Being the first Indian woman and merely second in Indian historical past to float into space, Kalpana is an inspiration for all the young girls and woman who aspires to be like her but the barriers take over their dreams. Kalpana Chawla was able to break those bondages and gave birth to a whole new generation to live their dreams.
Kalpana was born in the district of Haryana. She had a keen interest in aeronautical engineering. She left no stone to unturn to make her dream come true, she didn’t bother about the society where studying engineering should be solely a male’s choice. Only after moving to the United States she was able to complete her Master’s as well as Doctorate degree in aeronautic engineering. While working with NASA for 7 years she became an astronaut in the year 1995. She flew her maiden flight in November 1997.
During her childhood days, Kalpana loved gazing at the stars with her siblings. She was curious about stars and that curiosity gave her the passion to untangle the science of time and space. Her thoughts were, “Times like those gave me the opportunity to wonder and ask all those very basic questions. That sense of awe for the heavens started there.” Due to the presence of this kind of awe, she destroyed all the barriers in her chosen direction.
Many women during her times were afraid to even voice their opinion at their own households as well as at the workplaces, Kalpana ser a benchmark and overcome all the barriers flawlessly which came in her way. Unbridled by her prominence in society as a woman, she constantly tries to convince people to achieve their dreams and go on without looking back.
During an interview, she said, “I am a determined person, it is very tough to discourage me easily.” She was never bothered about her social position and she never really thought about being the first the second individual to achieve something or coming from a small town. The profession she chose was something she always wanted to do. It was very crucial for her and she just enjoyed doing that. She said once if one wants to pursue something it does not matter which rank, he/she is at. Nor being a woman should make a difference.
Although being focused on accomplishing her dreams, most of the time was immersed in achieving that. She was a strong believer of witnessing, experiencing and enjoying the journey following the goals. This is the irony of life that many of us are so much into achieving something that we do not enjoy the journey. According to Kalpana, if one makes sure of enjoying each step (journey) following the goal, attaining the goal will not be only easier but it would be a lot more fun as well. She always said one should do something as he actually wants to do it. But if someone is doing it solely to reach the goal and didn’t care about the path, then according to Kalpana it is cheating with oneself. Last but not the least she was not a person who gave importance to material interests and she said, “it is not solely the only guiding light.”
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