My “Madrasi” Aunt

Usha-Uthup_twitter-+bindi+jokes Usha-Uthup-2_G4_15_1653229e

Of Course not…. She isn’t my aunt. But a lot of people mistake my “Madrasi Aunt” to be Usha Uthup. The resemblance is simply striking

My Madrasi Aunt  (Chennai earlier referred to as Madras, where my aunt resides and inhibits to the core, that’s how she got the name). Actually there’s quite a mix in my family. Dad from Kerala, his sister gets married to a Madrasi uncle Balasubramanian and my Mom’s Ascendants from Kutch Gujrat settled in Bombay(Now Mumbai) since1857, very modern, all styled in British fashion. So you see, my Mom’s side people find this” Kanchipuram saree” clad and big “Bindi” adorning aunt very hilarious, they addressed her as your “Madrasi Aunt”, in our conversation. My aunt especially so, as I had inherited her dusky skin and my sister who was pure snowy white in face, became a member of their clan automatically. There was no obvious discretion in regards to color of the skin though, as my Dad was darkest dusky, and they dare not say anything about color for they truly respected him for being a thorough gentleman and the way he looked after my Mom, ten years his junior.

It was a regular routine for us to visit Kerala, Madras or Bombay during our summer vacations. These hilarious, strict, loving, nagging, scolding, bold and beautiful shade of my aunt, is an excerpt from my stark long term memory, when I was in grade II or grade III.  My aunt married Mr. Balasubramanian,  converted to and followed Hindu religion more religiously than any other Hindu Lady in those times. All we knew that both my uncle and Aunt were into the ‘Race course’ and were the richest amongst us all. Unfortunately, this made for each other couple did not have any child of their own, so all of us, my aunt’s kin & kith’s children became her very own. She called us for vacations, took us sight seeing, she even took care of education of my cousins(her sister’s children) who stayed with her for many of their schooling years. She was very generous and benevolent as far as spending money for others was concerned. But if ever you got on her wrong side, you’ve had it!

Wasn’t her fault alone, we kids were all devils with innocent faces! to put it mildly. We broke her expensive vase, we fiddled with her television and looked blankly at each other, pretending as if  there was a Mr. X amongst us, who  conspired against us to get her scolding. Boy! did we have the guts to own up and take that shouting? The infamous shouting and abusing from my aunt, that lasted for more than an hour, Non-stop! The neighbours round the corner, for more than about 200 mts knew, it was a terror day in our house today. We literally hid under the beds, behind the cupboards, on top of the cupboards (my brother climbed these iron “Godrej” cupboards like a monkey). It was as if hell broke loose. Even our mothers disappeared from the scence ddisappeared from the scene. Such was my “Generous” Aunt’s anger.  I cherish the month long stay with all cousins in My Madrasi Aunt’s house every alternate year. These vacations, where we fought, made up, accused each other, then saved each other from punishments, actually is the cause of our immense and unforgeable bonding.

One such stream of incident that’s unforgettable started with our craving for mangoes that grew in my Aunt’s back yard. This mango tree grew such that we had to climb the neighbour’s roof top to get our hands on them. These were row houses in posh locality of those times,” Meena Bacckam society”. My Aunt’s house was the 1st in the row, so if we had to climb the terrace of the adjacent house, we had to go all the way to the 5th house, get to the back side and climb from there, as all these houses shared a common wall and there was no way through. My brother bribed the cycle rickshaw driver who cycled my aunt to all the temples 3 days a week, from 5 am to 12 noon. Cycle Rickshaw was a very important form of commuting down south India, way back then. Its a  2-seater cart attached on the hind side of a bicycle, manually pedalled by a human. Thanks to Human rights activists, its extinct now. My aunt’s idea of worship was unique. One room in the house was dedicated to her 1700 Gods. The bottled water in the fridge all tasted bitter, Jasmine flavored from all the flowers she store for her Gods. “Malli Poo”… Malli Poo”… everywhere. That’s Jasmine flowers in Tamil. She made strings out of them and adorned in her hair. Am caught sometimes and got it pinned to my ultra short hair too, all the time being reprimanded for not growing my hair and sporting it short like my ‘Anglo’ mother. All fashionable, fair skinned and short haired women from Bombay were Anglo-Indians according to my aunt. Many people in south, for that matter, were under the same impression. She kept one part of the meals and fruits for the Gods as an offering. Once my uncle (her brother) fooled her for a good 3 days by eating up all the fruits of his choice and telling her that her God loved only bananas. She believed him and offered bananas only. You may close your ears, the bombardment, he got for pulling that off was deafening!

