Although I love my mother and think she’s the most important person in my life, today I want to write about Andal paati who has been my neighbor for the past 7 years. Andal paati is 83 years old and lives alone because her two children and their families live in America. She lost her husband when she was just 34 years old and for the past fifty years she has slogged and raised her two kids. After her husband died, she was forced to find work to support herself and her children and even though she is a 9th std school drop out, Andal paati started her own food catering service out of her home.
Soon her business was thriving and she was able to send her son to engineering college and her daughter to a leading arts college without having to depend on hand outs from anyone else. Now, even though her children send her money from the U.S every month (which is more than enough for her to have a lavish lifestyle), andal paati still pursues her career in catering on special orders. At the age of 83, it is a joy to see her energy and zest for life with a brain that is much sharper than mine! I make it a point to spend time with her a few times a week and even invite her over to my house for a meal or two. It is a joy to watch her play with my son Rajiv!
I admire her strength, courage and resilience! I’m so glad Mother’s space gave me the chance to express my feelings for Andal paati. I will be taking a print out of this blog and giving it to her!