Gurmeet Kaur was hardly 18 years of age when her destiny brought her to Himachal. From then her life took a “U” turn and ever since she has faced life’s challenges like a rock without losing courage.
While sharing about her life Gurmeet shares, “Like any ordinary teenager my dreams about future were no less than a fairy tale. I too dreamt about my prince charming fighting the world for me, but unfortunately soon I faced a reality check. My husband was alcoholic and soon he passed away after fighting illness for long five years.”
“I did not complete my graduation as my studies were interrupted in middle and after husband’s death I was left with the responsibilities of two children. However, my troubles did not end right there, years later I lost my 16 years old daughter too”, shares Gurmeet.
“I mustered up the courage and decided to run this food joint myself. I had gained some hands on experience beforehand during my husband’s illness when I had taken charge. I must confess there is a big difference between running it with support and without one. Besides, I also faced family oppression and it was not a cake walk”, expresses Gurmeet recollecting her past.
While sharing her personal firsthand experience with society during her struggle she says,
I still remember initially when I took up this place and cooked at the station, people went out of their way to pester me. I used to come at 8 am and work late night; being a young lady people called me names. I really feel sorry for the mentality of our society who instead of understanding the plight of a single lady adds to her misery.
“So far from my life I have learned that life is a constant battle and especially if you are a woman it gets worse. I have cooked and even served tables myself when no help was available. In these 15 years I have met all sorts of customers, but to keep my business running I have never compromised on any front. I believe that women have the power and strength to make anything work without support of any male”, she adds.
Currently, her son is pursuing B.Tech and as per his reaction she says, “I know my children were neglected at one point of time, but my son understands. To keep my kitchens fire burning it was important for me to work so hard. Now since he’s grown up, he does at times want me to quit working, but I know sentiments alone cannot fill ones belly. I am eagerly waiting for the day when he gets his job and I can retire from my commercial kitchen.”
As per her future plan she says, “All I ever wished for was a serene life which unfortunately I have not experienced yet. I hope all settles well with my son and then I can live a little for myself and follow what I want to do. I do not want this Dhaba to be my son’s destiny even though I earn my bread and butter from it. I want the best of the world for him.”
As per her message to other women she says, “Never say die and pay attention to society. They will never sooth your troubles only add salt to it. You do not need any certificate from the world for doing things that you want or have to do.”