Pocket Money - We had none but a determined Mother

Raj Mehta

Major General Raj S. Mehta, AVSM, VSM is a retired Army veteran with 39 years in uniform. He has a Masters degree in English (Panjab University 1975), an M. Phil. in National Security (1996) and yet again in International Security (2001) from Madras University.

In 1998 he sustained a serious injury in an encounter with foreign terrorists while commanding an Army formation as a Brigadier in Kashmir.

Post retirement, Major General Mehta has consciously become an educationist. He has forayed into writing about heroes, ecology, women as equals but different; and on security, nuclear and terrorism as well as HR issues affecting the military. He demystifies failure and labels it as an essential stepping stone to success by recounting his many personal failures. He also speaks to children across India on 'Reaching for the sky'.

Major General Mehta builds war museums; he has worked on many and delivered several. He heads Sarthi Museum Consultants based in Mohali, Punjab.

Pocket Money – We had none but a determined Mother.

The title asking about the story of how did you deal with your’ Pocket Allowance’ in your growing up years?

 The presumption is that there was a pocket allowance.- a bit presumptuous, one might say...this feeling that respondents lived childhood in matching circumstances.

The assumption has unintended cruelty.

But here's my story :

My father was a big man who left us suddenly just past 50 on Katihar Railway Platform Retiring Room.

Katihar  Railway Station 

My Mother was a comely 33 with five kids weaning to 10. She came back from the funeral at Patna, a woman with grey hair...She fought with authority bitterly for a Rs 150 per month pension.

Getting it, she put us in Lucknow's top schools. We walked to school and back...has basic food and a tough upbringing.

We did not know what pocket money was. We knew we had all Mother could give. The family did not let her down; her children grew up without black sheep...They made her smile as she grew old...older...passed away 53 years after she lost Father, her ashes merging into the cold Narmada waters at Bhera Ghat, Marble Rocks, Jabalpur... Her grit made up for "pocket money".

Pocket Money – We had none but a determined Mother.

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