Most of our family members were in the Army and it was a natural choice. In 1944, Appa was 20 years old when he joined the forces. 10 years later in 1954, he took voluntary retirement from the Indian Armed Forces, joined a regular job, and got married. In 2013, my father passed away. His travel trunk, medals, and uniform have an untold story that will forever remain a mystery. An untold legacy.I started school when I was 10. Those days, if our right or left hand could touch the tips of our ear on the opposite side, it meant we were old enough to go to school. Post 5th standard, I discontinued my studies and was married off to a man 20 years my senior and my mother's younger brother. He had a government job which was a mandate those days. I was 16 years old. Post-wedding, we shifted to Bangalore.
From a girl running around with pigtails to wearing a saree and managing the house, my childhood ended instantly as I took on the responsibilities of the family. My initial years of marriage were filled with fear and tears. Right from the start, my husband was abusive and violent. My husband used to be suspicious and always doubted my character. He often hit me and even forbid me from stepping out of the house. To this day, I have scars on my face. For over 50 years, I barely stepped out except for the occasional buying of grocery items. To this day, I can speak only Tamil as I didn't socialise or connect with neighbours. To the outside world, he was a good man.
Over the years, we had five children but with each passing year, my husband became more aggressive; and even when I was pregnant, he'd beat me. I even had multiple miscarriages.
It was when I saw that my kids were being affected, that I threatened to take him to the cops. He was shocked and from that day onwards he stopped speaking to me or the children and till his last day - he never spoke a word. He passed away in 2016.
This may be the best tribute to Appa.
We, at Being You, always believe that stories inspire stories and 68-year-old Kalaivani’s story is a perfect example. She was inspired by one of the stories you had backed. The story of Mrs. Veena Kohli, a mother of a decorated soldier who started her pickle business at 70. Kalaivani is keen to bring her dream to reality but needs financial backing.
This year on the 75th year of Indian Independence, with your support, we decided to back the daughter of a soldier to start her own venture. We believe that dreams do not come with an expiry date and one shouldn't give up on their hopes and aspirations because 'time has passed'.
Perks attached to the donation- https://beingyou.milaap360.org/donate