The author of this blog stopped writing here long time back. The posts published here embarrass her now. And hence, there is very little chance that she is going to write here again.

This blog is hence declared to be in a state of COMA.

The Most Precious Advice

I first wrote this as an answer on Quora (Links: this and this), then thought of sharing it here as well. Since I am absolutely free these days and doing Quora overtime, you can be prepared to see more of my Quora posts turning into blogposts (if at all you check this blog, that is) in the next some days. By the way, this is my Quora profile, in case you are interested to see:

So the question was:

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?  Do you feel it has benefited you as an adult?

When I was less than 10 years of age, one of my biggest nightmares was the idea of marriage. To the extent that I would wake up and start crying in the middle of the night. The reason was that I was (or rather am, but with a better understanding of the real world now, unlike then) way too attached to my mother to even think about separating from her. Anything that could lead to a possibility of my separation from her would completely freak me out.

So one day I thought of taking it up with her. I told her about my fears and asked her one straightforward question: "Aunties say every girl has to get married one day. What do I do to change that? How can I live without getting married, forever?"

Somewhere in the back of my mind I had prepared a number of arguments to prove my point correct. I was ready for a debate I most expected would ensue. I was determined to make it clear to my mom that I am not getting married any time in life.

But to my surprise, none of that came into useRather, my mother smiled confidently and told me, "Learn, study, work hard and grow up to become a successful woman who can stand on her own and support herself ably, without needing someone else as a crutch. And then you can decide for yourself when, how and with who you want to get married, if at all you do." Of several other things, it put an end to my wedding nightmares.

Factually, she wasn't right. Goes without saying, she herself knew it. Here in India, we are still far from accepting such an open minded school of thought. Which is why marriage is the most hyped element in our country, to the extent that it is perhaps counted among the basic necessities of life (water, air, food). This is precisely why we are still struggling to relinquish atrocious and unfair practices characteristic to our patriarchal society—dowry, for one. 

BUT, I still think that is the best advice any parent can give to her daughter. It certainly was the most important lesson received from my mother. It told me that marriage is not the end of life. That irrespective of whether we are daughters or sons, we need to work hard in life and become capable people. That education and knowledge should be our most passionate pursuits in life. That we should not be scared of facing challenges or sit and cry about them. That there is a solution to every problem. And that our first aim in life should be to become self-made people. 
That one lesson was a bunch of many lessons that unfolded one by one over the next some years and helped me develop a better understanding of life and womanhood.

My relationship with my mother has always been such that I trust every word of what she says, because she has never used lies to appease me. She always told me the truth. And if it was bitter and I was too young to take it, she would present it in a different light, with a solution that would inspire me to not get bogged down and instead work towards it. What could be a better way to raise a daughter?

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