It is with immense pleasure and an honor on my part to nominate Mrs. Leela Ranganathan,, affectionately called "Manni" a term popularly used to refer one's brother's wife or uncle's wife-in this case my uncle's wife as an" Unsung Heroine".
Born in Bangalore ,married to Mr. Ranganathan and relocated to Chennai at the age of 18 to a house hold of 12 siblings, and extended family, she adorned the title of the eldest Daughter-in-law with pride and poise and has been/is the back bone of the family. Although marrying into big families was the norm in those days ( 65 years back give or take) ,not all the daughter-in-laws, exuded her love for the family and togetherness .She has been instrumental in bringing up the little sister-in-laws, and the nieces and nephews ,shaping their future ,backing the elders in marriage of said siblings of my uncle and providing them the support needed to educate and soar to success in their respective fields.
In all these years, what is astonishing is how she remembers the likes and dislikes of not only every brother-in-law/sister-in-law but also the kids in the family. In an age where we rely on smart phones for every date and detail ,manning a household of 26 members give or take in a day with all the manual labor and tedious chores involved never has she missed a birthday or anniversary ; such is her memory till date. Her energy and enthusiasm to learn new recipes to entice the grandkids and keep up with the times never ceases to amaze me. She is a treasure trove of all things family, be it family customs, rituals, traditional recipes and the like. I'm proud to be her protege' and ardent fan for she was the one who brought up my mother and from time immemorial I was too..