Tom Hopkins says,
“You stop being average the day you decide to become a champion because the average person won’t make that decision.”
In our #FridayFeature segment featuring #WonderWomen, we will be talking about one such woman, who thought of herself as average, but her professional acclaims, make her claim otherwise. Meet, Architect, INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) documentation handler @ Vadodara, Panelist for Nabhangan foundation Design (an NGO working in the fields of all-round rural development and community building to empower villages to self-reliance) and part-time Professor, Anagha Joshi.
What made her become such a champion? She tells us in her own words.
“When people say they miss their school life or how their school days were the best days of their lives, it makes me scoff. School wasn’t all that memorable for me. I was always a shy student and mostly bullied for my awkward ways during my schooling. Being snubbed an ‘average student’ didn’t help much to this cause. I was a small fish in a pond of some very big fish. However, the artistic and creative side in me was always astir. Drawing was one subject I exceled in alongside other co-curricular activities.
After HSC, owing to my Math background, the only ‘good’ option was engineering. But it appealed less and less as the day for deciding on it drew closer. People close to me, knew my closeness to sketching and illustrating. So, when someone introduced me to the technical drawing field, a whole new world opened in the form of Architecture as a degree course. I am so grateful this happened, otherwise, I’m pretty sure I would have ended up being a ‘good for nothing’ person. I would definitely tag this as the ‘turning point’ in my life because pursuing Architecture, first as a degree, and then in my professional life, have made my interests varied.
I grew up in a small-town (Vadodara), my values and thought processes were very basic. But, living in metro cities like Mumbai and Delhi have taught me the real way of living life. These cities made me get involved in other fields like politics and economics, and it was through my stints here that I learned just how important holistic knowledge about one’s country and the world is.
My mom always said that, “Whatever you do in life, do it well, and do it in such a manner that it counts”. This and her constant support in whatever I did, motivated and continue to motivate me even today, in everything that I do. It is also because of this that I knew I didn’t have to do anything to prove myself in the eyes of those who still think of me as ‘average’. My only competition is to become a better me. Besides that I draw motivation and inspiration from meeting new people and exploring new places. Every new city that I explore, and every new person I meet and interact with, makes me feel younger somehow. Every place has so much to be explored and each person I meet has such aspects or knowledge to share, that I definitely would not have known about, sitting in my own shell or refusing to come out of my comfort zone.
It has been a learning and growing journey, but I would call my struggles ‘average’ too. My intention in saying so is not snobbish, but in my line of work at the NGO, I have seen what real struggle is and it is nothing compared to what I have ever had to go through.
My takeaway from life so far is to try and keep exploring as much one can. Also, there should be no such limitation like ‘One time’, for doing anything. Each time you do something, either new or something you have already done before, you learn and grow. My advice to all, would be to never underestimate oneself, no matter what people say or think about you.
Hoping not to sound too preachy, I would even stress on the importance of being and accepting, of everyone and everything that anyone does or says.
The plan ahead is to continue learning and growing, as I do old as well as new things!”
To follow Anagha’s works as an architect follow the links below: