Reading Comprehension Practice Set ~ 12

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Dear Aspirants, Practice This Reading Comprehension articles practice test set 12 To Improve Your Comprehension Skills For Banks Exams like IBPS PO, IBPS CLERK, SBI PO, SBI CLERK, and Others. We try our best to provide you quality content of Reading Comprehension.

I used to ask my mother about her life before my birth. Ma would look down at her hands, pause, and work away fastidiously without mentioning anything about her past, her desires for the moment, or the bridge that binds the past to this present. I was foolish. Today, I know not to ask about such matters.

In a land over 8,000 miles away in a place, I call “home” I am not known in my own right, but as my mother’s daughter. I am told stories of my mother’s youth — of her ethereal grace, captivating charm, candour and innocence. Outside the corners of the abode, murmurs manifest as whispers: “Is Bobby back from the U.S.?” As the rustic dinner plates, the batis and thalis are retrieved from the cabinet on the special occasion of the arrival of the grandchildren, I discover they are inscribed with my mother’s name. They remind me of a time and place where my mother is still special, beyond the ordinariness of our daily existence.

My maternal grandparents were both academics who raised their daughters just as Mr and Mrs Banerjee raised their sons’ next door. While the Sinha residence looked forward, it was still far from being a microcosm of society at large. Norms do not permeate into vacuums and my mother’s upbringing was no exception. A daughter was raised to be a Renaissance woman, the perfect wife and mother, but little else was pre-ordained.

My mother had an arranged marriage. She grudges the term and prefers “introduction marriage” or “negotiated marriage”. The semantic variations aside, she married my father after meeting him once.

She wanted to be an academic, to read, study, teach. She wanted to become a dancer. A singer likes her mother. Instead, she bookmarked her dreams, committed to the vision she shared with my father — greater opportunities for the children. While my mother gave me the world, I took away hers.

My mother made a sacrifice: leaving her fate to chance. She moved halfway around the world with a man she barely knew, to a country that is as fixated on order as India is to chaos. She could neither speak to other Americans nor family; the wonders of modern telephony had not yet reached to vast swathes of India and she would have to contend with the vagaries of international mail. Correspondence with home was carefully fitted into two sheets of paper.

Even as I grew up, my mother made plans and then cancelled trips to India, vacillating between her desire to see her parents, to feel the warmth of her family back home and her duties as a wife and a mother. She did not stand alongside either of her parents when they took their last breath; instead, she stood by my sister and me.

The expectations for Indian women are inordinate. They are expected to be the ideal daughter-in-law, wife, mother, and community member — respectful in the face of social criticism, subservient to those who hold a stake, and diligent to maintaining the hongshar.

Immigration can be alienating. My parents joined the local Bengali Association wherever they lived. While some provided a niche to socialise with other Bengali families, revelling in traditions that were missed from back home, other Bengali Associations functioned like rumour mills in an oligarchist collective — hardly a substitute for the world she left behind.

There are nights when my mother braids my hair. As her fingers massage my scalp, she lets out advice that bares the loneliness of a home-maker. “I wouldn’t want to raise you to have my life.” I think of Jhumpa Lahiri’s insight: America “absorbs everything… it accommodates differences but always extinguishes them in some way.”

Over 25 years have passed, and I have yet to see my mother baulk from the unending task shongshar brings. There aren’t any “personal days”. I have seen my mother tidy the home with incredible impel to host a dinner for over 40 people, complete with a full suite of decadent Bengali dishes, the weekend after weekend. She has sewn every rip my careless acts brought. She shuttled my sister and me through after-school activities while quizzing us on arithmetic during the trips. Her hands work with dexterity. She never once complained she was exhausted. Never once that she was lonely. Never once asked for anyone’s help.

While she cared for our well-being and tended to our needs and desires, I’m afraid there was no reciprocation. I will never understand her pain, her tribulations, her solitude, or even the things that bring her joy. My mother traded her passions to inculcate mine in a newfound land. The oil continues to burn, producing a flame to last through and through.

As my father’s career has soared, and my sister and I work towards our goals, I cannot help think of the invisible hand that supports us all – my mother’s. As she has imbued us with dreams and aspirations for the future, I will never know what became of her dreams! This is an ache that I will carry forever.

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