The road not never taken.
Many people came up to Preeti, pointed at an image that they had built and said, "Preeti, this is what you should become. Don't worry, we will make sure you get there". Preeti curiously asked, "But why?", to which they answered, "Why? Because that's how it works". Preeti looked at the image once again and said, "Umm..I have probably come down the wrong road". And Preeti being her usual rebellious self turned her wheels to the opposite direction and NEVER LOOKED BACK.
"I hadn't seen the world beyond cantonment. For me people were either Army folks or civilians"
Preeti, like any other kid who is born with a disability in India, went to a special school. It didn't take her long to prove that she was, in fact, not like 'any other kid'. As soon as she reached the third standard, her parents were advised to admit her to a regular school. Being an Army officer's daughter, she spent most of her school life hopping from one city to another. As high school arrived she decided to study commerce. Preeti had made the best of all the opportunities that came her way till now. It was though, high time for her to ask herself, 'What next?'. The answer, against all odds, was SRCC. Her father, who was earlier apprehensive, later, saw no reason to stop her from doing something she was so confident about. Soon enough, Preeti got an admission in SRCC. That was the point where her life took a dramatic turn. And Preeti, being her usual fearless self, had nothing to say to it but 'BRING IT ON'.
"To me, I am the prettiest of all" *giggles*
Life was going great. Everything was going according to the plan. 'The plan' was to one day become a Chartered Accountant. Preeti qualified her CA exam in the first attempt. She got a job, a good one. Something was still missing. All those efforts only to yet feel incomplete in some way or the other? Was that it? Well yes, everything did go according to the plan, but OH WAIT! There were slight alterations here and there. Preeti had been following Miss. India Wheelchair for quite a long time. She had always been a person who loved to dress herself up. This also seemed to her like a chance to make people question their definition of 'Normal'. And Preeti, being her usual spontaneous self, decided to GO FOR IT.
"An incident is not enough to change your life. It is you and what comes from within that make all the difference"
Every part of the pageant journey turned out to be a new experience for Preeti. This opportunity gave her a chance to travel in a flight, see a new city and experience a lot of things for the first time. Preeti became the first runner up of Miss. India Wheelchair 2017. She knew that this achievement would mean nothing if she doesn't exploit it to the fullest to inspire other people like her. She had been writing for a long time. Preeti's was a story that deserved to be told and shared and she was aware of its importance and potential to inspire. From blogs to articles and questions to answers, she made sure that her voice was loud enough to be heard. Soon, one of her articles was published in Scroll, a reputed platform for liberal voices. And Preeti, being her usual candid self, wrote every word with HONESTY AND PRIDE.
Preeti's life has been a track full of hurdles. But she is a stubborn being. When life gave her lemons, she did not only make lemonade, but added every flavour she could think of and turned it into a mocktail of her choice. Undoubtedly, she made the right decisions by always choosing TO BE HERSELF.