(written by Sheryl)
Women’s day every year comes with an onslaught of stories of women and their extraordinary achievements narrated all over the media. But I want to tell you an ordinary story of an ordinary woman with extraordinary courage and determination.
Ms.Sarkar is the mother of Imon Sarkar, a child with multi sensory impairment. He was a source of great joy to his family when he was born and soon turned a thorn stuck in their flesh when they realized that he is “damaged goods”. But a mother is a mother. Imom's mother whatsoever found herself loving her baby more and more each day. All she saw was a beautiful piece of her heart and body in Imon and his disability could not separate his mother’s love for him.
What did separate and break into a million pieces was her peace of mind. Many advised her to get rid of him. She was constantly taunted by her family for giving birth to such a child. She was a pun of jokes and hurtful comments in her neighborhood. Her love was tested to the extent that she had to lock herself in her home when people came to hurt her and her baby.
I met her when she came to attend one of the conferences for deafblind people and their families. She made a compelling image with a child absolutely dependent on her, sitting in the back rows. When I spoke to her I came to know she couldn’t speak Hindi properly, Bengali being her mother tongue. She couldn’t understand a word of English. She had barely passed middle school. And yet there she was miles away from her home attending a conference for her son.
For what you may ponder? To learn how to make his life better. To understand how she can be a better mother to a kid with special needs. To learn more persistence for wiping his constantly dripping saliva and know his moans as his language. To find acceptance from other people like her who loved the not-so-perfect ones in their life just as she was doing.
She is an ordinary woman and all she wants is to live and care for her son till the day she is alive. When narrating her story her voice filled with passion and her words still ring in my ears to this day “Marte dum tak mai mere bête k liye sab kuch karungi jo mujhse ban padega. Mai sabse ladungi. Marne k baad bhagwaan jo usko jeevan diya vo uska khyaal rakhengey”. (Till the day I live, I will do all I can for my son. I will fight with everyone for him. After I die, God who gave him life will care for him.)
Imon is oblivious to everything. I’m sure he knows his mother’s love is so immense for him. I firmly believe that even the darkness of disability enveloping his world could not stop his mother’s love to seep into his subconscious mind.
I salute this lady on this Woman’s day. Will you do the same?