As much as I would like to go on a rant about how having Women’s day goes against everything equality stands for and how people have a misconception that celebrating women’s day once a year entitles them to treating them like dirt the rest of the year, I’m going to take today as an opportunity to applaud all the great women in my life. Having grown up in a household filled with women and attended a girl’s school, it’s not very surprising that it’s mostly women who’ve inspired me. There are 8 traits that make up a woman – strength, dedication, nurturing nature, perseverance, faith, intellect and a desire for perfection. Each of the women who’ve inspired me are the personification of each of these traits.
To start with, I’m going to have to go with my Mum. What can I say about the woman who went through the ordeal of carrying me in her womb for 9 months and still not complain when I refused to arrive when I was supposed to? The fact that you had the patience to put up with my pickiness about food, inconsistency with my grades through school and rebel teenage years itself entitles you to an award. But I often forget that you play more roles than just my mother. And boy, do you essay them to perfection! You are the strength of a woman personified.
The second most inspiring woman in my life was introduced to me as a squalling pink baby. From then until now, I have watched her transform into the beautiful woman she is today. In the beginning you were just a tiny little thing, following me around and imitating me. As we grew older, I watched you come into your own. Watched you forming your own opinions, creating your own path and making your own destiny. You may be younger than me but you inspire me nonetheless. Your passion and dedication to your profession and your unwavering focus on your goals are just among the few things I would love to imbibe in me. You are the very essence of dedication!
The next two ladies were two of my most favourite teachers from school. The first of whom I met in middle school. History, Geography and English classes were never the same after that! Your different approach to each subject are the only reason I ever bothered picking my books up to study. Your encouragement then, is the reason I still write today. The second was my teacher in high school. The very first day of Chemistry class you moved from Gas laws to discussing how the Columbia crashed; I’d always hated chemistry but you got me to sit down and at least give it the time of day. If it weren’t for you, I’d have never considered engineering as a career option. You are both what nurturing is about.
My next encounter with a woman of substance was in class 9. I’d always thought of tuitions as a place where weaker students went. I used to assume that going tuitions meant you were dumb and the last thing I wanted, was to look dumb. But I am so thankful that my mum sent me to one. Your unending patience with our doubts and mistakes is the reason all of us are who we are today. You found something special in each of us and helped us recognise it within ourselves. You are the very image of perseverance.
This woman, is the biggest surprise on my list. We’ve studied in the same school but never the same class. Our meeting was quite by chance and would never have happened were it not for mutual friends. It’s incredible that among all the friendships through school, this is the one that has weathered time’s test and still stood strong. You have a knack for knowing exactly what to say, when to say it and how to say it. Your constant faith and belief in me kept me going even when I had no faith in myself. You are faith!
Lady number 7, is one who’s sitting pretty and far away. We were never very close through Pre-university but now I can’t imagine going through something big without you by my side. It’s amazing how despite not having been in touch for months, we pick up from where we left off without the slightest awkwardness. Many and more have been left tongue-tied after an argument with you. You seem to have an opinion about everything. Your quick wit and charm never fail to impress. You are THE intellectual woman.
The last lady in my list, is THE girl (inside joke) in our class. I used to think of you as very reserved but over the course of three years I got to know you better. Whether it was in class or out on the basketball court, you showed everyone just how a woman can do everything a man can, very capably and sometimes even better. Your unending desire for perfection sets you apart and you never stopped until you achieved exactly what you set out to do. You are what perfection is all about.
Each of these women are women of substance. Many others have inspired me in their own little ways but these women stand out against a canvas of myriad colours and people. They bring with them such vigour and brightness that you can’t help but feel their presence. Each of them symbolise the traits that make up a woman and every woman carries a part of them in her. The fact that a woman is the most beautiful and inspirational creature one would find is undeniable. We all owe our very existence to a woman and it is indeed fitting to have a day dedicated to celebrating her.