very few in late fifties have grand mothers and I had and her name was Shrimati Parvati Sahu. She was a very ordinary lady who led a simple life full of hardships and challenges to raise her family and lead a life of dignity and prestige. Yet she was a special lady whose life offers us a great and rich lesson to build and shape our future. In her sad demise an era has ended. She was the last link to that generation which laid the foundation of our family and gave us much needed identity, dignity, decency, grace and meaning in life.
She lived a life full of struggle and strife to make her family stand, prosper and march forward. When my father was studying in Harihar High School in Aska he decided to stay in a rented house to pursue his studies. To cook food for him she stayed with him in Aska in that rented house. Her support to him in those troubled times was a big factor based on which he could complete his studies in Aska.
I was told by our family members of that era that after she came from Padhala to Ghasibili she used to walk miles and miles to sell oil crushed in a Ghana to sustain her family and save for future. Single handedly she put hard labour and built every thing that we see today and supported a big family of four children and elderly figures consisting of her own mother.
A very sharp and intelligent lady she had very strong reflexes and could handle complex family matters and successfully tackle complicated problems.
Her common sense made her a gifted lady with a rich and sensitive brain to deal with numerous challenges of life. I recall people saying that without her presence no marriage and family function of my family could be organised successfully. She was in fact the mover and shaker of family of those days.
She had high credibility and standing in the trading circles in Aska and by her mere presence, indication and instruction many traders used to extend services worth thousands of rupees and that too on credit to meet emergency situations.
Even though she was not formally educated she had the intelligence and sharp faculty which she developed through hard labour, struggle and sacrifices. At times I wonder that her earned and acquired capabilities in raising her family, doing business without cheating any body and keeping her self fit and fine should be followed by students in business schools.
In the struggle of life she emerged as a heroine who could shine through her hard work and disciplined life marked by early rise from bed, walking to Rushikukya river to take bath and offering prayers to divine figures.
Mahatma Gandhi used to say that any body who served his or her family with honesty and integrity actually served the nation. By that definition she served the nation because she reared her family by doing hard work with honesty and integrity.
She lived her life to the fullest extent and saw generations of great grand children some of whom are doing well in India and abroad. An active and busy person through out her life she remained an example of a healthy lady enjoying good and quality health and doing a lot of physical labour. For all of us she was the only surviving grand mother who represented that old legacy, old times and our common past and heritage.
Till recently she used to walk from her village to Aska and come back on foot. That kind of physical labour made her fit and fine till the last stages of her life. Some body like her who did so much for the family with honesty and good intentions and could enjoy goof life with quality health and who could live to see many great grand children was certainly a blessed soul. In her sad passing away we have lost a great soul. She worked very hard and earned every thing by upholding values and good qualities.
Let us celebrate her legacy of hard work informed by ethical outlook May her soul rest in peace and may we be blessed by her to march ahead and excel in all our endeavors. Tributes to a great soul.
# Mr Satya Narayan Sahu was OSD and Press Secretary to the late President of India Shri K.R. Narayanan and served as Director in the Prime Minister's Office. He is currently Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. The views expressed by him are personal and not that of Rajya Sabha Secretariat.