Strength of a woman

Sakal Times
Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Navratri or Durga Puja is all about worshipping female power. Team Sakal Times talks to a cross section of women to know where they get their strength from to walk the journey of life

The journey of being a woman and a mom and then becoming a professional has been both emotionally enriching as well as inspiring. It’s a well thought-out decision when a woman decides to extend her role beyond motherhood... and mind you, it’s a tough one! Your strings with your kids are too strong, yet, one has to learn to loosen them a bit. I am a mother of two daughters and it was important for me to set a good example of empowering oneself. I wanted them to remember their mom to be someone who did what she had to do to achieve her dreams. The journey can be painful and full of sacrifices at times, but the unconditional love of your family gives you a kickstart on a daily basis!
— Ritika Khosla Zharotia, Artist

Someone has rightly said, ‘To be successful, the first thing to do is to fall in love with your work.’ Well, that’s what I truly believe in and if you love your work, then you will be self-motivated which in turn will take you to dizzy heights.
I have never had any formal education or training in culinary arts rather I am a qualified dentist. Despite not having any degree or training in culinary arts, I started Whisk Affair in 2012 which later went on to become one of the most popular food blogs.
My love and passion for cooking has got me here. I strongly believe that if one is passionate about their work, it acts like a strong driving force giving it power to achieve the impossible. No amount of education or training can replace the love and passion for your career. Passion for your work gives you the power to overcome all obstacles and always motivates you to move ahead. It was my inherent love for cooking that acted like a driving force to take it up as a full-time profession and emerge successfully. Also, what motivates you further is when you start getting qualitative responses from your readers, which encourage you to work harder.
— Neha Mathur, Founder, Whisk Affair

“My source of strength lies in my upbringing, my parents and the amazing set of people I am surrounded by, be it work or life. There isn’t a single day when I don’t thank god for all that I have received. I feel anyone’s strength emanates from their set of values (which by the way must be open to the changing times and constructive feedback). You have to also take things in your stride and learn each day so that you emerge stronger. I believe that if you put forward a fair point and even if one person understands it clearly, you’re winning a battle and that instills your faith in yourself hence you come out  stronger.
— Deeksha Sharma, Journalist

I am neither an investment banker nor an engineer or a doctor. I am a homemaker. I manage my home and keep my family together. Managing an organisation (family) is not taught in any B-school. The very feeling of managing my home, gives me the power.
My husband’s smiling face when I serve him a glass of water or my son’s glee when he sees his favourite biryani on the dinner table or my mother in law’s high-five when I get a good deal on tomatoes, gives me the power at work!
To conclude, I can say my family is my strength and I am its power bank.
— Sharmila Mukherjee, Homemaker

My strength is my daughters. Aged five and eight, they are my pillars. They keep me going. I wake up every morning to look at their beautiful faces and am motivated to work. My work might be looked at as a lowly job but for me it is my way of feeding my children, of living with dignity. It lets me educate my girls, and hope for a better future for them. I try to instill the best values in them, and explain to them the importance of education while teaching them dignity of labour. No work/ job is inferior I tell them. When they hear me out and give me their beautiful smiles, it makes my day, and gives me new energy to wake up every day.
I also derive strength from the thought that I want to do something good for everyone around me. I want to be the catalyst for any positive change that I can bring about around me. I look forward to working with utmost honesty and sincerity.
— Anjali Kauche, Domestic Help

A lot of people think that I am very strong but the fact is that I too have gone through emotional breakdown, heartbreak and depression but after every episode I have emerged stronger. It’s been part of my upbringing that I keep telling myself, ‘there is no option, you have to get out and face the world’. I think it’s my passion and obsession for life that keeps me going even in the most difficult times.
Right now, it’s raining so heavily in Mumbai and my mother even asked me to stay at home in case I get stuck somewhere. But I reached the set on time because I am very passionate about my work. Nothing can stop me to achieve what I want or speak my mind out. I always follow my heart and do not listen to anyone if I think I am right. When Pratyusha (Banerjee) passed away and I spoke against Rahul, I got threatening calls and my friends too advised me not to talk about the issue but I did because I believe what I was saying was true. I am not scared of anything or anyone.
— Kamya Punjabi, Actress

I work long hours, but I have no complaints. My colleagues and I often start work early in the day and continue till about 10 in the night. We are researching on newer drugs for, say, cancer patients or certain infections in kids. So I get positive vibes from my research work. In return, I try to be selfless and helpful in work. I know there are many people who are dependent on medicines and if my work can make their suffering a little less, then it makes me happy.
— Shatakshi Ranade, Scientist

My strength is giving myself time. I ensure that I spend time with myself like going swimming and so on. When I am not doing that, I am super busy with work, which has to be my biggest strength. Teaching gives me immense pleasure. Whatever stress I may be undergoing, all of that eases out once I begin teaching. It is the best stressbuster and the best place to derive strength from. I also ensure attending all these festivities — be it Navratri or Diwali. These social gatherings, meeting up with people, indulging in some spirituality and the celebrations are a great fun way to keep yourself going.
And if all fails, there is one thing that never fails me — my mother. She is my greatest source of inspiration. The way she has worked all her life and made all of us kids into what we are today, is motivating. Even at 64 today, she is ready to work and forever enthusiastic. She is my powercentre.
— Vaishali Bharadwaj, Professor

Strength is both physical and mental. If there is one thing you can count on in life, it’s ‘inconsistency’. The journey is always a series of ups and downs. The one constant is you, and how you deal with all the change. If you are weak inside, you will be batted about like a rowboat in a hurricane. But those who cultivate inner strength are able to weather any storm and can travel great distances at speed when the seas are calm. 
My greatest successes have come when I have used my inner strength to make the most of the good times. And when times were tough, it was a strong inner core that got me through the worst. 
Inner strength comes from positivity, resilience, courage and facing the situation at hand with utmost integrity. Situations and challenges cannot become bigger than you. It’s about knowing who you are and accepting it. 
Most importantly, you must learn how to let go at the right time and keep moving ahead. When I went through a difficult phase of my life, I decided to drop two words — victim and struggle. Strength comes from being yourself and staying true to yourself. I find strength in divinity. For me, divinity is in people and the smallest of things around me, it’s about the goodness of life. I believe, we have an average of 60 years of life and we should make the most of it. Live without regrets.  
Gaining control of your body and mind works for me. I have built my physical and mental strength by focusing on improving overall health and fitness. A fit body and mind gives you the much-needed strength to deal with life. I have made a huge effort to be fit. A fit person is confident, attractive and inspiring, and I gain much of my strength from running and workout.
—Sonia Kulkarni, Runner, and Communications Expert

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