My life started no differently than any other Punjabi girl. As far as i can recall,my gender has been a part of every discussion. My youngest sister, the fifth daughter of my parents, was born the year,I,their first born turned 11. I can precisely recollect my words when my Naani Maa/my maternal grand mother informed me about the new arrival in the family. “Can’t we quietly throw her in the bin? Can’t we leave her at the hospital?Why do we have to bring her home?my mummy already has four daughters. everyone is yet again goint o visit my daddy saying ki koi naa sabar ker…bechaare da ghar kuriyaan naal bhar gaya”. Sounds awful!! Doesn’t it?A young 11 year old child voicing such terrible words for her new born sister. But trust me,they weren’t my words. They were the words i had repeatedly heard over the years. They were the words my hypocritical society had drilled in my heart and mind ever since I was a little girl.The society ,I guess is clueless as to how it injures and scars the spirit and psyche of it’s daughters by continuously calling them a liability and their parents “Bechare”for having them.
This aversion for society rules and norms is probably the reason that like a magnet any gritty, brave woman to date pulls me towards her. I think in my formative years, I needed one brave hand to firmly hold mine,one confident voice to comfort me that I wasn’t alone and that there were innummerable drops of water which with their perseverance had turned to fire.
Right from my school days I kept looking for role models around me-in my home, school , books.In my teens when I was unsure and lacked confidence , I truly wished that an inspiring tale of a determined woman would take me in her arms and gently whisper in my ear,” If I can do it, so can You”. But no such story embraced me and I stumbled andgot up yet again,alone. Hence the idea of writing such a book which would highlight the highs and lows , the ups and downs, the struggles and achievements of the inspiring women personalities of Punjab was conceived way back, in my teens.
“OVERCOME AND BECOME” is the story of the five resilient, remakable, extraordinary , gritty, daring S(Heroes) from Punjab. It’s asaga of confidence,courage and compassion. It’s a tribute and salute to the Punj daughters of Punjab- Surinder Kaur, Amrita Pritam.Dr. Inderjit Kaur,Dr.Kiran Bedi and Amrita Shergil. I see the five protagonists of my book “OVERCOME AND BECOME” as five little girls who believed in themselves and in the women they wanted to be. One fine day they all stood gazing at the fragmented remains of their wings smashed by patriarchal society. Calmly they observed all broken, blurry pieces that glittered on the ground. And yet they felt so proud of their reflections and shadows that smiled back at them. The society by all means could chop off their wings but their spirits were indomitable. And though these women with a spine of steel, at times could be broken, but could never be defeated. There is something these women of substance share in common- they all encountered all the debacles gracefully and remained calm, composed and courageous.