Monday, September 23, 2013

Tommy- Our Watch dog...

Pets, when they enter your life, they occupy a large space in your heart…

            No matter how strong you are, how stubborn you are, they keep you twisted around their curly tails and around their small paws

            Since  I was a child I always longed to have a pet, cat or dog… but living in city like Mumbai (Bombay, at that time), and with both parents working, my Mom made strict rule “NO PETS” at home… Also because she hated cats for leaving their fur and dirtying house…

            Then we shifted to our native place where we had an independent house with huge garden area… After 6 months of my marriage when I went to my parents’ house, I was bit surprised to be greeted by a cute black puppy, barking ferociously at me… I was surprised, as I knew my Mom’s aversion towards pets…

            Papa told he is “Tommy” their new companion…

When one of our relative came to know that my parents are on lookout for a dog, (obviously for security and time pass reasons), he handed them a 10 day old black puppy, whose mother was killed in a road accident immediately after giving birth to her litter and his siblings had died due to lack of milk… he was the lone survivor…

My dad bought him home… he was too sick and weak. He was so weak that he could hardly open his eyes or walk or drink milk… they used to feed him milk with spoons… slowly he started to feed on his own…he was taken care by  them as a small kid is taken care…

Their efforts did pay… after nearly 15-20 days he tried to get on to his feet and move around… he used to follow my Dad around the garden… Even he bought a change in my Mom’s dislike for pets…

His bonding with my Dad grew… wherever my dad went; he used to follow him… If he went to terrace Tommy would follow him. When dad used to go to market he would whimper and beg to be taken along… He used to wait near the gate till my dad returned… Tommy could hear my Dad’s Kinetic coming from ½ km distance… he used to inform my mom, about his arrival long before Dad reached the gate 

Whenever I went home along with hubby, he played with him… but whenever it was our time to leave, he would come to us and stretch his legs in front of us and lay down…Not allowing us to pass… 

When I went for my delivery, he would come and sit beside me in garden watching my tummy… he used to walk alongside while I used to do my evening walk… but all hell broke loose for him after arrival of my daughter…

My Dad who got his first grandchild and was busy, so Tommy didn’t take this distraction or division of my dad’s attention or love mutely… He used to keep on whimpering or barking below my window at night, giving all sleepless nights…

Whenever Dad used to carry Prerna in his arms, in garden he used to bark intensely and try to jump on him… poor thing got scolded and beaten for 1st time by my dad…

But as days passed, he got to know that Prerna is also a family member. His insecurity faded and he became normal… he used to look at her with those deep brown eyes, smell her…





But as days of my departure neared he grew restless… Mom told the day I left for in-laws place he sat near gate whole night hoping for our return…

Dad had bought a big black basket for him. He grew so attached to that basket that no matter what, he never slept outside that basket…

His companion in his initial months was a black cat, whose mother used to come in our backyard for her delivery every 4-5 months… My parents used to have a very tough time, because these kittens used to play and destroy their plants in garden…

Tired of this kitten menace Mom and Dad decided to take and leave the kittens and their mother far far away from their place… But in that litter there was a cute black kitten. They decided to keep it.

When Tommy arrived, the kitten used to play with Tommy it was a scene to watch, pulling each other’s tails, running behind each other…
Slowly as Tommy grew, he started to hate the idea of sharing food with the cat… So when parents started to put his food in front yard and cat’s in backyard, he would finish his food at lightning speed and dash to drive the cat and eat her share... Until, finally the cat left the house for good…

Tommy became an inseparable part of our house… Whenever Dad went out of town, inspite of serving his favorite food, fish, he would go on hunger strike for a day or two… He was a child in a dog’s body…
He barked at every person who passed by our gate, killed any neighbor’s poultry, or wild monkeys or garden snakes…

He was our security, watch dog…

The saddest day came, when my parents decided to sell the house and move back to Mumbai… When a family from our vicinity decided to take him, no matter what they did, he didn’t leave dad… With a heavy heart Dad then picked him with his basket and left him in their car…

Even after a year when Dad visited that person, Tommy first ignored him in anger… but when Dad went near him and patted him he forgot his anger and jumped on Dad……

That’s Tommy, our one and only Favorite pet.




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Sunday, September 8, 2013

"Where there is a Will, there is a Way..."

          Everyone has a deep seeded desire in them to do something they really love; they really want to be … Be it education, hobby, job or business. And very few actually get successful… otherwise now-a-days everyone is following the rat race.

          Shweta is one of them… Actually Shweta is my school classmate… In school I knew her as always smiling, athletic, energetic girl… Then we lost contact with each other as I moved to my native for further studies. But then few months back we got in touch through Whatsapp.

Introduction of Shweta...

          Being the first born daughter to housewife mother and railway employee father in Jhansi she was pampered a lot. When her father moved abroad for better pastures, she along with her mother, younger sister and brother moved to Dombivali, Mumbai. In school she was always a forerunner in athletics and extracurricular activities. After school she did her graduation in commerce along with a computer programming course at NIIT. After NIIT, she did internship with NIIT, Dadar as a Student Counsellor and then with NIIT, Badlapur as a Faculty.
She got married immediately after her internship. She resigned from her job and concentrated on her marriage and family. Today she is mother to two young boys Soham, 12 and Kaivalya, 7 years old. She was never a career minded woman, but somewhere deep in her mind she wanted to engage herself in some recreational activity as she was good in art and was fluent in speaking English and had teaching abilities. So she started teaching English in a coaching institute, and was content with this part time arrangement.

