Shakti diaries- reaching for the stars

Most women go through their lives being unsung heroines, managing home, family, career, ambition, and often letting go of the last bit to give their family priority. But then there are some who fight all odds to live their dream. And our story is about one such an extraordinary person.

Manisha Anand is a life coach, trainer, counsellor and the associate director of Global Infra-Solutions. Her story is of a little girl looking out of the window with dreamy eyes, and changing into a woman whose tangled life never stopped her from achieving what she wanted. Married at the young age of 20, she was seven months pregnant when she completed her graduation and had a baby in her hand when she received the gold medal as the topper of her university.

She remembers that when she was very young, she was asked what she wanted to do in life. She humbly replied, “To be a better human being”. Not because she did not know what to do in her life, but because even today she is working towards the same. She says that the twinkle in the eyes of people close to her heart is all it takes for her to know that she is on the right track. Her career has been one hell of a roller coaster ride, and today she stands in not one but many boats, excelling in everything she does.

Her father was the foundation of her strength. He made sure she got a good education, in a small town where most girls were being educated in the vernacular medium. He also took a promise from her in-laws to let Manisha complete her education after marriage.

After completing her Bachelors, Manisha changed her original plans of studying medicine and gave her love for the linguistics a chance by doing a Masters in English Literature.

In 2007, she bought an institute’s franchise and started teaching for CAT, MAT, GRE, GMAT and other competitive exams. She ran it successfully as an administrator and learnt that she had talent and great love for teaching, counselling and mentoring her students.

At the zenith of her career, she got pregnant again and had to make a choice. She had already been facing a lot of resistance as having a baby at this point would not only add to her responsibilities. But she decided to have the baby and was blessed with the little girl she had always wanted.

After the baby, every day was a test. She had not two but three scales to balance- the institute where she had to manage 75 employees, home and her baby girl, Tasha. But she excelled at all three, working with unparalleled dedication.

Manisha would bring her daughter Tasha to the institute, to take care of her along with the work. But after some years, she realized that her daughter needed to be around children and not adults. So at the peak of her career, she took the decision to wind up her institute and focus on her daughter instead. For six months after that, she felt a vacuum in her life. She missed the recognition and respect she had got in her vocation and felt that an essential part of her was lost.

But then she told herself that she cannot give up. She started writing articles for newspapers. She compiled three books in association with the Dainik Bhaskar newspaper, covering interviews of doctors, advocates and chartered accountants.

And she started conducting freelance counselling sessions. Today she is a counsellor to many people, ranging from the youth to the elderly. As a counsellor, she believes that we can only empathize once we have looked within ourselves. If we don’t know who we are, we will never know the person we are trying to help.

Two years ago, Anand also started an endeavour- “Women of Expression”. It is dedicated to empowering women through talk shows and discussions on diet, fitness, psychology, mental health, environment and plantation. It is a platform where women share their experiences and inspire each other to work towards a better life.

Manisha has had a 15-year long professional life, and she has been constantly driven by her passion, honesty, focus and dedication. She says, “People should do the thing they love and they are passionate about. Anything! But whatever it is, they should put their heart and soul into it, forgetting that someone is watching.”

So dear woman, if you have ever wished for the stars, reach out. We only aspire for you to find a little courage, a little love and a huge dose of hope with the stories we discover. We are sure you have your own stories. Write to us. Make a video of yourself. You might pass on the beacon of light to someone still dancing in the dark.

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