When life seems fragmented and confusing, negativity pours in, heart tries to shatter into pieces, self-esteem happens to ebb away drop by drop to create a void within— there is only one thing that keeps the breath going is, hope! We all have been there at some point of time; whereas life is simple, priceless and worth living— we tend to get mucked up by the situations that are not in our control, that cause worry, pain, heartbreak, stress—and all that prepare the base for an unhealthy emotional condition.
You might have wondered sometimes, what does it really mean to be happy, content, and emotionally healthy! Have you ever wondered how your psychological wellness effects what you are and what you become in your life! It has less to do with the problems in your life, rather how you deal with them, accept them, embrace them as a part of life and shine out brighter like a star! So, this Women’s Day we bring you some of the inspirational stories of women who lived life, confronted adversities like fighters, etched out their destiny and rose from the ashes like phoenixes. We salute each of those women who have given us enough reasons to believe that life is beautiful and the courage to live it to the hilt with passion and enthusiasm!
Born in a lower middle class family of five brothers and two sisters, I was left to grow without much of attention from either of my parents. Getting admission in school was a luxury for us. At the age of 15, I started a tailoring business with my friend and after two years, I started my own business with only two rupees in hand. I used to buy and sell books, papers, and make paper covers. I always wanted to go to school and study but I didn’t give up even when the situation didn’t allow me to. I started learning from the school text books, story books or everything readable that I used to buy as a dump of waste papers. I used to listen to the tutors who would come to teach my brothers’ kids and learn maths sitting outside the room. I didn’t get married as I had to take care of my mother and mentally challenged younger brother. Today, looking back at my life makes me stronger and satisfied.
My passion for dance has proven to be the strength that led me to root out all the adversities and motivated me to keep going. Severe back injuries in my early teens left me physically unfit and racked me emotionally. It was when I started practicing therapeutic yoga and attended different wellness workshops in an attempt to heal my mental and physical weaknesses. Born in a conservative family, dancing had never got acceptance as my career choice, but I believed in my work and perseverance. While I was working on my weaknesses to bring a positive outlook towards life, I wanted to do something for people who have insecurities with their body and then, Stretch N Dance was born. Today, Stretch N Dance is not only a dancing institution, but also a therapeutic centre that focuses on healing mind and strengthening body through dance and yoga.
I was an obese child and diagnosed with osteoarthritis at an early age. I had received names like “Tuntun”, “Moti” during my days at school and college. It was a mental trauma for a person to be recognized only by her body shape. There were days when I skipped meals just to lose weight. Then came the crucial phase—the postpartum phase. One day a friend told me, “You have a new name now. In our campus people call you, The lady with Big Bum!” That was humiliating and downright rude, I thought! But, due to my health condition, the only fitness choice I had was some water activities. It was my self-motivation that helped me complete my Aqua fitness course in Singapore, ACE certification, and Crossfit; and then I decided to choose Aqua Fitness as my career. My family was not very happy with it as it opposed to the dignified career option for women. But time decides who the winner is! I would like to tell all the women out there, “There is no age to learn new things. Believe in yourself and success will kiss your feet.”
I met with an accident while cycling at the age of 10. It seemed minor to all till doctor ascertained my spinal cord was majorly hurt and the nerves were hugely affected. In past 30 years, I have undergone at least twenty-two surgeries that made me bed-ridden and my family bankrupted. As a person, I would feel I had given my family a paralyzed father who had a heart attack seeing me as a near lifeless body, a divorced brother who parted ways with his wife to be my incomparable caretaker and a helpless mother. But, among all this, something in me refused to give up. I completed my MSc in Mathematics through distance learning, learned handicraft works and now I teach Maths, own a small business of tailoring and handicraft works which also include training women in making various handicrafts and helping them become independent.
An essential part of being emotionally healthy and strong is to value who you are! Often women get torn between the myriad of roles, responsibilities and their own selves. When things make you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and appreciate yourself for what you are. Always remember, you are unique, you are the one who has immense power to change everything and turn them in your favour. You are the source of humongous positivism, a larger than life presence, outstanding self-confidence, and that’s what make you a gem of a person. This Women’s Day, we bow down to all the women for their immense courage to fight all the odds and emerge as stars. Yes, “It takes balls to be women” and YOU are that most charismatic aura our society has!