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GB Real-Life Dashabhuja – RHITI CHATTERJEE BOSE

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Life is a gorgeous blend of happiness and pain, achievements and failures, of falling down and rising above again. My life like many other women, isn’t perfect, it is a mix of many things. At times I feel I am failing at everything, but despite everything, I have never stopped. 

From an early age, after an incident of sexual abuse by a man known to our family, I have struggled with self-confidence, I have always been terrified to do new things, to meet new people. With age and life experiences, I have slowly overcome my fears.  Life has thrown challenges towards my way so much so that I didn’t have a choice but to fight on.

After graduation I went on to do my teacher’s training from Manchester Metropolitan University in England, and there after completing my child psychology and psychotherapy & counseling diploma, I started working for The Refugee Council, UK. That experience of working with the refugee children from Africa, Bangladesh and Pakistan changed my life, reminded me how blessed I am and there are many more people in the world who are fighting battles of life. I am not alone. I came back after three years and continued working as an educator. After I had kids, I couldn’t carry on with a regular nine to five job thus I shifted to my lifelong passion of writing and painting. Working from home has its own challenges, it’s hard to motivate yourself, but you have got to take one day at a time. I consider myself flawed, but never a loser. 

I am an artist and writer by profession and sometimes my work needs hours which I have to put in, between conducting workshops, doing commissioned artwork, writing articles, taking interviews, household chores, cooking, looking after the smooth running of the house I rarely get a breather during the day. Creativity can’t be rushed, it needs time to grow, and it needs time to flourish, and my biggest regret is I don’t have enough time to give to my creative pursuits. 

Even as a mother, I have never tried to be perfect, I don’t want my children to be brilliant in studies or excellent in sports or achieve a lot, all I want them to be good kind and open minded individuals, who doesn’t get lost in this rat race. That they are happy in doing what they do, I do not want to put the pressure of my unachieved dreams on their little shoulders. I want them to just be themselves. I make sure I still find time to spend with them, to stop and admire the beauty of nature with them, read books with them or make art. I don’t really spend a lot of time on their studies, education system is flawed in our country, we are constantly teaching our children to memorize, and hardly ever to learn. I focus on learning and knowledge rather than mundane mugging up of textbooks.  

My son is special needs, he has his own challenges in learning, and sometimes I am scared that I am not doing a good enough job of taking care of him, I want him to experience life as any other child on this planet. With him I am learning about the difficulties that a person faces on a day to day basis if they are special needs. I drive my kids to school, to their classes and my son’s therapy, we sing out loud during the drives, we stop for ice-cream, we observe things on the road together, we play games on the go. I want them to remember that Life was fun as a child; I don’t want them to look back and realize that I have left an immense emotional baggage on them when they grow up. I want to give my children the tools and emotional strength that I lacked as a child. I personally have struggled with mental health issues, and am a suicide survivor, after which I was diagnosed with clinical depression and I know how life can be hard on us in many ways, but giving up shouldn’t be an option. 

There’s nothing extraordinary about our lives unless we decide to make it so. Bask in the glory of small success, be kind to yourself when you fail, celebrate small beauties of life and mostly love yourself, so that you can love everyone else far more fiercely.  

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