For a girl to be born in a country like India it has always been a road full of thorns. Inspite of having all rights written in the constitution it is very difficult for a female to survive without hardships even today. We have seen a lot of examples of women who overcame all of these difficulties and are now successful, independent individuals.
So now, we are starting with a new series which is a collection of such real life stories. Stories that have been written in front of us, stories that have inspired us and stories which will inspire you! They are not just life stories of some women; they are all statues of courage, hope and power! They are a reminder for all of us exemplifying the quote “Be the change you want to see”.
The first story of this series is that of a 41 year old lady named PURVI SHAH. When she was born, it came to notice that the upper palate of her mouth was missing and because of this she was not able to eat, leave alone talking. All of what she would eat would come out from her nose. When she was 1.5 years old, an operation had to take place. Back in 1977, such was a very complicated operation which fortunately was a success. She was lucky that the shape of her face was normal. But, it had an adverse effect on her speaking ability. She could not pronounce everything properly and stammering had become her foe. And this led her to lose confidence in herself.
At the age of 17, like any other teenager, she had big dreams; she was into biology and thus wanted to become a doctor. But again, the fate had something else in store for her. During her final exams of 12th grade she suffered from a serious disease and could not give her best. She has lost confidence in herself yet again. After gathering herself, she went to her college and did bachelors in science. She started with a tiny job of giving injections to patients. Life was way too ordinary for this girl who still did not know her potential. She had already met with a lot of failures in her life and now at the age of 22, it was time for her wedding bells. Now obviously it had to be an arranged marriage and she was too indecisive about her conscience. She had made up her mind about marriage and the only thing that she wanted now was a perfect guy. After meeting with many guys and rejecting them, her family finally found The Perfect man. Soon everything was finalized and the time flew by mixing with the emotions of joy and separation and curiosity of what life had for her now.
She was married to Pritesh Shah, a civil engineer of a good and respected family. All went well and in 1999, they were blessed with me. Yes, Purvi is my mother. She was a housewife till then, obeying her in-laws, working in the house with a lost passion in her. When I was 4 months old she was somehow introduced to a company called oriflame. Now, Oriflame is a direct selling company which sells cosmetics. Just like a typical lady but an uncommon passion, she started with it for her own grooming. She had never known that this would be the platform which would give her an independent identity. She started working, selling, marketing and meeting varied people. In a month’s time she received her first cheque of Rs 95 on her doorstep, her first hard earned money.
Parallel to this story runs my father’s story. My dad chose civil engineering because his dad was one; he himself was never interested in becoming one. He loved meeting new people and helping them.
After a few discussions parents took a decision of starting Oriflame full time! This meant my father had to drop engineering. He gave mom a platform to make her own identity. There were a lot of internal conflicts going on inside my mom; she overcame all of it powerfully during all of which my dad was right by her side. It was a struggling period for them, my grandparents passed away, there was no financial support and they had my responsibility. They had seen all the bad times but there will to achieve was enough to keep them going.
Today, 15 years after starting Oriflame my mom does not stammer, she leads a meeting of 400 people alone and inspires them to be like her. She has travelled half the globe on her own. She is a double diamond director and no. 8 all over India in Oriflame. Mom and Dad are living a life they had only dreamt of. Both of them have a lot to achieve yet, and i am a proud daughter witnessing it all.
This just shows us the power of dreams and will. The hunger for achievement is a must! My mom never knew she would be at this stage inspiring thousands of people. But she was just not okay with what she was. She wanted to change. This want made everything possible for her. The struggles were a lot, but the courage to face them was much stronger. The major lesson I have learnt from both of them is that no matter what you do, just be a good human being, that is what the world lacks.
It is not practically possible for a woman to excel at whatever she does alone. The support from her family, her friends, the society is of utmost importance for her. And that is where we play our role. If we don’t have the courage to face all these hardships alone ourselves, we have no right to stop somebody else.