U. SUJATHA, M. A, M. Ed., D. S. M (Ph.D)
Vale’s Billabong Higher International School
Chennai – India
(Formerly of Anna Adarsh Matriculation Higher Secondary School)
I am U. Sujatha. I am a Teacher by profession. Here too I don the cap of a Teacher, but in a different context as a Community Teacher different from an Academic teacher. Read more and you will understand what I mean.
My task here is to present before you something strange on conclusions I arrived at after reflecting on certain tragic events that passed through my life two decades ago, when I was an unfortunate victim of frequent ‘downs’ in my life. By doing so – presenting before you the bitter experiences of pain and traumas, I encountered in life -, my motive is to comfort you and motivate you to cross over, if you are in similar plights. Tragedies are not destined to a few but to all at different stages of their lives and at times on some innocent unwary too, who least expect of it. As similar events passed through in my life, I found out the revelation of truth through His Grace that when we highlight our tribulations before Him, He, as our Creator and God, steps in and remedy it erasing out all those scars without traces. Then, when we smile in gratefulness He too nods in happiness. This is the ultimate truth and I vouch for it from the experiences I passed through in life. It is my privilege to share it with you as a Teacher to the Community I live in and serve.
As a teenager I was like any other girls – cheerful, playful and lively – watching films bunking classes at College; committing naughty catch-proof pranks at the Teachers and fellow-students while not quitting the status of a good and ideal student. Every one around liked me; I found life was worth living in guaranteed enjoyment and security.
We are three girls born to a father who aspired that all his daughters should finish academics as Post-graduates. I completed my Master’ Degree in Business Economics and returned to the School I studied as a teacher. I was overwhelmed with a profession that was my passion in life. As I passed my B. Ed., an alliance was soon to follow. He was an Engineer from a well-settled family based in Chennai. It was roses everywhere and life smelled fragrant and sweet during the first year of my marital life. Wedded to one other we were in a deep bond of love, bliss, care and affection.
Then Monsoon set in raining cats and dogs. As I conceived my first issue, my father-in-law was diagnosed for Blood Cancer and my mother for Liver Cancer. Those affectionate and loving souls, I lost forever. A Mother is a Mother whose love and affection for her Children can never be substituted and till date that vacuum remains in my life. They didn’t see their grandson they passionately longed for!
My father felt the pinch of his vacuum in life more. He was left alone in Chennai with my younger sister who was married by that time. Things took a different turn when my brother-in-law, the husband of my elder sister, gem of a human being, volunteered to take care of my widowed father. My husband was willing, but being the only Son he had to take care of his ageing Mother, which fact the rest understood. Three years after our son’s birth, my husband went through an unfortunate unemployment patch. He could not get a job of his choice, as he was a Mechanical Engineer. Finally he compromised with a job away from us - outside Chennai. That was the time I was carrying my second child. When we rejoiced over his promotion and elevation to a higher post I found my child born with a ‘bilateral cleft’. I was totally oblivious of the linked problems till Doctors enlightened me on the enormous difficulties, which would crop up later. She was operated twice even before she turned a year. However she looked normal after her second surgery.
At this period I turned into an illusion of my own making. I thought all my problems were over. I saw a path laid with a red carpet inviting me to tread over it. Once again I started dreaming of roses and the seasonal flowers. The truth was that more grave tragedies were in waiting.
When my daughter turned four years, my husband got a job placement in Dubai. A lucrative job for my husband in the gulf! The best avenue open to me as a teacher with lots of money pouring in! I was literally in a heaven of my own making!
He left for Dubai in June 2002. I still experience the farewell pain when I remember that past. Wait! A still more painful agony was on card. Six months after, I got a call from him and he said that he was in great mental agony and he was missing all of us and that he wanted to be with us for some time. My state of mind over him was also not different. I pleaded with him to take an emergency leave and return to be with us for a few days. But that was not to be! That very same night, I got a call from Dubai and the message was ‘Your husband is no more; he passed away in sleep’. I was shattered and numbed. It was not a quake; it was the earth moving away from us.
He thus submitted to His Will and our home turned into an orphanage – Yes! The head of the family was called back and he left. I cried for hours and days as all those sweet and naughty moments in our life lined up one after another, before me on a live screen. “Get ready for a life without him”, that was the cruel and harsh voice I heard all around when I passed through every nook and corner of my home where I felt his pleasant and aggressive presence in my imagination. I wished, it – the death - was a bad dream, but it was not. It was the reality of life once every one faced in life and how can my children and I alone am exception. But should that cruelty be hammered on to me and did my innocent infant children and I deserve the disabling blow? Even now I affirm a firm ‘No’. And still I cry that my tears fall on his Soul and traverse down to his feet and remain ever there as my homage to my great, departed husband who loved me, embraced me and took care of me through thick and thin. What a great human being he was! What a caring husband he was!What a sweet and loving father he was! Words fail me over his portrayal.
It still remains a million-dollar question – so is in your mind too now – why God has chosen me to download all sorrows and unhappiness He could lay his hands on. Was it His intention that I should invoke all the strength, determination and courage at my command to boldly face the challenges He had raised before me? Yes, I took up the challenge! I boldly cultured in me all the qualities that would tackle the enormous struggle opened up before me. The first thing I did was to register for a Ph. D with the University of Madras. Then I brought in my ‘job factor’ before the screen and I closely looked at it. I saw a little stagnation there seeking a remedy. I decided to move myself to the next slot! I received a break with the institution I studied and soon became an Administrator there. To me things looked finer than what it was before! I am now en-route on a determined, well-laid track to build up my career with my two children growing-up, well-groomed to my satisfaction while I continue to play the complex role of a single parent cum career woman, the like of which are there but rare.
It is conclusion time! I conclude that God chooses to pass sorrows only to His children who can endure it. If more sorrows pour in, in my life I am now trained and ready to take it in its right stride. All of us in this world are expected to play our assigned God’ determined task as daughters, sons, wives, mothers, fathers, grandparents, in-laws and live as ‘brethren in society’ irrespective of community caste and creed. Whether the path to be laid is rugged or smooth, God decides it all. We are His children and we are at His command. He is everybody’s unseen Father!
Now my message to you as a Teacher, qualified with Life Philosophy! ‘TAKE LIFE IN ITS POSITIVE STRIDE - YOU WILL NEVER REGRET’. The God, I worship every moment of my life is yours’ too and He has chosen me to pass over this truth to you. Live by it! Profit by it!