A Girl Who Asked Why & why not?
Growing up in Armed forces family is the best thing that happened to me. As my dad was in a transferable job, serving in Indian Air Force, I had the best upbringing a girl child could have ever asked for. I was born in Calcutta, studied in Gujrat, Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Coimbatore etc and raised up more as an Indian as supposed to someone from only one state! I loved that clarity about my life and shall be indebted to the armed forces environment forever, for the same!
Growing up as girl child with dark complexion was always something that was often brought forward to me by the school mates and relatives who raised dowry questions on the same. The more pride I took being an Indian, the more I was faced with such ugly side of our society which needed to be questioned. There came my first WHY should a girl child with beautiful dark complexion must be a subject of less interest or worry?
During my teenage, I remember listening to conversation of my parents about dowry requirements for my marriage and their retirement plans, which brought me to my second WHY parents begin to worry about girl child and her future which is related to marriage? Why marriage plans take over career plans for a girl child?
When challenged at school for my sports skills my answer to them was my national volleyball medal.
When my interest to pursue hotel management course was questioned, I graciously shared with them my gold medal at Bharthiar University in 2003.
I had just completed my hotel management and got my first job at ITC Park Sheraton Chennai, I clearly remember the date 5th May 2003, which was one of the most joyous day of my life. The very thought of providing financial support to my parents and becoming independent brought tears of joy and gave me wings to fly.
Staying any longer in India was taking me closer to my parents’ desire to get me married off and was drifting me away from my desire to achieve big in life. I am selfish as I never wanted to settle down with just a title of being mother, daughter, wife etc. I wanted an identity for myself along with all the other titles.
My dream of working abroad became a reality during 2005 and pursuing same was nothing less than winning a civil war at home. My mom’s fear to send her only girl child abroad brought worst anxiety in her. There came my Third WHY parents fear the worst when it comes to letting girls fly? Why girls are made to feel insecure about themselves?
After a great struggle my father allowed me and entrusted me with exploring my life, which meant locking my mom in one room and letting me jump off the window to pursue my dreams. I ran as fast as I could to catch the flight from Bangalore to Dubai or should I say a flight from my fears to my dreams…
Landing in a different land brought many challenges which at the same time brought the best out of me. Little did I know that my promise to return to my dad in one year would be forgotten so soon. I loved every bit of being myself. I made great friends and not so great ones too! I was liked my few and not liked my many. I guess that’s what I love about life the most…the uncertainty.
I flew so high, fought like tigress and every obstacle that came my way was handled with such dignity that I fell in love with my own identity. I worked with some great hospitality brands in 7 different countries.
During this phase not only did I fight with the external world but had to deal with life’s ugly turmoil of going through a rough break up and depression. There came my next WHY, why being a strong successful girl I was still vulnerable to handle this phase. Why people are intimidated by successful girls? I realized one thing at that time, “no one can help us better than just us!’’ I decided to pull myself together from all corners and challenged myself to come out of it like a warrior. Being a lady is a pride we need to take and I hold my head high for the same.
I gave my best shot to my career which fetch me best Housekeeper of the Middle East award in 2014, followed by Best Asian Executive housekeeper award in 2017.
I started contributing to my father’s dream of owning his own house without any loans. I worked. very hard to accomplish his goals. I then sponsored my own wedding which took my parents by a surprise.
Going out of my comfort zone and questioning many so called social barricades brought me to my choice in life. I became independent, found the love of my life and was blessed with a life as gorgeous as one could ask for. Being a leader and not a boss is the success story of my life.
The best part of my story is that I have become a role model to my family, friends and many followers. My parents are spending their quality time in educating others to allow their girl child to dream big and think beyond gender and complexion and motivating them to challenge so called rotten social expectations from girls!
Another million-dollar fact is that behind every successful woman there is another woman and few great men too. I wish to thank my mom who taught me selflessness, my father, brother and husband for being real gentlemen who equated their success with that of the girls in their life, Mamdouh Salem, my mentor from Egypt, who taught me the art of winning battles with grace and my daughter who brought the worldly happiness to me and pushed me to become a great women of substance in all aspects of my life.
Whilst all titles a woman is given like mother, daughter, sister, friend etc. are an absolute honor and grace, I still feel that adding another title of your career can add more value to your life.
I now leave you with the below…
If questioning the norm can get the best out of you and reward you with ecstasy, then it’s time to ask WHY & WHY NOT?
Corporate Housekeeper for HMH
Ajman – UAE