The achiever against all odds

A woman, a girl who had it all going for when she was a child. The only child of her parents, the apple of their eyes, the joy of their world but only till the day her brother was born. That day onwards she ceased to exist for her parents. She was like a piece of furniture in the house, the difference being that she had to be clothed and fed, unlike the furniture. Then came the second brother and it was completely over for her.

This is the story of Pooja and her life, her journey.

After the birth of her brothers, Pooja was all but alone in a house full of people. No one could be bothered by her or her needs and desires. She was just there to help her mother in taking care of the two ‘princes’, her two brothers. In fact, her mother wanted her to stop going to school and stay at home to help her.

But Pooja was a free-spirited girl and could not accept the treatment being meted out to her. She wanted to break away, run away. Her father seeing her misery decided to send her to a boarding school where he felt she could continue with her studies and live life in an independent and free environment.

This was a turning point for her. Away from the restrictions and taboos of life at home, she blossomed. Excelling in academics, tennis, dance she was unstoppable. Once school got over she found herself in a college which was not easy to get into. But her achievements and accomplishments in school ensured that she got there much to the envy of her brothers. Pampered silly by the mother the two brothers just couldn’t match up to the sister.

Since the family came from a conservative background, Pooja college also brought the pressure of getting married. Her parents and in particular her mother wanted to get her married off as soon as possible and be done with the responsibility. However once again she did not give in, was able to push back, finish college and start working.

This being on her own gave her an immense amount of independence and confidence. It was as if the world was all hers to explore and conquer. By now she was well past the conventional age for marriage and her mother was beside herself with worry and frustration.

Into this world walked in a young man, Sunil who in the first meeting itself managed to steal her heart. He was everything that she had always wanted in a man… confident, good looking, well-read, well-bred, modern in outlook and with a wonderful sense of humour. So taken in was she by him that the moment he popped the question she said a smiling yes.

Her married life turned out to be exactly the way she had imagined and wanted. Though the in-laws were extremely orthodox and wanted her to stop working and stay in the house, the husband was exactly the opposite. He didn’t want her to change or customize herself to his needs and desires. He, in fact, encouraged her not only to work but to accept bigger challenges and responsibilities at work.

Two years into the marriage and they were blessed with the arrival of their daughter. But here also the husband shouldered all the responsibilities equally with her and never let her feel burdened. When she decided to stay back at home to take care of their daughter the husband fully supported her decision. It wasn’t easy for her to put her aspirations on hold and stay at home but she chose to do that. Whenever she felt depressed or frustrated for having to do this, her husband was there to comfort her.

This unconditional love and support gave her a lot of strength.

Finally, after almost twelve years of a life devoted to her daughter, she decided to go back to work. But she realized it wasn’t easy to get back. There was no one willing to hire her, no jobs for her. Moreover once again her mother and now even her in-laws were dead against the idea of her going back to work.

But Pooja was determined and once again did not give in. She decided to take up a low paying job in an advertising agency just to start working again. It was not easy to manage the house, the child, and the job. But she did not give up. Her grit and positive outlook paid dividends when she got approached by one of the clients of her agency to join him in his business. He knew her from before and was impressed by her hardworking nature. It was a stroke of luck that made him bump into her. She joined him as an employee but worked hard to ultimately become his partner.

Sunil supported her in this journey. She could depend on him to take care of their daughter and be there for both of them.

Thanks to him and her determination today she runs her own business. Her daughter is an independent and confident young girl and has joined her in her business. Sunil continues to work in the private sector as before and has risen to a senior position.

Would Pooja’s story have been different had she got bogged down by her mother or her in-laws?? Would it have been different if she had not had the courage to pick up the threads of her working life after twelve long years ???
Yes, she had the support of her father and husband but then she also had the courage of conviction to do what she wanted to … She was an achiever against all odds!!

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  1. Dr. Arijit Chowdhuri August 27, 2018 at 10:54 am - Reply

    An author par excellence!

    • Sangeeta Relan August 30, 2018 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for this vote of confidence!!

  2. Ruchika August 27, 2018 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    You have always been a class apart Sangeeta.
    Truly inspirational and straight from the heart –
    We need more of this- relaistic and true – more power to you and keep it coming – I look up to you for so much more now and always !!
    3 cheers –
    Much 💕Ruchi -))

    • Sangeeta Relan August 30, 2018 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Ruchi!! I can always count on you for your support and love.

  3. Basundhara Roye August 27, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Great job, Sangeeta. Very well written and expressed!! Wish you success for this new endeavour. Continue blogging!! All the best.

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  4. Manasi Duggal August 27, 2018 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Heartwarming and Genuine. A Must Read!

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  5. vani kalra August 27, 2018 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Well written piece. But it still makes me wonder when we’ll have a society where women of courage and conviction can succeed without their father or husband’s support. when will the woman’s determination conviction be enough ….. i dont see this in my lifetime.

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks Vani!I think it largely depends on women themselves. We need to support each other rather than depending on the men. It may not necessarily happen in our lifetimes but we could at least help in laying the foundation for it.

  6. Sukanyya August 27, 2018 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Inspiring story of Pooja. Many girls like her give up or give in to conventional pressure. Young girls ought to read and believe in a bright future.
    Well written!

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      Thank you Sukanya.Totally agree with your viewpoint..Women of every generation need to believe in a bright future.

  7. Ranjan Bargotra August 27, 2018 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Good stuff. Great start. Hope it leads to a book soon. Looking forward to more stories.

