Jul 15, 2013

Dream that matters...

All that matters is what we aspire and dream!

I was born in a village based Indian family which exceptionally allowed girls in their family to dare to dream. However, they were tweaked, modified or rejected at times but there were times when they were accepted too.

I grew up to see my grandfather being addressed as “Vakil Sahab” meaning “Mr. Lawyer” and being one of the oldest children of the family, I admired and aspired being a lawyer.

It was one of the dreams that was tweaked and questioned. It was also partially rejected and eventually modified.

I’d like to take you through the journey of my dream of being a lawyer to what I am today.

As a child we were often asked what did I dream to be and my answer would be a mixed response between being a fashion designer and a lawyer.

Only when I passed my eighth standard, we seriously evaluated my options and what I can become in my life. I was in a school which asked us to choose streams in ninth standard and options were commerce or science.

Belonging to a business family and actually since I never thought of medical or engineering as an option, I chose Commerce.

The same happened when it came to eleventh. I decided on my school very late and had no other option but to take commerce if I wanted to get admission in the school I wanted.

Therefore, it was only in the end of my twelfth I discussed my dreams with my parents and family.

The questions that were put up in front of me were –

- What are the things you want to do and why?
- How far will you go with this?

I gave my two options – 1. I wanted to study law because I liked the concept of ethics and being able to take decisions which positively impact the lives of people. 2. I wanted to study fashion because the business of fashion always interested me and I believed I can make a career.

I wanted to take up both the careers and for lifetime. However, one had to win.

My parents supported the idea of fashion over law as they believed that in Indian Marwari context working as a fashion professional would be easy to pursue and irrespective of my reasoning my idea of law was curbed.

Next four years were spent in one of the best fashion colleges pursuing fashion merchandising. However, in my second year I was exposed to subjects called ethical sourcing and labor law. Also, somewhere in this year, for the first time I met a CSR professional.

My original dream of ethics and law got wings. My next two years were spent exploring options. I did projects in ethical sourcing, visited factories and met more and more people to understand how I could make a difference to the industry that I liked.

The year I graduated, was the year when recession had hit the global job market. Being a fashion merchandising graduate we had a few campus placements which we could sit for. However, now I was sure about working as a CSR professional.
In next three months, one by one all my friends got placed in various firms. Some opted to study. In a nut shell, almost all in my batch knew what they had next.

We approached last day of my college. Being only person in the batch to not have a job, I was very disappointed. I was ridiculed and advised to take up one of the jobs that were available.

It was on the last day I met a lady who offered me an internship for three months in one of the prominent brands to explore my options. Believing that beggars aren’t choosers, I accepted an internship, which I believe didn’t pay stipend.

My family was now against the idea of a job. They had allowed me to pursue fashion as they expected I could be self-employed.

I had to put everything I knew about convincing to let them allow me to work for three months. Little that we knew, that my internship would last for one and half year. I also eventually found out that my internship did pay me too.

After I finished my internship, my family wanted me to get married and settled, and my career was nowhere a point of discussion. I had to take a break and go home, but at the end of it I convinced my family to come back and let me work again.

The new job was bad, and the pay was low. Once again ridicules and advices came in. However, six months later I got a new offer.

It has been two years that I have been working with labors and laws, community and welfare as a Corporate Social Responsibility professional for my company and loving each day.

I love the fact that I am making difference that I wanted to, for the industry I wanted to. I am an agent of change in the Indian garment manufacturing industry.

This post is written as a part of 'All that Matters' contest at BlogAdda.com in association with INK Talks 2013.

22 comments:

  1. ahhh that is all that matters.. .that you could do what you really wanted to do :)

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  2. How wonderful. You achieved what you wanted in a roundabout way. All we need is patience in following our dream. Good for you. Visiting from UBC. http://475035832790540880.weebly.com/blog.html

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    1. Thanks for visitng Francene,

      Yeah I have but I have a long way to go...

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  3. Wow what an open and honest blog post. I enjoyed reading it. Mx

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  4. Good on you for giving jobs another shot and more importantly believing in u pursuit. A warm story indeed, wish u all the best :)

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  5. Wow! CSR huh... Way to go girl.. do yourself proud :) :)

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  6. loved your post. even in today's time, it is not easy fpr all girls to pursue their dreams.

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  7. As long as you are happy with your life and doing what you want...that is all that matters!

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. Agreed Kathy...but at times to get to do what matters isnt easy...

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  8. It was really inspiring Sugandha. Good one.


    Deepan
    http://d4deepan.blogspot.com

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  9. this is honestly a very nice post especially with the contest in mind. i read about it :) and also Sugandha unfortunately my husband is a marwari and I know how protective they are about their girls and so somewhere could sense your struggle too. But then I am glad everything worked out! kudos girlie :)

    Richa

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    1. Hey Richa,

      Thanks for going through it...It is a struggle for women in India no matter what community...
      I meet people at work who tell me I should quit or get married because that "is the right thing to do".

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  10. U go GIrl!!
    Stay put to what your heart feels like..
    The entire universe will conspire to make it true for you :D

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    Replies
    1. By making me a leo, I guess god designed me no other way ;)

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