An ode to a successful woman
To me success is a very relative word. Verbatim, success implies “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose” and successful therefore means a person who has achieved the aim or purpose laid down.
Why I consider success as a relative term is because the goals to achieve to be successful is very personal. Let me give an example. While for some examinee successful means coming first while for others it might simply imply securing pass marks. But the interpretation of this success to the outside world can be guaranteed to be different. No wonders the topper would be branded a success and the guy securing pass grade a probable failure.
Now coming back to the topic of discussion – What defines a successful woman.
To me a successful woman is very simply – a lady who can accomplish her aim or purpose laid down only by her and not the world in which she lives in – one who can live upto her own expectations.
There cannot be any metric which can brand one woman as successful and the other as failure. The goals for being successful are very personal as I said before. For some (at my age) it might be being a Super Mom while for others it might be being a strong corporate woman – a CEO of some company possibly. For me, I don’t care if I am a failure to others, I am a successful woman if I have achieved the small goals which I have been setting for myself as I progress in life’s path.
So has any successful woman inspired me in my life?
Again stressing on the fact – to me successful woman in the world implies woman who have been considered successful by the world as they have been able to achieve the goals laid by the world. With all due respect, I am not sure how such women can inspire me because I have not seen their day-to-day life. I am only aware of their struggles, their achievements that has been portrayed in the books, the documentaries, the films based on their life because they are the few handful who managed to become famous in this world which as per me is a little too harsh on women. I definitely respect woman from all walks of life who the world has branded as successful – Mother Teresa, Sister Nivedita, Madhuri Dixit, Jhulan Goswami,Mary Kom, Geeta Phogat, Nisha Millet, Mia Hamm,Jhumpa Lahiri,Sania Nehwal, Agatha Christie to name a few.
But to be true my real inspiration as a successful woman can be none other than my mother – whose day-to-day life I have been so much attached to. I am aware of her goals, I am aware of her achievements, I am aware that she considers herself to be successful as her goals have been achieved and I consider her to be successful as I feel she has done a wonderful job passing all her tests with flying colours.
Managing 2 kids, home and on top of that a teaching job managing some 100s of other kids – I think she has done it all in gusto. She had ensured that we grew up well with all the proper values and knowledge, supported us in our education till we wanted to study and not only financially. We never did require a tutor till we entered our higher secondary education.
Not only studies but she supported us in whatever extra-curricular activities we were interested to pursue. She accompanied me happily to all the classes I attended. She encouraged us to pursue our wish in terms of our career. She never interfered with our choice of life partners or for that matter any of our choices (We never did make wrong choices I guess because of the values instilled by her).
She used to be a great support system for my dad too and she still is. Cooking him breakfast at wee hours of morning and packing his lunch up for the morning shift (both of them used to get up around 4AM as I recall), packing his dinner for the evening shift before leaving for her own school and serving dinner before he left for the night shift – she did it all single-handedly. Apart from this there was this big emotional support too. My father always consulted my mom before any decision making and this really speaks volumes about his dependency on my mom.
Ours was a close knit family though not joint. And she used to manage the incessant visits from our relatives both from my maternal and paternal side so well. Cooking up innovative dishes for the guests and all the while wearing a soothing inviting smile such that guests always felt welcome and at-ease.
Amidst her busy schedule she also made sure to pursue her own interests – that of cooking and stitching. I can remember innumerable dishes I ate (and still eating) throughout my life with her. She used to even make home-made sauce, marmalade, jam, jelly, butter, ghee as well which I think was a little uncommon for a working lady. I remember wearing innumerable dresses stitched by her ranging from traditional to contemporary designs.
She not only took care of my paternal granny but also took good care of her own family, never shirking her responsibilities.
All this while she continued with her profession till she retired at the age of 60. I never saw her losing balance in maintaining a professional and personal life simultaneously. She attended all her school functions be it Sports Day or Annual Day. She never missed invigilating an exam even if her duty called her to work on weekends. And I never remember any grudges from our side that she is not spending time with us.
And even now although she is on the other side of 60 I still feel she is my same old mom. Age has not been able to bog her spirits down. She is currently away from her own home, her relatives in a foreign place taking care of my kid just like she did for me when she was less than half her present age. She is still following her passions of cooking delicious dishes for us occasionally. She is still stitching beautiful dresses for my kid. I wonder from where she gets this zeal to be evergreen.
I am definitely inspired by this super successful woman seeing whom I have grown up. I would be truly thankful to God if I could even get an iota of her capabilities. I will consider myself successful when my kid grows up to admire me like I do my mother. Respect!
With children out of school, physical distancing as the new norm, and children’s rights under threat, the new world order has “turned back the clock” on years of progress made on children’s well-being. However, it’s not all bad. As a human race, we’ve been built to adapt: we’ve seen a tipping point in technology-enabled education and the promise of a new education policy in our country.