Friday, 19 April 2013

First Soldier for every girl!!




Yes, just as the title tells and like many other posts you have read, this is about my dad: first hero of my life! It is not fair from my part if I don’t write about the man who taught me what courage is. Right from those first little steps I took to my career, he was always there guiding me. But that’s not why I call him a soldier. He is a soldier because he is a true believer in women empowerment and strongly facilitates that.


He raised me as an independent thinking woman. Sparking reading habit, he lit the light of wisdom. When I chose my career, with full confidence he backed me up and let me explore the world on my own. But that is what every dad does, isn’t it? Then what is so special about this man that qualifies him as soldier? 

He is the soldier I have always admired. He is the soldier guiding my mom through the battle of empowerment. He made the mundane housewife an inspiring entrepreneur of the city. He recognized her talents and flaunted it at the world. A battle to empowerment is not a cake walk. It requires a lot of effort, motivation, guidance and above all support. My dad gave all of these to my mom. 

Never once has he taken credits to her success. He always attributes her success to her abilities and meekly tells he was just a tool to trigger it out. But, witnessing their battle, I can bet you that hadn’t it been my dad, my mom wouldn’t have reached these heights today. 

If she is the kite flying high in the sky then he is the thread holding her high and also the wind beneath her wings. Like any Indian family, there were folk talks on discouraging my mom from becoming an entrepreneur after being mother of two kids. But there is no stopping to your scaling if your better half becomes the best half. That is what happened to my mom. My dad stood up for her dreams and hopes and continuously fuelled her spirit to become what she is today.

Growing up in a family of highly determined people with rocks of supports definitely took its toll on me. My dad was indirectly playing the role of soldier for me teaching to be a warrior not for myself but for others too. When the same folk talks rose against my initiative for transgenders, my dad beamed with pride and objectively analyzed my plans for better results.
He is a true soldier in every sense. I could already sense his reactions for this blog. He never fishes for compliments: the mark of a true soldier. He would definitely be embarrassed and meekly say “I’m just a tool to trigger what is already there in you.” But dad let me get this straight, “You are the soldier in mom’s life and I’m very sure I’d get a similar one who understands my dreams and pushes me towards it.”

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

The soldier Kid

I was in my 4th grade then. Our class had 35 students but Ahmed Sultan was the special friend among everyone else. But we were a gang of five: 3 boys and 2 girls. Thanks to our bus schedules, our gang would reach an hour early to school and play in those deserted classrooms, spin horror stories about the neighboring houses, collect color chalks and have fun in our style.

No teachers would have come by then, and we ruled our floor. I had a cousin who was a big bully. A year senior to me, Ragav was the gang war kind of guy roaming with two side-kicks looting candies and pencils from others students. I was his hobby. Whenever he couldn’t fish any new trouble, he would pull my legs or bully me for those extra snacks.

One fine morning, our gang was playing around the big Neem tree in the ground and Ragav crossed us with a threatening glance. I smirked at him flaunting my first rank badge. Ragav had failed in maths and the previous day was a glorious one for him with his results bringing diwali in his house. Rajkumar, the wisest in our gang advised that we better move back to our class and we all moved to our class.

After 10 minutes, Ragav came looking for me to my class and asked for both my lunch and snacks box. I refused to give and we both got into one of those many fights. Ahmed was trying to break us apart. Before I could realize what was coming, Ragav pushed me and I fell down banging my head hard in the teacher’s desk. Tears immediately found its way out and I started crying with pain. Nazeem, came to help me up while Rajkumar and Adityan went to find some teacher to complain. 

Ahmed with all his fore launched himself on Ragav and both were rolling on the floor fighting. My forehead had a big lump by then and was throbbing with pain. The fight between Ragav and Ahmed was getting worse with each pulling the hair of others’ and trying to get up. Ragav, being mighty and a year elder mustered some strength and got up dragging Ahmed with him. Ahmed used the leverage and pinned Ragav down and slapped him hard across the face. Not stopping with that he warned him telling, “Keep your silly pranks to yourself. If you ever try hurting her or any other girl again I will make sure that I complain to every teacher that you daily steal my lunch and get you out of the school.”

By then our science teacher arrived and did first aid for me. Ahmed was by my side the whole time making sure I was fine. Though that was not the end of Ragav’s bullying, I got a new surge of courage that there are others to stand up for me. Recalling those threatening words of Ahmed brings a smile.  But, the kind of courage he showed all those years back is still warm in my heart.

By the end of our fifth grade we both parted ways and I lost his contact completely. He was the first soldier who stood up for me at the age of 10 and I still marvel him for that. Age is never a bar to make a man soldier enough.  I really hope, today he is somewhere out there standing up for women. 
This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

Monday, 15 April 2013

The Intellectual Soldier

‘Soldier for Women’ campaign made me realize how fortunate I am to be surrounded by so many gentlemen who are genuinely interested in my well being. This is another tribute to a great friend of mine: Mr. Premkumar. Now, this is not just a post on how he is a soldier for me but for many others too.


Prem is my intellectual feeder. The person behind my blogging. A great support for my literary interests. But that’s not why I call him a soldier. He is a soldier in the real sense. A person trying to be the catalyst of change. 

The book ‘I have a dream’ by Rashmi Bansal inspired me a lot and I planned to start an initiative for transgenders. It was a sensitive area and I knew I can’t really get a lot of hands together. Over dinner I happened to discuss my ideas with Prem and he immediately jumped in to my plan. He refined our plans on approaching them and how to take it forward.