Till four years back, she was a happy woman settled down in her married life with two boisterous kids and family… But deep in her heart she was not satisfied with this Indianised housewife role of cooking, cleaning and waiting for husband and kids.

          So after 10 years of marriage, she rose with passion to do something that entitles her as an individual. Definitely she wanted a creative field for second innings, options were Interiors or Fashion. As she was a cloth-holic herself, she choose to do Fashion Designing. She got the stitching ability inherited from her mother, who was herself good with tailoring abilities. Shweta did a 13 months Fashion Designing course from CPS, Kalyan. After successfully done with the course, she wanted a respectful certification that will give her opportunities in the industry as a fresher. The best and convenient option was Apparel Costing and Merchandising Management from NIFT, Mumbai. She gave an interview for the admission and got into the batch of much younger generation. But it was amazing experience for her!!!! She lived her college life again and with same spirit did all the projects, presentations, jotting down notes and was a real canteen freak at breaks. This was her weekend batch which gave her time to take care of her kids during week, study and complete pending studies, survey, statistics, etc. It was indeed a difficult task to convince the family for such a leap. Fair to their concerns, they did have objections but….. It was just to happen. A dream in the eyes of an ambitious Libran.

After studies she did her internship with Milaaya embroideries. It is an export house. She worked as an embroidery designer, in production unit, quality department and got some tips in merchandising. But by the end of three months, she realised it’s not possible for her to do a full-time job. Those commitments left very little space for her kids. She was more of a mother than a working lady then. She thought of working from home by making some garment samples. She had a master who collected material from home and delivered back to her. She then rented a shop, and worked more professionally. Beginning was with two sewing machines and a master. Made samples, some kurtis and started on a very small scale. Things started working smoothly and she was able to pay rent and master’s salary within 3-4 months. Her kids too started supporting her in their own possible ways. It was the excitement that made Soham said, "Aai tu aata modern woman sarakhi watate" (Mom you are a modern woman now). She felt some sense of achievement and confidence of putting next best foot forward.

As work grew, problems also started pouring in. People started rejecting samples but making a replica to avoid payments. Male competitors told her to sit at home because it is male dominated work profile. Children started to demand her attention. And this started affecting her business and family life. It's not easy to balance both pressures initially. So gradually she made her kids independent and looked out for a caretaker. If you wish to survive, you need to solve the problems as and when they come. She has her shop close to her house in Kalyan and her unit is in Bhiwandi, which is again rented.

 “I made some good decisions, some failed but learnt lessons on every step and still moving forward for better future personally and professionally.” ... She recalls.
 
Meanwhile she registered her own brand "SAAD" and the tag line "Mark Your Own Style Statement" in 2011. She launched her website - www.saadstyle.com on March 8 this year.













SAAD is a fashion house that offers ladies garments, stationary, artefacts, furnishing, accessories developed from textile and fabric. SAAD was started with an intention to promote Indian weaves, embroideries and prints.

SAAD intends to motivate innovative concepts by offering them a sampling unit and marketing platform. SAAD takes pleasure to offer a platform to upcoming fashion designers. They offer them a sampling unit and support them for small productions. It is a hub for traders, manufacturers, exhibitors & entrepreneurs who are new in fashion business.

SAAD is a team of expertise needed to establish a textile or fabric based venture. SAAD understands your concepts, expand your visibility, and promotes you through different channels of establishment. SAAD is right place to experiment with ideas and develop merchandise from textiles and fabrics. 

Now along with some minor production work and few sampling assignments, she wants to introduce her own garment line, her own brand---- online!!!! Paper work is on, hiring interns to work for the label and train them for production, sales and marketing activities. Slowly a positive team is shaping up.

“I am here to make wonders for self and people around me; may be in a small way but I am here to serve.... Times are good and at times bad too but believe in our strength and just walk the path. You have all rights to feel tired, dejected and rejected but that should not be your exit. You can't quit because if you don't try you can't win. No one is here to lose!!! Failures are subjective term, only success is objective. Measure your success and celebrate it at all stages. Appreciate yourself, your staff, family and friends for what they are..... Supporters or critics!!!! You need both.”… She reminiscences while talking about her future plans.

Now that SAAD is shaping up, she is in need of finance and other infrastructure to run the show. But “where there is a will there is a way”. She is in talks with bankers and other financial assistance. Patience and willingness to sustain has brought her through past 18-20 months!!! “There is a long way to go but I won't quit.... I will better retire!!!! In that case I still have many years to work.”

      Along with her business, she always finds inclination towards women empowerment. She has put her papers to MAVIM (Mahila Arthic Vikas Maha Mandal) as a consultant and soon may take up few projects with them. She has designed an EDP (Entrepreneurs Development Program) for entrepreneurs, which will help them to understand basic management concepts, govt schemes and subsidies, digital media tools for sales and marketing, networking platforms, brand and branding and many more. Academic education can't make them a human being, there is something more than that makes a person--- “Personality”.

      Her parting words are “Lots of things on chart but not confused with the priorities. Things properly planned and executed always bring desired results. You can't predict problems you may face while getting results but if you know what you ultimately want.... You get it in the right way at the right time. On my Way.”

         



Written for the Indiblogeshwaris Ladies Independence Special Contest in association with http://womenentrepreneursinindia.com/
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