I want to tell you why I am the person woman I am today and then I would love for you to tell me why you are the person you are today.

I often think about this because often I feel down, and when I feel down I need to take some time to get perspective. When I seek inspiration or positivity or strength I find myself thinking of the women in my life. I have been very lucky to have two truly amazing and hardworking grandmothers, a strong and intelligent mother and inspiring sisters and friends. These women make me the woman I am today. I’ve also had a few men make such contributions but they aren’t as interesting and maybe for another day.

My dad’s mum was a tiny woman, mother of 11, full of life with a great sense of humour. For example, once she dressed my brother as a girl and me as a boy and sent us off to bed. My mum will tell you that was her confused way but I think she was doing it for a laugh! She could speak for the UK and for India, morning, day or night she’d have something to say, with her words always filled with joy. No matter the hardship she faced raising 11 children in a deprived India she still smiled and laughed till the day she left us. When I need to smile, I think of her. Always.

My mum’s mum on the other hand is a workaholic, strict and a tough discipliner. A take no shit, do it my way or get a back hand kind of woman. Everything she’s done has been for us, her children and grandchildren. She came to this country with my granddad, my toddler mother and pregnant with my aunty. Sadly my granddad died suddenly and all of a sudden she was in a foreign country, pregnant and with a small child. Nonetheless she made it through, now she has two children, eleven grandchildren and four great grandchildren with another on the way. This woman has taken the world in her hand and walked miles to get us to where we are today. Even after suffering with a stroke over 10 years ago and countless other health problems she’s still the independent woman tackling the next challenge. When I need strength, I think of her. Always.

Then there’s my mother. She is the kind of woman who immediately makes you question every stereotype you may have ever held. A tradition Sikh/ Indian woman in appearance but speaking the queen’s English and often flirting without a care in the world. It’s difficult to explain her because she is so dynamic, confident and intelligent that it’s difficult to keep up. When people ask what she does for a living I usually say she does a load of different things, from heading a women’s empowerment organisation to supporting Smethwick Gudwara to taking care of my nan and our entire family. When I need confidence, I think of her. Always.

These three women are the main source for who I am but then I also have my sisters/ cousins, my Masi (aunty) and my friends who have all made an impact to the kind of woman I am today and the woman I strive to be in the future.

I’d love to know who makes you you because I believe that the world is full of all the people we love and sharing that brings it all closer to home. When we feel we need support we know where our heart takes us.

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