When I first saw the Gillette “Soldiers for Women” advertisement on TV (http://www.youtube.com/user/gilletteindia?v=iUVwIZjvjx8), it enraged me. What did they mean – do we women need soldiers to protect us? But, when BlogAdda came up with the concept of blogging about “Soldiers for Women” – men who have stood up for women with courage and integrity, it made sense. Why not write about those men in our lives who have respected us, supported us and been there with us throughout? As Tom Peters says, “Celebrate what you want to see more of.”
I gave it a lot of thought and realized that there is no single person whom I can write about. So, I have categorized my Soldiers relationship-wise.
For every girl, her father is a hero. She idolizes him. She thinks her dad is the strongest, most intelligent and most handsome person in the world. When she grows up, she secretly hopes to meet someone like her father and get married to him. I was/am no different. My father was a strict man. However, the reason I consider him my soldier is because he was always there for me. He encouraged my dreams – be it gymnastics or reading. He always took time out for me – we went to the park, to the beach, for vacations, etc. I have developed my love for quotations from him – he would diligently note down the quotations he liked in a small notepad. Also, I have picked up photography from him – he was a brilliant photographer; he always made me look beautiful.
My brother is a couple of years younger than me and I have always been the elder, protective sister. It was my duty to make sure he went to school, he studied, he ate properly, etc. and I did it without any fuss. However, as we grew up, I realized my brother has started becoming my soldier. He started taking care of me without being vocal about it. The midnight phone call on my birthday; a surprise book sent by courier on Raksha Bandha Day; chit-chatting with me late into the night exchanging work related talks – all this made me realize that my younger brother has now grown up to be a sensitive and caring adult. He is not overtly expressive about his feelings. But deep down, by his very actions, he touches my heart.
My first boss was this tyrannical, almost dictator-like person whom we all feared. He was passionate about his work and expected us all to be as well. However, fresh and new into a job, we never managed to fulfil his expectations. When it was time for me to quit the organization, he said something to me which I remember to this day – “We can find somebody with your skills, but not your attitude.” His confidence in my abilities made my self-confidence sky-rocket; I appreciate the huge leap of boost he gave me.
The second boss I worked with was like a jackfruit – hard and thorny on the outside; soft and sweet on the inside. Whenever we sat back late for work, he always inquired how would I go home. More than once, he volunteered to drop me home. We had long discussions and chats on my goals and aspirations and what did I want to do with my life.
I have been fortunate and blessed to have worked with such wonderful male colleagues – who treated me as one of their own but who also always remembered that, as a woman, my safety was of paramount importance. One colleague dropped me home on the midnight of 31st March, when we finished our annual yearly closing at the factory, when his house was right next door and mine was about 25 kms. away. His rationale – I did not do anything out of the ordinary; I felt I needed to do this. Another colleague always checks with me where I am going and what time I am expected to return home.
They say you cannot choose your family but you can choose your friends. And I am glad I chose such wonderful friends. They go out of the way to ensure my comfort and well-being. They always make me feel so special – by their words and their actions.
A big thanks to BlogAdda, because of whom, I was forced to think and put down into words how and why these soldiers play such an important part in my life. I cherish each and every one of them and am truly grateful for their presence in my life.
This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com
Pictures have been used for representational purposes only; they have been taken from www.google.com.