Since time untold women have been making their marks in various fields and have been overcoming odds with patience. While the trials might have changed its aspect with time, the grit, integrity and determination of womanhood have always remained constant. As the entire world takes a step ahead, women have been leading the way and throwing light on a progressive society. Be it our own Geeta Phogat from rural Haryana who dared to dream and make that dream come true to Meghna Gulzar who didn’t shy away from showcasing the consequences of an acid attack in her film, December is filled with birthdays of such extraordinary powerful women.

Not only have these women managed to capture everybody’s interest but also ignited emotions with their talent on and off-screen, in the sportsfield, as writers, activists and so much more. TC46 is thereby saluting 5 such powerful #BharatiyaaNaaris who were born in the month of December.

5 Exceptional Women Who Have Been Serving As A Breakthrough Model  

These December-born inspirational women have been motivating and challenging traditionalism with their effort and sincerity.

1. Konkona Sen Sharma

Actress, writer and director, Konkona Sen Sharma has today made her mark as one of the most established actresses of all time in the genre of contemporary parallel cinema. Born on 3rd December, 1979, the 40-year-old ideally points out every time that it’s everyday life that shapes her work. After receiving her first National Award in 2002 for the film Mr & Mrs Iyer, Konkona garnered a lot of attention but it’s remarkable how she kept herself grounded and made sure that awards didn’t form a big part of her life. 

The kind of films that Sen Sharma chose reflected her sensibility, by and large. Starting from working with Ayan Mukherji in Wake Up Sid to becoming an independent director with the film A Death In The Gunj in 2016, she has time and again depicted how her own identity didn’t relate a lot to mainstream cinema. Talking about some of her life’s philosophies in an interview she had pointed out to:

  • Have Faith: You should be able to define your own values and not live a life that is based on other people’s expectations. One thing, primarily, which a person shouldn’t be afraid of is to make decisions that are not generally expected out of them. Having faith and courage in yourself will take you a long way.
  • Give Time To Yourself: Sen Sharma’s two-minute video for ICICI Bank started the #FundYourWorth campaign where she urges desi women to take out time for themselves and invest in things that they really want to pursue. A woman’s life is more than just looking after the family and doing mundane chores. Every girl today needs to invest her time in her future and discover her hidden to achieve success in a field or a hobby.
  • Express Your Vulnerability: Through some of her films, she has showcased how everyday cruelty is predominant in Indian society. At times, the need for people to blend in the society is so high that for someone who isn’t blending becomes a great threat for others. What Konkona Sen Sharma urges everyone to do is to build some empathy for others, express your own vulnerability and loneliness at times and connect with people to understand what it means to feel loved. 

2. Mithali Raj

Born on 3rd December again, Mithali Raj is a right-handed opening batter from Jodhpur and previously was the captain of the Indian women’s national cricket team. She was the highest run-scorer in women’s international cricket and the only female cricketer to surpass the 6,000 run mark in Women’s One Day International Matches. She is also the first player to score seven consecutive 50s in ODIs, holds the record for most half-centuries in WODIs and in 2018 during the Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup, she became the first player from India to score 2000 runs in T20Is.

Recipient of several national and international awards, including the Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World in 2017, Mithali was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2003 and the Padma Shri in 2015 by the Indian government. The first woman to complete 20 years in international cricket, here are some key takeaways from Raj’s life:

  • Nothing Is Impossible: From a budding Bharatnatyam dancer to a cricket icon, Raj has shown it to all how she lived up to her surname and established the queendom in both national and international cricket. Cricket may have happened by chance after a brush with dance, but nothing is impossible for a woman these days.
  • Find Inspiration Around You: While watching her grandparents sleeping and wondering when will I grow up so I can sleep was surely a challenge for young Mithali Raj. But, that’s what made her who she is today! Mithali found her motivation from a long list of people in her career- from her mother who has always been an inspiration and support to her friend who overcame initial struggles to find her way to becoming one of the top lawyers, and a senior who thrives on coaching young kids in cricket with a lot of passion and patience- the list is endless.

3. Meghna Gulzar

Famous Indian writer, director and producer, Meghna Gulzar, daughter of the loved Indian poet and lyricist, Gulzar and daughter of former actress Raakhee took Indian cinema by storm with films like Talvar, Raazi and Chhapaak! With the freedom to follow her own dreams, Meghna Gulzar never housed the spirit of giving up even when her first directorial Filhaal didn’t perform well at the box office. She came back with a bang after 8 years and won a Filmfare award for best director for the film Raazi.

