Last week while PV Sindhu faced Carolina Marin in the court, the entire country rooted for her, my countrymen, both in India and abroad. Among them were women with dreams in their eyes. Among them were mothers with dreams for their daughters in their eyes. Among them were daughters with dreams in their eyes. Among the billions glued to the television sets were also a mother and her nine-month-old daughter. Among the billions of Indians cheering her on were me and my daughter. And when she won the silver, she not only got us a medal but she gave the mothers and daughters of this country a silver lining too.
Much has been written and said about her and all the amazing girls who did India proud, who brought us all together. There's perhaps nothing new that I have to write here but still write I must.
These past few weeks have been about three ordinary yet extraordinary girls from the country capturing the imagination of a nation where saving the girl child still needs to be a slogan, hammered and taught. This past month has been about giving fuel to the dreams of every girl who wishes to be someone, pursue something apart from the traditionally accepted roles of women in society.
Their success followed by the well-deserved adulation bestowed upon them has given a renewed hope to mothers all around the country. Yes, in a country where having a girl child is still seen as a burden in some families, this is a welcome sight. It is empowering in many ways for mothers who wish to give wings to their little princesses, wings to fly, wings to travel far and wide, wings to break every single barrier in sight.
When I see a Dipa Karmakar, a Sakshi Malik or a PV Sindhu, I know there is so much out there for my daughter too, for every daughter of this country. These stories of girls overcoming hurdles are reassuring. They tell me that the world out there is not so bad after all. The big bad world still has a lot of opportunities for girls, is open to women achievers, a lot of scopes to achieve and be applauded for.
This Olympics has been about so many things but for mothers like me, it has been about the future of their daughters. It has been about how far we can take our daughters. It has been about dreaming for our daughters, about letting them follow unconventional paths too.
So, if my daughter grows up to chose an untrodden path following her dreams, I'll know better than to dissuade her. These girls today have shown an achiever doesn't take the tried and tested path. These girls have shown that with conviction even the greatest of hurdles ultimately give away to success. These girls have taught me, and many mothers like me, that we should never discourage our daughters from playing a sport. These girls have opened avenues that we didn't know of. It is because of these girls that my daughter can think of sports as a career option. It is because of these girls that I have day-dreamed about my daughter being a shuttler, a wrestler or a gymnast. And so as a mother, I thank them.
Tell me, what has been your takeaway from this Olympics?