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Parent of the Month (May 2015): MRS. PUJA RAMCHANDANI
Today on May 13th, I am fortunate to celebrate the most memorable birthday – The Birthday of my ‘Adopted Mother’! Haha, yes! I call her my adopted mother. Well ideally, she adopted me as a child just a heart-to-heart connection, no official adoption, etc. She my best friend’s mom whom I found in my college years when I was lost, depressed, missing a mom figure in my life. My biological mother died when I was 6 and (Puja Ramchandani) Mom came to my life as an Angel!
This is the bio of a Parent who has faced numerous challenges in life with the best of courage and smiles. Even though she lost her mom at a crucial age of 17 years, she turned that difficult phase of life into a powerful journey. She has taught many of us to LOVE unconditionally, and to pass through the fogs with might. She epitomizes the word ‘Mother’ esp. for me as I call her ‘Mom’. Welcome our Parent for May 2015 – MRS. PUJA RAMCHANDANI.
Dedicated to You Mom, from all of us!
As a child, she was reserved, shy, and could not speak openly with her parents. After losing her mom, her elder sisters were there with her only for a few years. (In India, girls got married very early in those times). Her dad was strict and disciplinary. She learnt important values from him but it also created fear within her. Losing a mom at teenage feels like losing one’s spine. Not having guidance, and support, she turned out to be an innocent person. When she got married, she was scared to travel by the local trains. She would want to visit her sisters who lived in town, far from her home. Her husband helped her a few times but eventually she gathered the courage to go by herself.
She steered through the challenges of her newly married life and built great relations with everyone within the immediate and extended family. After finishing house work, in the afternoon, she would find time to experiment with new recipes and soon her recipes were the ‘talk of the town’. She was always identified as a person who took great care of everyone in the family, her in laws, her children, and many others.
Mrs. Ramchandani’s life called for sudden and heavy adjustments. Often the dynamics altered between joint and nuclear family. Both of the family systems have their grave challenges and imagine having to make arrangements in the home according to how the family structure changes. Over and again, she took care of extended family members who lived with her for several months and being a mother, I can understand how that impacts one’s daily family life. The beauty is that she embraced each situation and ‘change’ with grace! Each time it was a different type of adjustment required and she stayed up to it powerfully.
Personally speaking, I have seen the small house they lived in. Having two young children, the way in which she adjusted in that short space and yet made it into a beautiful home is admirable! Even though she had a lot of family responsibilities, she ensured her children grew up with fun. She encouraged them to participate in activities, competitions, sports, and academics while also caring for all the other family members. She has always been very involved in her children at all stages and given them all that she has missed in life. I have also witnessed the dedication with which she cared for her ailing, bed-ridden father-in-law for more than 8 years. I am in awe of her!
In her mid-life, her husband and son relocated to a new country in their need to support the family and take the upcoming opportunity. It was a massive change. The responsibility of finances, caring for the home, in-laws, and getting her daughter through with her education, all fell on her shoulders. At this juncture Mrs. Ramchandani came out even stronger than before. Like the saying goes – The difference between ordinary and extra-ordinary is the ‘extra’.
We have a lot to write about Mrs. Puja, but we have more to hear: heart-warming words from all of her children. Her son recently got married and now her family feels complete!
Son: NILESH (NEEL)
“Mom, you know I do not express much with words but you mean the world to me. You are the most amazing person I know. The things you do, not just for our family, but for everyone are greatly appreciated… You have given me strength, values, and love. You are the best chef of the world. Your food has healing powers! You are the Angel of our family Mom, Thank You for everything you do!”
Daughter: SARITA (HANISHA)
Mom has given me so many gifts by just being the person she is. She has given me ‘LIFE’ and an opportunity to be a part of GOD’S Manifestation and a bond which is going to last forever. I cannot thank her enough for all the lessons and values she has given me as a priceless treasure.
“Mom you lift me up and never let me fall. You see me through and you see the best in me. You inspire me to be a better mom. Most of all, I cherish your hugs. Even when you scold me, when we argue, I am learning something from you. I am grateful for all your teachings. You are the Miracle of my World. You have Shaped me to the best of me and You are the reason, I am me. I am blessed that God chose me to be your child, my love for you is infinite!”.
Memories with You MOM:
- Story time with you as a child; esp. the bedtime spiritual Gurbani was just so relaxing and every night you gracefully taught me to face life with courage and moral values.
- You stayed up with us for studies and exams like it was your test. I still remember how you stayed up praying and studying with us in our crucial years. You made us coffee / milk to keep us awake. You were so involved with Neel and I that we felt our classes and projects were as much yours and our competitions were incomplete without you.
- After Neel and Dad relocated, I saw a stronger, different person in you. Those days are memorial to me as we shared our tough times together adjusting and making sacrifices.
- You spend an awesome time with Nishika; you make a wonderful grandmother!
