My Story: "Growing Up Maa Was Our Only Support, We Got Our Fierceness From Her"

While growing up Utkarshica Srivastava witnessed the struggles that her mother has to face managing everything by herself and her dad rarely contributed.

Maharashtra   |   27 Aug 2020 9:06 AM GMT
Writer : Humans Of Bombay | Creatives : Abhishek M
My Story: Growing Up Maa Was Our Only Support, We Got Our Fierceness From Her

Image Credit: Humans Of Bombay 

While growing up Utkarshica Srivastava witnessed the struggles that her mother has to face managing everything by herself and her dad rarely contributed. She now wants to make her mother happy since she has struggled all her life.

"When I was 5, dad left for a week for work but didn't come back for six months. We didn't know how long to wait for him, so maa started stitching clothes for a living; Di and I helped. When dad finally returned, he resumed office as if nothing had happened.

But growing up, he never contributed at home. Maa paid for our education; we still don't know what dad did with his salary, or if he even earned. Moreover, he'd keep doubting me and Di and say, 'As girls, you'll never be able to do anything.' And we'd say, 'Watch us.'

We got that fierceness from maa. I remember, I'd excelled in my 8th-grade exams and asked dada for a ₹100 watch. He gave me ₹5 and a kerchief; and gave my cousin the ₹100 and said, 'Because he's a boy!' When I told maa, she bought me the watch and told me to go show it to him; to show him that women are worth it too!

Over time, Maa switched to selling LIC policies, but Di and I knew we had to start contributing too. So we'd embroider clothes and earn ₹2 – our pocket money.

Two days after my boards, I got a job as a research marketer. A month later, I got my first salary– ₹2000! I was so excited, I gave maa the cheque and told her, 'Now, it's my treat!'

Soon after I enrolled myself at dance classes– I loved dancing but we couldn't afford them before. Bit by bit, I started paying telephone bills and buying groceries and saved the rest.

During the first year of graduation, I hosted events–it paid good money. So I'd wake up at 7:30, attend lectures till 1 pm, work till 9 pm, go to dance class and come back home by 12– I loved it!

I even started travelling for work. A few months before graduation, the three of us had saved enough to move out of our chawl. When we asked dad if he wanted to move with us, he said, 'no'. Finally, it would be just us. Soon after, I got a full-time job in sales at a cyber security company.

At work, I was questioned a lot as I was the only woman in the room. Once, my CEO asked, 'Where do you see yourself in 2 years?' I told him, 'Running the international wing.' He said I was too ambitious!

But guess what, 2 years later, that's exactly what I'm doing! Last month, I even bought us a house! I've been saving for 4 years and managed to take out a loan–it's high time we have a place we can call 'home'.

Maa still works, but now she runs an NGO to empower victims of domestic abuse. Over the years, Di and I had promised ourselves that we wouldn't take a single penny from her, and so far we haven't. After everything she's done for us, that's the least we can do. A house and next up, a world trip."

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"When I was 5, dad left for a week for work & didn't come back for 6 months. We didn't know how long to wait for him, so maa began stitching clothes; Di & I helped. When dad returned, he resumed office as if nothing had happened. But he never contributed at home. Maa paid for our education; we still don't know what dad did with his salary. He'd keep doubting me & Di–'As girls, you'll never be able to do anything,' & we'd say, 'Watch us.' We got that fierceness from maa. I remember, I'd excelled in my 8th grade & asked dada for a Rs.100 watch. He gave me Rs. 5, my cousin Rs.100 & said, 'Because he's a boy!' So maa bought me the watch & told me to show him that women are worth it too! Maa switched to selling LIC policies, but Di & I knew we had to start contributing too. So we'd embroider clothes & earn Rs.2–our pocket money. 2 days after my boards, I got a job as a research marketer. When I got my 1st salary of Rs.2000, I gave it to maa & said, 'Now, it's my treat!' Soon after I enrolled myself at dance classes–we couldn't afford them before. Bit by bit, I paid telephone bills, bought groceries & saved the rest. During the 1st year of college, I even hosted events. I'd wake up at 7:30, attend lectures till 1, work till 9, go to dance class & come back by 12–I loved it! I even started travelling for work. Soon, the 3 of us had saved enough to move out of our chawl. When we asked dad if he wanted to move with us, he said, 'No'. Finally, it'd be just us. Soon after, I got a job in sales at a cyber security company. At work, I was questioned for being the only woman in the room. Once, my CEO asked, 'Where do you see yourself in 2 years?' I said, 'Running the international wing.' He said I was too ambitious! But that's exactly what I'm doing today! Last month, I even bought us a house! I've been saving for 4 years & managed to take a loan–it's high time we have a place we can call 'home'. Maa still works & runs an NGO to empower victims of domestic abuse. Over the years, Di & I'd promised that we wouldn't take a single penny from her & so far we haven't. After everything she's done for us, isn't this the least she deserves? A house & next up, a world trip."

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Also Read: My Story: 'Six years ago, I Never Thought I Can Walk Again, Today I Want To Win Gold Medal'

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