Her eyes glistened with joy when she saw her father in the audience.
He sat with a proud smile.
Proud to see her confidence even though she had forgotten her speech.
‘I’m sorry but I won’t be able to make it, beta. I have an important meeting today.’ Shayla recalled her father’s words from the breakfast table.
Since her mother passed away, her father didn’t leave Shayla’s side. He would always make time for his daughter, juggling between his meetings and barely managing to keep his job.
‘No! It’s not the history that has it… A woman is not defined by the roles assigned to her in the society. Various factors like…’
It was really hard to think with the spotlight screeching onto her face. She had almost got it when someone from the audience screamed, ‘LOSER!!!’
It was embarrassing as hell but she still stood there. When she looked up from the floor again, it was right there.
Coming back to her.
‘Being a woman is about having courage to stand. Having courage to love someone knowing they might not love you back.
A woman represents transformation. Taking care.’
She took the mic from the stand and started walking across the stage as the audience watched in utter silence.
‘A woman represents courage and strength to give birth to a new life.
The confidence of knowing about the presence of gender discrimination in your surrounding workplace and yet keeping your head high in the sky and walking in the room like you couldn’t care less.
It’s more than biology, to be a woman. Being a woman is about finding the parts within. Finding the will within, to nurture. Finding your own way to define who you want to be. Unlike the stereotypes, it cannot be categorized by any specific traits. It’s not restricted to being or having a mother, sister or a daughter.’
When they all stood up to applaud, it was slightly difficult for her to find her father in the crowd. But, there he was.
‘How did you manage? I’m amazed.’
‘Well, let’s just say I had a good mentor.’ She replied hugging her father tightly.
‘It certainly seems like you know much about being a woman Mr. Gaur. She did an excellent job today.’ Mrs. Mathur told the cheering man.
On their way back home, Jayant seemed lost in thoughts but his daughter noticed and asked, ‘Is there something bothering you, Papa? Is it work? You know you can tell me. I’m in 9th grade now. Big enough to understand things.’
He turned towards that round smiling face.
‘You know she’s the one to teach me how to manage everything in my life. How to balance. I learned a lot from her but I still miss her.’
‘I know. But whenever I miss her, I look at you. There’s nothing she would have done differently than what you already do for me. You’re my super dad. You know why?’
‘Because I have found both my mom and dad in you. I don’t care what the other people say about having a woman in the house. I have you.’
‘On that note, young lady, I’ll cook pizza for you tonight. It’s settled!’