“It’s bravery that shines over cowardice. One must always know the difference between them.”
“Thank you for your wise words ma’am.” Praised the interviewer as he concluded his interview with the most influential woman of the fashion industry. Tagged as “ THE LATEST BELLE OF FASHION” by Forbes 2019, Garima Rathore is the only woman to set a benchmark within a year of entering the industry. Her debut collection –“ YAADEIN” created exemplary remark . When asked for the source of her inspiration, her only answer was ‘memories’. That explained her resolute personality.
Her life can be compared to a roller coaster ride. Particularly the one in which people pass out. Broken by the sturdy rock of sexism, Garima’s childhood was equivalent to life of shudras . The more she retaliated, the more she was pushed down by discrimination. At the age of 22, she was to be wedded to an extremely handsome man. A man she could only imagine. Hard-working, ethical, attractive and kind.
“He has every quality that a girl desires.” She said sitting in front of the vanity all dressed up in the elegant lehenga that she had designed herself. “Why am I feeling so nervous? Is this the correct thing to do? Is he really the correct man? What if I am wrong? What if his love would extinguish after some years?”
But as the forefathers have preached, “Happiness takes time to bloom.” Indeed, Garima’s life did bloom after her marriage. From spending romantic weekends to supporting each other during emotional crisis, they always made sure to cater to the needs of other. They had three kids – two boys and one beautiful little girl. Hridaan , Hrehaan and Kiya. Garima’s soul was parted into three, for each one of them. Her life seemed like a long and clear highway with no turns, no speed brakes, no stopping. Luck showered their lives with wealth.
Even now in 2021, where luck is still showering up on her. But her past and present are two different worlds. The worlds that are linked by a tragedy.
But what’s a life without tragedy? An affliction that renders everyone crushed beneath the burdensome woes of life. With the death of her husband, Garima was a widow within 5 years of her marriage , all alone with three little kids. Having no financial or family support, Garima was forced to sell their house and move into a smaller one. She had no time to cope up with the loss of her husband. After all, she had three kids to feed and house errands to run. At that moment, any job that would suffice the needs of her family was taken up by Garima. She worked like a maniac, exhausting every part of the body until it gave up. The only quality time that she could spend with her kids was late at midnight.
“How quickly does life change its course!! At one moment, my life is all smooth, just like the still waters of Narmada and just in one snap, it turned into to perilous waves of Ganga.” Garima said to her children.
“ It’s a part of life mom. We cannot deny our fate. Maybe it was supposed to happen. For our own good perhaps.” Hrehaan said laying his head on her mother’s lap.
“ You are talking like a mature person honey. Since when did you become one?”
“ Sometimes some people have to mature before their age. It is the only method of survival right now.” He said
She straightened up and cupped Hrehaan’s face . She ran her weary hands on his smooth cheeks. “ I don’t want you to compromise your childhood for my sake honey.”
“I don’t care about my childhood any more mother. I know it is important, but not to me. I have certain goals in my life. One of them being to give you the life you deserve. Why should mothers be the only ones to sacrifice?”
Garima was overwhelmed by the words that his eldest son just spoke. Never had she imagined to have a son who would care like Hrehaan did. She was amused by the words that her little one spoke but she was happy. Happy because her there was a new kind of relationship that kindled between them since that night.
It is said that when life throws lemons at you, make a lemonade. So did Garima. She bet her life on the perfect horse and rode along. Struggle never left her side but she never complained. Not even when she lost her job and suffered from persistent depressive disorder. It was only after having a soulful conversation with her kids, when Garima realized that it’s not her physical struggles that are causing the depression but her internal ones. The struggle of letting her husband go away.
Throughout the journey of struggles, Garima never preferred keeping his husband away from her. It felt as if she never allowed her husband’s soul to go away. Her kids were the ones to make her realize the cause of her depression.
“I think it’s time to let you go.” Said Garima holding the pendant that was gifted by her husband and the favourite gift of Garima. She threw the pendant into Ganga, the same river where she dropped the ashes of her husband.
Since that day, Garima never looked back. This was because she felt content with her life and had made peace with her heart. It was time for her to shine out again. She decided to pursue her long-forgotten passion of designing clothes. With the help of her son and the funds collected , she launched her first online collection. This time, the destiny had different plans for her. Within few days of the launch, she received a call from Raymond for collaboration. Garima instantly agreed to the offer. Thus began her one year long project of designing clothes for the “YAADEIN” collection. The collection created a hullabaloo in the fashion industry. “YAADEIN” became the first ever collection to be sold out within the week of launch. That’s how a 45 year old woman made her debut to the fashion industry.
Garima had accomplished her goal. She remembered about her struggles as she prepped for her first interview as the recipient of the ‘BEST DEBUTANT’. Every part of her life, from dying out of exhaustion to secretly crying in front of her husband’s picture, everything was worth it. Especially the day of her interview- as it was her husband’s birthday.
“ How would you describe happiness?”
“ Anything and everything that pushes you to get out of the shell is happiness. It can be a tragedy, an encouraging kid, some rekindled relations, immense sorrow and sometimes even depression.” Said Garima
“That is very deep. Indeed. And what about life?”
“ Life? Well we don’t have any legitimate reason to disregard it. Yes obviously, we have the right to be irritated by its moves, but not be angry. After all , every one of us present here are because of it. Some paying its debts while some moving on with a smile.”