Circle of Strength-The Women in My Life| #WSWBlogHop
I am the youngest in a large family of 5 siblings – 2 elder sisters and 2 elder brothers. I have sensed this enduring influence of sisterhood from the days of my youth. The stereotype that women don’t support other women needs a rethink. I always believe if one woman has immense power, collectively we can make a huge impact. There is power in a pack; I am going to share my Circle of Strength-The Women in My Life who have made me the woman I am today.
The first one would always be my mom, whom we fondly called “Chaiji”.Though she lost her mother as an eight-year-old she shouldered the onus of being a surrogate mother; to her two younger siblings but her tribulations did not end there! Married off young, having a son soon after but tragically losing two daughters during the horrific tragedy of partition; living an uprooted life of a refugee in a camp, she had seen it all. Pawning off her jewellery to survive and moving into the hinterland town of Vijayawada; amidst people who spoke a strange language, she bore four more children. We were a middle-class family. To this day I marvel at how she managed the household expenses with the meagre income my dad earned. We got the best education possible; there was always good food on our table, cooked with tremendous love.
My sisters, Harinder and Swarndeep Kaur were my first teachers. I was in lower kindergarten at age 4. But was promoted two classes ahead on the strength of their coaching me at home! Thanks to them, I started reading very young and I became a certified bookworm. I am eternally grateful to them for being my first gurus.
Circle of Strength-The Women in My Life
Oprah said, ‘SURROUND YOURSELF WITH ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO LIFT YOU HIGHER’ ; that is what I am doing now.
My Daughter, my Strength
For me, the one hand that continues to be a lifeline to this day is that of my daughter. Esha Singh is my pillar and what a remarkable young lady she has turned out to be! My heart swells with pride when I see how she emerged stronger after losing her beloved dad; that too as a teenager when she needed him the most. She even topped the school in the board exams that year! She is now one of the lead political campaigners at IPAC; the company with the Midas touch in the victories of many a political party in India.
My husband’s sudden demise caught me unawares. From being a homemaker and a full-time mom, I was thrown into the hurly-burly of the outside world; to start a career at the age of 40. Esha sensed the financial crunch we were facing and she started giving tuitions at 15. At an age when her peers were attending coaching classes for higher studies; she tutored school children to add income to the family kitty. And when in the 11th and 12th grade she taught Spoken English to adults at an Institute where I was teaching too! That was her calibre and I was a witness to her grit even then.
As they say, there is power in the pack and our duo made a formidable team. The truth is that we needed to band together to weather the storm that had hit us. She is my self-appointed bodyguard, my best friend and my go-to person whenever I am feeling low. She peps me up and helps me over the worst of my anxiety episodes.
I knew she had great potential and although it meant living alone, I let her spread her wings and fly the nest; she graduated from Miranda House, New Delhi. While in College she never left an opportunity to intern at different places; landed her first job as soon as she graduated at the ripe age of 20. She was a research scholar to the editor at Vayu magazine. And then stepped on to the Election bandwagon with CAG and now IPAC. I am the luckiest mother on this planet to have Esha as my daughter?
My Guardian Angel-Moushmi
Moushmi Kapadia, mother to two lovely boys (one of whom was born with muscular dystrophy) is the most multifaceted person whom I have encountered in my life! She’s an entrepreneur cum graphic designer, Zumba trainer, an avid biker, adventure sports freak, globe trotter and I’d like to call her my Guardian Angel. I met her as a part of a group on Facebook. It was on a visit to Mumbai to be with my daughter that I personally met her for the first time. What followed in the years to come as a severe spine injury which was operated upon leading to loss of a job and a severe financial crunch. This led to depression and my life seemed to be rapidly going downhill.
Friends in my immediate environment were of no help in my moment of despair and I had suicidal tendencies at this point. That’s when out of the blue came a call from my Guardian Angel Moushmi. She understood my deep distress and called my daughter who was residing in a different city to fly me down to Mumbai pronto! That’s how I’m still alive to narrate this story to you! In ten days with alternative therapy, I re-joined humanity so to speak, returned home reborn, rejuvenated and healed. Angels do exist and such miracles do happen is my belief and I stand by it. Moushmi is an empathetic, devoted, trusted soul mate and bosom pal not just to me but a 100 others as well. May she always be surrounded by love!
My chaddi-buddy Kalpana
Finally, I have to tell you about my chaddi-buddy Kalpana. After being buddies since we were four in primary school to graduating in high school as 17-year-olds we experienced it all. But we lost touch after that for many years. After marriage, widowhood, depression and being pulled out of it by Moushmi, I was desperate to have genuine friends around me. I put an all-out effort to trace the whereabouts of my school buddies. And I should pat my back for managing to contact 15 of them in a matter of days! I formed a Watsapp group with them on the 29th October 2015 and within a month we had a reunion of the Class of ‘78!
And thereon began a symbiotic relationship, she is my BAE, a pillar of support, my soul mate who listens unconditionally to my innermost voice. Being non-judgemental and supporting me in my low moments and resoundingly applauding every little achievement makes her my “go-to” person now. When women in your life not only nudge you when you take a wrong turn, teach you what they have experienced and learnt from, bring home positive vibes then you know you’ve made a lifelong connection. Women need to be MAS aka Mutual Admiration Sources and we have that with each other. My day does not satisfactorily end if I’ve not had a conversation with her and at this very moment I’m hosting her and my city is being painted red all over!!
Circle of Strength-The Women in My Life
Kalpana-The woman that she Is
A small aside about my BAE Kalpana..this mother of two successful children who has settled abroad, had a severe blip on her health radar and conquered a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the abdominal area. She now volunteers with a senior-care NGO named UDHAVI as she believes in sharing time and spreading cheer with her sunny disposition in the lonely world of elders.
Essentially all these amazing women in my life have underlined an important MANTRA … be there for another woman, lift her up when she is down, applaud her achievements, celebrate with her! Madeline Albright may have said and I quote “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women “……but I’d rather give it a twist and say “There is a special place in heaven for women who help other women”!
‘EMPOWERED WOMEN, EMPOWER WOMEN.’
Celebrating and sharing another woman’s triumphs or achievements does not take away from your shine or glory. It will only add to it and create more light. I am a part of the women supporting women community #WSWBlogHop and I rightly believe that we should support, empower and grow together. I am overwhelmed with the motivating and inspiring blogs from these dazzling women in this blog hop. Check out all the links Here and do tell me how you liked Circle of Strength-The Women in My Life
If you want to know more about me read The Woman That I am