A lot of people have asked me this question ‘How did Incredible Women of India start? What was your vision when you started it? Which social cause made you begin this e-zine?’ and invariably I come up with the same answer.
‘It started from nothingness, I really didn’t have any vision when I started it, I had no idea what I was doing at all!!’ And they laugh, unbelieving.
The real story is that like most things IWI started from a void, a personal void. I was out of job, at home taking care of my then 2 year old daughter. I was mostly depressed as I couldn’t go out and I needed motivation to do anything at all. I was yearning to do something, not necessarily to earn money, but to earn little bit of my mental peace, my identity as Rhiti.
Some of us need that extra push, to do something better, for me it came from my mother. I still remember her exact words, ‘Ekta mitthhe dukkho niye bilas kora tor obbhyesh hoye geche’ which translated exactly into ‘You are finding pleasure in a fake non-existent sorrow and it is turning into your habit.’ Those words had punched a hole in my gut.
It is true, we ourselves are our own limitations. There is no one else to blame, it is always us and the choices or decisions we have taken. When we complain about our lives, we forget how blessed we are and what we have. It could have been worse, much worse.
My Ma sat me down that day and told me the inspirational story of my grandmother, her mother, the story of survival of a widow in her late thirties with 11 kids to feed in the 1950’s.
As I was listening to my mother talk about her mom Kamala Sengupta so passionately I felt motivated myself. That is when it struck me, if an inspirational story can motivate me would it also inspire others? To be positive? To be Incredible in their own right?
Once the idea had hit me, I started writing. Mostly about family members and friends I knew, who in my eyes were inspirational.
It has been a lonely journey to start with but I was happy. I felt the change within myself as I went on writing about women I knew who were inspiring. But like any new idea I too faced certain difficulties that is when, Sulakshana Chatterjee, my brilliant and talented friend, came to my rescue together with her ideas and inputs. She helped me to develop the concept further.
And before I knew it Incredible Women of India was up and running with True Stories of Real Indian Women. As I write this blog post that small e-zine is about to hit the 40,000 views mark, and it leaves me humbled by all the love and support I have received on my way.
A lot of people have helped me on this journey, and I will write about them as I go along, but for now, thank you to all of you who have been there for me through this INCREDIBLE journey.