While raising the bar high for herself with her inspirational and powerful work, she managed to capture the evils of the society with her film Chhapaak that was based on the life of the acid-attack victim and survivor, Laxmi Agarwal. Born on 13th December, this Sagittarius lady lives up to her zodiac sign in true form just like fire in her element.   

  • Respect Your Parents: A lot of times in various interviews, Meghna has pointed out how she holds immense respect for her parents for raising her together even though they were separated. She stresses on the importance of dignity and simplicity and says how women should look out for these values at work and not let anyone point a finger at them for following their passion.
  • Raise Your Voice Against Societal Injustice: Just like the movie Chhapaak, Meghna also showcased a strong voice through her female protagonist in the movie Raazi. From the horrors and the aftermath of an acid attack to the lessons of war through Sehmat Khan, a former spy during the Indian-Pakistan War in 1971, she has managed to bring out the societal prejudices and injustices that women were subjected to and still are. 

4. Geeta Phogat

The world came to know more about Geeta and Babita Phogat after Aamir Khan’s movie Dangal was released based on their lives. The biopic has truly depicted the inspiring journey of the father and her girls who had dared to dream and make that dream come true even when all odds were heaped against them. Born on 15th December 1988, Geeta Phogat was the first Indian female wrestler to have qualified for the Olympic Summer Games! She won India’s first-ever gold medal in women’s wrestling at the Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi, beating Emily Bensted from Australia in the match.

While societal barriers were always on point while she was training with her father, she knew that she had to break the gender stereotypes and shatter the glass ceiling to make it big. The eureka moment was when Geeta’s father realised that his daughters too have potential and that gender doesn’t matter in fulfilling his dream of making his child a wrestling champion. Here are a few evergreen recipes that Geeta Phogat embedded into everyone’s lives:

  • Conviction Matters: The most significant lesson for success is conviction and a father’s conviction in his own dreams and in turning that dream into reality led to convictions of everyone around him, his wife and daughters, Geeta and Babita Phogat themselves. Geeta didn’t have a normal childhood or any other regular pleasures of children of their age in pursuit of something bigger that she needed to achieve. 
  • Success Changes Perspectives & These Perspectives Matter: The same society that had mocked the Phogat family started to respect them and welcomed the champion Geeta like a hero and she became the pride of her village. Gender stereotypes will always discourage girls from pursuing their dreams or any unconventional career but success changes people’s perspectives and these changed perspectives will come to use for the betterment of the society. Geeta’s village will not mock another girl or a woman who would want to pursue their ambitions. 

5. Twinkle Khanna

Indian author, newspaper columnist, former film actress and an interior designer, Twinkle Khanna is Mrs Funnybones in all aspects. One of the highest-selling Indian women writers, Khanna has earned her true badge as a writer and the founder of the bilingual digital media platform for women, Tweak India. Born on 29th December, this Capricorn lady knows nothing beyond perfection and that is what drove her to become who she is today. A true Punjabi at heart, from playing lead actresses in movies such as Baadshah, Barsaat and Chal Mere Bhai, Twinkle Khanna gave it her all when she understood her passion in writing could form a successful profession.

Talking about some of the precious lessons in life, Khanna points out that:

  • Failure Is The Biggest Teacher Of All Times: In an interview with Elle, Khanna had said how she had failed once spectacularly in life. “It’s very liberating to find that if you crack the first joke, the world will laugh with you. If I had known this when I was younger, I would have had the bikini body and the brains.” 
  • Gender Is Irrelevant: “People always focus on their daughters, they teach them to be independent and liberated. But what about raising a feminist son?” Khanna points about teaching today’s kids that they each hold a place of value and that the concept of gender is irrelevant these days. 
  • Trust Your Instincts:As a part of a panel for the Women Entrepreneurship Day in the UN, Khanna mentioned that it is equally important to trust one’s instincts. She believes that an instinct is usually a mixture of one’s experiences and the information that’s there in one’s subconscious. Generally women have the tendency to ignore their instincts which leads to unavoidable breakdowns.

While this is the last month of 2020, bringing an end to a rather tumultuous year, draw inspiration from these above women who have been trying their best to uplift Indian women and make your mark in your own simple way. Tell us in the comments below which are the other women born in December who have managed to capture your thoughts!

Madhurima Halder
Madhurima Halder

Junior Content Writer

A WRITER AND A VISUAL ART ENTHUSIAST, MADHURIMA BELIEVES IN WEAVING STORIES FOR THE COMMUNITY. HER LOVE FOR TRAVELLING AND ALL-THINGS-VINTAGE INSPIRES A GREAT DEAL OF HER WORK.

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