Sunday, March 7th, 2021
For me, International Women’s Day always is a time of reflection and reminds me of how fortunate I am with overcoming so many challenges of being born a girl.
Being female is considered second class in our family and I will challenge this discrimination until my dying days. The point I need to raise is shocking; most of this discrimination in our family comes from female members of the family. We need to stand together and support each other, rather than break our souls. If you are part of the community, you would understand my feelings on the subject.
So, this International Women’s Day, I would like to introduce you to three of my favourite ladies, who support me through thick and thin, to say I love these ladies is an understatement.
So, I’ll start with the ladies in order of how long I have known them.
My best friend from School Lorena, we met on our first day at Upper school and sat together in English. According to Lorena, I wrote my number on her pencil case, let’s face it, I was always going to be social and need a great bestie, which she always will be. Here she is supporting me through my half marathon and she’s saved my life, something I’m not quite ready to share with the world.
We have had such a journey together, despite 100 miles between us, she can never be a better friend to me and I’m so glad that I am the older, wiser one by 11 days.
The next lady I’d like you to meet is Neetu, she’s many years younger than me, my most favourite female in the family. I call her Pubi which means brother’s wife. I have known her 25+ years, she is such an amazing female role model, she’s so mature and I love the relationship she has with her daughter. She was absolutely DELIGHTED when she became mum to a baby girl and she’s inspiring with all the challenges she has faced. She’s one of the greatest Asian Women Role Models I will ever know and meet. What she’s taught me is that love, understanding, respect is earned regardless of your age or status in the family. If you ever have the fortune of meeting this glorious lady, listen carefully, what she has to say will be very few words but the ones she chooses will be absolute gold dust.
Last, but not least, Lisa, she’s is so much more than a business buddy. We had just started our businesses around Oct 2013, and this was our first time networking, Lisa recognised my nerves and asked me to sit next to her. I’m pretty sure she has regretted it ever since.
Lisa has supported us a family, she has the same wicked sense of humour as me and she’s as bright as a button. She is the only friend I know that will look at the night sky and recognise the stars.
Our friendship is such a celebration of people coming together from worlds apart and becoming the greatest of friends. Lisa is a family lawyer and let me tell you, it’s always extremely helpful to have a lawyer as your bestie, but don’t get into an argument with her, just don’t. If you ever thought I chat alot, we have finally met Miss Chatterbox more than me, she’s super bright and funny with it and I love her. We have many years of absolute joy to share ahead of us.
That’s just three that I chose for this blog, but if I actually stopped and wrote about all the gorgeous ladies around me, their strengths, the reasons they shine, the reasons I find them inspirational, it might just take me the rest of my days. Thank you for all the love and support around me with a big thank you to all the ladies who keep booking me for demos, especially with the Women’s Institute who have been particularly supportive and helpful.
My greatest achievement to date, without a shadow of doubt, is the home Krish and I have created together. Through lockdown, Krish, Sam and I have been stuck together at home and we have created so many happy memories. They have supported me fully with curry club, they do the household chores and cook great meals, I might be wife and mum, but I’m the messy, unorganised housemate, who causes absolute chaos on an hourly basis, but we laugh, love and live together in peace and harmony, which is just perfect.
So, this International Women’s Day, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you all the ladies and gents around me, in everything that you do, please just continue to shine and inspire me.
Lajina Leal, Founder, Lajina Masala
Lajina had a Corporate Career as an Accountant for many years and whilst discussing an impending redundancy in an Indian restaurant with her friends, they persuaded her to set up an Indian Cooking School.
The fun started in October 2013 and the business has grown from strength to strength.