I met her the first time at Inlingua- in a room full of females, chirping, laughing, gossiping, discussing about mundane stuff. Slim, petite, reticent, prim and proper Zeena, walked around the place giving instructions, offering advice, resolving queries, all with a warm, inviting smile. There was something in her that caught my eye. Was it the way she sipped coffee from her cup, was it the authority and knowledge she displayed during her interaction with her colleagues, or was it the finesse in her demeanour, I still don’t know. But yes, there was something that I instantly and silently admired.
Here’s more about this incredible woman.
She is the youngest of four siblings. She is a miracle baby; the blessed and surviving half of a twin. She describes herself as “God’s favourite tea bag, which is still in the process of making the best and strongest cup of tea” and “The clay in the potter’s hand, still being chiselled, shaped, moulded and pruned to fulfil my purpose in life”.
She is passionately compassionate in doing something about what she can do something about. The one word to define her is “Tenacious”- quick to forgive but quicker to forget. She spent most of her days seeking the good, if not the best, in others.
Love is the answer that spins Zeena’s world. Plenty of it has been sent her way and to be able to contain it, her prerequisite is to continually give some away.
Most of her time is spent in another’s shoes and she expects the same from others. She never looks back in regret at any of life’s experiences. She considers everything as a choice made based on a conscious decision. She firmly says: “It’s the lessons taught and learnt that one must move on with”.
Zeena has always been curious, however not outrageously so, but enough to discover herself, believing in giving a shot (the best possible) at whatever she lays her hand at. If she succeeds, that’s her triumph. If not, it wasn’t her cup of coffee.
Once there, she would like to give her best.
Zeena’s dreams, aspirations…
“There are too many to stop at one in particular… I am a dreamer, tending to follow my heart.”
Her childhood and growing-up years…
“Most of my childhood and growing up years was spent in boarding school for which I remain indebted to my parents and for which I regard myself so much more an adjustable person to situations and circumstances. Many values of life I have gained in the environment of a boarding school/hostel, but the greatest of the many principles/ideals was taught at home.
My father was a practicing Doctor specializing in Leprosy. He was compassionately concerned about the need each of his patients. He considered them less fortunate human beings, and not just a sick person to be treated and forgotten. He held no qualms on having a day to day contact with each of their wounds and cared about their emotional and social concerns too, doing his utmost in bringing them into a world void of fear and insecurities of social stigmas of being treated as untouchables.
I remember growing up having several of the cured, employed as hands around the house doing odd jobs -a nanny, a gardener, or help in our small animal farm. We were never discouraged from mingling with them freely. As curious as we may have been, it was soon not strange for us as children, in return to cook and chop for them as best as our little hands could assist, or to wipe an occasional sweaty brow or tear-filled eyes (from lack of the ability to blink – of defected nerves) while the older ones of us, also tried our hands at helping them trim their hair.
No greater lesson to have this privilege of having spent a certain part of my childhood among the less fortunate ones and to have learnt to love and respect them for their endeavour and skill despite their physical challenges.
Allowing us to freely grow up among the other-wise -considered –“untouchables” leading excellently normal lives, our parents instilled in us, values at very young ages, that can never be stolen – so precious, priceless and invaluable, an inheritance inexplicably rich, for which I remain so thankful and grateful to God for blessings as these, inculcated through our parents.”
Zeena’s college days…
Zeena’s college days were Just about as natural as every college- going kids’ is- fun filled and carefree. She always wanted to be on the go. She strongly believed that a day curled up in bed was a sheer waste of one precious day in life. Even if it meant having to be alone spending the day, it needed to be spent well doing whatever she enjoyed doing the most, like going for walks, all driven by a restlessness to do at least something that kept her out of the routine surroundings and environment.
A beautiful quote that inspired her young, adolescent mind-
“Don’t Quit” by Edgar A Guest
When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging is all up hill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile but you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must but don’t you quit
Zeena’s current endeavour…
Together with being a care giver to her sister, Zeena runs Finezza the Learning Studio, a set up still being nursed. Here she widens horizons for those who may not have had opportunities to know, learn and experience many things which they may have missed out in their own school, home or even work environments. It stretches and covers a wide spectrum, reaching out to as many, both young and old.
She believes that anyone can learn anything if the approach to teaching is adjusted to the learner’s angle of grasp. This is what she tries to do at Finezza the Learning Studio.
“Being able to achieve my main objective successfully which is to utilise every ounce of what I’ve gained and been equipped with in my life, sharing it with those who may not have had that which I was blessed with.”
Message for the readers of this blogazine…
“It is easy to find shortcuts to life’s difficulties. It’s easy to close a blind eye, to turn away pretending it isn’t there, to make-believe that there’s someone else who can handle it. But does that really make those difficulties disappear, just because you don’t want to soil your hands or turn your life upside down? Does that bring you true joy in having lived your life to the fullest?
When problems stand in front of you, face them and find the solution. Enjoy every experience as you do. Running away should never be an option.”
Love you Zeena for your wonderful spirit and heart-warming ideals. The team of Incredible Women of India salutes you for who you are and wishes you luck for your future endeavours.
Article by: Sulakshana Chatterjee