We may not always realise it, but our mothers do make us stronger, and teach us how to stand up for ourselves better than anybody else in the world. For most women lucky enough to have a mother ever-present in their lives, this is the first example of womanhood we encounter. It’s no wonder that women either want to be the exact replicas of their amazing mothers, or go the exact opposite way.

For Hernoor Grewal and her four sisters, their mother has always been the most positive influence in their lives. And when she recently got married, Grewal insisted that her mother perform all the rituals usually performed by the men from the bride’s side.

Grewal shared her story, and a very important photo from her wedding: “In this photo my Mum is giving me away at my wedding-a cultural custom that is reserved for men. I am 1 of 5 girls, we don’t have a brother and our Dad left the scene some years ago. If your father isn’t present at your wedding, it’s expected that you will find some other suitable male to take part.”

The story was promoted by Pink Ladoo, an organisation which aims to stop gender-biased customs and practices that still plague South Asian cultures. And this story is really inspiring.

Grewal explains in her post that after her dad left the scene, “the community were quick to blame our Mum entirely.” Like hundreds of other girls growing up without a father or a brother, Grewal had to hear condescending comments from relatives, family friends and neighbours.

People might not realise the sort of effects this kind of talk results in. In Grewal’s case, her sister’s wedding got cancelled because the prospective-groom’s family thought “that our family had too many girls.”

These conditions often lead to young women getting broken under the pressure societal standards and expectations lay on us. But Grewal’s mother always shielded her growing daughters. “Our Mum stood strong in the face of the gossip-making aunties and uncles in our community even though she was probably crumbling and devastated on the inside. She raised us to believe that we do not need to depend on a man for our happiness or emotional/financial stability, and that we should learn to stand on our own two feet as early as possible, and as much as possible,” Grewal says in her post.-