So this my ultra religious and ritualistic aunt left early in the morning at 5 to vist all possible temples in Chennai and returned by 12 noon, shopping for groceries on the way. Meanwhile my mother and other aunts were supposed to prepare for her cooking. They were supposed to only help and do the preparation, The final touch would be from  the Lady Macbeth herself. That she was an amazing cook goes without saying. The perfectionist that she was! My brother took this Cycle Rickshaw fellow in his stride. I think his name was Mohan or Krishnan. Pch,.. Pch my memory fails me. Well, lets call him ‘Kutty’. So Kutty honked, honked and kept on honking from round the corner till he reached the gate. That was a signal for us to quickly come down from the mango tree, down the adjacent terrace and back to the house. We must all be awarded prises for pulling that off for days together, sitting innocently by the T.V. set watching news in Tamil which none of us understood. My parents were settled in Bombay even before we were born, so all we grasped was English, Hindi and little bit of Malaylam because my Granny(My Dad’s mother) knew nothing besides Malayalam. Initially my Aunt was very pleased, She said ” All the ‘pillere’ (kids in Tamil, sounded more like puppies to me. Pilla in Hindi means puppy) are very well behaved” . “Tomorrow you all get a Cadbury from me for being so good children.” I couldn’t control my giggles. Mygiggles were famous for turning into hysterical laughs, which my aunt found very amusing at first. Later she shouted at me for not  able to control my laughs. “Girls are not supposed to laugh so much and so aloud” she said. Then one day my aunt got suspicious, she told Kutty that if he would honk near the house, she would have him thrown out of the job. Poor Kutty, kept cycling and brought her home to a Chaos! All the children on the terrace, jumping like monkeys, screaming like Red Indians, thumping about like a herd of Elephants had raided the place. Below the neighbour comes out grinning sheepishly with a look on his face that said. “Look! I told you, these kids are a terror.” He had set us up.

Then what transpired was terrible. I had to accompany my older cousin to draw water from the well in the backyard and wash clothes of the whole house. This cousin of mine was from the countryside, she was used to all the hard work. But I had tears streaming down, tears that always betrayed me and welled up, when I tried to hide them the most! Come on! I was only 5 years of age, this was so unfair! I thought. My brother was not allowed lunch for 3 consecutive days, he could have dinner only. My mother and i conspired and siphoned off some food for him, late afternoons, during my aunt’s infamous siesta. We all helped each other, we were all a gang against one Hitler in the house. My Aunt!

As we grew up we learnt to admire her and understand her. Her disciplinary actions though exaggerated at times, was very important.  I cherish those holidays. And the Heroine of my vacation stories back in school was impeccably “My Madrasi Aunt” . Did I tell you that what she prayed, everyday in her ritualistic worships, for? Well she kept her race course book and tickets there at her Gods feet, so she got Lucky and won! That was her daily prayer 😛


God Woman or Overwhelmed spirit


This most definitely, inspired by the news of Radhe Maa the self proclaimed God Woman, but not solely about her. What I have assimilated over the years is that, every human being possesses the power of their prayers being answered. More so, the spiritual minds, and even more so, those who pray for anyone beyond oneself. Call it God answering the prayers of the less-selfish, or call it the balancing act of the universe.

Women, at the risk of generalizing, being the more sensitive, vulnerable, physically weaker than their counterparts, have a tendency to pray for people besides themselves, like, for mother, for their father, for their husbands, for the children, for close friends, et al. I call women physically weak, so they are strong. Paradoxically, in their weakness lies their strength. Let me explain. Have we not heard of the ‘ sight-impaired’ having stronger senses of touch and sound? Its the universe’s balancing act. Or the ‘hearing impaired’ training themselves on lip reading? better than others? So you see their other senses are strengthened. Similarly, when women or slightly less stronger individuals find themselves unable to sort the complexities of the world all by themselves, they usually resort to prayers. Please don’t misinterpret me, am not saying that all those who pray are weak. Read my sentence as ” For when I am weak, then I am strong”. What this means is that when i see my boat sinking, and after trying to fight the storm in vain, I pray fervently to God, and Lo! my prayer is answered. So its about leaving to God, leaving to the universe at large, to do the justice, something that has gone beyond our capacity to handle. its actually our faith in God, the divine higher self, that actually brings about this wish fulfilment.

