"“‘Either get married or fend for yourself!’ That’s what I was told at 20."
I had just completed my BTech and rushed home, excited to share the news. I expected my parents to react the same way they did when my brother scored well in his exams. I yearned for the same look of pride in their eyes for me. But they just wanted to get me married…
Well, that was the tradition where I come from. Girls getting married early was the norm. But I didn’t want to conform to the norm—I wanted something different for myself. I wanted to study more, work, earn money, make a name for myself, and then, when I was ready, get married. But Amma and Appa didn’t understand that.
When I resisted marriage, they cut me off—I was on my own. As hurt as I was, I was up for the challenge. So, I took up a job as an assistant engineer and enrolled myself into a night college. I would go to work at 6am, where if need be, I would stick notes to my workstation and also study during my working hours.
"As hard as I had to work, I was grateful to be there."
Because the only two meals that I’d eat in a day were the breakfast and lunch provided at work. It helped me save a lot of money. Then, after work, I'd come home, do the chores, and head to college.
All my hard work paid off when I got a job at Ola. Once again, against my better judgement, I rushed to tell my parents the good news, hoping they would be happy for me now at least. But my hopes were crushed when they didn’t even acknowledge it. Instead, they showed me a picture of a boy for a marriage proposal.
I was heartbroken, but I wasn’t surprised. I didn’t say anything, I just pulled myself together—which is something I’d been doing my whole life—and readied myself for another new journey.
"Today, after 8 months in Ola, I feel so grateful for the life I have. I am proud of myself for making my own place in the world — something I’ve always wanted."
I don’t know how long I can postpone the wedding plans… but that’s not for me to think about right now. Because right now, I have dedicated myself to be a good leader to my team of 50 women.
As for the future, I have one more dream to fulfil—to adopt a child. To give them all that I never received from my family. Maybe in doing that, I will heal the little Pavithra, the one who needed nothing but just a little more love and support.”
Creative Director, Ola
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