It has been a fruitful year with many learning’s and accomplishments. Every story that we feature has the potential to inspire, connect and interest someone to take up what they love, continue what they are doing and be part of the mums community. If you are an inspiring mum or know someone who deserves to be highlighted on a suitable platform, reach us.
Here are 12 stories that we found truly inspiring and have been on www.mumsandstories.com in 2017
- Daughters create a special platform to showcase mom’s immense talent.
We stumbled upon one of the kolam videos done by this featured artist-mum and it was really interesting to find out that it belonged to the page – My Mom’s Art gallery. Two daughters who knew their mum’s work was exceptional had begun this page for fun and now it is getting the artist the much required appreciation.
Not to forget the individual believes in literally being obsessed over drawing these beautiful designs that make one wonder where was she all these years. Thanks to technology and an extremely supportive husband and children, Mangalam Srinivasan is finally getting the attention that she so very much deserves, yet a few dreams are unfulfilled which her children hope it will happen at the earliest.
Sharing the story with Mums and Stories, says Bhargavi, one of the daughters of Mangalam Srinivasan, “My mother is good in making kolams / rangolis & water colour paintings. We used to admire her talent from our childhood days. Every Marghazi (Dhanur masam in Hindu calendar), we used to get surprised and be astonished with her mind blowing art works.
My mom got an opportunity to further her skills on learning Tanjore painting from Tamilnadu government. She used to share me her daily class work. One fine day we daughters suddenly got a thought of going to social media platform and want her to get recognized for her work. And our wish came true now.
Read more on http://bit.ly/2BHlUjS
2) We feature several stories that are inspiring and Swarnalatha’s is surely one of those out of the ordinary stories. A mum who has seen beyond the word “Limitation”.
As I begin my conversation over a telecon, I am greeted with a very cheerful ‘hello’ that puts me in the right frame of mind to be positive on this interview.
Swarna begins sharing, “I love doing many things. I love writing short stories too. I had a son and I was this working professional in a MNC in Bangalore. One day I started noticing in the kitchen that I was dropping things unnecessarily. It increased to a greater level in the subsequent days. Then I had this fever and even lost balance in my limbs. After multiple tests and delayed diagnosis, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Neither my husband nor I had been aware of anything like that in family history and we were so unprepared to deal with life at that point of time.
My son, Gagan was just two years old. I was told I would lose mobility and I couldn’t be normal again. It affects people between the age of 18 to 40 and people could be affected with paralysis, numbness or even blindness and simplest of the tasks would be seemingly daunting. I had to leave my job and things were hard on me.
However the biggest point is acceptance. Once I had dealt with it I could deal with things or situations better.”
Swarnalatha is not just an individual who has picked up the fallen strings of her life but has also started an NGO – Swarga Foundation – to improve and help the lives of several individuals who are affected by neuro-muscular disorders.
“After my son and after being completely aware of the condition, I decided to go in for a second child too. Many questioned how will I be able to manage but I am glad we parents stood by the decision. Gagan and Gaana are really close to each other. In fact Gaana, my daughter has always seen me on with a walker/ wheel chair. She is 5 years old and the sweetest song of my life. The kids have become mature.
Perhaps Gagan who was initially disturbed on the chaos prevailing at home accepted gradually and now manages everything. He is 9 years old and even though I am away for months together, they are responsible and never miss school or their regular routines.
I don’t pack tiffins, I don’t dress them up like other moms. But I am a mom who cares and wants her children to be independent and happy. We have help at home but many times when I am struggling to wear my shoe laces or something so normal, I see my daughter pitching in to tie for me.
Read Swarnalatha’s inspiring story on http://bit.ly/2oXB4Pz
3) Meet Jyothi Reddy, a mum, an individual whose story perhaps can easily be translated to an effective script for a film that can give the message of ‘Being Inspiring’. Jyothi among other siblings was left at an orphanage by her parents in Telangana due to extreme poverty. She grew up as a motherless child and yet managed to complete her tenth grade.
