There goes a proverb that articulates, “Hard things are put in our way, not to stop us, but to call out our courage and strength”. It is true that we all possess special strength hidden somewhere deep inside us...but, it’s just a matter of chance that only a few are able to recognize that power and put it to appropriate use. People with certain disabilities are usually the strongest and most courageous people. That’s why they are called special people.
This column of Pinkishe Magazine is dedicated to one such distinct person. She, in fact, is one of her kind, a very bold, vivacious, courageous, brave, daring woman and a very special guest of ours, Babli Gambhir. A gutsy spirit that not only pulled herself out of her daunted, dependent, vulnerable and an intimidated past through all her audacity and fearlessness, but created beauty, aroused confidence and provided career to many today!
But it hasn’t been an overnight task! The current lively and cheerful Babli was in fact quite ‘Gambhir’ (sombre) in her childhood. Transformation was not easy at all. It took years of struggle to build this confidence. Her biggest support, her pillar of strength, her father passed away when she was only 8-9 years old. As she narrates her early life, she tells how her mother tried to abort her by consuming pills when she was still in her womb, but she was a fighter and had to come, so she came to this world. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough! Her mother couldn’t bear the sight of her and used to faint repeatedly to see her daughter’s physical condition. At that time, her father became her daughter’s angel.
When she was an infant and still learning to walk, her head used to hit directly to the ground with every fall, injuring her due to the shortness of her hands’ length. Her father used to protect her by covering the entire area with quilts and pillows. As she tells, “My Daddy was the best father in the world. I used to crawl around him. He used to kiss my hands 100 times a day. He started massaging my hands so that they could gain some length, and, in fact, length of my hands started increasing. He bought a small ‘Dholak’ for me… and started teaching me to play it. My fingers were ready to understand their value. He gave pencil in my hand and asked me to draw lines…. Daddy was my school, my friend… my everything. But God wanted to test me further. One day… he left his ‘Bhola bachcha’ (innocent child) …. I was so young that I could not understand that Daddy was no more. I slipped myself in his ‘Rajai’ (quilt) and caught him tight, his body was cold.”
From there started the toughest phase of Babli’s life. She was sent to her brother’s place in Bilaspur where she was subjected to merciless teasing and mischievous trespassing comments for her tiny hands in her school. She used to hide her hands behind her school bag and became highly insecure, quiet and introverted.
At that time, her widowed elder sister came to her rescue. She brought Babli’s confidence back. She assured her that she would take care of her little sister, like her father, but on one condition. And it was that Babli had to start focussing on her studies again and show the strength of her character to the world. In return she would be provided with beautiful clothes and dresses which she was very fond of. She was in class XI then.
Soon she began to display creativity, like painting and drawing which she had learnt in her school and started coaching these skills to other students. Nominal, but money started pouring in through these tuition classes building her confidence all over again. She completed her graduation and by now had realized her innate strength. Now was the time to fulfil her father’s dreams. Once her father’s best friend had advised him to inject her with poison, as according to him, she was nothing but a liability for life. Her furious father broke up their friendship, pushed him out of his house and challenged that one day the world would watch his daughter doing miracles with those tiny hands only. So, now was the time to work towards that goal.
She knew she possessed skills to beautify lifeless faces on a canvas, so she decided to give it a real-life trial. She decided to become a beautician. Hence, alongside continuing her studies, Babli began her beauty care business with nothing more than a single chair and a mirror. While on one side she completed her Post Graduate Degree in English literature, slowly and steadily, she became an expert at beauty care, dressing and hair styling on the other. She bought a Scooty, learnt it herself and drove it to her work. Very soon, she became a role model in her hometown and was popular as a girl with ‘Golden Hands' due to her unmatched skills.
This strong woman has won many accolades, honours and a number of National Awards so far for her outstanding talent and potential which includes ‘Ability Mastery Award 2011’, ‘Shrimati Sunita Devi Kailashpat Singhania Award for Highest Achiever’ (Raymonds Group), ‘Woman of the Year Award 2011’, ‘Priyadarshini Award’, ‘Woman Pride Award’, ‘CavinKare Ability Awards 2011’, ‘Bhaskar Woman of the Year Award 2011’, ‘Ojaswini Udyamita Alankaran’, ‘Outstanding Creative Person Award 2013’ by the then honourable President Dr.Pranab Mukherjee, to name a few.
Today, her parlour has been growing by leaps and bounds and has become one of the largest parlours associated with popular brands in M.P. In fact, she has converted her beauty parlour into a beauty clinic with a huge staff, including some students who learn this extraordinary skill from her. She puts it this way, “My aim in life is to motivate disabled, depressed females and for that I have registered a website also , so that they can click and get thunders, lights, power of a female who can fight any kind of circumstances.”
She owns a house and lives with her sister, brother and sister-in-law. She is thankful to God and to those who rejected her. She jokingly challenges her critics to try ‘writing’ with 3 fingers like her!