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This is the inspiring story of a woman who met life’s challenges head on, and carved a life for herself despite the odds.
When God gives you a lemon, make lemonade. When life puts you in an awkward situation, don’t accept it but work towards turning it into your favor. Something Megha did.
Life was falling apart for Megha. She was at an emotional low that was taking its toll. When her life seemed to be falling apart, however, she decided to turn the situation in her favor. She took the difficult time as an opportunity to study the Japanese language further, her long lost passion. She took a loan from a bank and flew to Tokyo.
Megha, in her early 20s, never thought she could stay in any country but India. She was attached to her parents and her country. But in 2007, she took the bold step of flying to Tokyo to further educate herself and find some emotional stability.
Why did she choose Japan? Megha said that her grandmother was one of the inspirations, who after her world tour, was impressed by Japan the most. She would tell little Megha stories about the land of rising sun. She was fascinated so much that somehow she knew that Tokyo was where she wanted to be, when she thought of a career. Another person who immensely influenced her decision was her Indian professor, who taught her Japanese in India.
She finally arrived in the largest mega city in the world without any contacts. I was the only person she knew back then, but I was based in Kobe. She was alone in this foreign land. It was not easy to survive, but she was ready to face challenges. She says, “Initially it was a hell lot of struggle. More of emotional conflict.”
She had limited finances, just enough to survive only for a month. She didn’t give up and within two months she got herself a part-time job. She pursued learning the Japanese language while working.
Her first part-time job was at Family Mart, a convenience store. Though it was challenging, it was one of her best work experiences. She said, “I had learned a lot about Japan and life in general by working in that small store. And I realized that no work is small. The smallest thing, experience or work can teach you something big. It is completely on your positive thinking and your hard work that can make all the difference.”
After a couple of part-time jobs here and there for about six months, and after completing her language course, she found herself a full-time teaching job here, based on her qualification and past work experiences. She enjoyed this profession and wanted to further educate herself.
She said, “I had learned a lot about Japan and life in general by working in that small store. And I realized that no work is small. The smallest thing, experience or work can teach you something big. It is completely on your positive thinking and your hard work that can make all the difference.”
One day, sitting with her boyfriend, now her husband, overlooking Sophia University, she said, “Masters from Sophia University is a way too big dream for me.” He didn’t agree. He believed everything could be taken care of only if one takes the first step. He guided her to at least take the entrance exam and said, “We will see what we can do after that!”
There was no looking back for Megha after that. She passed the entrance exam and got the scholarship as well. She finished her masters and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. Her subject fascinates me – Indian Diaspora in Japan.
Against all odds, Megha thrived. She accepted and faced challenges in her journey. She symbolizes strong, modern women of evolving India, who have the courage to carve their destiny and not accept double-standard social norms. I salute her for her courage.
I met Megha, as my Japanese language teacher in India. She not only taught me Japanese, but guided me in every step of my life. During my stay in Japan, she stood by me. Whenever I doubted myself, she believed in me. Now, when I am in Dubai she still continues to inspire me.
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Image source: inspiration concept by Shutterstock.
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