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There is a woman in my life. 

I see her every morning. She comes home, neatly attired, smelling of the jasmine flowers that adorn her hair. When I open the door, she greets me with a warm, open smile. It is the kind of smile that you reserve for your near ones; the kind of smile that touches your heart and gladdens you.

We have known each other for close to two years now. The other day, as we both sat sipping our steaming cups of tea, she told me a story that I would never forget:

The house next to mine had a sad story. The couple there had a young daughter, all of 11 years old. The father was a violent man, given to physically abusing his wife and daughter, hitting them when the frenzy struck him. The mother, unable to bear the agony of daily abuse, took to drinking and became a raging alcoholic. The innocent child was left to fend for herself. Many days, she would be starving with no food to eat. The constant abuse and the drinking  reduced her to a shell of her original self. She was slowly withering away.

With tears in my eyes, I asked her what happened to the girl.

She looked me in the eye, emptied her tea cup, dabbed her mouth with the edge of her dupatta  and said, in a matter-of-fact voice, “I adopted her”. Then, she stood up, picked up the broom from behind the kitchen door and proceeded to sweep the house.

Speechless, I sat there, staring at her as she went about tidying my house, mopping the floors and rinsing the dishes in the sink. Here was a woman who worked very hard for a living. She worked tirelessly from morning to evening, to provide for the family. Her life is not an easy one; but she smiles through it all.

She found a child in pain and didn’t think twice before adding her to her own family. In her place, would I have done the same? Honestly, I don’t know.

And, you want to know the best part? She has two sons of her own.

Inspiration can come from anyone. 

It can come from the kindness of a child when he tells you why we shouldn’t kill a snake, since it is also one of God’s creatures. 

It can come from your peers when they selflessly and lovingly take in stray animals

It can come from the virtual space when a wonderful friend coaxes you to make every second count and you just want to reach out and give her a big hug!

Be open to inspiration and it will find you and touch your life in more ways than you can imagine.

Yes, there is a woman in my life. 

Some day, I hope I can be half the woman that she is today.


This is my entry for Day 5 of the week-long Festival of Words for Write Tribe

For 6th March this was our prompt:

 Share an inspiring story/ a personal experience that will inspire.

Click here to read more entries! 
I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3
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Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


tulika singh · March 6, 2014 at 2:42 am

Amazing story Shailaja. And we always think we're the educated ones, the aware ones, the ones who do a lot for our daughters. But how many of us would have done something like this for someone elses daughter?? Your post made me think.

Pixie · March 6, 2014 at 2:44 am

oh! How wonderful!! It brought tears to my eyes!!
Such an inspiring lady.. we need more like her

Psych Babbler · March 6, 2014 at 3:15 am

Such an amazing story…thanks for sharing this with us Shailaja…it's so beautiful to read positive things about this world!

Kamini · March 6, 2014 at 3:28 am

Wow….I'm speechless. I would have thought abt it but to do what she did is beyond words.

KParthasarathi · March 6, 2014 at 3:33 am

The bottom line of this story is one need not be a great man with achievements to his credit or a rich man who has amassed his wealth or a man in power to inspire others.Ordinary people in small positions can inspire by their large heart, compassion or giving.The world abounds in such people if only we care to look around.Lucky you have a maid to inspire you.

Rajlakshmi · March 6, 2014 at 3:47 am

Wow she is one inspiring Lady… To feel the pain of a little girl and bringing her as own. Such compassion and empathy In people is hardly seen these days.

Corinne Rodrigues · March 6, 2014 at 4:04 am

What an inspiring start to my morning Shailaja! The so-called simple people always teach us the best lessons.
Thanks for the mention.

Roshan Radhakrishnan · March 6, 2014 at 4:16 am

Wow… this is seriously awe inspiring. How many people would have done that? It's people like this who restore your faith in humanity more than any of the feted superstars and politicians.

Kalpana Solsi · March 6, 2014 at 4:29 am

Shailaja , we all have to ask ourselves a question , What would we have done in a similar situation? As you said I too cannot answer this question as my heart may not be as magnanimous as her. One does not have to be highly affluent or famous to help somebody. The girl is a lucky human being. And one fact is being overlooked in this whole story. The girl's mother though traumatized has not right to take up to drinking.

