ARCHANA SURANA: she does not play dolls anymore
- IWB Post
- April 17, 2014
“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” – Lucille Ball
Mrs. Archana Surana seems to be living these words religiously. The Founder & Director of the renowned Arch Academy of Design in Jaipur is a woman of steel. We met her 2 days back for the Finger-puppet photoshoot as a part of SHElection campaign. And we learnt a lifetime lesson from her – time is not offered, it must be created.
Since she runs an education institute and exams are on the head, she is keeping quite busy these days. Hence, we decided to go to The Arch Academy for the photoshoot. And boy, she has 10 hands. Literally. She excused herself for 2 minutes, since there were some papers to be signed. Entered again and started talking to us only to be interrupted by her staff for an important discussion. 10 minutes later, she came back, occupied with so many thoughts, but high on energy and said – ‘Let’s do it.’
When we asked her what is symbol for the 49% women voters of India in her perspective, she replied – Kumkum. Based on her imagination, we designed her puppet – a woman holding kumkum. According to her, the Indian woman’s traditions differ her from the rest of the world. She strongly believes that the 49% women share in responsibility for selecting the new government for our country is not apt. And that it should be more than 50%. She demands – ‘It has to be declared at least 50%.’
She wore an emerald statement ring from Nayaab Jewels’ collection. So what if her work demands her 24 hours, she still has perfectly manicured hands. The ring looked stunning on her. We asked her to create with the left hand a clothe hanger. She obeyed with a smile that expressed tons of passion for the fashion design. And she is a woman who boldly followed her heart.
We shot another question to her – What one issue would you put as a number 1 in her election agenda. Her empowering voice said – “For me it is Women participation in all fronts has to be 50%. Only this can ensure a holistic and balanced society and its governance.”
We agree. This is true when Archana Surana speaks, people listen to her every word diligently. Not because of her position in the society but because of her clear vision, strong thoughts and sturdy willpower. We wondered how it would be if she gets to ask one question from the PM candidature during a personal meeting! “Oh, I am clear about my question. Given a chance to meet this person, he must ensure the equal participation of women in our country to me and to the countrymen.’ – said Surana.
And does she believe the chosen government will be upto the mark? And if to talk about her own Jaipur city, what is that one thing she looks forward to be resolved after these elections? Archana said – ‘First and foremost, let us preserve our heritage. Jaipur is a beautiful city which is explored by so many tourists. I want the government to maintain these sites in accord with international standards. Strict actions must be taken in no time, and locals must be taught not to misbehave with these beautiful places.’
Her reply may sound general and obvious, but she has a point. ‘Today when women have a choice to vote and express themselves, it is only because they have become more aware. Awareness brings change like a ripple effect. And we as civilians must be aware of what we are doing to our city. Let’s not just keep talking about it, take actions. Be responsible and sensible.’ – said Archana.
She continued: ‘Women are multi-taskers and great home managers. There is a home management lesson they can teach our country’s candidates for running our country as well. One is to believe in one’s strength. She actually covers up every weakness of her home and works on her strengths to continuously improve her family and home.’
Meanwhile, another office boy knocked the room. ‘Madam, there are few people who have come to meet you.’ – said he. Archana politely asked for our permission and left for few moments. We remember the famous quote – the higher a tree grows and bears fruits, the more it bends and comes close to the ground.
Our team of a Journalist and a Photographer was sipping hot cappuccinos till Archana joined them back. She was all set to answer our next question – Rajasthan is being ruled by women as the Mayor, the Governor and the Chief Minister. Do you see any changes at the grass root level in condition of our women next door?
She took a deep breath, may it was her hectic schedule’s silent expression. ‘No, it’s good to be a human being first, and then a male or a female.’ – she said. ‘Being a woman in an important powerful position makes it one’s moral responsibility to understand and strongly address the discrimination going on with women on priority basis. Things need to be changed in our state. If she is given power, she must utilize it properly. And most crucial, she must make her voice heard to the people who have chosen her. According to me, this can be possible only when they stand for each other, for themselves. By doing so, they will empower other women and make the united voice heard.’
At the end we asked for any message for the readers of Jaipur Women Blog. Moreover, Archana Surana serves as a JWB Blogger-in-chief for April Month. She said– ‘Since you have more than 4500 women readers, I hope my message reaches all of them. I think it is a woman who makes her choices and is also responsible for them & consequences. So don’t depend on others and start taking charge of your life. We live in Democracy but women live in the authoritarian state. Let’s realize it soon and rewrite the real definition of freedom for women.’
Read about Shelection Campaign.
We thank Mr. Vinod Singh Gusain for catching every intimidating moment in his lenses. Visit his page to see the photography art.