Life didn’t stop there. Perhaps extreme despair and harsh realities made Jyothi even more determined to fight for what she believed she deserved in life. She was married at the age of 16 and by 18 she was a mother of two daughters. From earning Rs, 5 as a labourer working in paddy fields to working at Rs, 120/- as an adult education teacher and many more roles; today she is the CEO of a multi millionaire company in Phoenix, Arizona in U.S.
She shares with Mums and Stories over a telecon from Telangana, “I had decided to fight poverty. By 18 years of age, I was a mother and I had to face a lot of despair, helplessness where we hardly had anything to eat. I think I was determined to give a good life to my children. I also believe I wanted to change my destiny and fairly I have surpassed in my expectations. There were times when we were denied food as we were girls, daughters and many mouths to feed. I saw that my life hadn’t changed after marriage and me as an adult. It was misery everywhere and I knew I had to change my future.
I got an opportunity to study under a government scheme and even became a government teacher. But my dreams and aspirations were much beyond the ordinary. I knew that I would be able to scale up only if I could keep up with the times. So every opportunity to learn, software course, typing anything that could make me more efficient, I did.
Read more on Jyothi Reddy on http://bit.ly/2CMv7Hb
4) Last year she led the team of three including herself to a drive of visiting 17 countries in 95 days- from Delhi to London – a record by itself being a solo driver.
In an email interaction now she shares her recent success of being the first Indian to drive to the coldest permanently inhibited place on earth- Oymyakon in Siberia.
Nidhi Tiwari shares with Mums and stories, “Each expedition that WBB (Women Beyond Boundaries) undertakes needs to be one that pushes boundaries both within and outside. After Delhi-London, it had to be something bigger, more challenging…this route and area had been on my radar for some years now. It’s by the most extreme roads, weather and terrain you can ask for on earth. So I decided to give it a shot!
I don’t know whether I set a fine example of not. But for me it’s important to teach, be a role model and contemplate on attributes like overcoming fear. I talk to my children all the time about things like this. These are journeys which teach so much.
Fear is a very real emotion and it stems from hopeless uncertainty. Now dealing with uncertainty is a critical life skill, as life is full of it. And the better we equip children to deal with it – the greater their chance of dealing with life to achieve their potential. So journeys like these show, demonstrate, establish that fear can be dealt with. It can be conquered and to prove that beyond the fear lies satisfaction, accomplishment and most importantly learning and growth!
The only way I know to live is to face everything that comes my way. It’s made me the person I am. And I would like to transmit this to my kids as well. I feel it’s very important to be a fighter at the core of it. Face up to whatever comes your way, good, bad, ugly and emerge stronger from every situation.”
Talking specifically on the challenging expedition she shares, “I think the toughest part was the weather. It was just very very cold. I rally hadn’t imagined the extent of cold… So took me a while to get used to it. It was indeed brutal cold.
Read more on Nidhi Tiwari on http://bit.ly/2B4qh7B
5) We all hear on stories of cancer fighters. Here’s a story that spoke on fight, spirit and strenght. Monika shared her story last year with Mums and stories when she was battling cancer and therapy. She’s no more and her sister is taking the fight by highlighting the fighter stories on Stronger than Cancer. Story published in early2017)
Generally we hear them when people have recovered from the condition. Here’s a mum and a senior business consultant in her work, who we feel is one of the strongest women we got to know and currently battling the condition. Monika Bakshi Singh shares on life, being a mum and on her fight with cancer.
Monika shares with Mums and stories her journey, where she hopes to live to see her son as an independent adult,“ It was Oct 2015, and I was leading a normal life – going to work, taking care of my 1.5 year old baby boy, catching up with friends and doing regular dance cardio and surya namaskars. Everything was so normal.
As part of my routine medical screening, I did a complete blood count (CBC). This test is done to measure the amount of blood cells in a body. The results shook me hard! I had platelets as low as 40,000. A normal count is above 1 lakh 50 thousand. When I visited the oncologist, I insisted on a bone marrow test that came positive with Acute Myeloid Leukemia – Type 2. After 3 months of treatment, I went into remission, which means I had recovered.