Everyone of us, experience this kind of miraculous wish fulfilment happening. The humble at heart accept this as an answer to their prayer, or miracle, or that they are blessed. While others may call themselves ‘just Lucky’. So now what happens when a sensitive soul prays for somebody beyond themselves and the prayer is answered. Firstly, this person is humbled and thankful. When this keeps happening again and again… mind you, this again and again prayer answering feat doesn’t happen to all. Some are chosen, just like someone is chosen and bestowed with a very high IQ level. He/She can easily secure 99% marks in examination, while others may work harder and not get there. So you see, just like a higher IQ, beautiful looks, astounding figure, creativity, outstanding talent in music, arts, et al. One is also gifted with sensitivity for others, others pains, woes etc. So when this kind of a person prays for others with feeling the pain as his own, then his unselfish prayer is answered. So then, after a couple of repetitions, this sensitive soul becomes confident. Chances of this sensitive person to become overwhelmed is higher.

The scales tip, when it is followed by adulation from needy people. Trust me, Its tough not to feel like God when you get that kind of adoration, admiration, adulation to the point of worship from a layman. Its just getting carried away by the frenzy crowd. The fame, the success gets to the head. This is a spiritual soul with low guidance.The first and foremost chapter of a spiritual person, should be humility, modesty. It takes the form of abnormality when this person starts behaving, dressing and feeling like GOD. Confidence is surmounted by over-confidence. Humility and modesty by self-bragging. prophesying, proclaiming and what not! And people hog all that, thronging towards cult worship.

The rate of cult worship is higher in India. I will not relate this to illiteracy or poverty, for herein the literate and the rich out number the lesser fortunate. It may be because the ritual form of worship is omni-present in our tradition. There are stronger familial values, restrictions, bonding, inhibitions et al making emotional life a lot more complicated and making people resort to prayers and rituals. The traditional values are spiritual to the point of being superstitious. In the west the outlook is quite independent, even where familial and friendly relations are concerned. You have the freedom to call  a spade… ‘spade’ and not beat around the bush to avoid hurting people. So the emotional quotient is well developed there. The people here are go-getters too, but tend to leave a lot on God, heaven above and so on for almost everything. That’s why this thronging of cult worship.

Coming back to the God woman, not all are overwhelmed souls. Period.

Some are schemers and con men(women), as lots of money is involved in this and others are a combination of both. First you are overwhelmed, then you become smart and start conning. Take your Pick!!

To put an end to all of this, it would be wonderful if we all understood, that each one of us can connect to God, the higher self. There is no need of a medium. The mantra is “Pray for others selflessly, with the same fervency, as you would for yourself”. This brings out the humility in you and eventually your prayers are heard. And all the spiritually gifted souls have a greater responsibility to train their mob, to believe in themselves rather than hooking them, hogging the lime light, swindling their money, misguiding them towards superstition, thereby making them weak.  Its their moral duty to tell their followers to be humble and help one another, forgive each other.  For in larger picture of life, lies the answer to smaller and greater problems.  Whew!! Its these self proclaimed masters who need some guidance now.


Something to learn from:

Reblogging for all my Twitters

100 Shades of a woman

Why I should choose a subject of my first blog from the most humble vocation of a maid servant perplexes  many. The innate need to learn from any class, any age, and any field is very strong in my senses. The fact that any experience of a person can teach you something benevolent is evident from my true to life character “chayya” This lady happened to land at my place when I urgently needed help, an unplanned family celebration. My first instinct was to repel from this short hardly 4 feet, dark, stout woman, with darting eyes. Neither a racist, nor a person to judge someone by face value, but something about her gave me a distrustful feeling. The work she did for me that day, sent me reeling and made me repel her more for the uncleanliness. I immediately handed her the wage and asked her to leave for…

View original post 1,090 more words

The Mars afflicted young lady

mars woman

When we moved into our new neighbour hood, there was this lady who didn’t like me at all. Somehow from week #1 of moving in, she tried to kind of dominate me over the water supply in the apartments where she and I lived bang opposite each other. She maybe a good 15 years older to me, having 3 college going children. Our very first encounter being quite unpleasant, we became familial enemies. She and her husband squirming their noses and turning away at our sight, my children and hers, not in talking terms, all that fuss.

