The most Inspiring lady in my life!

Dr Kiran Barlingay Vyawahare

Past President ISA

Today, even after 15 years the mere thought of her makes me emotional. The loss was irreplaceable. My eyes well up as I think of this inspirational lady in my life, my mother.

Born in an elite family with a strict, disciplinarian, collector father and a loving mother, she grew up into a beautiful, humble, intelligent lady with a heart of gold.

She was very ambitious and reached the pinnacle of her career as the Dean of an Arts and Science College. Managing her family with love and care, she could balance her personal life and career equally well.

She did her entire education after marriage. And for that era when women were not allowed to go out, she went to regular college after marriage and completed her BSC,BA,M A in Psychology, PhD and then went on to become a PhD guide. I still remember she used to sit for hours together completing her PhD thesis on Child psychology. She was the Head of the Department in Psychology. Her grit and determination made an impression on my mind and I tried to follow her path of honesty and dedication.
She was a great hockey player and was a centre forward. She was an excellent swimmer and crossed the Narmada as a teenager.

Her real battle began when she was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer. She was very optimistic even though she had to take 6 cycles of chemotherapy during her lifetime. I remember, even after taking chemotherapy in the day time, she would be ready to go for an outing in the evening. It was this positive attitude that helped her beat cancer! She would come out of any critical situation. She was an epitome of selflessness, sacrifice and love.

“Don’t go away. 15 days are nothing when you think of an entire lifetime, please stay back!!” These were her last words when she was trying to persuade my brother from going back to the US. He had come to meet her as she lay on her death bed. My brother couldn’t stay longer as he had exhausted all his leaves. He must have just reached Mumbai airport and had boarded the flight to LA, when the crew informed that there was a technical snag and the flight could be delayed for 12 hours. It was as if my mother wanted him to stay back and that’s exactly what happened. He cancelled his flight and came back. She passed away 2 days later. Such was her will power and selfless love that she could move mountains.

Today when my brother remembers this, he feels relieved and satisfied that he had come back. Otherwise, he would have regretted his decision throughout his entire lifetime!! After fighting the dreaded disease for 7 long years, she lost the battle to cancer.

There is a famous quote in Hindi, जिंदगी लंबी नही, बडी होनी चाहिए! That surely applied to her life! 50 years back when women would not even dare to ride a bicycle, she learned to drive a scooter and even the car. She was a dynamic lady full of life and lived each moment fully.

She is a beautiful reminder of everything that is good and kind in this world. She was the most beautiful gift God could have given me. She was a very kind hearted person and would help the needy. She inculcated good values and principles in me. Words can’t fully describe what she meant to me. I am so blessed and grateful to God for the mother I had. She was an inspiration not only to me but to her students also!

My salute to this most inspiring and great lady who influenced the field of psychology for more than three decades! My small tribute to this brave, strong and brilliant lady, my dear mother, on this International Women’s day! Love you Aai and will always miss you! You will be forever in my heart!