My mother is the strongest woman I know.

She did all household chores and ran the house like clockwork. My mother ensured my father, sister and I had fresh supplies of clothes everyday, rain or shine. She was a splendid cook too.

Throughout the years, she taught us to do certain things. Sometimes, she instructed us. Other times, she would nag. “Don’t do that”, she would say. And I would do just that, to her dismay.

Still, she had a reason for every action. My mother dispensed practical tips for life and I practised them till today. It was a motherly kind of wisdom honed without any tutorial, guide or rulebook. Afterall, she belonged to a generation who believed that hard work was everything. If she could do something herself, you bet that she would.

In those days, knowledge was passed on from one person to another. And as best as I can remember, these were her lessons:

  • Carry an umbrella wherever you go
  • Be early rather than on time
  • Check your belongings before you leave
  • Turn off the lights when you exit the room
  • Go to bed early, on time and often
  • Seek alternatives when you are stuck
  • If it fails, try fixing it first
  • Figure it out before giving up
  • Do not stomp on the ground
  • Look both ways before crossing
  • Focus while walking
  • Close the windows when you leave for work
  • Work and study harder
  • Be proud of your strengths
  • Check, then check again
  • Do it yourself whenever you can
  • Do not forget your water bottle