The first test of my mother’s resilience came when she had to drop out of school, at the age of 12. This twist of fate was the beginning of many adversities that would challenge my mum’s passion and perseverance.
When my mother was ten years old, the cruel hand of death came for my grandmother, who succumbed to breast cancer.
My grandfather had earlier remarried a woman, who came with four children of her own. The woman, according to my mother, was the very archetype of the ‘evil stepmother.’ She had no love for my mother and her three elder sisters. The stepmother drove a wedge between my grandfather and his four daughters. My grandfather neglected and refused to educate my mum and her sisters. Girls, according to him, were a financial liability and burden.