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Her father forbade her to go for the position as he feared that her status as a working woman would wreck her chances of marriage.
I will always find a way. To go towards my dreams. Despite the barriers life puts before me, the obstacles will become the way. Just like sunlight can’t be stopped from shining its way through the holes at the dingiest of places.
Rashi’s father worked as a clerk at the local bank. She had a brother. Her parents have always adhered to the view that the ultimate goal of a girl is to get married and have a family. Education for Rashi was never given a priority.
She was admitted in an all-girls Hindi medium school. Ayush was sent to a convent school.
Rashi never felt bad about this. Well, he is a boy, and he will take care of my parents afterwards, so it is done according do that.
She was passionate about her studies. Without blaming her parents or her luck, she took full advantage of whatever opportunities were given to her. Starting with always being a rank holder in the class to being one of the state board toppers.
“I want to go to college. But my father will never allow me to go to a co-ed college. Well, there is a way. There is a famous all women’s university in Jaipur. They will have no objection to it. I will also get the experience of college life.”
Keeping this thought process, Rashi approached her father. He refused as he would have to spend money on her education; money that would be better saved for her marriage.
Did she accept defeat? You bet not. Always being a bright student, Rashi started giving tuitions and managed to save fees towards her studies in a year. Her father could not but wonder at the dedication in the young girl. Here was his son floundering to pass the engineering exam, and here this girl had collected a semester’s fees.
Finally, he relented. As the college Rashi wanted to go was only for women, he had no problems. The three years thus spent were among the best in Rashi’s life. Now she wanted to do an MBA and then go for a job. But it seemed impossible. But wait there was way. Maybe she would not be allowed to go to the big co-ed colleges. Her graduation college had an MBA program. It was not among the best but it was the one she could attend.
Her father said, “You can do this. But you can’t go for a job. No one will marry you then.”
“Well let them say whatever they want to say. Let me at least get my degree first.”
As always, Rashi excelled and sat for the placement season. Of course, she did not tell anyone at her home about this. She secured a package of six lakh per annum.
The following day, hell broke loose. Her father forbade her to go for the position as he feared that her status as a working woman would wreck her chances of marriage. But Rashi stood her ground and joined the company subsequently.
Time passed. Her parents were still not talking to her.
Out of the blue, she was asked to visit as her cousin was getting married. The next day, as she was prepared to leave for the bus stop to go back to the college after the wedding, her father came to her with an extreme look of astonishment on his face.
Well. the story goes that his best friend’s son had seen Rashi at the wedding and liked her. On enquiring about her, he expressed interest in marriage and had apparently no problem with her working.
Rashi smiled faintly and said “Not now. But after a few years.”
Image is a still from the movie Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
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The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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