See this sweet video. Quite like my relationship with my husband! Supportive, encouraging, flexible, and a life filled with laughter and love.
When I think about it, I feel blessed to think of the few good men who have supported me all the way.
Even though I’ve grown up in a matriarchal family, what with my grandmother ruling the roost with her magic wand of love and my Mother being a single parent, I am truly fortunate to be influenced and shaped by some stellar men in my life.
A few good men
I did not know my grandfather, but grew up with tales of his generosity, kindness, and compassion. I’ve learnt that kindness is a language that always appeals to people. It is probably why I get along with most people and this has helped me tremendously in my career.
My maternal uncles showered me with love, never letting me feel the absence of a father in my life, encouraging me, making me believe I could achieve anything I set my mind to. I am still amused to think I believed them and this has shaped me into a confident person, who actually believes she can accomplish anything. Yes, nothing is impossible. While one uncle fed me stories, introduced me to good books, and gave me the gift of his time, another spiked my curiosity to explore new things and be creative. Yet another taught me the importance of laughter and having fun—that life is not all about working hard. A fourth uncle taught me to be flexible and adapt to situations. He also taught me about life insurance and the importance of financial security.
All these life lessons were delivered via the web of love, and they make me the person I am today. They taught me to say yes to myself, to dream and chase that dream. They taught me it is absolutely fine to fail, but crucial to never stop trying. This has inspired me in everything I’ve done.
I am lucky to have men friends who care and supported me at various stages in my life and career. One friend taught me to ride a two-wheeler, and this enabled me become mobile and take up a job that required me to be on the move.
How can I forget the neighbor who always looked out for me! I am still amused to recall how he kept his sandals outside our door when my Mom and I stayed alone, so people would assume there is a man in the house. And he would sit awake in their house across the street until I returned home late from work. This family has a permanent place in my heart.
Then there’s my bank manager, who has adopted me as his sister. He makes it a point to educate me about getting adequate health insurance and saving wisely for the future and helps me make good financial decisions.
Naturally, I’ve saved the best for last. My husband Sury. Always nudging me to follow my passion. If I am working as a full time freelance writer and editor today, I owe my success to him, who, along with my Mom, made sure I did what I wanted. On days I have extra work, he seamlessly takes over the household chores, making sure the dishes are done and the laundry is cheerfully dancing on the clothesline, so I get continuous time to work towards my deadline. When I have to go out of town, he makes sure there’s a hot meal waiting at home when I return.
Why, there are days when both of us are busy and he insists I don’t cook, yet ensures I eat on time. Perhaps the biggest support of all is how he buddies up with me to eat the same things as I do—and I know it is not always easy to eat like a diabetic. But his take on this? “You’re eating healthy, I am eating healthy” accompanied with laughter. I especially love his reaction when I goof up something—telling me that even three months from now, this will just be a memory and a lesson we’ve learned from. I love that he’s a wonderful father to our son, always being there for him. One thing I learn from him on a daily basis is this: Money is not everything, that health is more important. Right now he’s nagging me to go get my annual health check.
Which brings me to my son. “Aren’t we best friends?” I hear his young voice ask me. I smile when I think of all the times he has promised to be “good” when I had to go out of town, understanding, in his own way, the importance of what I do at work. I am lucky to have his support and wise insights on so many situations and people.
When I doze off at night, knowing full well that a pair of gentle hands will take off my glasses and prise the book from my hands, draw the covers around me and switch off the light, smiling, I am grateful.
It may be International Women’s Day, but my celebrations would be incomplete without acknowledging the men in my life.