Team Verve Salutes The Women Who’ve Stood By Them: Here’s To ‘The Mentor’
A revolution long in the making has been reignited in a new avatar only recently. A time when women are looking men squarely in the eyes as if to say ‘bring it on’. A year that saw #MeToo and #TimesUp morph from ordinary words to statements that will go down in history. Closer to home, live-in relationships have been legalised as of April and the triple talaq has been banned, emancipating women of these problematic societal shackles. The Chinese Zodiac might as well give up their twelve-year cyclical calendar and, going forward, call every year the Year of the Woman. In our (Em)Power Issue next month, we will be lauding women whose stories of breaking barriers are inspiring and empowering — a former FBI agent-turned-teacher, a skier and a firefighter being a few — alongside recognising a new generation of fearless, driven women.
As relationships between women become even more important and necessary, Team Verve takes this opportunity to honour the #WomenWithVerve in their own lives who have impacted and encouraged them even if in the humblest of ways — a best friend that stayed by their side during their wedding, a yoga teacher who healed more than just their body, an aunt who goes beyond the call of duty for her niece.
Ranjabati Das, 32 – Copy Editor
I met her when I was trying to figure out what it is that I want to do with my life, about a decade ago, my first time in a city away from home. I was fresh out of college, and although I had always known that I wanted to pursue journalism, I was also set on trying new things outside of my comfort zone. Things I would not have time for later, things I would lose the nerve to experiment with once I started on my path as a journalist. Things that would hold me in good stead in my chosen vocation. It was thanks to this phase — one that I will always remember fondly — that I met her, at my second job interview in Delhi. (I had spent my first three months working in an ad agency.) She owns a PR company and was looking to hire. A friend had shared her number. After a brief interview, the job was mine. I learnt so much from her during my time at the firm. She instilled in me the need to be inclusive, incisive and meticulous, to be attentive in general, to work hard, to take ownership. And in teaching me all these things, she equipped me with life skills — shields that would allow me to emerge unscathed from most situations. She encouraged me to question, took me under her wing and always had my back. I felt empowered. She gave me the best send-off when I left Delhi a few months later. She treated me to an amazing lunch, gave me a glowing recommendation letter and told me that I could come back anytime I wanted to. I went back to Kolkata and, after a shorter stint at a production house, took up a job at The Telegraph just before my 23rd birthday. I have thanked you many times before, but I can never thank you enough. Here’s to you, Arshi.