There is a peculiar situation that I face many times. People tend to either like me instantly or hate me immediately, at the first sight. Majority of times, people older and superior to me really tend to like me, am blessed on that. Also something makes them keep high hopes on me, they expect that I should be doing something more than, just being a house-wife. While people my age share some sour stares, bitter glances, don’t know why. Well coming back to my  “unfriendly” neighbour, this kind of a cold war lasted for almost a good 8 years. The eldest daughter Anamika (name changed to with hold identity) smiled at me sometimes, even I quite liked her. Slim, tall, fair, curly long haired pretty young lady she was. She carried herself with confidence yet dressed very simply and gracefully.

After all these years, time flew by so soon, what with all house-hold chores and off and on career keeping me busy, I never realised that this pretty girl had turned 29 and was unmarried still. That’s pretty eyebrow raising in a conservative Indian family. Meanwhile her younger sibling was married and  mother of a 4 year old kid now. Owing to my shy and self-sufficient nature, I never got into the community gossip. We are a very closed family, keeping to ourselves all the time. So I never got to know what was up with this beautiful young lady, and what kept her single. Then one fateful day, whilst I was hosting a small party for my husband’s extended family, we heard a lot of noise in the neighbourhood. Lots of squabble going on in the house, banging of doors, some thumping noise, some screaming. We just couldn’t contain ourselves and knocked at their door, asking if they needed any help. And what opened to us was a plethora of unimaginable incidents in their life. Anamika found some confidence in me and revealed that all the fight was betwen she and her mother. Turns out that her mother all the time taunted and abused her for remaining single for so long. Let me tell you that Anamika was and still is working as a senior accountant in a very reputed school, earning a 5 figure salary, enough to keep herself holding her head high till whenever she wants. But conservative Indian women you know !

We Indian women are our own enemies. The fact that society gives us a raw deal, and our in laws dominate us, and the men always get an upper hand over us, is actually all because of the women themselves. If a lady was  brought up strictly by her parents or mistreated by her in-laws, or dominated by her  husband, or played a second fiddle always because her sibling is a boy child, then this very lady carries forward the same treatment to the younger generation of her house, as if this were some sort of legacy. So there goes, if Anamika is turning 30 in next six months and is still single, then the whole society including her own mother is ready to point fingers at her. It was even more appalling to find out the actual reason for her  being single. Earlier she rejected some alliances as her father didn’t want his darling daughter to wed and live in a far away state, so they decided to wait for an alliance from the same city, where in Anamika being independent and having stunning looks, rejected a few for lack of match in wit or opinion in the families, etc.Finally when the father daughter duo picked on one alliance, these people rejected Anamika on the grounds, that she was a ” Manglik” (Afflicted Mars in the birth chart).

For those of you, who cannot make heads or tails out of this let me explain. Firstly that, more than 80% of Indians have arranged marriages, where the family decides, they exchange photographs of the girl and boy, have a family meeting, then the boy and girl are allowed to talk in the the next room, and decide their life partner in a few minutes. The families are biting nails in the living room, and waiting the girl and boy to come out beaming, nodding their heads in agreement to the alliance chosen by their families. Sorry if I sound sarcastic, neither am I against this system, nor am I in for it. I have seen most liberal ways of living where young couple fall in love, have a live-in relation for as long as 6-8 years, then decide to marry, yet the marriages fail. And for some peculiar reason this ” minutes of meeting” marriages are a grand success, many a times. So I really don’t know which side i should take, The arranged marriages or marriages guided by serendipity.

Well as for the second aspect, here in India, from among this large 80% of the crowd of  “arranged marriage” practitioners, 90% match the Horoscope Natal chart of both the future bride and bride groom. Where their Ascendant has to match, the moon signs have to match.. etc…etc. Marriages are made or broken on these basis. And if a girl is “Manglik” (with an afflicted Mars in her Natal chart) then she is doomed. There will be no takers for her. It is said that for a ” Manglik girl” only a “Manglik boy” would do. Or any other boy who marries such a girl, will have his life full of Mishaps. And he may even die early, or meet with a fatal accident.

