Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 10th 2015 Contents | FAMILY |
4| WOW MAGAZINE
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 10, 2015
By Bavina Sookdeo
AS I ENTERED the Persad home, I was met by a beautiful
woman, and instantaneously felt connected to her. I ap-
proached her to shake her hand but, affectionate mother
that she is, she hugged me. From that moment, my inter-
view with Prabhawatee Persad seemed more like wis-
dom being passed from mother to daughter.
Fifty-seven-year-old Persad is the ideal representation of
a Hindu mother. She carries out her duties with pride and
love, silently working in the background, ensuring that
everyone in her family is happy and comfortable.
As a child, Persad was very sheltered. She cherishes her
childhood, and although it was not an easy one, places
high value on her memories and the morals instilled in her
and her siblings. "Coming from a typical Hindu home, we
had to do chores," she related. "We had to take the co-
coyea broom and sweep, make the beds, and ensure that
everything was in order before we left for school."
Her mother, Kaloutee Maharaj, was a professional seam-
stress, and her father, Dipnarine Maharaj, a taxi driver.
With meagre earnings, they toiled to provide for their chil-
dren and to educate them. "It was a real struggle for my
parents to send us to school." Still, all children attended
college -- a major achievement in those days.
She would go to the Convent in Arima and do missionary
work as a girl. From a very early age, she insisted that
there is only one religion, and that is 'love'. At 18 she got
married. She was at the time an interior decorator at Kir-
palani's --- the only female working with seven men. Even
then, she was able to command the respect of others. A
woman spotted her and arranged for her to meet with
her brother. Forty years later, the couple are the parents
of four children -- Vivekananda, Varune, Valinee, and Veda.
Persad and her husband, Harrinarine Persad, worked to
take care of his family. The young woman had to manage
the home, the chores and the children. That meant she
had to learn to drive, take the children to school and to all
extra-curricular activities -- karate, pan, lessons. How did
she handle all of this? "It must have been the angels and
the Gods. I do my devotions so I know God is with me. My
whole life is a puja."
Hindu women are taught to be devoted to their husbands.
Persad used her strength in God and the morals with
which she was brought up to ensure that her marriage
worked. "I was very innocent. My husband didn't want me
to work, and while he behaved in ways I did not appreci-
ate, I understand now that he did those things because
he was protective --- the world can be cruel." She pointed
out that nothing is perfect, and sometimes as women, we
need to forgive our partners. "We were taught as Hindu
women to hold the fort. We get up and we go again. We
are that Shakti (power), we are the goddesses walking
the earth, and we have to realise that and be that. You are
ordinary, but you do ordinary things in an extraordinary
Her advice to young women who are in relationships:
"Girls have to know their partners and understand who
they are. We as women tend to suppress things and
show the happy side --- we suffer in silence and we go into
ourselves. It is an experience we have to go through to
become who we should be. Do not become like men; do
not lose yourselves. Be the goddesses that you are. See
the light in every one. My husband is a devoted and pow-
erful soul. I respect him in many ways." Persad empow-
ered herself by doing research on the Internet, and by
taking several counselling and healing courses. How does
she guide her children and place them back on track when
she sees them going astray? "As a mother, you should be
silent, be an onlooker. If there is a problem, children will
come to you, and you should only intervene when things
are getting out of hand. I belong to no one, and no one be-
longs to me. As a mother you should learn to love, but
The children that this graceful mother has raised are all
well placed in society. They are all spiritual and one, Veda,
is a pandit. "Even though their daddy was hardly around,
he was heavily involved in Ramleela and Krishnaleela. My
children are all strong spiritually."
Persad shares a very close relationship with her children.
"I know they all love me dearly and I love them even more
-- only a mother will understand this. I feel humbled, and
feel pure joy when I see who they have become."
She wished to thank her children, her husband and par-
ents, and gave special thanks to the people who came
into her life, those who left and those who stayed, for life's
valuable lessons. "It is right to give thanks and praise," she
said, "so even in the good and bad you learn your lessons
and continue on your journey."
A woman is someone very special in Hinduism. Her father
protects her in childhood, her husband protects her in
youth, and her sons protect her in old age. A mother is es-
pecially important; her role in holding the reins of her fam-
ily can never be overlooked. The family's strength and
stability is the mother of the home. Prabhawatee Persad
perfectly fits the saying 'Maatri devo bhava' (mother is
divine). She is truly a graceful goddess, who silently gives
great blessings and support to her family.
Links Archive May 9th 2015 May 11th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page