By Dr. Manisha Bose
My story is not of valor but about celebrating the ordinary and the mundane, of writing your narrative wherever life places you.
I moved to Thailand as a ‘ trailing spouse ‘ a phrase used for women who move to the country where their husbands moved for jobs. It was an ambiguous phrase as ambiguous as the situation I was put in for the second time.
But I knew I will change the ambiguity into clarity. I had done that before too. I was teaching English Literature in National Collage, Mumbai but my husband took a job in Pune and I had ‘trailed ‘ along and found a job in Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies , a very reputed institute in India. I was roped in my many corporate trainers in their team, and I grew manyfold in my confidence.
I was on a break of child nurturing and my husband got transferred to Thailand. With my 1.5 yrs old daughter I decided to pursue my PhD. I wanted to build myself while looking after my child. This felt the best thing to do. PhD is never an easy task, but I accomplished it and had another child and decided to extend my break. During this time, I got associated with Chulalongkorn University ‘s Indian Study center and did few things for them. I was given a title ‘ Bharathi Mehdi ‘ meaning an Indian Scholar and in that capacity, I read a paper in Indian Writing in English in front of eminent writers like Amitav Ghosh and Jhanavi Barua and Vikas Swarup. This was the most glorious moment for me.
As my baby took his first steps to preschool I took up a full time job as a lecturer at Assumption University. My decision and focus to do my PhD paid off and my time to nurture my family was fruitful as well.
As my children are older now I have more time to do Corporate trainings (socio cultural communication) and I take sessions at other institutes like NIDA and AIT and in the other departments of my own university when invited.
One thing that I felt very energizing past 20 years is my association with Children’s home Baanunrak where I have been a volunteer. Didi Devimala is my woman of excellence who runs the home. I have seen the children grow and by trying to help in my small ways I have grown multifold within. I feel that this home gave me a deep sense of purpose and inspired me immensely which made it easy for me to inspire others to help it.
Today I am the Chapter Head of a Movement #WomanPower a global movement started by Mr. DK Bakshi, a well know name in HR world who asked me to head this in Thailand. This is a voluntary work and I am trying to give this movement a shape and a platform for many women voices that needs to be heard. It is to celebrate the sisterhood that each of us can provide to each other. We need to be useful to ourselves and our society. We meet every two months and pay for our own coffee and let one woman lead the discussion. Whether you are a home maker or a professional each of us has so much to learn from each other. These sessions are not only about speaking but also listening and that’s where our real growth lies.
Also , I collaborated with a dynamic woman entrepreneur in India who owns a startup ‘ MindmyMind ‘ and have assisted in research on woman’s mental health issues which will be released soon.
I have been blessed with an opportunity of mentoring a girls collage in a village in Uttar Pradesh started by my family. My experience with the young, enthusiastic village girls has reinforced that education is the only key towards real empowerment. Educate a girl and she will educate the family ,society and the whole village.
I have learnt in my journey to always have a vision and be single minded about it. Taking a balanced decision and having the ability to tell yourself a’ yes’ and to tell others a ‘no’ when you feel a no from within becomes your strength. To feel your own power will make you empower others as well.
Self-growth is not an outside in process but inside -out process and we are responsible for this process. We are the tool ourselves. We can empower ourselves and thus the others. I shall soon be presenting one woman power every week from Thailand to inspire others. It is not about one of us but each one of us .
5 thoughts on “Power to Empower”
Truly inspiring! Your life journey will motivate many young women to set goals, stay focused and achieve the impossible.
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