“Ever experienced a scenario where a loved one who was smiling with you till then, dies exactly an hour later? Well, this is the horrific tragedy that befell us in 2004 when I got a call that my husband got electrocuted in the new home he’d gone to fit granite for.
When I rushed there, I witnessed his body ripped open by the cutting saw he used. The current not only tossed him but also ensured his beloved tool landed with full intensity, right on his face. And if the pool of blood wasn’t heartbreaking already, seeing the people there hesitant to turn off the power supply even an hour after the accident made me question humanity at various levels. In fact, it was the auto-driver I came with, who helped me switch off the electricity and take the body for post-mortem.
But my rollercoaster had just begun. With neither an education nor fluency in Tamil, I wasn’t sure of how I’d take care of my daughters for I’d moved here, only after our marriage. Things also seemed bright back then as he progressed from daily wage flooring and interior work to taking up contracts individually and running his own business. But after his demise, as a single daughter having lost both her father and partner, I had a moment of doubt on whether I’d be able to even survive in this male-dominated industry.
Thankfully though, my husband had an assistant who was willing to stick with us, no matter the struggle. With him and help from our neighbors, I started looking after our shop, learnt rock cutting, and even basic math- all in my thirties. I could have gone back to my village and started something small but didn’t want to compromise on my children’s education. So regardless of the health ailments and pressures, I decided to stay put.
And I’m happy I did, for my daughters are well-settled today. Now that it’s over fifteen years and I’m a grandmother too, they wanted me to close the shop, but I didn’t have the heart to stop what my husband launched. We, therefore, gave it to the assistant who’s like our family. In my time, life might have taught me many lessons, but the biggest one is to never give up!”
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