Eli Z · March 6, 2014 at 4:34 am

What a truly beautiful story:-) That is a woman with a good soul you have in your life – truly inspiring:-) And so true: inspiration can come from anyone, and sometimes when you least expect it:-) Gread read:-)

iamstri · March 6, 2014 at 4:34 am

Shailaja, that gave me tears and goosebumps. Inspiration, humanity, love at it's peak. I am sharing this in my FB group, hope you don't mind 🙂 · March 6, 2014 at 4:42 am

Respect for women like this! I am not sure if I would have the same thing either. It takes a lot of courage to become someone's saviour. I guess God's angels are walking around everywhere. We just never notice them much. Loved reading this Shailaja. She is truly an inspiration. <3

Hemlata Kukreja · March 6, 2014 at 4:45 am

What a touching story! I don't know either what I would do if I would have been in her place. Sharing it on my facebook page…

Bhagyashree · March 6, 2014 at 5:27 am

She said it so nonchalantly. For most of us it would be a tough decision. The way she said of the other woman was also so normal, no blame game or fault finding. And then she wasn't trying to trumpet about her 'good deed'. Hats off to her

Vidya Sury · March 6, 2014 at 5:57 am

I love that woman.
I love you.
Thank you for connecting with me!



Carol Graham · March 6, 2014 at 6:28 am

Definitely ISPIRING. I loved your post and the story touched my heart. When you said you wish you could become half the woman she was — I believe you already are!

Jini Fernandez · March 6, 2014 at 6:33 am

I agree with what Kalpana Solsi says : The girl's mother though traumatized has not right to take up to drinking. Anyway the world does not work the right way, very often.
As far as the story is concerned, i would've the heart and the mind do what ur maid has done, but would have terribly failed to convince my fail to follow suit.

Beloo Mehra · March 6, 2014 at 6:39 am

Truly inspirational. Thanks for writing about this wonderful woman.

Archana · March 6, 2014 at 7:26 am

its a real story?? kudos to your maid!!!

jaish_vats · March 6, 2014 at 7:51 am

Wow, what a wonderful human being. You are absolutely right. Inspiration need not come only from those making it to the newspaper headlines. Its all around us.

Aditi · March 6, 2014 at 8:02 am

Shailaja I'm speechless. True you can find inspiration anywhere. I want to hug her and you! Such a lovely post 🙂

Aarthy · March 6, 2014 at 9:19 am

What a woman! It takes sheer greatness to do such a big thing when she herself is working hard to keep life going.

Shilpa Garg · March 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

Wow!! This is so admirable!! Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story, Shailaja 🙂

Sreeja Praveen · March 6, 2014 at 10:30 am

Goosebumps all the way ! What an inspiring story this is, Shailaja 🙂 Love that woman ! Convey our wishes to her, pls !! God bless !

Mina Menon · March 6, 2014 at 11:35 am

woow… now thst impressive or wat! Imagine feeding an extra mouth when hse must be already struggling to make ends meet!

Richa Singh · March 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I am sitting here feeling numb. the sheer impact of it was a lot. And that woman of course did a wonderful deed you perhaps did one too today by sharing her story with us, thank you so much 🙂


nibhz · March 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Wow!! I know this story is gonna stay with me forever!! There is so much to learn from anyone to everyone! Wonderful story!

mystickuheli · March 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm

To be compassionate we really don't need a college degree, but a heart. Exceptional read. 🙂

sulekkha · March 6, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I salute that brave and generous woman and thank you for sharing her inspiring story with us. I don't know what I would have done in her place, she is amazing.

Kajal · March 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm

That's a superb smile in that post, Shailaja 🙂
I loved it when you said ” Be open to inspiration and it will find you and touch your life in more ways than you can imagine” I think that's so true. Keep an open heart, that's all 🙂

Lovely post!

