My Story

My name is Madiha, born in Surat, Gujarat and brought up in Kolkata, West Bengal and who knows six languages- English, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Urdu, and Arabic only reading. I was born on 12th November, 1992 late at night because of which I love working at night and that is when I do my best work. 

Copied Dad and Mom

As a child, I loved copying my dad and my mom. I would lie down and do paperwork, put the pen between my head and ear while taking out my tongue to think, play cricket, go to office or godown, play with pets- birds and animals like dad did. I would also play with cars, make sand cakes on the terrace, make food with my kitchen set and look after the dolls, sending them to school, changing nappies and clothes, teach them, clean up and take my dolls to the fancy toy bath tub, bed, sitting room furniture. I would teach my teenager uncle alphabets and beat him with a stick on a few occasions if he did not listen to me, punching him once in the stomach when he was busy watching a movie and not paying attention to my words. I was my paternal grandparents favorite as I loved sleeping in their room, crying when I had to go to sleep for school next day.

Horses and High Sight

In my early years, my dad would take me for horse-riding 7 days a week early morning and on Sundays twice or thrice a day. Recalling, I think how I loved its wild and free nature, running on its course, without distractions and jumping hurdles without fear to reach its destined point. He would sometimes watch from a distance but mostly walk or run with my horse. My dad would lift me high upon his shoulders during our trip to the zoo or other places. Thinking about that, I realize how he instilled in me the system to see things from the top to bottom, to have higher vision and insights in life and himself act as a solid base, foundation and support system for my life and success.

Best Quality and Things

When I would return from school, I always wanted my mom to open the door and be there for me, to feed me, bathe me and do homework with me. She made my favourite dishes which include daal and rice, aaloo gosh (potato and mutton gravy dish), got the best chocolates which were usually from UK and bought the best clothes and footwear from good quality brands for me (Indian and International)- the frocks, the dungarees, the t-shirts, gowns, jeans, shorts, salwar suit, jackets, sweaters , sweatshirts etc. I loved some hairstyles as I had soft, silky and long hair which I was proud of and that mom took good care of. Reflecting on these things, I realize that I always got this message to strive for good quality, quantity and balance in life, to have the best and strive for the best only.

Best Schools rejected me

Things changed when it was time to start school. In spite of great efforts, the best schools rejected me. I studied in an average school where I stood out due to my leadership qualities but also faced lots of challenges. Being a strong female, my teachers in junior school gave me the position of monitress, cupboard in charge, prefect and that included “minding” boys which were double the number of girls in every class. The revenge happened during break time when they would jump on my bench or invite me for a hand wrestling match. I would fight back alone sometimes fearlessly but mostly fearing. I won sometimes and sometimes they did.

The train journey that changed me

It was not until class 8 in Loreto that I began changing myself after taking religion seriously during a train journey. I had a talk with God lying on my seat where I told him: “God, I am like everybody else. If I start taking faith seriously and obey you, then you please help me, support me in everything I do, that people get to know me, that I am successful.” He kept His promise. The teacher who would earlier say that I was incorrigible, naughty and talkative started believing in me, supporting me and would tell the class I was a prefect of- class 8A that if they troubled me then she would look into it. She nominated me for the position of captain and prefect later. I was also nominated for two positions in my ecology club. I loved reading and the library and was the Library squad member from class 8 to 10, monitress in class 9 for two terms when it was normally one!

In high school, God sent a teacher who believed in me and vouched for me and I was elected to be a part of the student council in a new school! I had no idea people knew me and they believed in my leadership. I was naturally a people’s leader and looked at leadership very differently, leading by example and following rules of skirt length, clean socks and shoes, clipped nails and neat hair, being punctual and disciplined.

Best College did not choose me

The college that I wanted did not choose me but the one I deserved, I got selected thereafter facing low moments over 2-3 months going to another college where classes were very irregular and language was a barrier. I had no choice and could not afford to waste a year. I was blessed with a great professor who is my mentor till today. I was able to start cricket as an official tournament in a girl’s college with the help of my Sports Sir, Mr. Mitra who believed in me. The very college that rejected me and was the top girl’s college in the city, I was standing in their premises in early 2018 and had the option to reject their students but I chose them. I was called as “ma’am” and all the teachers of the department led me to a room and gave me lots of respect.

Recent life story in my TEDx here