What is life if not the moments that make it? There’s something to learn from all of them.
It sounds silly now, but the moment that changed the trajectory of my life happened in the 5th grade. Until that point, I’d been a shy student—I’d never participate or volunteer for anything. But I was keen on excelling, which is why I interviewed for the school’s prefectorial board.
"When the selections came out, and I found out that I hadn’t made the cut, I was crushed."
I never told anyone how hurt I was, but that day, something in me just snapped. From then on, I threw myself into dramatics, debates, events and everything else. I wanted to prove a point—not to anyone else, but to myself. And that’s what helped me bloom into the confident, outgoing Marisha who graduated as the cultural head of the school.
That one small moment laid the foundation for the person I went on to become. But then, another moment came along that turned everything on its head.
After graduating from law school, I was first associated with a UK-based law firm, and then, I joined an Indian law firm.
That too in the litigation department which is conventionally more traditional and hierarchical—it was a huge cultural shift and I had a tough time adjusting to a new way of working. I was probably a lot more friendly and outgoing than my peers were used to. Our ideas of excellence were different, and I struggled to fit in. It felt disheartening, because the one thing that was my strength—my ability to connect with people—had seemingly become a setback instead.
That’s when I sought my parents’ advice, who told me, ‘Just take a step back and think about this—are you trying to be good at your job, or are you seeking approval?’ I paused, and realised they were right. I was seeking approval from my peers. And when I stopped wanting that, things just fell into place.
"I didn’t need to be at the extreme end of a spectrum—shy or confident—in order to find my place in life. I just had to be me."
Thirteen years have passed, and today, as the Director Legal at Ola, I let my passion lead the way to finding solutions, facilitating change and creating an impact. Everyday, I live with purpose. Isn’t that what life is all about?”
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