Sometimes I wonder what I would have become had I lost my mother instead of my father. I was just seven at the time of my father's untimely departure from this world.
The shattering memories of those days of struggle are keenly alive in my memory. It was a battle for survival for all of us, especially for my three younger sisters. As for my mother, no one could have expected such resistance to hardship from a lady like her, coming from a mere hamlet, who had hardly ever seen the doors of an educational institution. But she is a lady of faith and high spirit and she made all the impossible things possible for us.
I remember how every night she used to tell us stories that had lessons in morals, dignity, struggle and heroic deeds. Through them all was our biggest lesson: never give in to hard times, they never last long. Although she never received formal education, she somehow arranged convent education for us. I should also praise her efforts to become compatible with contemporary times. A person who was only familiar with Urdu and fluent in the Arabic scriptures of the Holy Qu'ran, she was almost illiterate in English or Hindi. But she overturned her status with time. Today, she is at ease with both these languages. All this was the result of her hard work and the urge to learn with us.
Her philosophy regarding life was very simple yet very important. She used to say, "Humanity is the best religion and love for all is the true faith; cooperation, intelligence and hard work are the best tools to sustain us; neither bad days nor good ones last long, so always be practical and learn to live with the times."
This praise belongs not only to my mother but also to all the women of every home. A mother is God's precious gift. I strongly feel that humanity has survived despite all calamities only due to the sincerity and goodness of mothers.