There you are now! with a major task in your hands, start looking for a boy with an afflicted Mars in his Natal chart, to get this girl married, who is now rejected by all. If only she could turn the clock as soon as she was born, so she would not be declared “Manglik” by infamous Astrologers. So now your well connected with my subject Anamika. Such a poised graceful, good looking, well mannered, post-graduate girl rejected because Mars was afflicted at birth. Let me tell you, of all people, its very difficult to handle a beautiful woman who is rejected. Then came in tantrums, blame-game, fights, intolerance. it is said, Its difficult for 2 women to stay under one roof, I never believed this but here it was, right in my face. Mother -daughter, behaving like competitors, enemies.

Since the time I intervened, it became a full time job, The mother, now on talking terms with me, wanted me to explain to Anamika to get married to any alliance that now came her way, in short she wanted her to get lost. The daughter, whom i had taken to by now, cried all her woes and at the same time held her head high and refused to budge. She said she wont marry any oldie, baldie etc etc. Mother says at 30, that’s all she is going to get and she better settle for it. This battle turned so ugly, that i had to now take Anamika to the psychologist, psychiatrist, counselors, astrologers etc to keep her calm. I tried to councel her mother into being a little soft on Anamika, to no avail, because despite now being on talking terms, on the inside i was a still an enemy, according to her.

She had her own woes like “Anamika never lifts a finger in the household chores, I have to do everything, dish-washing, cooking, drying, mopping swabbing, etc. ” To be impartial, Our this fiery young lady definitely had adjustment problems, something like a “princess syndrome”, over pampered by her father, who by now found himself quite stuck in this mother-daughter fights(quite an understatement that is!). Even he joined the mother, because now whatever Anamika did couldn’t be called normal. The tantrums, the abuses, the tearing and burning clothes, opening the window and abusing on lookers. Then at other times that she was with me, she was a perfectly normal, matured human being. If I were not her immediate neighbour, I would think her parents are make-believing things, cooking up a cock and bull story.

I adviced her mother not to be adamant in getting things done from Anamika, she could hire a maid, if she found her hands full with the house-hold chores. I told her to avoid all things that became a bone of contention, so to say. We Indian women have the luxury to hire maids at affordable costs,who do up all our household work, while we bask in the sun, or wear the proverbial pants in the family, or pursue our hobbies etc. But all this on deaf ears. Old habits die hard and Anamika’s mother wanted to do things herself and keep crying the woes of an unhelpful, overgrown,burdensome daughter. While Anamika blamed her Dad, her Mother, the community, the world at large for her situation and continued with her tantrums. How this ended, or will it ever end, does not matter. There are many stories that have no happy or sad ending, sometimes they don’t end at all. But we can definitely end this with a question. Whose fault is this? Whose fault is this that a beautiful independent lady turns berserk? A strict, all abiding family becomes a subject for gossip in the community, Whose fault is it that a girl child is born with an afflicted Mars in the natal chart in a conservative all abiding Indian family? Who can change the outlook of this hypocritical society? The whole lineage has to change. Is it possible in this lifetime?

woman under star

Something to learn from:

Why I should choose a subject of my first blog from the most humble vocation of a maid servant perplexes  many. The innate need to learn from any class, any age, and any field is very strong in my senses. The fact that any experience of a person can teach you something benevolent is evident from my true to life character “chayya” This lady happened to land at my place when I urgently needed help, an unplanned family celebration. My first instinct was to repel from this short hardly 4 feet, dark, stout woman, with darting eyes. Neither a racist, nor a person to judge someone by face value, but something about her gave me a distrustful feeling. The work she did for me that day, sent me reeling and made me repel her more for the uncleanliness. I immediately handed her the wage and asked her to leave for good. But there she was begging me to atleast keep her daughter, as they needed the job. Next day walks in “Shobha”,  Chayya’s daughter, hardly 15 year old, apt with her job, miraculously clean, quiet girl, minding her own business, drastically opposite character to her mother. She was like a boon to me. I immediately felt that God had heard my prayers. As I was one lady with too many things on my hands. I had thoroughly spoilt my kids, pampered my hubby, to a point where I became a single handed maid, secretary, psychologist, teacher, mother, scavenger, cook, apprentice(without any pay) to my husband in business, laundry woman,  not in any particular order. I didn’t know where to begin and when to end all my thankless jobs. Not complaining, but what began as an act of love from my side, soon turned obligatory and thankless work leaving my hands full that’s all.

