Rahavi Rajendran

Me and my mother has never agreed on a single thing in my life and my brother hasn’t spoken to me for 3 years now. Sometimes it feels empty staying in my own house. Yet, I always felt lucky because of my Papa. He has been the only one who supported me wholeheartedly. I knew that if I could convince my dad, then I don’t need anyone else’s affirmations!

I grew up in an environment where one cannot speak against the elders. Even after working in a company for a few years, I’m still not able to stand up for myself at home. Every small thing that got replaced in my life made me overthink. I did my schooling in a co-ed school, but I don’t know what came into the mind of my parents, they admitted me into an All-Women’s college. That’s when the first time, I had this thought that maybe my parents are being skeptical of me and they don’t trust me enough. I’m the first graduate in my family and wanted to pursue my post-graduation, but my parents being the typical South Indian parents they were thought that it would be better to get me married, than letting me pursue post-graduation. The only alternative I found to delay this ordeal was to get a job.

I always dreamt of becoming a Psychologist, Chef, Costume designer or, Mechanical Engineer, but once I completed schooling, my father took me to a counselor to help me pick the “Right dream” for me. Papa asked the lady counselor  “What should we do to get her admitted into mechanical engineering?” I was shocked by the answer she gave – ” You would have to spend around 10 lakh rupees for her to become a mechanical engineer. But, after her studies, whether she has a job or not, you’ll anyways have to get her married. So why spend so much?” Her answer demotivated him in a way that my father completely dropped this idea. Anything related to fashion is not allowed in our caste and culture. I am not even allowed to wear jeans or shorts, and having to work in fashion designing, interaction with models was a very big ‘No’, so had to drop that too. When I told Papa that I want to become a Chef, he wasn’t ready to spend money on my cooking classes. He said,” If you want to learn cooking, then you can go to your grandmother’s house and learn there. I will drop and pick you from there every day!”  The last one was becoming a Psychologist. This profession didn’t work well in our society, the taboo associated with so instead of asking them, I dropped the idea myself.

Subsequently, I got fed up with the thought of fighting for my career and asked my parents to decide the career path for me. That’s when my mom went to a professor and upon her suggestion, I was admitted B.Sc. in Computer Technology in that very college.

The day before an important job interview, my leg got fractured. On top of that, the package that the company was offering at the time of joining wasn’t sufficient. My father even questioned me if I still wanted to go for the interview. But this time I was very firm on my stance and told him my willingness to go. We went to Coimbatore in a car, with a cast on my leg.

With all this going on honestly, the job interview didn’t go as I wanted it to, but lady luck favored me, and I got the job in Infosys.

My younger brother always had a lot of freedom to party with his friends and all that, but I was never allowed to go out – not even to watch a movie with my friends! But as I joined Infosys, for the first time, I felt independent. There was no one to restrict me from doing what I wanted. This was the first time that I stepped out of my state, all by myself. During my school days, I was into sports, so as soon as I joined Infosys, I joined football and basketball teams, eventually representing in Inter-company competitions. Bhubaneswar was like a second home to me.

In March 2020, I had to return home due to the COVID-19 and I was back to square one – restrictions, restrictions, and restrictions. Even if I had to travel to someplace nearby, I had to give explanations. But this was just the beginning. 2020 took away all my favorite people. In my house, the only lady I was attached to was my grandmother, but she passed away in July. As I was coming over this grief, tragedy struck for the second time and this one was huge. The motor of the well of our farm stopped working, so both my father and grandfather went there to fix it. There was this huge bulldozer to help them reach the bottom of the deep well. But as they sat on the bucket suspended to the bulldozer, the rope snapped, and they fell into the well. My grandfather was immediately declared dead. My father, despite not having any visible injury finding out about his dad, took his last breath the next moment. I was shattered. My father was my hero, my support. I had never expected him to die like that.

I remember I didn’t shed even a single drop of tear on that day. Life has to go on. I never envisioned myself working somewhere which isn’t my dream job, so I have started pursuing my MBA from distance. I want to be an entrepreneur and start something of my own. I have many ideas although nothing is concrete, I’m positive that I’ll own a business in the future. I read a lot of real-life stories and take strength from those to push myself to live life to the best I can.

Total Work Experience : 2.9 Years(Infosys)

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