Since my father used to be out of town for maximum time it was my mother who took charge of the house administration. Out of we four children my Sister Usha was the eldest. Then my brother Ravindra and then another brother Ajay I was the last child of my parents.
My mother was hardly 16 when she got married to my father Dr. Neel Kanth Dhar (not in this world now) who was 20 at the time of the marriage. It was the year 1938. The first off spring born to my parents was my eldest sister "Usha"(now not in this world) whom we used call "Didi" and parents used to call her "Nikki". The year was 1942. It was in the year 1948 that my brother "Ravindra" was born. We called Ravindra as "Kakaji". Today Kakaji is father of two beautiful daughters and is a bank manager posted at Jammu in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. It was 1950 when my next brother "Ajay" was born. We called him "Rajaji". Today "Rajaji" is a medical doctor in a very prestigious hospital in the capital region of Delhi. He has been blessed with a son. And the year 1954 it was I who came into this world as the fourth child of my parents. Incidentally I had no nickname.
My father not being very well off, my mother had to work hard to keep the family expenses in check. Bringing up children in a state of near poverty is what my mother did. My mother took the total control of household and the kids. She had no schooling and hence not well read. It was due to her untiring efforts and dedication that we all children managed to reach to a certain level of living standard and social status. All rules and regulations of the household were framed by her and which we practice in our respective houses holds till today.
I remember, it was she who used to keep track of my activities in the school instead of my father. As already mentioned father used to be out of home because of his nature of service. We had four divisions in our tenth grade ,namely A, B, C, and D. I was studying in division C. This was the year 1969. I remember my school fees amounted to RS.6.40 per month (app.$ 0.50). With great difficulty my mother was able to pay these school fees of mine. It was ,then, in our school that all meritorious students were selected among all four divisions and a separate division was formed which was called division 'E'. This all was done so that a good faculty would be made available to the students at little extra fees so that the students get better marks in the University/Board examinations. The total fees amounted to RS 15(app.$1.2) for this elite section. As I used to stand first among the students in my division, I was also transferred to this new Division i.e. 'E'
I conveyed this to my mother who became very happy to know that I have found a place in this division in my school. But after learning that I have to pay more than double the fees I used to pay, she felt sad and told me that it is not possible for her to pay such high fees. She encouraged me to work hard and get better marks in the examination than the boys of this newly formed elite division. Next day she came to my school and explained to the Principal of her inability to bear this extra burden of higher fees. So I was transferred back to my old division i.e. 'C' where the fees were more than half.
I took my Board examination and I am proud to say that I didn't let her down and stood first in two main subjects of Science and Physiology among all the students of all divisions in my school that academic year. This all I could do because of her guidance, help and persuasion. I solute to her for this.
I remember distinctly, her day used to start as early as 4.30 A.M. and she used to retire to bed past midnight. A complete dedication to children indeed. I solute to this young lady of 83. Today also she is agile, loving and caring. At present she lives in Delhi with my brother Ajay(Rajaji).
If at all there would be any Nobel Prize for Dedication and hard work, it should go to my mother hands down. Needless to say my heart still cries out to her. Whenever at any given point of time I feel gloomy or lonely I seek her helping, warm and affectionate hand. It soothes me.
In the language of modern era, she was an ace administrator, an ace chartered accountant and an ace manager.
I am sorry I didn't mention the name of this great lady, my mother. Her father used to call her "Prabha". In our house hold we children used to call her affectionately as " Benilal".Her name on official records is " Vidhyawati Dhar "