Today 18March 2017, Saturday, Day started as usual, had breakfast at A2B. Next thing you hear your phone ringing” Appa Calling” to tell me he is on his way to Chennai. I told Appa come directly to the venue, because Akka is in office and she will come directly there. Also I told him, don’t worry about me, I know where the venue is I will take a CAB, becos I am sure about the traffic why return back home.
It is 10:00 am googled to get the exact address and the time stored it in my iphone 6. Called my sister to check at what time she would be leaving, as her office is in Port trust. Yes she works for Public sector organization as a Senior Manager, a decent position. It took her 22 years to get to the role after her campus placement from NIT( former name REC) Trichy. Don’t ask me, what she does there being an electronics and communication engineer. She chose that even though she had been offered Computer science. Since it was first few batches, CSC was offered; she assumed it was safer bet to pick Electronics as my father worked in BSNL.
She picked up the phone and I informed her that the registration closes at 12:00 noon, and you have 2 choices, one reach there before noon or call in for later Registration. If you have guessed, yes 18March 2017, Saturday is date of Convocation and she has graduated as a Rank Holder of Post graduate in Environmental Engineering.
This journey started 3 years ago with her giving TANCET exam (entrance in Tamilnadu India to get into PG in engineering disciples apart from GATE in India). She was super happy when she her counselling, she was left out with no choice as she can attend only part time. DR MGR Deemed University was a good fit as she lived close by, evening college and that too environmental engineering closer to the job she has now. She felt blessed. She has 2 boys one in MBA and another in 12 th standard. She has to juggle a lot with job, kids, home and of course her husband. It is a tough act but left with no choice. She has help to clean the house but cooking is her biggest responsibility.
The day of counselling she was supposed to pay the fees, and no money left in her account. She asked her husband and found no help (no intention to help). She spoke to her office cashier and got salary advance. When I heard that I felt nothing changed in our lives (women in our families) from my Grandma- Mom - us. But the biggest differentiating factor is we are graduates and has a full time job with lot of dreams. I wish I had a mind reader to read what was going in her mind, how deep her brain and heart were crying keeping peace at home. She is such a lovely older sister to me and my 2 brothers. She is determined. I told her in one of the conversation, Never Give Up.
Yes she joined the college, she started attending school after work travelling 25 km from work to School and then to home. She needs to manage everything on her own. She was now driving then. She used all possible transportation just to stay committed to the course. We both feel “Education is our biggest asset and nobody can steal it from us”. Siting in class after a long day and get home to put food on the table, I wish GOD was little easier on her. Here and there my parents would help, but they cannot provide a constant care as they lived 200kms away from us.
Semester after semester, she gained lot of confidence. As soon she discusses that she is taking a vacation day to study, something else comes up urgently at home. Later she stopped discussing the exam dates ahead of time so no one can plan against that.
At the same time, I was doing my MBA so we had a constant support from each other. My father often used the statement “this shall pass too” motivated us. My mother always had a passion for continuating education and motivated both the girls. I motivated my sister; this is something no one can take away from us.
One day it was heavy rain in Chennai and she was using a public transportation to get home. I kind of had a conversation and told her, it is high time to drive. She expressed politely her husband disinterest in this plan. I told her you are 43 and TOO OLD TO GET PERMISSION. How long can we wait until the husband approves the basic amenities? When the husband buys a car it is basic transportation! but when the wife needs it, it is luxury……. We have to break the barriers……Let us move the boundaries. I always associate to the math problem in my middle school…
A cow is tied to one corner of a square plot of side 12m by a rope 7m long. Find the area it can graze?
We both did not know whether we needed a long rope or NO Rope. Still confused.
All semesters are over and finally she got a Final Grade sheet and found she is the class topper. After all GOD has been little nicer to her. Her determination and commitment paid off
Today 18March2017 is the day of her convocation. Got a gift for my lovely sister, picked up a cab to reach the venue. Called her on my way and confirmed that I am on my way…May be the 100th time I told her I will be there. Called my Father” Appa I have reached” where are you? He said he is picking up my older nephew and will be there in the Venue. Crowd is huge, overheard few emotional conversation. How their son/sister/Brother/wife/husband studied so hard to get here? So does my sister, I know for sure.
I found a seat near my sister (she sat in student section) and I sat in Visitors/ family members section. Here is my Father and my Nephew walking towards the venue found a seat and made them sit. I did not have a seat since it was too crowded. There are few seats whether they reserved for their friends. Since I walked around 3 times in the same, one lovely lady told me I can sit here, provided if that Professor comes I should move. I took the temporary seat. I cannot thank her enough….. Where ever you are thanks to that unknown lady.
My sister was super excited and happy to be sitting in the occasion. She was chit chatting with the other lady topper show as seated next to her. I overheard her talking to her about us.
My sister would have been lot happier if husband would have been there by her side.
Wish my Lovely sister all the very Best for the future years…….. You hard work always pays off.
Akka, the Degree, the medal , trophy all symbolizes your commitment.
Lov u with all my heart.- Your Little sister Jinga (How She addresses me)