I am a Woman

About ColNarinder Singh Malhan

Colonel Narinder Singh Malhan was commissioned from Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun. On having served for almost four decades in Indian Army, he loves to share his experiences through his writings. In his opinion, every life has a lot to unfold. Each life is unique and is an historical document with its own identity. He strongly feels, real discovery is through introspection by looking back in own time. He believes, sharing own experiences are like revisiting life's milestones with more intensity. He thoroughly enjoyed his journey in uniform.

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Her name was Madhu. She was born in a middle class family. I know for sure, she was sweetly naughty child, full of life and fun. Her friends still remember her by that frame of school days. Her childhood pictures in black and white remind me of those twinkling eyes and beautiful smile on her lips and face. She was a dreamer. She knew, for sure, every great dream began in the mind of a dreamer. As a dreamer, she knew that a dream did not become a reality through magic. That required hard work, determination and sweat. Probably, she had an idea; the future belonged to those who believed in the beauty and wings of their dreams.

That decision of hers was wrong, she herself used to admit. That shook her life; she was not apologetic in saying so. It was about making a wrong choice of life partner. She had decided to marry him. It was not a love marriage. Rather, certain compulsions on family front compelled her to take that decision. The man, to whom she had married, had studied in the same school, where she was studying. However, two classes ahead of her. That decision to marry him showed her those things which she never wanted to see. She experienced sadness and failures. Life was not kind to her. It had knocked her down quite often. But, she always got up. She always asked same question often. Do you know who I am? Her answer used to be “I am a woman; I have been insulted, attacked and taken for granted, because I am woman. I am good at heart, and soft, but strong”.

Since childhood she heard her mother telling her quite often, she could make her choices, always keeping in mind that marriage was the most important thing for her since she was a girl. As a consequence, she was expected to have modest ambitions and success. Everyone expected her to be gentle, humble, passionate and compassionate, because she was a girl. Being strong, educated and fierce, quite often, were considered inimical to her being a good woman. Being disciplined and rational was expected to come naturally to her, because she was a woman.

A positive attitude can really make dreams come true, she knew it well. This made her cover long way, in spite of setbacks. She had discovered herself to be strong woman. She had stopped feeling sorry for herself. She had stopped responding to people who loved to mistreat her or dictate to her. She had changed the way she looked at herself. She saw herself as a survivor and not a victim. It was she who decided to control her life. In her, she saw a warrior. She had forged through challenges of life. That had made her a strong woman. She had been through storms and survived. She always said that she found no reason not to hold her head high. That made for a reason that she celebrated to discover herself. She had grown strong and independent through broken dreams of a little girl. She did not follow the crowd. She confidently said that she was a woman, who was capable to walk alone and wished to reach where no one had been before, because she was a brave woman.

As a strong woman, she felt deeply and loved fiercely. Her tears flew in abundance and matched pace of her laughter. She claimed that her softness was not the sign of her weakness; that was the indicator of her strength. That was the essence to her being strong and gift to the world. She had realized that her passion to live her life, the way she wanted, was much brighter than her fears. That made her first rate version of herself. She was enjoying being a strong woman. As a strong woman, she used to say often, she had learnt to forgive, love and try again.

She made through the worst. Now, she did not sit around feeling sorry for herself, nor let people mistreat her, because she was a survivor and not a victim. She proudly used to say, she was built from the fire. She had stopped apologizing for being herself. She appeared sure, that the world needed strong women who would build others, would love and be loved.



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