I was the first child born to my parents. They were very happy, even though in the Indian culture, the first child as a daughter is not a very happy thing. It was a rainy day after a long and dry summer, and my father told everybody that his daughter brought mercy and blessing to the community by bringing rain with her birth.
We were not rich people, but we had a comfortable life. We had no air-conditioning or refrigerator, but we had running water and electricity in our home. That was a luxury in those days.
I have four brothers and two sisters younger than me. I had big responsibilities as the oldest daughter. I had to take care of the visitors and relatives when my mother was not home and help my siblings with their homework. I used to help my mother with cooking a lot. In the morning, I helped her make the breakfast for all my brothers and sisters. I didn’t always have enough time to get ready for school.
I wanted to go to medical school, but my father was against co-education. I didn’t fight or argue with my dad, but accepted his decision without any hard feelings. I was happy that he was allowing me to continue my studies. I was the first girl in the family who graduated from college.
I was very close to my siblings, especially my brothers. They were my friends. Whenever they needed to ask my father something, they would come to me and I was the one to take their request to my dad. My father loved me and trusted my suggestions and advice all the time about anything and everything. I was the daddy’s girl. He died twenty years ago at the age of 90, and I still miss him.
My mother lived alone in the same apartment for fifteen years, but after that, she couldn’t live there without any help. She is a very strong lady, and she is responsible for sending all three of her daughters to college. She wanted them to be self-sufficient. Now my mother is not in very good health. I wanted to bring her to my house, but I couldn’t do it. Now I have to take care of myself and my husband.