tougher challenges. In the process of finding the best way out, I feel growth in all the aspects of my being.

We are so much in the habit of calculating our life as a profit and loss account, that fears have settled in us, that prevent us to truly follow our heart. Sometimes we keep waiting for others or God to take the first step and the whole life is gone. It is not easy but when one has no choice and ready to take the flight then life supports us

Poem

I had never been persistent in my life

Changing the jobs number of times,

No relationship to hold tight,

No material achievements to feel pride,

“Have I been so restless?” it came to my mind

Then why do I feel peace when I close my eyes,

Yes, I was persistent following my heart throughout my life.

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