There were days when we hunted for information, then interviews with various transgenders. He always treated them as equals with utmost respect. That is how a real man behaves. During an interview, Rosy, a transgender broke down and sobbed her heart out. When I was trying to gather myself, Prem was quick enough to gather and console her. Not just console but give her some practical solutions. Everybody deserves to be treated equal. You don’t do a favor by treating someone equal. It’s the way of life. But still I feel it is worth mentioning here because many at times we don’t consider transgenders as equals. Forget considering them as women, we hardly pay attention to them even as humans. 


When we say women, I strongly believe that it also includes those who feel and consider themselves as woman. But a soldier for a transgender is a far cry. The kinds of problems they face are far worse than imagination. Their life is a vicious cycle and seldom do they get out of it. They don’t need our sympathy. They need opportunities and they very much deserve it like you and me. 

Prem has bigger dreams for these people and we sincerely wish it comes true one day. Men like Prem are really a rare kind. Mind me; I don’t say one of a kind but rare kind. He is my soldier with liberating thoughts and intellectual inputs facilitating my empowerment. He is Rosy’s soldier fighting the world with her for her opportunities. Or rather, guiding her in her battle with better tactics. 

I salute Prem, the soldier! Readers can know more about Prem from his blog : http://blog.smileprem.com/

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A comrade in the Battlefield




A soldier is not always meant to fight for and protect the weak. They are also the comrades fighting for their fellows in the battlefield. This post is an acknowledgement of such a comrade’s fight in my life. Sudev, my best friend for the past seventeen years. Give or take a year, still we are there together for a very long time. 

Right from the time we secretly exchanged pens at tuition till facing hiccups at office today, Sudev is always by my side. True to the definition of best friends, we never do any crazy things alone but what makes me write this post and claim him as a soldier goes very deep. To repeat some unknown’s words (Warning: little cheesy!) “He is my best friend and the worst enemy and so am I for him.” We both have seen the worst side of each other but still he seldom fails to be there for me. There were times when I have ditched him or he has wrecked me. But the trust after every mishap gets firmer and deeper.

He knows me at my worst, has seen my darker side, seen me shattered into pieces, but never once has he left his hold. He exactly knows what I need to hear when and trust me; he can make me normal in a matter of a few minutes. Instances when he has stood for me are innumerable and a single blog post wouldn’t be enough. 

When I was in deep trouble and life seemed so miserable from every side, he was the guardian angel. Next to my dad he is the man I feel secured with. A flat tyre, he will be there to walk with me. Confused with dress selection, he will be there patiently helping me choose. Trouble from local Romeos, he will be there to fix their misplaced interest. Upset about something, he will be there as a shoulder to cry on. Planning something crazy, he will be there to talk me out of it or at the least will make sure to watch my back.
If I had to count my blessings, Sudev would definitely be in the top five. If every girl has a friend like him, she would be climbing heights in 10x pace just as I am. He is a comrade fighting the battle along with me. By my side; shoulder to shoulder; ready to handle the extra pressure; knowing me inside out; making sure I’m not lost (not alone!); helping me fly high.

Guys out there, Sudev is just 23: a normal Indian guy. If he could be a comrade, I’m sure you could be too. Girls out there, I can bet you that there are umpteen comrades around you to help you reach where you want to land.

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

Soldier For Women- My Mentor



Soldier for Women..!

Do not read the title and think that what you are going to read further is a yet another story of a man who stood up for a girl while harassment. With all due respect, those men who stand up during situations like such with courage are worth writing and deserve a salute. But, there are also these men who are a rock of support. Not stopping with support, they actually give the leverage and push women to greater heights which otherwise the women would have not even known existed.

Recognition was the first honor I received from him. Recognition of my talent. The patronizing tone and encouragement for my passion when I was mostly faced with questioning looks was such an energizing one. Our relationship started from then on. He was there with me for my big placement interview. Encouraging and spotting me even in the sea of several hundred heads.

New place, new people, new atmosphere, and I were totally lost in the fun and frolic of my first job. I did not even bother to call him and tell that we were comfortable. The whole placement drive was a CSR initiative from his b-school, BSBS Business Academy and he was driving the drive. After a couple of months, through a mutual friend I got to know it was his birthday and used that opportunity to apologize for my bad behaviour. There was the same warmth in his voice. No coldness, no hard feelings. I sensed the true forgivingness from him. The same conversation helped me to work on another Social activity with him. Or rather should I say, he gave me another opportunity to grow. His confidence in me was the fuel to run those extra miles. And there he was always smiling and patting my shoulders in every extra mile of mine. He gave me an extended family when I was on my own in a new city.

He is the brother whom I never had before. He is my mentor. My well wisher. The best boss I ever had. A great friend. A person whom I know that will always be there to catch me before I fall down and more than that who had already taught me how to not hurt my knees and elbows even if I happen to skid. The sort of confidence he has in my skills never fails to give me the feel good factor. The endless opportunities which he keeps hinting every now and then; the wisdom in his words when I run to him with a conflict; the support in all my new ventures; the righteous anger on any form of harassment; the respect he shows towards womanhood; the love for his little daughter and much more. 


He is the kind of a man every woman needs as some or other relation in her life. He is the real soldier a modern and empowered woman needs. The toss of fate’s dice turned in my favor to have him in my life as my Mentor, Brother and Well-wisher. When I stumbled on this campaign, he was the first person to hit my mind. This post is a tribute to my SELVA SIR and I sincerely wish it to be an inspiring one for other men to be like him. 100 SELVA SIRs in every state can turn Indian women the most empowered community in the world. 
This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com