7 years old me had very little realisation of what I was doing when I won my first school sports tournament with over 12 medals. I was intrigued by sports at a very young age, running didn’t just feel like chasing the wind to me, it made me feel like I’m unstoppable. After all tough on the ground I loved coming back to a serene environment, I would pick up my canvas and start painting it. Even though my innate artist made me excel in my creative and athletic space, the surroundings around me weren’t the most supportive of all. I won silver at state level kick boxing but during the practice in a defence I fractured my best friend’s arm. People started calling me the masculine one, ‘your built up is so man-like’, ‘what’s that strength’. It landed me a lot of insecurity with the way I looked, I suddenly wanted to quit sports and I started wondering what do I do to look more girl-like.
When times are low, you can lead life two ways; you either become your biggest motivator or the destructor. I observed people around me and realised a few things about myself. Holding on to things have never done anyone any good, criticism is a way of life. Constant success or approval will only lead me a constant life, it’s the challenges, not letting anything bring me down is that is going to graph my growth chart. If it makes you feel stronger, then that’s a good mark. Who associated being strong with a man? I asked myself, when you used to fall while running, your great grandfather would not move an inch but would ask you to stand up and complete the run. If a wound never stopped you but has helped you grow and shape you into the woman you are today, then how can you let anything which is merely in the air affect you? Growing up in a family of Civil officers and lawyers, I had big shoes to fill in. You can set goals looking at someone but only your innate drive can make you thrive. For me, even though I had my fair share of low points I never let anything or anyone shake up my confidence before even trying something for myself.
When I enrolled myself into Maitreyi College, University of Delhi, I felt how can I be so right about a college decision. DU is a place where you can fit in perfectly because there is literally ‘NO’ category to fit in. You are not spoon fed there, students run a college, they are the one’s in talk with people from big leagues directly. Not the administration, but the students are the first point of contact there. You don’t even realise and interpersonal skills come handy to you. You want to improve in a certain field, the opportunity is waiting to be grabbed! I can never be more grateful for these 3 years. My entire life I grew up wanting to be a woman who is best at everything and what all did that everything include? Well, that’s a list which is still expanding but what Maitreyi and being around compassionate and fierce women from around the country gave me was a sense of clarity. That whatever I want to do in life it should have a purpose, a meaning to it. There’s nothing in merely existing, you’re blessed with this life, EXIST LOUDLY!
I was intrigued by law at a very young age and always wanted to pursue it. The college life at DU and volunteering with several NGO’s kept me close to the ground reality. Soon then I started my LL.B at one of the most prestigious colleges in India, O.P. Jindal Global University. I alongside my degree, used my interpersonal and networking skills to widen the reach of a project very close to my heart. My aunt who is an advocate with over 2 decades of experience and a well renowned mediator assists people suffering from domestic violence and matrimonial tensions by providing them free relationship counselling. The other one I have in running is with an Ex-judge (M.P. High Court) and a renowned advocate who has also served as a legal aid officer, here we offer free legal assistance to people seeking for one. Not only this, the competitive atmosphere in my college made me explore my less explore side- academics! Haha, who knew I will go ahead and write papers and write such papers that I even got to present it in front of Chief Justice of India at an International Conference in the august presence of Judges from across the globe.
Well, life always doesn’t always go like you plan it! It has its own sweet plans for you. Some make take the easy route, some may have the hard one and sometimes it might even take you through an unexplored one, one which you didn’t know ever existed. Writing down my journey for you I realised it all over again that no matter how much I’ve evolved in life, this zeal to do something different, to do something purposeful and to ‘do it all’ has remained intact and is the reason I went on to audition for Pageants, a world, I can relate to, where you voice your opinion up, talk about causes close to your heart, you walk the ramp like it’s not the only thing you own, a world where there is unconditional love and you make relations for life. You feel there’s so much more to life than you ever expected. I’m glad, blessed beyond words as I bring my story for you to end, knowing strongly and deep inside in my heart that the book written for me still has a lot of unturned pages and that I have a long way to go!
Niharika Singh Ahlawat
Maitreyi College , DU
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Read More on Humans of Campus
- I am a Rainbow with so many shades of happiness to spread!” – Twinkle Makol – Bharati College, DU
- FAILURE, BETRAYAL, GETTING MISLED and anything that has to do with giving up has never stopped me from putting my foot into things that fascinate me – Ayushi Baaliyan , College of Vocational Studies, DU