When she went for the U.N. Peacekeeping mission, our lives did a complete 360: Huma Hazarika

HUMA HAZARIKA shares endearing memories of her mother Late Yamin Hazarika, former DCP, Delhi Police

“Wow! Can’t believe it’s been nearly 20 years since we last saw her, and yet each memory is so sharply etched in our minds. Our mother, late Yamin Hazarika, seems anything but a distant memory. For every small decision we take even today, and how we have chosen to live our lives is so greatly influenced by how she brought us up, and the values she had inculcated in us.

Our mum juggled between being a single mother, and a police officer, and was the hardest worker we knew (she would often be out the doors as early as 5 am when duty called). What made her the best mother though was the fact that she always made time for us no matter what. Be it surprising us at school, taking us along to all these fancy grown-up parties, or exposing us to the more cultural side of things like plays and musicals. Our mum was really something, and if we could be even half the person she was, we would pat ourselves on the back, and say “mission accomplished!”

So, when she decided to try out for the U.N. Peacekeeping missions abroad, our lives did a complete 360. Not many would know this, but apart from it being an extremely challenging and exciting opportunity for her, she also did it for us, her kids. She did it so she could provide us the best education and opportunities in the years to come. Little did she realise then that she had been doing that for us all along, but I guess that’s how mothers are.

So her hard work finally paid-off, and she got through the U.N., and was packed off to Bosnia-Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia) for a year-long stint in the aftermath of their civil war. Us, the kids, were put in boarding schools in Dehradun (perhaps the best decision she could have taken to shape our respective futures). Unfortunately, roughly three months into her year-long stint, she was diagnosed with Leukemia, and had to come back home to seek treatment.

Knowing her, we know now that she was absolutely devastated, but not once did she let it show, nor impact us. She would still have her sunny disposition, and fought the cancer hard, and went into remission after undergoing treatment at the Tata institute in Bombay. Unfortunately, she had a relapse soon after, and after spending a month in the hospital, she finally breathed her last on 24th July, 1999. 

As devastating as it was for us to lose the only parent we really knew (and of course, our best friend), she did such a fantastic job of raising us, that even till this day we don’t rue her death, but instead try and celebrate her each chance we get.”

(In a bid to pay tribute to this iconic daughter of Assam, Women’s Hub, a collective of women professionals instituted an award in her memory in 2015.  Late Hazarika was a 1977-batch DANIPS (NCT of Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service) officer and rose to be DCP, Delhi Police. The Yamin Hazarika Woman of Substance Award strives to honour eminent women in different fields. The first award was given to noted journalist and author Indrani Raimedhi and in the second year it was given to Tayabun Nisha, veteran athlete. This year, the award will be presented to noted actor Moloya Goswami on May 21, 2017).