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See all stories by Paroma Sen-Basu
Everybody has a story to tell. But sometimes, maybe someone has to do the story telling for them. This girl, a young 21 year old, walked into the NGO I work at and inspired me with her severe strength and ability to endure. But you know what got me thinking? It’s the way she never thought of herself as someone extra special, or strong. She considered herself to be just like you and me.
Too often in life we mark barriers and create our own obstacles, or rather, we let the world do that for us. But then again, there are always those few who can fight to make what matters most to them a reality. And this is what should be the true spirit of inspiration at the end of the day.
Mahenoor Ali, a young, talented, intelligent young woman is unlike any other student her age. You can see the difference in her as soon as you meet her. She has an aura of confidence and determination about her. These qualities are a must but not as easily found after all. The ease with which she walks, talks and uses her phone and computer to get work done, inspires me to no end and that’s primarily because she is visually impaired by birth, with just partial vision capabilities as of today. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor in Science Degree (Honors) specializing in Mathematics.
Here is her story:
What inspires you to study and take your academic dreams further?
Well, Mathematics as a subject inspires me. The other subjects that inspire me are Physics and Chemistry, I believe they both provide the answers to so many things around us. And besides this, I want to be a professional mathematician or a researcher, or perhaps work in the capacity of an Assistant Professor at a prestigious university. It all depends on where life takes me.
I hope to go to a university like MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) to pursue by education later on.
What do your general hobbies include?
I don’t have many hobbies besides reading and studying. I like my subjects and keep reading up on various authors and topics to improve myself. My eagerness to be a professional Mathematician engulfs me so much that I want to settle down at a place where the core topic is developing most -any good establishment like the IIT’s or prestigious academic Centers abroad.
Who do you look up to most in life?
I look up to my father. He has always taught me to focus on being number one. Nothing can limit you and this is what I believe only because of him. You set your own goals and similarly you set your own limits, without realizing it.
It is because of the undying devotion of my father that I focused on what I can do and what interests me. I always topped in school and always strive to be the best. And of course, besides my father, my professors are my inspiration too. Without their patience and guidance I wouldn’t be able to learn and understand the complexities.
As I talked to this young woman, this blossoming human being, I realized how much we as a race still have to learn. In a country like India, disabilities of any kind are not given the same leverage. We don’t have adequate equal systems for the young and specially-bled yet.
Mahenoor left me with one last message before wrapping up for the day – Our life is infinite. So don’t set limits.