I gave my exams in my bridal lehenga!

“When Mummy got married to Papa, she was still in her 2nd year of college. She got pregnant a few months later; she had to stop studying. But she wanted to get back to it; I was 8 when she began attending classes to finish her degree. My brother and I would wait outside the exam hall for 3 hours while Mummy finished her paper. Since then, it was imprinted in my mind that education always comes first.

Mummy went on to become the principal of my school. She inspired me to work hard—motivated by her, I’d usually rank amongst the top 3 in school! After I graduated, I wanted to open my own NGO; I’d learnt to give back from my parents. Even during the pandemic, when people were afraid to leave their house, Papa would go door to door and help people get resources.

So in 2018, I started pursuing a degree in Social Work. And the next 2 years only solidified my resolve to change lives! Around that time, I also met Parth through an arranged marriage set up. And life as I knew it changed!

The first time I met Parth, I said, ‘I want to follow my dreams. I won’t compromise on that.’ And he said, ‘I want to do the same!’ The more we talked, the more I liked him. One month later, after understanding him a little more, I said ‘Yes!’

The wedding date was set; the next six months flew by prepping for the big day. But even during those six months, I was sure I wouldn't let my course suffer. But even in my worst nightmare, I hadn’t imagined that my exam date would be the same as my wedding day! When I found out, the first person I called was Parth. I’d just begun telling him about it when he cut me off and said, ‘You can’t skip your exams, they’re important!’ My parents and in-laws called up the pandit and made him change the muhurat from morning to afternoon. Their support gave me confidence to pull this off!

The night before my exam and wedding, I arrived at the parlour at 2am. I studied as they prepped me; Parth stayed up to help me study.

When I walked into that classroom at 10:30AM, in my bridal lehenga, my classmates were flabbergasted. But my teacher applauded me for giving importance to my education! And so for the next 2 hours, my focus was only on my exam. After my exam ended, I rushed to my wedding. I arrived at the mandap with just enough time to spare—the muhurat was at 1pm!

As hectic as it was, it was also the most beautiful day of my life. During the ceremony, Parth told me, ‘You inspire me!’

It’s been 6 months since that day, and life hasn’t slowed down a bit! I’m having a baby in a few months, but that hasn’t pushed the brakes on my dreams. In fact, I’m even more motivated now—I want to set a good example for my child. The example that it’s only after you work on yourself that you can be more for others—always fill your own cup first!”

@Uberindia is celebrating Shivangi’s resolve and saluting others like her through their latest #ChalPado campaign.

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