Anita · March 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Very touching story. Truly inspiring…. The world needs more such kind souls…

Dr. Gauri Kekre · March 7, 2014 at 5:22 am

Salute to this woman Shailaja! May God bless her with abundance! And thank you for telling her story 🙂

shellymona · March 7, 2014 at 11:32 am

Why one would dream of heaven when angels tread here in the form of humans….She raised herself high by showing such example….a true inspiration

vishalbheeroo · March 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm

For me, this is inspiration. A woman who brave the storms and yet didn't flinch in adopting a child. This is the power of kindness:)

Aparna · March 8, 2014 at 2:57 am

Tears in my eyes as I read this Shailaja.. truly inspiring indeed. Oddly enough, this was a thought that struck me a few weeks ago when reading about some child in need – if I would have the guts to do something like this if I felt strongly enough about it. I think we have lost the pure empathy that leads to such an action, as we try to plan and ask too many questions about it along the way :(.

psychochef · March 8, 2014 at 6:35 am

Beautiful, Shailaja. Reading this was a lovely way to end my day. Karen

Daniel Nest · March 8, 2014 at 9:21 am

Awesome. This is really inspiring. We can only wish for more people to be like her, including ourselves. · March 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm

That's a beautiful story. I appreciate your reminder to be open to inspiration too. I think that it's too easy to become cynical and closed and view things in a negative light.

Stacie · March 8, 2014 at 12:41 pm

You are lucky to have a friend like that. Very inspiring indeed!

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal · March 8, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Shailaja, we all aspire to be like her. Very touching story.

Michael A. Walker · March 8, 2014 at 5:21 pm

That child is so fortunate to have been rescued by your dear friend. Very inspirational. Selfless love is the best love of all.

Natalie DeYoung · March 8, 2014 at 10:01 pm

What an amazing story. It's taught me to look a little harder for inspiration in my own life.

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

Yes, Tulika. We are more blessed, more fortunate. Yet, we would think before doing this. That's an indisputable fact. All I can do is salute this woman.

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

Indeed we do, Pixie. Just imagine the world being a far better place with more souls like her.

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:17 am

Glad to share this, PB. Thanks for stopping by.

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:17 am

Absolutely Kamini. I may have called Social services. But adopt? I am not sure that would have even crossed my mind!

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:18 am

I am very lucky, KP. And you are right. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things!

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:20 am

No it isn't, Rajlakshmi! What a woman!

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:20 am

You are more than welcome , Corinne. And thanks for being our daily dose of inspiration 🙂

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:21 am

I agree, Roshan. With people like her, we can move mountains. Of how many politicians can you really say that?

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:41 am

You're right, Kalpana. But we don't know the extent of the abuse that she must have faced, in order to turn to drinking in the first place.

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:42 am

Thank you Eli. She has a heart of gold, that one.

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:49 am

So sweet of you to say that! Do share it, by all means!

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:50 am

Right under our noses, Jyothi. I swear I started looking at her with a new-found respect ever since this incident. This changes you.

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:51 am

Thank you Hemlata 🙂

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 11:54 am

That was what I appreciated: the 'no blame, no fault finding'. What an evolved soul you must be to be in that position.

Shailaja V · March 10, 2014 at 12:06 pm

You know I love you, Vidya 🙂 So glad we found each other.

Hugs all the way back!


Ananya N · March 10, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Loved the story.. makes me think what would I do??

Shailaja V · March 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Carol, that made my day 🙂

Shailaja V · March 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm

That's an honest response, Jini. Taking that call to adopt another is not easy.

Shailaja V · March 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm

You're welcome, Beloo. I was glad to share her story.

Shailaja V · March 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Yes, it is Archana 🙂

Shailaja V · March 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm

True, Jaish. Inspiration exists everywhere. We just need to look for it 🙂

Shailaja V · March 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm

I love hugs! Let's have a hug-fest 🙂

Shailaja V · March 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm

I say the same thing to myself every single day. When I see her smiling and going about her work.

Shailaja V · March 14, 2014 at 3:40 pm

More than welcome, Shilpa 🙂

Shailaja V · March 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm

I will do that, Sreeja. Thank you!

Team BlogAdda · March 15, 2014 at 10:59 am

This post has been selected for the Spicy Saturday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging 🙂

Shailaja V · March 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Absolutely Mina. What a woman!

Shailaja V · March 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Thanks for that, Richa. Every time I see her, my heart feels better. So good to know there are people like her in this world.

Shailaja V · March 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Thank you Nibha 🙂

Shailaja V · March 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm

You are so right 🙂 Thank you!

Shailaja V · March 16, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Glad to share her story, Sulekha!

Suzy · March 24, 2015 at 7:48 am

Truly an inspirational woman and such a compassionate one too. God bless her. We need more like her in this world.

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