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      Thank you.I hope so too!!

  8. Parneet Swani August 27, 2018 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    This is what dreams are made of, believe in yourself, work hard and always that guiding hand wanting you to bloom in the person you can become…
    Something for all of us take at least a paragraph from !!

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!This sure is very encouraging!

  9. Aabha Kapuria August 27, 2018 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Inspiring stories like these should be told over and over again ! Women who take charge of their life and grow against all odds should come out with their success stories and inspire millions!
    Keep writing SANGEETA …looking forward to the next one .

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      Yes very soon!

  10. Urmi August 27, 2018 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Great Sangeeta! Many congratulations. Very lucid expression. Lots of good wishes and more power to your pen :)

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks a ton!

  11. Anaisha Sukh August 27, 2018 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Fabulous!! Keep up the good work! Looking forward to more posts 😊😘👏

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much !

  12. Namrata Khanna August 27, 2018 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Hey Sangeeta, this is real, and talks of courage of conviction just like you have ! I liked it as it smacks of something gritty, and feisty.

    Look forward to others!

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much !

  13. Upasna brar August 27, 2018 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    I definitelyike the idea behind the story , but her own conviction coupled with unconditional support from her life partner, her determination and zeal to work hard navigated her path to success. You always need that someone to love and trust you enough to allow you wings to soar!!

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      I completely agree with your point of view.

  14. Zenia August 28, 2018 at 12:23 am - Reply


    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Thanks sweetie!

  15. Ruchi Gupta August 28, 2018 at 9:46 am - Reply

    What a beginning Sangeeta! The story is so real and genuine. More power to you and all the girls out there. Congratulations!

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  16. Binny August 28, 2018 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    Very well written! Way to go girl 👍

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks a lot !

  17. Radhika Sahgal August 29, 2018 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Loved reading this! So inspirational. Stoty with a happy twist. Keep up the fabulous writing, looking forward to many more such good reads.

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  18. Namrata August 29, 2018 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    many congratulations. I have come to know the different aspect of your life. Beautifully explained. Keep it up. Lots of best wishes.

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  19. Mayank August 29, 2018 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Loved the story which was well written and straight from you heart I guess . Will look forward to more . Cheers to your new passion!

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks a lot!

  20. Ashoo August 30, 2018 at 2:12 am - Reply

    Very inspirational Sangeeta!! Keep up your passion and interests…. it was reading this article.

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      Thank you!

  21. Joita Dhar August 30, 2018 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Congratulations Ma’am! You have successfully fulfilled the task of an author/poet as defined by Wordsworth (“a poet must make the familiar appear unfamiliar and the unfamiliar familiar”). There is a Pooja in all of us, trying to break stereotypes, facing the trials and tribulations of life, juggling between home and the world to carve an independent identity in a society smacking of patriarchy. Looking forward to many such realistic narratives from you… All the best!

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks a lot! Will try to come up with many more realistic narratives.

  22. Yadhav Mehra August 30, 2018 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Well done Sangeeta on this brave initiative to express the underlying thoughts of so many in the form of stories. I wish the blog was not just abouther but also about beings who share similar challenges, moods, emotions and opportunities . What I mean is there are men, boys, transgender who live out their lives by being true to their core. To thine own self be true as the night follows the day_thou can’t then be false to any man said Shakespeare, The Achiever’s story is truly inspirational a must read for people who get easily bogged down by the toxic – unproductive patterns around them.

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:20 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!
      Actually this is the beginning. Though the blog is ‘About her” she is not always going to be the one who will deserve the sympathy. My intent is to talk about different women who with their set of values, beliefs and attitudes can affect those around them. The affect could be positive or negative.

  23. Sameer Goel August 31, 2018 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Good Job ma’am, I am always looking forward for such great blogs which gives an insight to social realities and experiences. In Graduation as a subject mentor and now as a social guide, you will always be a guiding force for me.!

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  24. Anju Agrawal August 31, 2018 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Great job Sangeeta!! Well written.. Looking forward to more such posts.. All the best to you in your new endeavor

    • Sangeeta Relan August 31, 2018 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks a lot!!

  25. Panchali Belde September 1, 2018 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on your new blog, Sangeeta! I hope you will continue to move people’s spirits through your compelling stories, your relevant stories ………
    I’m sure your writing will not only add value to people’s lives in some way but will also be a path to self-discovery for you. More power to you!

  26. priya saxena September 4, 2018 at 5:15 am - Reply

    Realistic fiction! Thought provoking and relatable. Sangeeta, I am truly impressed with the way you have used words to express so wonderfully. Many congratulations for undertaking this new journey … I look forward to reading more such narratives.

  27. Yasheshwar September 5, 2018 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Its good to see your latent talent of expressing experiences in such a candid n immaculate manner that u gathered over the period of time.

    In my view, “The Achiever through all odds”, was well written n reflects positivity n hence I liked it the most relative to other two that seem the variants of the same thing.

    Signing off every story with some question????marks ………………????

    Nevertheless, I wish you will keep on writing on many facets of your experiences.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.


  28. Yasmin Riaz September 8, 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Sensitive , relevant and engaging narrative which certainly touches a chord within. These are the perfect ingredients for excellent penmanship. Guess you have cracked the code Sangeeta! Can’t wait to read more…..

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Hello! I’m Sangeeta Relan. Aside from being an educationist teaching at the university level for the last 28 years, I have been a corporate wife and a mother to two boys who have now flown the nest. I love cooking, singing, travelling and exploring new places.

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