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Inspiring Women, Inspiring Tales

There were many things Abhi enjoyed about school. Homework was not one of them. 

‘I don’t mind normal homework,’ he explained to Raghav. ‘But when teachers ask us to do difficult things, it’s too much!’

Raghav, who knew all about Abhi’s hatred for homework, asked, ‘Which homework is bothering you now?’

‘Writing about women who inspire,’ Abhi groaned. ‘You know what that means, right? Everyone will rush to look for information about inspiring women on the internet!’

‘You can do that too!’ Raghav said. 

‘I don’t want to write about the same freedom fighters that everyone else will write about!’Abhi snapped. ‘I want to write about someone different, someone who has done something really inspiring!’

Raghav, who could sometimes be unsympathetic, said, ‘So who’s stopping you?’

‘Where,’ Abhi said dramatically, ‘am I going to find such women?’ 

‘In your house,’ Raghav said. 

‘In my house?’ Abhi repeated, stunned. ‘But the only women there are my Aji and Ai!’  

‘So, write about them,’ Raghav grinned. 

‘But Raghav, what would I write about them?’ Abhi demanded. 

‘Wasn’t your grandmother a scientist?’ Raghav asked.

‘But that was years and years ago,’ Abhi objected. 

‘So what?’ Raghav said. ‘That’s inspiring! Imagine, she was a scientist when few women worked!’

‘But… ’ Abhi began. 

‘And your mother writes stories for children, doesn’t she?’ Raghav asked. 

‘Y…yes,’ Abhi said. ‘She writes for newspapers and stuff. And she’s also published books for children!’

‘That’s awesome!’ Raghav grinned. ‘You now have two inspiring women to write about!’

Raghav’s words made Abhi think. His father had told him many stories about how Aji had been a scientist and travelled around the world to give lectures. Why, Aji was still invited to deliver lectures at colleges! 

And Ai? For as long as Abhi could remember, his mother had been writing. She was always in a rush to finish the housework so she could sit down to write. One shelf in the living room was stuffed with the books she had written. People were always writing to tell her how much they had enjoyed her writing. 

But, Abhi frowned, they were just his mother and grandmother. Abhi knew what they did but he had never thought of them as women who inspired others, or women who did things out of the ordinary. 

‘If you don’t want to write about them,’ Raghav said, ‘then I will!’

‘No!’ Abhi said at once. ‘I am going to write about them.’

‘You are lucky to have two inspiring women to write about!’ Raghav said. Yes, Abhi thought in surprise, he was lucky to have them. Then why had he never noticed them? Or appreciated what they did? Abhi felt very small and very silly. I won’t do it again, he told himself. Never, never!  

‘Who are you writing about?’ he asked Raghav. 

‘I think…’ he began. 

‘Your sister,’ Abhi broke in excitedly. ‘Didn’t she form a group to clean up our park?’

‘Yes, she did,’ Raghav smiled. ‘And now she and my mother help children with their studies. And when that’s done Amma coaches the parents. So, I too have two inspiring women to write about!’

‘You are lucky… ’ Abhi began. Then he stopped and corrected himself, ‘We are so fortunate to have so many inspiring women around us!’ And Raghav agreed! 


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