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My Mother Taught Me To Speak Up, Even When No One Does

Well, this needs to be shared, and I found no better occasion than Mother’s Day to share this.

Back in 2010, my mother used to accompany me to all my tuitions. We were waiting at Serampore station for the train to arrive at 11:47 AM after missing the one at 11:29 AM.. Suddenly, I saw a young man, with a bit of a rowdy appearance, snatch away the dupatta of a woman. I was shocked and angered. I wanted to protest, but as a 17-year-old teenager, reluctance and fear held me back. The woman looked a bit perplexed and embarrassed, and she kept on asking the man to return her dupatta in vain. This act was witnessed by many people near the ladies compartment yet no one raised their voice. The man continuously kept on manipulating the woman trying to drag her away with him. He manhandled her and hurled slangs at her. The woman kept on protesting and struggling alone. I wanted to slap the monster, but maybe I was afraid. My mother was busy at a bookstall in the station buying some competitive books for me but then entered the scene.

I elaborated the matter to her and she rebuked me for not opposing such violence against the woman. She alone started protecting the woman who was at the whims of her husband who tried to overpower her in public (imagine what he did at home). Gradually, we got many people in the girl’s support. Seeing my mother protest, many raised their voice against such humiliation while many people continued throwing tantrums at a woman (the girl should not have married such a guy and other nonsense). However, the man did not give up. He kept on manipulating and hitting the woman, threatening to take her back home to abuse her. He used the words, “chol tui ajke barite, tarpor dekh”(come home, and  I will teach you a lesson).

My mother and another lady may be in her mid-40s pushed the man aside and warned to call the police. Then a verbal exchange happened between these two ladies, a few other helpful people and this rowdy man and a few other rowdies in his side. The man continuously justified his act saying that he could do anything with his wife and we were not to interfere and he kept threatening my mom. The woman clung on to my mother like a child and was insistent on catching the train for her father’s house. The man followed us. We boarded the ladies compartment in which the woman shared her horrific story with us.

Every day she was physically abused and harassed to the point that she could not take it anymore. She broke down and pleaded us to help her reach her house. My mother knew that the man would follow her. So she asked me to stand near the first gate of the ladies compartment with the woman and exit as quickly as possible just after the train stops. I did as directed. The man followed my mother and kept on asking her the whereabouts of his wife. Meanwhile, the woman and I headed fast to the bus stand. She boarded the bus. I left the place seeing her safely seated. No idea of what happened after that, but I felt contented to have helped someone who needed my help.

On my way back, I felt proud to be blessed with a mother like her. She has taught me to be humble and modest in every situation but speak up when required. She is the epitome of sacrifice and selfless love. Now at times, we differ in our judgements and viewpoint that may result in certain short-lived conflicts between us, but this selfless lady shall always be the pivot of my life. Nine years ago, we had no social media to post an incident like this. My mother helped the woman even when there was no one to applaud, no one to appreciate her lone effort amidst so many people, yet she rendered her help. No social media was there to support her, where she could come back and proudly post the incident. She never bothered to share this incident with anyone. So I thought of sharing this with everyone on this special day. She makes me believe, that even in today’s world, selflessness exists. I am proud to have her as my mother!

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