I was born in a small town in India. This is not the India of the metropolitan cities, of malls and multiplexes, of women driving cars even planes, women in high positions in the corporate world, of independent, empowered women.
It is the other India. Here apathy for women is the norm. It is this apathy and disregard, if not downright oppression sometimes, that gives a small town girl the magic wand of grit and gumption to survive in any big town.
As a kid who was always into art and sports, I stuck out like a sore thumb in my small town. I think normally that wouldn’t have been a problem, but when there are fewer kids in general, if you’re even a tiny bit different, you get to be the weird kid. And being a girl, doubly so. When I graduated from high school I was so excited to get to the city and be around more like-minded peers.
However, much to my surprise, when I got here I was still the weird kid. Not because of my interests, but because I grew up in a small town and there was a big learning curve in terms of everything from knowing what was cool to know how to navigate the subway. The truth is all that stuff doesn’t matter. You’re going to be you no matter where you go, and now that I’m older I wear my ‘weird’ badge with pride.
I feel proud in telling the world that yes I belong to a small town and still I don’t feel ashamed and now I say that out loud because I am way better than all the kids around me as I am giving them a tough competition, getting into good college, grabbing a job and what not.
The only difference that came into my life after leaving my hometown and coming to a much bigger city was, things in the big cities move at a really fast pace, in my city summer was all about having fun with family and spending a family holiday but now all of a sudden my life from spending time with family has changed to assignments, college work and tensions about work and college.
But as I say there is nothing that a woman can’t do, so here I am sitting in India’s best college, having an excellent job and high position in the company, paying for my own expenses with my salary. What more does a girl want!