My life was as normal as anyone else! I was on cloud nine, when the devil struck again in Aug 2016 as a relapsed AML.
My boy is still 2.5 years old. He doesn’t understand much of what is going on. He is an accommodative child. He left breast feeding a day before my first chemo cycle, and strangely never asked for it again. Right now when I am in hospital for a chemotherapy, He is taken care of by my very supportive mother and maternal aunt.
Read more on the fighter on http://bit.ly/2BLRtf9
6)Meet Maneesha Ramakrishnan, a mum who was in the horrific fire at Carlton Towers a few years ago. She insists there is more in her life to recall, live and talk than just the incident and as it has so severely impacted her life. She is the voice who cannot be silenced..
Maneesha who loves to call herself the ‘Queen of Carlton Towers’, recalls on her childhood memories where she was one among the three siblings. “As a child, I used to care for my two brothers – we three were born in consecutive years. My first idea of happiness was caring for them, caring for my cousins and making other people happy.
My parents were caught up in their own struggles; their focus was not on us children. So, I found great warmth and joy in visiting my grandparents in Kerala for summer vacations. It was my maternal grandmother who instilled and literally carved this belief in me that “god is watching”. This inheritance has tremendously helped me to keep and bestow sanity each time life crumbled before me.”
Having an authoritative and overtly disciplined environment at home led her to rebel and she says, “I got married when I was 18 years. It was an escape route for me. I now understand that I was far too young to take such a huge step but I did what I thought was right. I have two grown up sons now who are 26 and 21 years and now I know how naïve I was to marry so soon.
But alas the relationship didn’t go as anticipated. I was a mom too soon and by the time I was 20 years, I had a new role of being a mother and a wife. Without explaining too much I can share that life was intense and emotionally exhausting. I had to understand what I really wanted in life to shuttling between by parent’s home and husband’s home. I was the darling family member as treated by my in-laws and others in the joint family. But it was not meant to be as I couldn’t get along with my husband. I was a mom again and at 25 years of age, I was unemployed, without a home, a mother to two young children and had to pick my life to survive.
I enjoyed my journey as a mother being a compulsive mom and didn’t let circumstances or an unstable marriage deter me in any way. I remember my elder one’s first birthday. I went to a neighbor’s place and baked the cake, iced it with jam, made vadas, gathered kids and celebrated. I was there holding my child through all times despite the chaos of a divorce and moving to my parental home again .and giving a second chance to my marriage yet again.
Life kept unfolding before my eyes asking me to move forward ,take decisions, risks for the better and I did so . I was scared and there where gut-wrenching days ,where I carried both my children to the court even as my first born came crying that his dad said he would take him away from me .There where appalled eyes in the courtroom judging me.. But the injustice I felt that was being done to us gave me the courage to step up. In the days that followed, my best friend offered me a part-time job and thus started my journey as a working mom. I have been mightily blessed to have the best work spaces who accommodated the ‘mom in me’’.
Feb 23rd 2010 was again a normal working day. There was the rush of ironing clothes; asking my children what would they want for lunch, cleaning up my home only to return almost a year after .The inferno the aftermath, once I realized that I was out of danger after months of suffering; all I wanted was to rescue my children and protect them .Motherhood rescued me yet again with all the grace .I got to witness the love of my boys they doted on me through my several stints in hospital; with Dhruv even refusing to leave my bedside.
That day, I was working in my office at the Carlton Towers. I saw that there was a huge fire and there was smoke all around me on that floor. Among the panic with colleagues and others, some who leapt to death and others who were getting fainted, I picked a fire extinguisher and broke the glass window. I wanted to shout loud for help and then I realized with the smoke around, my voice was gone. Before I could think much I was led by a fire fighter. But the smoke had damaged by body to a large extent. I now breathe through a tube that is surgically implanted in my lungs.”
Read more on Maneesha’s story on http://bit.ly/2z5bkQQ