Extracts from an interaction with TheCherryTree.in
We have come across very few from your generation who opted for the banking industry, which was never a normal career option then. Did this happen by chance or was it a conscious decision ?
It is just a preconceived notion that Kashmiri women always opted for medicine as their profession. Kashmiri women always had and still have the potential to succeed in any and every field they wish to pursue. I gave the banking exam just like that, the motive was to test the diverse fields I could land up in. I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t land up with the job, since; I most definitely didn’t give my best at the interview. To my surprise, I not just got the job but ended up working in various departments for the next 28 years.
The profession you are in, gives you an opportunity to interact with people from various cultural backgrounds, what has been your experiences as an person working in the Banking industry?
It has given me endless amount of exposure. Anyhow, it has played a major factor in helping me become financially independent, a stronger and more confident person. You get to know things from people that you were unaware of, you get to teach people new things, you learn to be patient and anger management is the icing on the cake of the perks of this job.
What have been the high points in your career?
There cannot be ‘high points’ in our sector, but yes I have been awarded for work done in the Pension Department, in CASA, in cultural too, & overall appreciations lot many times. That ‘point’ I would call high points in my professional career.
What were the reactions of your family and parents when you told that you want to start you career in this industry?
Well, the idea of starting my career in this industry was more of their idea than mine. So, the question was vice-versa in my scenario and the reaction wasn’t very pleasant. It is now though.
If you had not joined a Bank, what career you would have opted for?
I wanted to opt for medicine. But I couldn’t get admission to a medical college, majorly due to the quota issues. The alternative to which was going to Chandigarh to pursue dentistry. Amidst making this decision is when Banking happened to me.
Do you idolize any women of Kashmiri origin from this or any other industry?
In my childhood, I idolized Dr Gulal, one of my mother’s cousins. Later on, after migration nobody I could idolize. Then, a few years back, I met a Human Right activist and her work influenced me a lot & motivated me to get a degree in Human Rights.
What is your message for the Kashmiri youth (women)?
Kashmiri youth is the future of our Kashmiri fraternity, cultural heritage. Kashmiriyat has to survive & youth is the hope.
What interests you apart from your professional career?
I am a fan of singing, so are my children. Every time I am on leave from work, we make sure we have a karaoke session of American Classics. Other than that, I often go to the nearby sports complex with them or shopping or for a movie, in short apart from my professional career, my kids and family interest me. They are my hobby.
What efforts do you make to keep the culture of Kashmir alive?
I make sure that my kids understand the importance of “cultural heritage”. Our culture is very subtly intricate and procuring its essentials is very important, especially by the youth. I encourage them to converse in our mother tongue and sing folk songs to them. I also, celebrate all our Kashmiri festivals and share the importance of their existence with them.