My heroes

You certainly have heroes in your life once you start looking around and acknowledging them. I am lucky to have such people in my life that have impacted my subconscious mind from early on and inspire to do better everyday. The qualities that you once took for granted or at times even underestimated unravel more and more the longer you are on this journey called “life”.

I often talk about values and their importance in life or business. A lot of them form because we choose to put the work in and develop them. The largest chunk, however, comes from where we come from – the family.

This post is on a personal side and has been on my mind for long.

Dedicated to my grandma – Sevil (Seva).

I carry the warmest childhood memories with her as she is the “typical” grandma in the sense of keeping extra sweets in case we come by. But not only. In my teens I would mainly go to her place after classes (almost every day) or spend the whole summer together in our summer house. She is the one who taught me how to sew the buttons, do the laundry& hang the clothes (the right way!), spend hours in the kitchen to clean every centimeter of the stove (because of grease), “beat” the the wool (very old school practice) to make the countless mattresses she would produce manually, to remove the weed in the garden with a special tool, make warm sweeten bread, peel the figs and make preserves (it was a collective work involving many other family members).

These are just some tangible skills she passed on me as a child as a part of our free-time activities. In the meantime, she is actively (up-to-date) working as a Associate Professor in Biology at Baku State University. We would often join in on her field trips, as part of practical assignments along with students, taking place mainly in Quba/Altiaghach (the northern part of Azerbaijan). She would patiently pick the flowers and explain what group this particular plant belongs to and keep on lecturing on it. I would always witness students´amazement, respect, appreciation and involvement. To say that I felt proud is to say nothing. I wanted to scream this is MY grandma.

Even on my last visit (May, 2019) I saw the notes on her desk – usual routine – preparing for the next day full of lectures (with over 50 years experience in it). Overall, her curiosity in global and local politics by reading newspapers, listening to radio and even adapting to modern technology-yes she has a smartphone and a whatsapp too!

Her personality is yet another topic. She would always give the most uncomfortable comment disregarding the social hierarchical status – very unusual to any society I would say – because it was the ugly truth? Every time you call her and know she probably had a rough day and ask “how are you?” – her reply stays the same with full of life and energy “GREAT!”. One thing that I found out recently struck me very emotionally when I realized why she was persistent on doing one favor for years now. The answer was because she promised to her sister (who sadly passed away a year ago). Her unlimited willingness to do things on her own and stay independent which means never afraid of “work” – to the level that we have to negotiate on terms on how far she should be doing it on her own.

There are thousand other big&small details I am very much likely missing on to share here. But you are the person I look up to and will always do.

You are my hero, Seva.

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