Women, despite being educated and as strong, rarely venture out alone. I think it is mostly because they have been brought up to believe that first their father or brother, then their husband and later their son will take care of them and be responsible for them. Clearly, this cannot be the way to be! There are times when we have to go out alone, do things alone and take decisions alone.
“Ekla Chalo” is a wonderful platform for a woman like me to share her thoughts, emotions and experiences with other like-minded women. When I sat down to write for this blog, it took me awhile to recall the things I had actually done alone! But after some pondering, a few incidents did start to float through my mind.
One such incident which literally brought my heart to my throat was when I was doing my B.Ed. It was way back in 1995. I was appearing for my second last paper which was Child Pedagogy. Even today I remember it distinctly! I remember feeling elated as my ordeal was all coming to an end. What ordeal, you may ask? A really busy schedule that included getting up early, revising lessons, preparing lunch, conducting classes (I had already begun working as a teacher!), completing the endless assignments and more. Besides that, the possibility of spending more time with my ten-month-old baby was making me euphoric!
On the day of exam, for some reason my baby (who otherwise was happy and non-cranky) just couldn’t let go off me. Imagine my state: my heart was tugging me towards my baby and my mind towards the exam! With a heavy heart, I set out to reach my center at Mulund.
Little did I know that my predicament had just begun. On a normal day, it would have taken only half an hour to reach Mulund from IIT Campus, but I guess, God had a different plan for me. I had started a good one hour before but my bus got stuck in traffic. Apparently, an accident had taken place. I waited anxiously.. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes passed, and my bus was still stuck at the same spot!
I literally begged the conductor to do something even though I knew it was in vain. Back in ’95, there were no cell phones. I couldn’t share my plight with my family members and ask for their suggestions. I was all alone and I broke down. Never in my life, I had felt so helpless!
It felt nothing short of a miracle when my bus crawled and after some time gradually gained speed. I would like to believe here that the traffic police were angels sent by God to help me.
After alighting the bus at my stop, I literally ran! Then, I brushed aside a fellow commuter and got into the auto and urged the rickshawala to drive fast. I am sure it seemed rude, but I was visibly in a rush.
Without even giving a second look at how much I was paying, I got off the auto. I realized that I was a good 20 minutes late! To my dismay, the guard refused to let me in. After a brief altercation, he reluctantly allowed me in. I reached the examination hall with sweat trickling down my face and heart thumping like a drum. I was shaking so badly that it took me some time to regain my composure. After taking a few deep breaths, I started writing at a speed which was unknown to me.
As I hark back to that day, I appreciate myself for handling the situation all alone without giving up. I can proudly say that not only did I complete the paper on time but I also scored the maximum marks in it, reaffirming my belief that when the going gets tough, the tough get going!
About Rama Dighe:
Mrs. Rama Dighe has been teaching for over two decades now. A proud mum, she is the favorite teacher of many students. In her spare time, she loves to read.