This is real life story of my Father and Grandmother of their 20 years of life-changing struggle.
Our family consists of my father, mother Joshna Shinde, my younger brother Deep Shinde and myself - Yash Nandkumar Shinde. We live in Chipluri. I’m a 17 year old boy studying Automobile Engineering Diploma 2nd year in Panvel. My brother is a 9th standard student, and my mom is a teacher. I’m home for my Christmas holidays.
My dad is an engineer, working with MSCB in Alore, which is an hour’s bus journey from Chiplun. He completes his all work on time, without any delay. He is punctual and man of word.
One of his bad habits is that he never cares of himself, but only about us. He gives us everything we want; sometimes even when not necessary. “I want to give everything to my family that I didn’t get in my childhood”, he says to Mom.
His routine is very tight and fixed. He sleeps early, wakes up at 4.00 a.m. gets ready to go to office by bus and reaches there by 6.00am. One shift is of 7 hours. After office he returns home by 3.00pm. He is never tired. After coming home he has his lunch, and wakes up by 4.30 p.m after a nap. By then Deep would be coming from school. He makes tea, serves him food. He goes to the market in the evening and brings vegetables, snacks, fruits, etc, pays bills and all without delay. Mom comes home by l7.00pm and cooks food . We all have dinner at 9.00pm .Sometimes there are also double shifts when he goes by 5.00am and comes home at 10.00pm. Sometimes if there is emergency he has to work for days without sleep. He doesn’t have holidays even on Sundays. He is best in his work. Many a times office workers call him to ask about work and he instructs them. He never depends on anyone. He is serious about our studies, always gives us useful tips about studies . He scolds us whenever we are wrong, and he keeps us on right track, but never beats us.
I respect him a lot because of what he has been through and what he has achieved to become what he is today. His childhood was not normal like us filled with fun and enjoyment; it was full of problems, struggle and hard work.
My dad belonged to a poor family. Grandpa was in Army
and grandma was a housewife. The family of grandpa was consisted of 8 members - grandpa, grandma and their 5 sons.
born on 3rd July 1964 in a small village ‘Margathamane’ of abundant natural
beauty. Dad was the eldest. Those were the days of no Television or mobiles, not even fan, fridge, or water supply
in grandpa’s house. They used to fetch water from wells, bathe in rivers, play cricket, roam in jungles, climb trees
and pluck fruits, etc. All of them were cared by grandma. Grandpa used to come
home just for a month in the year.
Dad was intelligent but was not focused on studies. He used to run from school and go to play. He was naughty. Grandma used to scold dad a lot, also punish him, but he never used to listen to him. Even though he was not studying at home he used to score more than all his brothers.
Dad was the favourite son of grandpa. During his annual visits, Grandma used to complaint about dad, but Grandpa never scolded Dad. Instead, he used to tell him “You will study a lot and become an engineer”.
All was going on well, until the day destiny decided to change their life. Dad was in 5th std (1975). One evening, grandma, dad and his brothers had gone to market leaving grandpa alone at home. He was home on his annual holidays. There were kerosene cans in the house. While lighting the lantern it fell down from his hand by mistake and it was near the kerosene cans which immediately burst out and the whole house got on fire, and Grandpa could not get out and survive.. When Grandma and sons returned home there was only ashes left in place of their house. All of them were shocked at the loss of grandpa and the house with all things. Since dad and his brothers were too young they were too shocked and didn’t know what to do.
Thus, Dad became the head of the family, at such a young age. He knew that nothing good will happen if he too lost hope. So he made himself brave and strong. He broke his piggy bank and handed the whole amount of Rs.150 to Grandma who was still weeping. He took her hand and kept that money in her hand. It was like a ‘hand of support from God telling her that now onwards she had to be brave and face the world to take care of her family, and wiped her tears.
At the time of Grandpa’s funeral, dad decided that he will work hard and complete Grandpa’s dream of his son becoming an engineer. His brothers too decided to study well.
In cities everyone is busy in their personal life. No one has time for others, but in villages it’s different. In villages everyone is like a family.’
‘Life is like riding bicycle to keep your Balance you must keep moving’.
It was the first time such an accident took place in the whole village, and everyone got the tragic news of fire and Grandpa’s death and were shocked. The whole village got together like a family, and collected money and built a small mud house within three days to the homeless woman and her children.
Grandma moved in to the new small house with her sons. They used the burned utensils. Some people gave food grains which were kept on paper as there was nothing for storage. Grandma started selling fishes day and night for their survival. She was helped by her sons including dad; they used to take fishes and go home to home to make some money. All supporting each other, working together were somehow able to make their living.
Never give up
The eldest son (Dad) became a changed man, no more that naughty boy he once
was. He took the responsibility of
changing the financial position of the family and got focused on his studies to
achieve his father’s dream.
Dad went to bed early, got up early to study when others were still asleep. He continued to help grandma by selling fish for the family. He began to go to school early, and study with full concentration. Seeing the change in him, all his classmates and teachers were surprised.
After every exam dad used to run home and check whether his answers were right or wrong and mark his mistakes.. Even though studying so hard he used to come 2nd position in the Class, which used to upset him when he had expected a First Class. The Sarpanch’s son used to be always the First, even though he was not working hard because of the money and power of his father. But Dad never gave up, he continued his hard work, and after 4 years of struggle, he reached 10th standard. He had set his goal to get the 1st rank in the school, so that it would help him securing an engineering admission. Because of his hard working without any rest, Dad fell sick at the time of Board examination. It is said that when life tests you it tests hard’.
Dad was not going to give up after all that had happened in his life, his goal gave him the inspiration to write the Board examination, with all his capacity. Finally it was time for the results to come. As always everyone in village was expecting the Sarpanch’s son to come first. But to everyone’s utter shock, he came second and the First Rank was for ‘Nandkumar Mahadeo Shinde’ (That was Dad!). Two of his teachers went to his house to convey this good news. Dad was resting and Grandma was cooking. They conveyed the good news to Grandma and Dad. Finally dad got the fruit of his hard work. The teachers told Grandma that her son is very intelligent, and he needs to get admission in an engineering college, and grandma agreed to it.
Dad got admission in Ratnagiri government Polytechnic. Grandma gladly sold her whatever jewellery she had, to pay his college and hostel fees. Dad went to the hostel to live with luggage containing clothes, ladoos made by Grandma, a family photo and a small amount of money. The 3 floored Hostel had ten rooms in each floor, and each room had 3 beds, 3 desks, 3 cupboards for the 3 students. Dad's room was 206. Raj and Sumeet were dad’s room mates. Sumeet was of middle class family and Raj was from a rich family and he had got admission by giving donation. He had no interest in studies since he was forced by his dad to get into an engineering college. 20% of the students were admitted by giving donation.