The Contributions Of Our Mothers


wealthymattersReminiscing with my best friend about our childhood – her’s in a small company township in Bengal and mine alternately in India and abroad,we realised that our so-called middle class lives were pretty dismal , saved only by the hard work, thrift and ingenuity of our mothers.Yet, this subsistence existence of the Socialist Seventies has gone largely un chronicled and, I dare say, unappreciated. The roles of those women – like our mothers – who were supposedly non-working because they had no formal salary-paying ‘jobs’, was nothing short of heroic.

If my friend and I look back at our childhood today with any degree of fond nostalgia, it is because these women heroically strove to ensure that their offspring never grew up feeling deprived – ironically, an all-too common plaint of the pampered post-reforms generation. My best friend aptly describes our childhoods as genteel poverty. It was genteel because, as the middle class, we had to keep up appearances, smile and socialise instead of whinging about our lot. But poverty it certainly was, by today’s standards, with meagre salaries, hand-me-down clothes, no vacations and no bought indulgences.Everything that was not consumed got put away for a rainy day or was recycled, from aluminium milk bottle caps to brown paper bags. Nothing was in abundance except love, chores, studies and relatives. Read more of this post

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