May 29, 2023

Employee Spotlight: This International Women’s Day, Be Unapologetically You

The Sanskrit phrase “Aham Brahmasmi” translates to “I am God” or “I am enough.” This concept acknowledges that we are all interconnected with the universe and its creator. Therefore, discrimination and hatred are unnecessary. The whole is only as strong as its parts, and each part contributes to the whole. Gender should not matter because we are all made of the same stardust from the universe and will return home, back to the same universe.

But what is it like to be a woman in a man’s world?

“It’s nothing but a slow glowing dream.

That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind

All alone we cry.

Silent tears full of pride,

In a world made of steel, made of stone!”

– Lyrics from Flashdance

As the lyrics suggest, women may feel like they are living in a world made of steel and stone, and our fears may be hidden deep within our minds. Nevertheless, we believe in ourselves and use our passions to bring our dreams to life. Unfortunately, this does take a huge toll on us because:

We labour in roles and jobs designed for men, work harder to fill these roles. Rather than calling out, we express gratitude for having these opportunities that were previously denied to us. We refrain from calling out, in fear of losing out ,as we are women.

So what do we do ?

We  put in our souls, work harder to prove our worth  and grind ourselves to powder

 All so that we can battle against the cliché mold set for women including  the infinite expectations that come along – dress demurely; speak softly; nurture others; look fair and beautiful; stay within walls, control emotions , reactive vs response lessons,  monthly moods, menopausal, …….

Well yes parts of this I too am guilty of being in the mold.

Nevertheless, as a woman who has spent 54 years on this earth, I am proud of my accomplishments and my conscious efforts to break free from these molds, despite the potential backlash.

So how does each break the boundary? I share my story and here it goes.

 An integral part of my outlook and beliefs has been due to affiliation to the Armed forces-

It has helped build what I call “Military personality” because of being a very male oriented organization (It’s only this year the army decided to give command, front line positions to women! 

1. Communication that shows intention and intensity: Clear and direct communication has been a hallmark of my approach to interacting with others. I attribute this to my time spent at Army Public Schools, where there is little room for ambiguity or self-doubt. While some may view this communication style, verbal and actions, as abrupt or impolite, I find it to be efficient and effective in cutting through the noise and achieving clarity of purpose.

2. Confidence to dare and perseverance to succeed: I left a well-paying job at the age of 28 to focus on raising my daughters because I believed in my ability to pick up from where I left.  And since then, I have taken on various challenges such as choreographing a fashion show for one of the largest Hotel management chains in Kolkata with no prior experience; participating in YouTube promotional activities for Frank Finn across Mumbai; setting up a  Business for Training corporates such as banks and educational institutes ;running multiple marathons including 2 ultra-marathons, and even holding art exhibitions to inspire other women to go out and dare. Do not wait for the world to make way for you. My current role in the outdoor advertising industry is yet another example of my willingness to step out of my comfort zone and take on new challenges.

3. We are different: My military discipline has taught me to value both our similarities and acknowledge that differences define who we are, what we believe in. It has helped me appreciate that our unique experiences and perspectives are what make us who we are, and that there is no one right or wrong way to view the world. This has been a valuable lesson in promoting self-reflection and fostering greater acceptance of others.

As sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, friends, aunts, grandmothers see and recognize us not only as caregivers, providers, supporters but also as leaders, path breakers, visionaries.

Undoubtedly, the men, women, children, and elders in my life have played significant roles in shaping me into the person I am today.

My daughters have taught me that taking small steps every day is the key to achieving bigger dreams. To dream beyond your capacity today is the essence of living a life full of new experiences.

My mother and grandmothers have taught me to break free from societal norms and not be constrained by my caste or gender. My grandmother’s achievement of being part of the first batch of Madame Montessori teachers  in London and travelling there alone as a Rajput woman from India in the 1930s ,has inspired me to strive for  independence.

Throughout my adventures, my husband  has been a supportive partner, never hindering my pursuits.

My father has always encouraged me to chase my dreams and not let anyone be the cause of my failure. He instilled in me the power of belief.

Go after your dreams and don’t let anyone in this world be the reason for your failure. Believe and you will be.”

Both of my brothers have played a significant role in pushing me to go beyond my limits.I would never have known the importance of perseverance, hard work, and commitment to society. As a specialist doctor, my older brother  has demonstrated that being human is more important than making money. The younger one, completely changed my perspective on life having completed two ultra-marathons with me. He made me believe that no challenge in this world is insurmountable and this feeling I bring to every action I choose. 

By finishing these races, not only has he helped me become  a finisher but also a part of the less than 1% of the world’s population that has accomplished such a feat.

Throughout my career, my bosses and business partners have played a significant role in shaping my journey. My first boss gave me the freedom and trust to build the business which propelled me to take charge of my own success. There was no stopping thereafter! 

 The self belief has stayed with me and helped me build my best  life decades in India and now  at Moving Walls.

Srikanth, introduced me to the world of Malaysia outdoor advertising, and new adventures, inspiring me to take on new challenges without fear. 

In all my life  journey ,I’m grateful to all who played the roles of teachers, colleagues, and mentors and helped me learn new skills and live life to the fullest. I owe them all love and respect.

So, yes as women we are needed as we have a unique and important role in the world. We not only create life but also have the ability to bring life to everything we touch. However, despite our many contributions, we are still navigating what it means to be a woman in a world that is often dominated by men. We women should support wo + men and help move walls. Because every good thing comes at a cost and every struggle is an opportunity waiting.

Let us take a moment to celebrate ourselves and all those who have played a part in shaping us into the individuals we are today. It is important to remember that being true to ourselves is what truly matters, regardless of our gender. 

Cheers to being authentically and unapologetically ourselves!

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