Editor’s Note: We crib so often. About anything and everything. It is so commonplace to hear “why is this only happening to me?” If only we wouldn’t. If only we would stop to look around us. If something has depressed us, there will be thousands more who are worse off than us. And yet, some of them are facing life with a smile. In fact, these are the people who succeed. Fighters win. Fighters live. Here is a story about a simple girl from a small town. And her achievements. This story has been contributed by our member satchitananda. Do you know of any such woman? Then join us in our discussion here

It was a wonderful moment today when I logged onto my e-mail and found a notification of a friend request from a close friend whom i had lost touch with 15 years ago.

I had absolutely no clue where I could hope to find her or get any information about her. Sometimes, one can be so stupid, the most obvious answer eludes the mind. Why did I not search on Facebook? We have 2 common friends. Why did i not think of asking them about her? Scattiness – early signs of Alzheimer. OK, I shall leave it at that then. I didn’t think of it. But to my luck she did and here i am in touch with her once again. so enough of the self-flagellation .

Naturally when one gets in touch with someone after so long, one wants to know how time has treated them and the first evidence is a picture of the person. 

Unfortunately she has absolutely no picture of herself. however, she has posted pictures of her parents and family wedding pictures.

What touched me the most was the picture of her parents outside Buckingham palace. You may wonder what is so unique about this. Now let me put it like this. Imagine a girl from a family which is very economically underprivileged and socially disadvantaged . The father works as a peon in a government office and the mother is a housewife and is illiterate. Brother is an auto-rickshaw driver. She is the only one in the family who has studied very well and has got a PhD in the biological sciences from the university of oxford about 17 years ago. All this on her own steam – from getting scholarships to fund her studies abroad to working part time there to support herself and to help her family.

She was a few years junior to me in school. However, i got to know her when I was working with her in the same lab in my hometown. And let me say this, she was brilliant. This is one case where I could not harbour any resentment to the government’s policy of reservations.

She deserved to be helped. Not that she needed it as she was smart enough to make it there on her own. After that she left for the UK. to do her PhD. I followed a year later and got to know her really well during that time. I have been witness to how hard she worked, how she used to save money to buy gifts for her family – including parents, siblings, nephews and nieces. while there, she met and got married to a man from across the border, despite the possibility to familial objections. She went with him to his country, had a wedding ceremony in their style and came back. She said it would be very difficult because of her educational background to find someone of equal or similar qualifications in her own community. hats off to her courage 
Today, when i saw pictures of her parents in her album, imagine how happy and proud I felt of my friend.

This girl has not forgotten her roots despite all the progress she has made, Nor is she ashamed or embarrassed to acknowledge it. She has given her parents an opportunity to visit the UK and it is so heart-warming to see pictures of this couple, the mother with her head covered with the pallu of her 9-yards saree tied in their traditional fashion, posing beside wax models of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi at Madame Tussaud’s and outside Buckingham palace. She did not feel embarrassed by their dress in that ambiance either.

Blessed are such parents to have such a daughter. 

Can you imagine with what pride they must have felt to show these pictures to their family and friends when they got home