5 Special qualities of Mom:
- Very helpful: You go out of her way to help others
- Active and energetic
- Quick and spontaneous on any task
- Forgiving – even when people do bad things to you, you move on without grudges
- You create happy surroundings wherever you go
- I appreciate your chirpy, jolly, and hard-working nature
Daughter-in-law: PRIYANKA (SIMRAN)
“Mom, I am lucky to be your daughter-in-law. You give me the strength and power to adjust in a new place and you also make me feel comfortable. Even though I am away from home, I feel at home :) You are a special person because of the priceless heart you have. You are so loving and affectionate!”
My special memory with you is our welcome dinner dance on the song – “Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata koi”.
Son-in-law: AMITH MELVANI
When I came to India before marriage, mom made me feel extremely comfortable and because of that I enjoyed my wedding shopping with them.
“Mom, this is the perfect platform to share that when Sarita and me needed you the most during my challenging times, you were super supportive; you helped us immensely even with relocating our store. I was very moved by that. Mom I have known you as someone with a heart filled with so much love for everyone. You go out of your way to be of help without bias, even if that person hasn’t been nice to you. I am fortunate to have your daughter as my wife because she has imbibed your forgiving and caring nature. By law you may be called my Mother-in-law but I relate to You as my Mother!”.
Notes from me: RIMA
Writing my heart out to ‘Mom’ can be the toughest thing for me because there is so much for me to express that a sea of emotions explode. I am grateful, I have received this opportunity from the Universe to write about Mom. After God sent her down to earth, he listed – “No more in production”. Sounds hilarious but she is the Only one of her kind. ‘Grateful’ is a very small gesture I can say to her.
When I lost my mom at 6 years of age, I grew up feeling ‘greatly deprived’. I had a lot of internal pain from hearing other children use the word MOM. I had no one whom I could call Mom and as simple as that sounds, it is extremely painful for a child. Many people would SYMPATHIZE with me but mom was the the only one who went a step further. I was a complete stranger to her. She didn’t know my family, had never come to my home, and knew nothing else about me besides that I was her son’s classmate in school. Our religions were very different too. In those times, not many would openly embrace a person from a totally different religion.
Unlike all others, Mom made me her ‘Daughter’ and allowed me, in fact, declared that I refer to her as ‘MOM’. There is no other gift I can receive that can be more PRECIOUS. After so many years of lull, it was hard for me to even speak out the word ‘MOM’.
For several years, I had nobody to talk to, nobody who loved me unconditionally, no one who cooked food of my liking. I craved all of this deeply and often cried several hours at night. From all the friends and family – tons of cousins I knew, I was the ONLY one who belonged to a Single Parent family. This feeling slowly got healed as Mrs. Puja (Mom) made for me a place of great love in her heart and home.
Mom would invite me at her home and hear all that I had to say. She would go out of her way to cook food of my liking, food that she hadn’t cooked before. Being a Jain by religion, I wouldn’t eat onions, potatoes, carrots, and garlic at all. Cooking food without these ingredients was a challenge because it was totally new and unknown to her. But she LEARNT to make my favorite vegetables EXACTLY the way I liked them. She made the most delicious BHINDI (OKRA) veggies – the taste of which from the year 1999 is still in my mouth! Who would do all this for a stranger?
The way she has brought up her two kids speaks volumes of her character, her courage, her strength and her love. I will fall short on words and space to write for her.
“Mom you are way too special to me and I there is no way I can repay You for all the love you have given me. In cold, screeching blizzards of my life, you covered me with a warm blanket that kept me going safe and strong! You came specially to my engagement ceremony, that meant a lot to me. Thank You Mom.
I am more than grateful and I sincerely hope God will give me a chance to SERVE YOU, to CARE FOR YOU in return. Your love, comes out in your food and in your talks. You are so much fun, so loving, spiritual, courageous, and such a sweetheart. I know it is not only me, you have opened your heart to many children, many people, and helped many more than we all even know. I am far from you since several years but yet, I haven’t felt that distance. Even if we talk once in several months, you are there, just the same.
I was happily surprised to know how much Simran knew about me even before I spoke to her. Thank You for introducing me to her, even in my absence… what more should I say?… My eyes are full with emotion. I am sure there is a great reason why my Mom’s bday and your bday are next to each other and why I met you in this life-time! Over the years, you have allowed me to be myself and loved me unconditionally. I remember how I used to save money and call you from phone booths to talk to you. I LOVE YOU MOM”.
Husband: VIDU RAMCHANDANI
Puja is a very cordial, loving, and caring wife. I credit her for raising mature, wonderful kids and adjusting gracefully when both of us had to be away. She is very affectionate and very well organized in caring for the home and entire family. I am lucky to have such a loving and caring spouse who has blessed my family with her presence.
“Puja, you are the perfect wife and the perfect mother. I admire you for who you are!”
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