Life is a journey as they say, first station being the place where we are born or it starts may be much before that. We don't know where we are born or what we are born into till we reach up to a certain age. Also, it lot depends upon the kind of environment we are living in that decides on the kind of journey we are going to lead before reaching the final destination.
What, who, & where doesn't matter much but how. A journey is best enjoyed with the right state of mind which is achievable by way of education. Education is very important to lead a beautiful life. Education is not restricted to just books and school, it in fact is the most basic right and a great tool for a better self. It gives confidence, boost knowledge and gives us a sense of right and wrong with decision making power.
If it wasn't for my Parents who are far away from things like discrimination, societal norms and peer pressure, I would not have been here. I am the eldest child in our House and a girl, born in the age when Parents and their girls were usually frown upon when born. When I was born, my family, extended family all were happy and contained with my birth. Considered goddess Lakshmi when a girl child is born in our family, is not just celebrated once but is a celebration of lifetime. A celebration doesn't just imply doing party, having 5 course meal and playing, its much more than that.
How do they celebrate?
Education at home
A mother and father are the first teachers in anyone's life. Nostalgia still takes it toll when I listen to those old tapes which has my voice recorded reciting those small poems and A to Z when I had not even started with nursery. I was not only taught this but humanity, manners and other soft skills. My mother tells me that I started trying out with fork and spoon while eating at a very young age as I used to mimic my father while eating. Although we generally eating using our hand the most but my father did make it a point to eat using the fork and spoon some times so that I register that and learn table manners. As they say, A child mold easily in a very young age. They learn what they see.
First Kindergarten, then primary, secondary, Engineering, E-PGPM and they still want me to study. My parents believe in education. You study, you learn and you gain confidence, the strength and wisdom to face what's come your way, is my family's mantra.
Confidence and independence
Ever since I was a kid, I was entrusted upon with confidence, boldness and a sense of independence. I still remember, when I was in class 2, going to school early morning, some stray dogs started to chase me. I wasn't far from home so I ran back towards home when my father heard my scream, he came down to scare them away. After some time when the dogs disappeared he asked me to go to school. It was near by so I used to walk to school everyday but that day when like majority of parents he should have dropped me to school after the incidence, he didn't. I had got little scared still he did not come along instead gave me the confidence and a sense of "some day I might be all alone and have to deal with difficulties and situations like this on my own". That incident and many more like that did shape my future and gave me strength.
It was for situations like this and my parents constant support in a way which some people don't understand that I could face Bombay (now Mumbai) when I first came here to join my job. It was a new city and for someone who has stayed with parents all along except during college when I was in hostel still not very far from where my parents used to live and that I used to visit home every weekend, it was a big thing. My father just dropped me at my company where I was to join and left for his work out of town. From finding my way back from office to my friend's place which was my abode till I found a house to finding a house / PG for myself, it was a difficult time. I still remember how my parents and friends asked me to leave the job and come back home since I wasn't getting a house but I was stubborn (and still I am), I just wanted to defeat that phase. I took it as a challenge and beat it hard. I could do so because of my learning.
Live your life because its yours
I have always been taught that whatever I will do will have an outcome which can either be good or bad and only I have to deal with them, so take every step cautiously, is what my parents have told me always. They say, "Its your life, live the way you want to, just remember that you make it memorable not turn it into a bad dream. Live it to the fullest, do what pleases you, take your own decisions because its your life. People will talk and may talk bad some times, you shall not get bothered but also your actions shall not hurt anyone." My decisions have sometimes turned into being a mistake but I have learnt from them.
These are a few anecdotes of this Stuti but there can be another Stuti somewhere who is not educated. I wonder if I was not educated and had to face situations like these, no matter how small or big they sound as problems, I am sure I would not have been able to defeat them in similar fashion or at all.
It is very important to note that you may get opportunities but may not have the wisdom to take them or you may not be allowed to take them when there is gender bias. But to lead a good, happy life, education is of utmost importance else life is nothing but a piece of blank paper with a lot of hardships on the way and you won't be able to write anything on that paper because you won't know a thing to ward those hardships off.
बेटी बचाओ, बेटी पढ़ाओ
.................. for a better world!
P.S. Support girl child and education. You can show some love via www.cry.org, log in and support CRY in its initiative.