I took so much to Shobha and she reciprocated evenly, that I managed to tolerate her mother, who cleaned vessels for me, while Shobha did rest of the job. Leaving me to do only cooking(something I enjoy doing) and reading-writing(my favorite pass-time). These worked for me a good 3 years, till I joined my hubby in his business crisis. Pssssssst.. am his trump card, you know, called upon whenever there’s a steep abyss(humph!!).That’s as far as I could ever get in my career. Well that ended their duties, as my luxury time was over and they could never manage to come early. After this I caught Shobha’s mother dissuading other maids to work for me. Now I knew why I disliked this sly of a woman in the first instance. However I put a stop to all her mean tactics by reporting to her existing employer, asking her to just warn her and not sack her from the job, for who knew better than me, that Chayya needed work more than anybody. This kind of analysing puts me in a fickle minded bracket, but trust me I read the need behind her mean attitude. This lady has a 4 year old son, Shobha being the elder 15 year old daughter. Turns out that Chayya’s husband is a drunkard and a wife beater(quite common in the slums here). When she worked with me Chayya often picked some wages in advance from me saying she had to buy “Lolypok”,  (Chicken Lollypop)  that’s how she pronounced it always, making me laugh and correct her, but she stuck to her “Lolypok”. Pardon my generalisation, but most Indian mothers, from any class, tend to be slightly(understating to avoid furore) partial towards their Sons over daughters. They are trained to do that, because their mothers did, or whole of the family did, even educated women do it subconsciously, So I brushed it aside as a Mother-Son gig, this every weekend “lolypok” Treat.

Then slowly over each morning Tea, which I usually share with my maids, as no-one in my house is up early. This is the time these people shared their woes and joys with me. This 4 year old child, the “Lollypok” freak, was under treatment of eye-cancer. This he contracted in his right eye, which had to be operated, removed and a glassy one fitted. I was horrified when I heard this. This little Crafty woman turned heroic to me without any doubt. From her meagre salary of INR 4,000/- per month, her daughter’s, hers and all the other houses that she worked for, all clubbed together, INR 4000/-. a month. This lady managed to save each month, buy chicken lolly for her son, treat him for cancer and run her home. She took help from the local politicians to get free treatment at TATA memorial Hospital,Mumbai (specializing in treating cancer patients),. She went to Church regularly(putting me to shame), at times to pray for her son, but most importantly, because this Non-catholic organisation gave recommendations for free medicines to the poor. She took her son for a regular check-up to Mumbai(250kms from where she lived). This required a day’s holiday from her job, travel by bus in wee hours of the morning, so she could return the same day and resume her duties the next day. After reaching Mumbai, she had to walk with her son raised and sitting on her side, and daughter in tow. The long queue at the hospital, the different tests, the different counters to attend to make everything discounted or free, as affording these medicines is not possible even for a six figured salaried  person without turning him into a pauper. Whether she and her daughter could eat something the whole day or not, but her little prince had to have all three meals. Thanks to the so many charitable organisations, about which I came to know through her, for arranging and serving a meal to all the poor children there. Then this lady is back on job the next morning after returning late night from a tedious  previous day schedule. She is back with her crafty measures to get things done. Aggressively fighting with her relative,neighbours, employers, vendors, and every one who passes by. You know she isn’t fighting you, she’s fighting LIFE!!

She is fighting life, fighting for her son’s life, stressing for a stress-free life for her son. The slyness, the craftiness are all her tools. She is a Mother, a responsible mother, who didn’t abandon her child(like many weak mothers) or didn’t abandon her life(like many weak and lost people), She fought for her survival, she understood the law “Survival of the fittest” without reading a single text. She made her son fit… Fit for survival. She knew her rights, she used her talents, she used some crafty measures. But all forgiven, am sure, all forgiven, a tribute to a struggling mother and a poor Indian woman, who refuses to take “No” for an answer. Tell the lecturers and motivation speakers, this is a woman who didn’$ need to be taught or boosted. The experiences that life threw at her, did the job. What I could do, or I did, or failed to do for her is quite a small fraction, rather I may be a very small fraction in her part of life, whom she had no reasons to remember and I had no means to forget her. Or I didn’t choose to forget. Learnt from her. Kept her in a small corner of my mind, to bring her up whenever life took me on a down-hill…..From Crest to Abyss.o-RAISING-A-BLACK-DAUGHTER-facebook