What I Learnt From Sharda

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We are a part of this massive thing called the..uh..world. We surround and are surrounded by innumerable souls and individuals. They are all like us but vary in so many aspects which we cannot even begin to fathom. Everyone has a story to tell and from each of them countless things can be learnt.
I will begin now the tale of Sharda and what I assimilated from it. Sharda was a village girl. She was born in a village in Haryana and was sister to Raju, four years younger to her. Raju was the family’s favorite, for obvious reasons. (HE’S A BOY!) Of course Sharda felt lonely and disheartened and when her parents wanted her to work for her own dowry, she had no choice but to oblige.
I learnt from Sharda’s story that no matter what the current situation in the country is, in some places girls are a burden and are always second to males.
When Sharda was seventeen, she was married off to a twenty-eight year old man. She pleaded in front of her mother to reconsider her decision. But what was decided was decided! She had no choice. Sharda’s husband Pritam was a horrid man. He abused her, insulted her and never appreciated her efforts. Sharda could have easily retaliated and given him a piece of her mind but she did not have support of anyone. It was a lone battle and it took her a lot of courage to speak for herself. And guess what? Once she decided to take the wheel, things turned out to better themselves.
This act made me realize that no matter what the circumstances are, courage and bravery will always take you miles ahead of where you are right now. As Chris Martin famously sang, “If you never try, you’ll never know” it holds massive depths of reality.
When Sharda gave birth to her third child, her husband passed away shortly. Being illiterate did not act as a tool to sustain and grow. It was tough now to handle three kids and financial worries. She started a string of odd jobs initially and later on started providing tiffin service to the nearby city which was only 3 km away. She could have easily given up and put responsibilities on her children but she did not. She wanted them to continue their education for their bright future.
Being in an emotional situation like this is common for thousands of women but how many of them get up, wipe the dust off themselves and think straight with a goal? Sharda did. She refused to give in to the harsh situation and paved the way for her family.
After Sharda turned 40, she visited her ailing parents in the next village. She never contacted them frequently over the years. Even though she was hurt and unhappy about their decision made during her marriage, she never spoke a bad word but never even tried too much to talk to them. When she got the news of them being severely ill and on the throes of old age, she felt the urge to go visit them. After all, the kids were doing well and she did not have a lot of stress about her family.
Sharda never complained about their decisions all these years. Now, when she went to pay a visit she was the same girl who lived there for seventeen years of her childhood and adolescence. Over the years, she had found it in her heart to forgive them.
Forgiveness is a hard task. It is never easy to let go of the pain and difficult memories but sometimes it is necessary for your own peace of mind to forgive someone who did you wrong. It is for your own happiness and for letting go of the baggage you carried for so long.
When Sharda was on her death bed, her three children, their spouses and all her grandchildren were with here. No, she had not left all of them a fortune behind but they were all sad and sobbing. She did not have favorites or pamper them beyond measure. But you know what she did? She loved them immensely, with all her heart and soul. She sacrificed her time, her life and her needs for their well-being. That’s what counted and that’s what she had offered.
Love begets love. Sacrifice for loved ones never goes unnoticed. Sharda could have been selfish, immature and careless after her husband’s death but she chose not to be. She had a clear head and her mind was focused on what is best for her family. She strived hard, with her blood and sweat and created the life for her children which was the foundation of what they were.
Many times in our lives, we fail, we fall and we give up. But it is important that we learn from this ordinary tale of an ordinary woman about her extra-ordinary choices and her determination to do what she wanted. It is not that she did massive works for the society or for the world but what she did for herself and her family is commendable.
Often, we ignore the simple values of courage, forgiveness, humility, love, sacrifice etc but these are what make you successful as a person.

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