I don’t know about you, but I have been told to not wear short skirts, more times than I care to admit. I have heard ‘this is not how a girl from a good family behaves’ more times than I can count. If you have gone through the same, the following will strike a chord with you. Be it the age-old regressive notions that do not see women as equals or the modern-day prejudices that brand an opinionated woman as a ‘feminazi’, it has never been easy for us, girls!
But thank God for silver linings; for strong and independent women who push boundaries every time. And while we are still talking about them, let me introduce you to a champion who has not only broken records but also shattered stereotypes by asking ‘WHY’!
Meet 26-year-old Bhakti Sharma, who holds the world record of swimming the longest distance (2.28 km) in 41 minutes, in the freezing Antarctic waters.
Not just that, she is also the first Asian woman and the youngest in the world to have swum in all the five oceans and seven seas. In fact, the open swimmer has also been awarded the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award by the President.
But her journey, like I have said earlier, was far from being easy! Instead, it was a silent struggle with societal dogmas and cultural stereotypes from the very beginning.
Popularly known as the mermaid today, Bhakti credits her mother and coach, Leena Sharma for everything she has achieved till date. Including the power to bend rules.
“Koi bhi ladai asaan nahi hoti. Mere maa ke support ke bina toh main, karna toh door ki baat hai mere andar woh soch hi nahi aati.”
And her story tells us exactly why. Leena Sharma who was a national medal-winning swimmer herself took more than just jeers to raise a winner like Bhakti.
“Being a strong team and fighting the world together.”
She even took the brunt of character assassination by the narrow-minded world because she knew she had to support Bhakti in her strive.
“92-93 main Udaipur main sirf ek hi swimming pool tha, woh bhi private hotel ka. Mere husband bhi saath main nahi rehte the.”
But like any mother, she stopped at nothing. And the result is evident.
For every gender rule thrown her way, Bhakti responded by asking why. Because ‘Why’ has the power to bend rules, change beliefs and break stereotypes. And the video by Hero Pleasure tells us exactly the same.
A decade ago, Hero Pleasure began this journey by asking one simple ‘why’ –Why should boys have all the fun? And on its 10th anniversary, it’s here to remind the nation the power of ‘why’ all over again with this inspiringly moving story.
So ladies, WOMAN UP and don’t let anybody clip your wings.
This story is brought to you in association with Hero Pleasure