June 2020 is the Female Wave of Change Story telling month: Stories matter and we want you to share yours! Today Dr Ruby Bakshi Khurdi, Female Wave of Change Switzerland, shares the story of her inspiration, her mother!
My inspiration “SANTOSH”
“Every girl dreams of her Prince Charming! Every girl dreams that one fine day her Prince will come & take her away in the wonderland…this is so well depicted in our Indian Bollywood movies…But alas life is not a fantasy, it is real! With dreams in my eyes & love in my heart I followed my husband to Europe immediately after marriage. I was excited & happy to begin the new phase of life with the guy whom I had just met 2-3 times before wedding. Unaware of the fact that my mother had been feeling very low after my departure from India. Since I had been very close to my mum, I had never left home before, she became very sick and almost bed-ridden. Whenever we would speak to each-other over telephone, both of us acted as if we are very happy & just have animated conversations…none of us gave the impression how miserably we were missing one-another..
Santosh – The Wonder Woman
Santosh is a highly educated woman with Masters in Political Science & Higher Diploma in Public administration. She was very fond of reading & wearing stylish clothes, she would stitch her own clothes for every special event. The literal meaning of her name ‘Santosh’ means satisfaction, she was always happy, I never heard her complain to my papa for anything. My mother had a very successful career, she was serving in a reputed government organization as a top profile manager. As a kid or even while growing as a teenager, she never raised her hand on me or my sister nor spoke angrily…I would always wonder how she could keep so calm and yet get all the work done by everyone around her. Both personally & professionally people would follow her willingly and work as a great team. Even-though she was a working at a higher management level, I remember pretty well she would greet with a genuine smile every person at work – her chauffer, guards, co-workers & managers. She would address most of them with their names & help them whenever possible. She would never differentiate between working or non-working class – treat them all at par.
She was balancing all her hats as a daughter, wife, sister, mother, friend & high profile career woman perfectly with a smile on her face. My father as a Zonal Sales Manager for a multi-national company had a touring job, he would be travelling at-least 15 days a month, my mum would manage everything single-handedly. She always emphasized on the importance of education & independence specially for girls. She never acted like a boss at home, to us she was just a simple & caring ‘Mum’. Both me & my younger sister were getting life lessons from her every single day – how to manage emotions & excel in every field.
My life after marriage in Switzerland
Life is not a movie, even-though I was with my loving husband I felt lonely, home-sick & faced a big cultural shock. I could not share my real feelings even with my parents as I didn’t want to hurt them and feel sad. On the eve of my wedding day, I still remember my mother’s words – “You are going to start a new life, be a good wife, marriage is not about winning – it is about understanding & living harmoniously with your husband.” Whenever I was facing a problem, I would always think how would my mother handle this situation? What would she do? Instantly I would find a solution to any issue… I often found myself comparing with the hardships my mother faced in raising us in India with the comfortable life here in Europe – It would instantly energize me & boost my morale.
As a shy Indian girl it was not easy for me to find a job and start working in Switzerland, I had my struggles too…even after starting my teaching carrier here in a management university, I did face glass ceiling since I was the youngest lecturer & a woman! I had to work very hard consistently to prove myself, magic didn’t happen in a day.
Family & Love
As an ambitious young woman I wanted to excel in everything – be a great daughter, sister, wife, mum, as well as career woman but one cannot be a winner all the time. At times I get angry & cry, question myself…how can I fail? Then I would remember my mum’s advice – “don’t give up, this is just a beginning; you have to pass many difficult tests in life.” With passage of time & consistent support of my husband and children I started evolving as an emotionally balanced person. Today I am a successful Educationist, Emotional Intelligence Expert Trainer & Inspirational Speaker, I am invited to speak at various international platforms. I owe this to my mother who has been my constant source of inspiration throughout life – she taught me good moral values, find happiness in small things, understand the true meaning of sacrifice for family and learning to accept failures as a stepping stone to success…
“FIT IS NOT A DESTINATION, IT IS A WAY OF LIFE.”
Dr Ruby gave Female Wave of Change permission to share her story on our website.