On a lunch break, I was out eating a sandwich on the street side restaurant next to office. This restaurant is my favourite as it gives anyone sitting here a great view of the buzzing pavement. Office goers, shoppers, tourists from the nearby 7-star hotel, you get to see a variety of people – their differences coloring the afternoon languor with a vibrancy. As I lazily observed people, one girl in her teens particularly attracted my attention. She had cropped unruly curly hair, wore torn jeans and a t-shirt. She came riding on her skateboard covering the length of the pavement. She looked so free and independent that I longed to get to know her.
I watched her for quite some time while she continued on her skateboard until she stopped abruptly. She stopped and started looking at something. As I followed her gaze I saw that she was staring at two girls her age who passed her by. These girls looked like they are out of a magazine. Well- dressed, toenails polished and shiny, hair straight and in braids and feminine to the core. Of course, they turned heads and of course they looked pretty but the reaction on my favorite girl’s face was one of awe and rejection.
I completely understood her. I, myself as a teenager have often tried to fit in. To look like and be like someone, I am not. We try as a youngster to emulate, to fit in, to be accepted; but in the process we lose ourselves. The problem with women is, we still do. Looking at this girl with the skateboard, I thought, if there was one advice that I would like to give her it would be this – Follow the Song of Your Heart.
- Emulating Leads to Mediocrity:
There are many ways to be but the best way to be is to be yourself. The only place a woman can reach by emulating another is mediocrity. Greatness is achieved when you dance to the tune that your heart plays. A friend of mine gave up playing the drums though she was good at it because it was ‘oh-not-so feminine!’ Now when she looks at the young female drummers in rock bands, she realizes that she had the potential to be one of them had she given herself a chance. It was something that her heart desired but also something that she never pursued.
- Be the Best Version of Yourself:
It is good to have an inspiration but better still to write your own story. The one reason I like Chef Ritu Dalmia is because I feel she is everything what she was not raised to be. She is a simple Marwari girl raised in a Kolkata business family who followed her path. The most celebrated chef now in India.
As I left the café, I saw the young girl being joined by a sleek looking woman who came out of an office building. She was dressed immaculately in an corporate attire with high heels and a branded bag. Going by her looks she seemed to be her mother. I could not help but wonder what would such a free spirited child come to with a mother so perfect like the one she has. But I realized I was too fast to judge.
As I entered my office building I could not help but look back at the duo while waiting for the lift from the glass cubicle. The mother took off her heels, got on the skateboard and did some really cool moves while teaching her daughter how exactly to do it. It was then that I realized that this teen was in good hands. With a mother like the one she has her fire of passion will not be smothered under the placard of ‘What society deems correct for a woman’ but will be fanned to be a trailblazer.