“Growing up, not fitting in was my biggest weakness.
I moved from a government to a public school–I wasn’t great at studies. Being the teacher’s daughter in school didn’t help–I was left out more. My father didn’t see too many career options for me–even I had no hope.
I moved from Delhi to Calcutta but things got worse–I was molested by a relative there. After which, I lost whatever self worth I had. If all this was happening to me, the problem had to be me, right?
I decided to just get through life, move into a P.G in Calcutta, finish my college and head home–I had no ambition, no will. I was depressed, and yet no one knew what I was going through.
Beaten and feeling like nothing, I took the first job I could find and started working as a waitress.
My first salary was Rs 3750. The next 4 years went on like that, until I decided that this can’t be my life. I was existing without any purpose, constantly trying to put on a brave face while I was suffering internally. So, I packed my bags and moved to Bombay to give myself a fresh start.
I was scared, nervous and broke.
To pay the bills, I joined a training company for hotels. And just like that, it clicked. I discovered I was good with people. My skills were appreciated and I was promoted quickly–this gave me the boost I needed and bit by bit, I started loving myself.
I felt beautiful, especially when I wore sarees–I never thought I could see myself like that. So a few years into the job, I felt confident enough to start my own company with a friend, Outreach. He was the trainer and I handled marketing. But just a few days before we started, he backed out.
I wasn’t going to let a small hurdle stop the new me.
So I picked up the phone and started calling one hotel after the other in spite of a million rejections. I decided I’ll do the training and marketing, both! After I got my first client, I was paid Rs.500 and I ate my heart out. I was starving and hadn’t had a proper meal in days!
Word of my one-woman training phenomenon spread and my business took off.
You go through life thinking that everything’s going downhill, but one day it just shifts and the second I stopped criticizing myself–it happened. After I began to love myself, I met the love of my life and today, I own 4 spas and a gym. And I continue to grow and love life. At the age of 37, I discovered my passion for bikes.
Last year, my husband bought me a KTM and when I ride, in a beautiful saree, with the wind in my hair, I finally know…I was never meant to ‘fit in’, I was born to be this badass!”
Hope, her inspiring story gives strength to many more women out there, who are struggling to fit in.
At I FOR HER, we celebrate every woman who is shattering the norms. If you have a story of a free-spirited woman, who refuses to live life on someone else’s terms, then share her story with us.