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Fiery Red Hair And A Fierce Attitude Was All She Needed To Rise

Today, Sapna felt accomplished. She had risen from a tormented childhood to an abusive relationship and a number of obstacles she faced at work.

Today, Sapna felt accomplished. She had risen from a tormented childhood to an abusive relationship and a number of obstacles she faced at work.

Sapna looked at the cover page of a prominent business magazine. Her own smiling face stared back at her. She had just been named the Woman Business Icon of The Year with the line ‘Sapna’s journey- a beautiful tale of success.’

Sapna couldn’t help but wonder if her life really was a beautiful tale. She reflected upon her past and recounted all the incidents that made her who she was today. True to her name, she had always been a dreamer but she was also someone who didn’t have it easy.

Born in an affluent but orthodox and a conservative family, her birth wasn’t celebrated. Her family was the kind where a woman’s only responsibility was to birth the family a male heir.

She had witnessed her mother’s ordeal- the insults she faced from her grandmother and extended family till her brother was born. That her mother underwent several pregnancy terminations which left her weak and frail was another story altogether. What was more was all this was inconsequential to both her father and grandmother, for all they wanted was a male child!

She was never his laadli

Sapna remember how her father never showered her with love like he did her brother. She yearned for his love and attention throughout her childhood. The memories of the struggle she had to go through to pursue her degree in technology (since her father refused to fund her education) were still fresh in her mind.

But the dreamer and fighter in her did not give up and she went on to fund her education herself- by taking up teaching and a part-time job. That she passed with honours and became a gold medallist was of no importance to her father or other relatives.

At the same time, she saw the pride and the happiness her mother felt about her. Sapna getting a degree and taking up the job created a permanent rift between her and her father. This just distanced her from her family.

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Sameer…was no different, either

Sapna, still lost in her thoughts, started to think about her relationship with Sameer. He came across as someone who was the total opposite of her father. Sameer was everything her father was not- he was caring, affectionate and most importantly, gave importance to Sapna’s existence. He was her senior at college, and came as a breath of fresh air in her life.

Looking back, Sapna realised he was no different from her father. The relationship had been nothing but toxic. She was reminded of numerous apologies made for no fault of hers and countless tears she shed to prove her love for him.

The uncountable instances of being humiliated came flashing to her. She thought running  away and marrying him was a mistake. Sapna married the love that she had longed for. But what she got in return was a lost identity, the pressure to please him and his family to no end with nothing but their constant rebuking.

It made her stronger

No, it was not her conscious countered. Yes, it did shatter her to no end and it broke her. But it also instilled in her the grit and determination to do something with her life.

She wondered how someone who fought her own father took all the mental, emotional and physical abuse from Sameer for three years. It took her three years to she walk out on him, leaving him bewildered and amazed.

It was this hurt and the unbearable pain she felt most of her life by the men, namely her father and Sameer. And it was because of this hurt and pain that she immersed herself in the job she got for herself.

Her work became a medium for her to escape all the bad memories that life gave her. She excelled at work and soon began climbing the corporate ladder.

Yes, success also did not come easily. Her hard work, and talent were mostly ignored by her colleagues and her being single was attributed to her success. Sapna turned a deaf ear when she had heard malignant rumours and nothing could deter her from making a name for her.

The game changer move in her career came when she accepted a position at a prominent industrial house for one of their business. She turned around their profits and took it to the numero uno position. This was enough to declare her arrival.

She rose like a phoenix

A message beep on her phone broke her train of thought. It was another congratulatory message for her achievement.

Today, Sapna felt accomplished. She had risen from a tormented childhood to an abusive relationship and a number of obstacles she faced at work.

Sapna thought these lines summed up her journey perfectly.

“Out of the ash I rise with my hair And I eat men like air.”

She could hear Sameer’s word echo in her ears, “You would repent leaving me. I bet you will come back and I will not take you back.” She smiled and was happy that she proved him wrong.

It was her journey. All hers.

Sapna looked pretty in cropped red hair a crisp business suit and gleam in her eyes.

“Ma’am,” she heard her assistant saying, as she enter her cabin. “The journalist is here for the interview.”

The journalist asked Sapna how her journey had been.

“Beautiful and enriching,” she replied.

‘Yes it has indeed been a beautiful journey,’ she thought to herself.

Editor’s note: This story was shortlisted for the November 2019 Muse of the Month contest.

Picture credits: Canva

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