From being the victim of a patriarchal society to gathering the courage to stand against it, this mother and her seven daughters are no less than heroes. Their inspiring story of fighting against their toxic family to create a life of dignity shows true courage and determination.
We live in a society, where women are often seen as a liability and their potential is either ignored or shamed! While many may succumb to the toxicity, there are few courageous souls who stand against society to create a life of respect, love, and happiness. How this mother of seven daughters was ridiculed by her in-laws and family, but she refused to give up! Her journey from timid housewife to entrepreneur is the perfect inspiration for those fighting for their dreams.
Sharing her inspiring story with HoB, she mentioned:
“I was in 8th grade when I was told, ‘Tum padh kar kya karogi? Your brothers’ education is more important.’ That day, I bid goodbye to my studies. And then at 22, I was married off. My husband was a good man, but adjusting to his family took some time.
My entire day would go in the kitchen–from making tea to hot round rotis. But I didn’t mind; I’d been training for this all my life. And then a year later, we had our first child–a girl! And although my husband and I were happy, his family wasn’t–they wanted a boy.
When I gave birth to my second daughter, my in-laws were visibly upset. They’d taunt me, ‘Ek beta paida nahi kar sakti’, ‘Pata nahi kisse le aaye!’ So we kept trying, and each time we had a baby girl. I was exhausted; consecutive pregnancies had taken a toll on my body.
By then, we had 7 daughters and the taunts became unbearable– ‘7 girls are a liability,’ they’d say. I didn’t want to raise my girls in an environment where they’d be looked down upon and so, after 10 years of living in a joint family, we moved out.
My husband also started a new spices shop; 10 years just flew by. There was never a dull moment in our house. The girls would hold dance competitions and make me and my husband the judges; we were happy.
But then, my husband suffered a heart attack and died soon after. At 44, I was a widow with 7 girls to look after. My second daughter had just entered college and the youngest wasn’t even 10.
I couldn’t even grieve…right after his last rites, my daughters and I had to open up the shop. But that didn’t sit well with our relatives; they wanted everything under their control. I didn’t let that happen so they said, ‘Dekhte hai yeh auratein kya kar paati hai!’ But honestly, I didn’t even have the time to pay attention to them.
I’d rise with the sun, pack all everyone’s lunches and then head to the shop. It was tough initially; I was good with accounts but I didn’t know English and most of our clientele was foreigners. That’s when my older daughters stepped in. But I ensured their education never suffered. I didn’t want them to have the same fate as me.
Eventually, we got the hang of things and 4 years later, we inaugurated our 2nd branch. Again, we were met with harsh comments– ‘Aurat ho, kitna hi aagey jaogi?’ But this time, I looked them in the eye and said, ‘Now you watch!’
Slowly we started expanding. And the most beautiful part was watching all my daughters complete their education and then join the business. Today, 16 years and 4 branches later, people refer to us as, ‘The Spice Girls’. It’s comical how the same people who said, ‘Women don’t go too far,’ now come to me for business advice.
People had said to me, ‘Your daughters are a liability.’ But they were wrong. My daughters are my assets; they’re my pillars. At the end of the day, my parents may have taught me how to be a good wife, but it was my daughters who taught me how to be an entrepreneur!”
At IFORHER, we are in awe of these courageous women, who are fighting against their circumstances like true warriors! We wish them luck and hope their inspiring story will encourage many more to fight for their life and self-esteem!