Moms in our country face many challenges. The biggest of them is their need to please their own family and kill their own dreams. But Priti Rathi Gupta proved that a strong woman can overcome all roadblocks and make her dreams come true!
From being married at 19 and refused to study further, Priti brought out her inner courage a little later in life.
She shared her story with HoB, and we feel it can help thousands of women to dream big and inspire them to achieve their dreams.
“I don’t know why, I always had the need to please people and be ‘perfect’. When my parents decided to get me married early – I agreed and at 19 I was married.
I thought somehow, I would manage to study at a later stage. But I went from a liberal family where my father would kiss me on the forehead to being in a conservative family where my father-in-law wouldn’t even look at me directly while talking. I had to wear sarees and cover my head. Still, I tried to make the best of my situation and be happy.
When I told my mother-in-law I wanted to study, she outright refused.
She said we had a lot of social obligations, so again I let it go because I wanted to be perfect for her. I focused on the family and soon became a mother.
After having my second child, I started reflecting on my life and realised that I wanted to study and make something of myself…that I had lived too long trying to be ‘perfect’ for others. So, I applied to SP Jain (MBA) and got in!
My mother-in-law stopped talking to me when I started attending college, because ‘who leaves a baby at home so young?’.
That was a hard phase — I remember after my first week, I came home and my son called the maid ‘Mumma’ – it broke my heart, I started doubting my decision. But I refused to go back — I had chosen this.
I worked harder than ever — I was the oldest in my class, but I looked at it as an advantage. I would come home, put the kids to bed and then start on my assignments. My husband helped me out a lot — a stand out moment for me was when I gave a presentation in class wearing a suit!
I graduated with distinction and I think somewhere along the way, my mother-in-law just got used to it.
After that, I helped my husband set up our stock broking firm and then led my own commodity business. Once this big industrialist even told my father-in-law that he was really impressed with me – they were all so proud!
I remembered my mom-in-law telling someone on the phone that ‘my daughter in law does really big work and doesn’t just sit at home’ and when I heard her say that I felt like ‘redemption, finally!
And I continued to study — I applied to Harvard and got in! Today, I run my own Film Production company and continue to juggle work and home.
From a Ghunghat to a skirt, my journey has been about one big lesson — that you can never be ‘perfect’ and there’s no ‘perfect time’ for anything. Look at me, I’ve lived my life in reverse — marriage, kids, degree and now a CEO!”
The way this young mom overcame our society’s rudimentary thought process to transform herself and made sure she realizes her goals, is surely an inspiration for many.
At IForHer, we are celebrating her courage and hope our society will learn from stories like her’s.
We do wonder what a great world it would be when all girls would get an equal chance to fulfill their dreams just like boys.