“It is the third house on the right side of the lane. Yes, yes the big old one.”
He was speaking to the realtor who was on his way to this old patrimonial home. It had been in their family since the last six generations. Though it needed repairing in many places, it still had a couthy air to it.
This old worn out establishment had seen it all, it had seen the advent of the British, the awakening of the Brahma Samaj, and also the present rise of modern India.
Anyways thats a story for some other time. Now coming back to my real story.
In this old ancestral home lived an old lady. Once upon a time she lived here with her whole family. Her endearing in-laws, a loving husband, and two beautiful children.
She always considered herself as a very strong woman. She was married into this family at the tender age of thirteen and she single handedly carried the responsibility of the whole household. She served her husband and her in-laws with utmost dedication (Well! She was a well brought up Indian daughter of the 50’s). And even when she was only fifteen and bore her first born she refused for any domestic help. Well you see she didn’t like to be helped, girls of that era never did, since their childhood they are taught to be a responsible, economical and obedient daughter-in-law, and so she was.
She took care of everything. Be it the list of items to be bought from the kirana store or the broken roof that needing mending. She knew everything & she could manage everything. She was the perfect daughter in law, the perfect wife, the perfect mother, she was the perfect HOMEMAKER.
And in all these years of her home making nothing could shake her. Neither the death of both of her doting in-laws, nor the death of her loving husband. The more loss she faced the more strong she became. It was almost like she was trying to set an example. The neighborhood sang her praises and everybody would come to her for advice or any domestic tips.
Aside from being a home maker, she took an active part in the society as well. Every morning she would go to the near by temple to give her offerings to God and alms to the poor. She was an active member of the village council and also won two years in a row as the village Sarpanch.
She was “The Lady” of the village. She loved her social stature so much that when both of her sons went away and settled in the city she refused to go with them and decided to live alone in this big old house.
Many thought she was being reckless and insane but she did what she had to do to keep her legacy alive. She didn’t want to be remembered as that frail old drag who finally gave in, she had lived as a strong woman and she wanted die as one.
And today is the day this strong woman dies. She was in the temple this morning when she had a stroke and died almost instantly. After all how could she have known that life would be so flimsy in front of the Death. Her lifeless body adorned with flowers is set in front of her huge house. The whole neighborhood came to mourn her death, both of her sons came too.
They are talking to the realtor to sell her house as we speak.
People came and went to pay her their last respects, they pitied her and shook their heads in disapproval.
“A really good woman she was, its such a shame she had such a lonely life.”
“You know her sons are selling her house, her soul must be so disturbed, she loved this house.”
“Poor woman, may her soul rest in peace…!!”
All her life she strived to be perfect, she made untold sacrifices, she held her head high even when life gave her every other reason to breakdown, she lived a lonely life and for what?
Well! What a legacy she left behind.