There is a huge uproar of women right and safety issues in India, Opinion Express explores the story of new confident Indian woman, driving the nation to its new glory. India Inc have incorporated its female population in the mainstream of all sections of life, though the nation must look in the aspect of women empowerment specially in rural areas by promoting education, better health care, skill development programs, wider employment opportunities. Opinion Express is pleased to publish a story that highlights woman of substance to change the popular perception about life of women in India
As a child my earliest memories were about sitting in an air plane, and travelling to some far away land. In the early 80’s travelling abroad was still an issue for most Indians. Owing to the fact that my father is from the shipping background, foreign travel and foreign goods was something that we took completely for granted. Back in the 80’s, I can remember my school friends looking jealously at my Japanese pencil box or my American shoes or maybe my German pencil sharpener. My trip to Disney world in Orlando was a point of extremely jealousy among my friends.
This I guess this is a direct indication about how backward the Indian economy was compared to its western counterparts. India was then truly a fourth world country then. Indian’s had little or no access to quality goods. Other than a few friends of mine who were really rich, most of my contemporaries could just not afford branded goods. My early memories are about asking my elders about why there were so few types of cars on Delhi roads compared to the U.S, where every car looked different even then.
So other than the times I was abroad the time back home in India was pretty much boring. A city like New Delhi would shut down by 8 pm. There were no McDonald or KFC’s where we could go as school kids. Being from South Delhi did not make much of a difference as real estate values were quite low compared to the other big cities around the world.
My collage days in comparison were a lot better. It was already the late 90’s. I went to the prestigious Lady Sheri Ram Collage in South Delhi, ranked among one of the finest institutions in India. Collage was a lot of fun as there were finally a couple of places to hang out. The liberalization process India began in 1991 had begun to bear results.
We as Indians finally had access basic international brands. However unlike today, flaunting a middle class European, or Japanese car was considered very tony in a cities like Mumbai or New Delhi.
Most of my friend’s fathers were now exporters. Exports were the most happening business in the late 90’s. The Indian economy was now evolving fast. The cellular phone or the “cell” had just stated is career in India. Finally everyone could connect easily. I remember an instant where I happened to bring a latest Sony phone from Singapore with an in built antenna. It created a flurry among my friends.
During the turn of the millennium, while I was doing my M.A (masters) from Delhi university things had changed fast. Though I always had the privilege of owning luxury cars from the time I can remember, the well heeled in Indian urban centres now had excess to the Merc’s and Beemer’s.
In the last 10 years since the things have drastically changed in India. The town house where I reside in south Delhi, boasts of square foot rates that can equal most parts of New York City or London. I have malls near my house that house most international high street brands. The DLF Emporio in Vasant Kunj New Delhi has most of the international luxury brands. My life style as a socialite in New Delhi is now comparative with if I was living in New York or London or even Los Angeles. There are several social events on my social calendar.
From my experience of partying in the European billionaire hot spots like Monte Carlo or St. Tropez, I can safely say that the partying in New Delhi or Mumbai is no longer a compromise. New Delhi being a regional power centre however has a more serious side when it comes to events. I attend events that range from those in honor of incoming heads of state to numerous fashion shows at the India fashion week.
I have also championed the cause of underprivileged children by walking the ramp for several charity shows .This has pushed me to start my own (NGO) Non Government organization that looks into the social cause of helping teenagers from disturbed underprivileged homes to cope with the stresses of being low down in the social and financial hierarchy.
To conclude the story of my life has been pretty much interesting owing to my wide network of friends and social acquaintances and travels. I too have had my share of problems like combating jealousy from peers and social rivals, not being taken too seriously because of my certain level of attractiveness, or even being type cast as those over privileged brats who middle class people like sneer at. But this has never bothered me or slowed me down.
So as a person I consider myself as reasonably successful owing to the multi faceted nature of my work. Being a published columnist, social activist, special educator, ex model and business women at the same time, can surely be a handful. However I can surely say that I belong to the new genre of urban Indian woman who are not afraid to express themselves and view the world as one global village.
– OE News Bureau