I was always accident prone. As a child, hardly a year went by when I didn’t injure an arm or a leg. On one such occasion, I must have been in class three, I injured my right collar bone. It was painful. For a month my arm was in a sling to prevent movement. Baba was posted to a field station and Ma’s instruction to me was that he was not to know about my injury. We all wrote to him once a week. I decided that I would write with my left hand but such that he wouldn’t guess it. So painstakingly I wrote and nobody could tell the difference.
When Baba came home on Annual leave and did get to know the whole story, he hugged me (which was rare), and called me his brave and wounded soldier! I felt mighty chuffed!
Many years later, in the last few days before he breathed his last, ma was conversing with him and expressed anxiety about me, the youngest of us four sisters. Baba told her not to worry about me, that I was brave and would see my way through life. Did he remember how I had braved it out when my collar bone was fractured? I feel sure he did. Ma shared this story with me. Thank God she did.
Baba gave us girls everything but most of all he made us feel a sense of self worth by his tremendous belief in us. By his observations about our strengths and his encouragement to help us build on them. This belief has seen me through, thus far. It has stopped me from surrendering my life the day my world crumbled and I lost my son. But that’s another story.
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