On 06-Mar-2018 In People & Politics
A warrior of free speech and daughter of an Indian Army captain, Gurmehar Kaur, like any other teenager had a chance to choose between a fun life or be an ambassador of what we call 'peace' between two of the most influential nations in the world. Hailing from a family where women have been vocal about their stand, where patriotism and nationalism are given more importance than the clothes to be worn at a party, this #WomanOfWorth has been raised by a single mother. Not to mention that she is a writer that this country truly needs.
As I started speaking to Gurmehar, I realised how clearly she had drawn her future. Unlike the college-goers of her time, she knows exactly what she is doing right now and what she wants to do in the next 5 years. As we went ahead with our conversation I asked Gurmehar if this is how she was from her childhood or some epiphanic realisation had hit her? To which this 21-year-old proudly responded:
"Politics was always been around me, it has had a huge effect on my life because of the family I come from. It was natural for me to have a political opinion on things, it was natural for me to speak up because I have grown up in a household where we speak about the nation, government policies and conflicts."
She continued and said, "I have always had conversations with my mom, I have always read a lot. I have always been into arts and sports. I think, when you are exposed to so many fields at a young age, you tend to form an opinion and you tend to figure out who you are. While growing up I realised that we as a family deeply care about the state of the nation. As I grew up, I had developed a habit of becoming strong and never giving up or being vocal about how I felt. I have been in an atmosphere where I learned a lot of things."
Gurmehar is a social activist and an author too, she recently published her first book Small Acts of Freedom which talks about three generations of women in her family and how they have fought through the odds and become strong, powerful and passionate on their own terms. When I asked her about her book, she shared, "I always wanted to write my own book which is why I am studying English at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi. I think arts and politics are very similar so I was always aware of things and I wanted to put all of that into my stories, which is why I wrote my book. Because I have a great story to tell and I am thankful that I am surrounded by such women who have such stories that I can share with the world."
All of us have a role model to look up to, someone who inspires us deeply. Gurmehar has been a great inspiration and influence for people of her generation, but when I asked her who inspires her, she said:
"It’s definitely my mom. People ask me and I say I have written a book on my mother and my grandmother because they are a great influence in my life, they have made very tough choices for me. And my mom provided me space where I can do whatever I want to do and be vocal about things. But, if I have to name someone who is not from my family it has to be Maria Sharapova, the Russian Tennis player. I have worshipped her work ethics and I love the fact she doesn’t GIVE UP. She is someone who has been a very important influence in my life."
Gurmehar is a self-motivated woman who aspires to do great things and have a great life. We all hit rock-bottom in life and there is always something that motivates us and lifts us up, on asking about that one thing in her life, this is what she said:
"I always knew that I will never give up. It has just become a part of me and I don’t know how to give up. It is okay to hit the rock bottom but then you have to get up and there’s no other way. I aspire to do great things but there have been times when I had hit rock-bottom but then that’s the whole point, it is okay to be down but you have to get up."
Having a single parent sometimes becomes the most challenging thing in life but Gurmehar channelised it and took everything that was coming her way and made it her strength. On talking about her bond with her late father, she shared some of the most beautiful thoughts with me. "It is a very significant and important part of my life because I always grew up with his stories and his memories. It shaped me, he wasn’t there at all but he was still there. I was brought up with stories of his bravery, then I decided that this is what I want. I want to be brave. I never gave up in life because I knew he would have never wanted me to do that. In my head, I never wanted to disappoint him and his legacy. I think I was able to stand up to bear all that storms because that is what he has taught me even by not being there."
We all get to hear compliments that we are a lot like our parents, I wanted to know who Gurmehar is more like, her father or her mother? She proudly responded: "I think I am a ridiculous weird concussion from both my parents, of all the good in both of them. And all the bad that I have is just me. Sometimes I procrastinate, I get mad and that is all just me."
Gurmehar's message not only for women but for everyone who will read this is: “The only message that I have for everyone is that don’t give up on yourself. Whether it is you in your board exams, whether it is a relationship, one needs to know how to not give up on oneself. Even though the world will constantly try to pull you down, know that you are your biggest asset. You are the most important person you need to invest in.”
Thank you, Gurmehar. For existing, for making people realise that life is much more than just the usual randomness, that youth of this country needs to focus more on their rights and global peace. You are undoubtedly a #WomanOfWorth who should be cherished by the entire world. That's all people. Follow this wonderful ever-smiling writer here. For feedback and suggestions, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.orgDisclaimer: The details in this story were shared with the writer during an interview. WittyFeed has a copyright on the information above.