Saturday, June 15, 2013

Preeti Monga - Esha Achiever of the Month - Part 2 of the guest post by Sandeep Koul

“Ye Bandar adrak ka swaad chakh chuka hai”, she quipped. “Ab ise aur badi adrak chahiye.”

Made sense – for a visually impaired entrepreneur who, instead of moping about her fate made it her job to motivate “healthy” individuals – though she soon dispelled the myth about this purported “health” too. As she said, “Those of us who look “healthy” on the surface are the ones who need the most help – they have been on their own the longest”.

My next canned question fit in nicely here, so I asked, “It is so easier to accept the pity you are offered than to soldier on at an equal footing. What makes you choose the tougher route, and where do you get the energy to do it?” While I got a decent answer to the first half of this question, the second half remained unanswered – probably because she, like the rest of us, has no idea as to what keeps her ticking, “I see life as a choice between being a giver and a taker, and I choose to be a giver”, she said.

“In the early “struggle” days, how did you handle naysayers, and more importantly, your own self doubt?” I asked. She replied, “In my early struggle days, I was a little girl and I used to be very disturbed by the attitude of people around me. I used to get left out of almost everything and used to cry nonstop. My mother and my father were my counselors and they always helped me to look at all that I had and others did not have. They helped me to recognize my strengths and made me happy with that.

As for naysayers, an example here: When visitors came home my mother made sure I served them water, made tea for them and served them. This would be done amidst horrified shrieks of, “No, No don’t bother Mrs. Singh, we will help ourselves! Don’t get the poor girl to do all this! “ And then when my mother would happily smile and encourage  me to continue my duty with a smile; and all the work was done, all would be OK! The visitors would settle down to the normal chit chatting and go away crestfallen as they realized that their pity was not at all required or welcome! And all ended well, slowly the condoling about the loss of  my  eyesight came to an end!

My next question was, “Who has been the one significant influence on your life and how? She replied, “My parents,  My Mami (my mother’s brother’s wife), Helen Keller,  and many  others. How is  a difficult one to answer in just a few words. They inspired, and motivated me and still do.”

Here, I decided – enough personal stuff let’s get general here. I asked, “Do you think the silver line philosophy applies to today’s dirty political world too?” Without batting ane eyelid, she countered “There is  nothing dirty or clean. It is how you choose to look at it. There is always a Silver Lining to everything; it is you who has to develop the  sensibility to look for it. There are always 2  sides to everything.”

Fair enough – it was a valid point of view, and I understood that I wouldn’t get far talking about global stuff here. Safety lay in sticking to personal stuff. So, I changed pace again, and asked, “Do you not often encounter cynicism (external as well as internal) and if yes, how do you cope with it?”  She replied, “I just be myself, everyone is welcome to his/her prospective.  Also, I try not to judge, everyone is entitled to be as they are.  Same goes for me too.”

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