Anjali Pandya

When You Believe

Anjali took up a job at 43, after she was forced to down the shutters of her failing business, has developed never say die attitude after every odds that came her way. She is now a freelancer and nurtures a desire to live in a clean and balanced environment with her mission to make India a zero-waste country.

As a shy, introvert, but always-helpful 18-year-old, she did not aspire much. All she ever wanted was to feel accepted. The first person to give her some semblance of importance or rather, show some kind of ‘interest’ in her floored her. Did she take the easy way out? Maybe she did, getting married into a business family would not require her to work for a living. Therefore, with blithe disregard to the advice from her parents, she most willingly gave up her aspirations of doing an MBA. Unfortunately, she was not happy. Her two children were now the sole focus of her very existence. How could she pin her hopes on anyone, even if they were her own children? Didn't she know that she was responsible for her own happiness?
Social and familial pressures coupled with her financial dependence, compelled her to continue in her marriage. The heavy weight of looking after the family business was thrust upon her inexperienced shoulders. Life ceased to be joyous. With barely any support, she took up the reins of the family business. A tough ask. But she slowly and surely learned the intricacies of business. However, all these efforts proved futile when due to unavoidable circumstances, they were forced to down the shutters of the failing business.

With no source of income, and two demanding almost-adult children yet to complete their formal education, at the age of 43, she took up a job as a technical editor. Switching from a starkly opposite role from that of an employer to that of an employee was an immensely humbling experience. An experience, which she would hold in good stead for the remainder of her life. Was it easy being a junior in a team with most of her seniors way younger than she was in age? With a lot of fear in her mind, but the grit to overcome it, accompanied by a smile on her face, and the hope in her heart for a better tomorrow, saw her overcome most hurdles. Her job contract expired in May 2017, and she found herself again out in the cold. By then, she had been transformed from being a meek coward to being a strong woman with a never-say-die-attitude. Completely relying on her editing experience and decent command over the English language, she took up work as a freelancer. Well, this has been the story of my life so far.

I have always nurtured a desire to live in a clean and balanced environment. Backed by my experience in business and fuelled with the passion to fulfil my duty as a citizen of my beloved city, I would like to start my own waste management company. I believe that as human being we must live in harmony with nature, and give back to it what it so generously bestows on us. The pollution that we are exposed to because of the irrevocable damage that we have subjected our environment too, plagues my mind. I wish to be the change I want to see. I know that small firm steps can help achieve a lot.

Composting at a source and using it to grow organic food would help us lead healthier lives. My aim is to start at the grass-root level. The future of our society is our children. By conducting practical based awareness programs for them, they would witness the first-hand gains of such practices. Slowly and surely all waste can be recycled and even be used to generate electricity. Harvesting solar energy can help sustain our ever-increasing demand for electricity. I know that it sounds very ambitious when I say that I wish to make mine a zero-waste city. It may be a Herculean task, but one that can be surmounted through collective beliefs and efforts.

“We were moving mountains, long before we knew we could.
Yes, there can be miracles when you believe,
Though hope is frail, it is hard to kill.
Who knows what miracles you can achieve?
When you believe, somehow you will.
You will, when you believe”— "When You Believe" a song by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. These words are the mantra I live by.
Nothing could be more gratifying to adopt healthier, responsible, and sustainable ways of living. May sound clichéd, but it can be achieved. And your benevolence will be the start it needs.

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