Shailputri is the daughter of the mountains. High and mighty.
"Bey number ni Thadeshwar ben, aavi jaao. Ambe maa tamre geet Tamari prateeksha kare chhe!"
Garba begins with the incarnation of a Shakti and is surrounded by the songs of her praise. She is the source of shakti, urja, or vibrancy for all humankind. All matter and energy, life on earth, and the universe are the many manifestations of the goddess, and the world resides in her womb. Navratri symbolism celebrates the auspicious celestial placement of the stars and the moon. There are numerous incarnations of the goddess, and in these nine nights, the nine major Swaroopas are talked about to help us imbibe their qualities and character in our lives.
And w that a 10-year-old Devi Swaroop used to dress up in the most adorable glistening attire, two ponytails, holding her frock, and the anklets ringing. Bright eyes and smiling, this ray of light comes rushing down like a waterfall to sing vandan and geet for the goddess. Under glimmering lights, a small stage was set up, and all these people used to look at this little bundle of wonder. She looks up with folded hands because the mics are hanging far up. That began the celebration of the shakti herself.
"Natmastak karu namaskar mahra doongar waara mata ji...."
This jubilant place is Jasdan, Gujrat. A wealthy family of jewelers who were renowned for incurring philanthropic acts, established temples, and encouraged others to start businesses and academic institutions, enabling the development of the community as a whole. Sudha Ben Thadeshwar was one of the six siblings born to Vimlaben Jethabhai Thadeshwar in the Thadeshwar family. The whole family was enclosed in two one-story buildings, where the eldest grandfather used to make sure that all the people in the family (33 in total) assembled in the front verandah of the house to recite SundarKand, the praise of Lord Hanuman, which is acclaimed to take away all the troubles.
At the time when there was a kingdom of Jasdan under Ala Khachars, her grandmother was friends with the king's daughter-in-law. When there was any Bhajan sandhya, her grandmother used to take her where she used to play with the kids in the royal palace and ride turtles! She also gained her sense of music from the bhajan sandhyas in the royal castles.
At the age of 10, the family shifted to Malad East in Mumbai in search of better business opportunities as jewelers. As they moved here at this tender age, this little girl used to be her mom's hands. Ringing like a charm on the verandahs of the house from taking care of her three younger siblings From waking them up gently from their snug slumbers, making that clean partition between the well-oiled hair, feeding them baath, packing their bags, and hanging them over their tiny shoulders, she used to leave for school with them. She had to go to school, too! Her elder sister used to make sure that mom didn't have the burden of tending the household garden. At that time, after studying until the 7th grade, it was considered that a girl had studied enough. One of her elder sisters also gave up studying and stayed at home until she went to another house after being married. Unlike today's times, women were locked up with the responsibilities of the family and family only. It was unusual for women to present their views outside of household work. And household work did not have as much importance and was taken for granted.
Devi seldom left her gadh.
She also took up her father's jewelry manufacturing business at the tender age of 10. Listening to all the mythological stories that her father used to recite while sitting next to her, she made beads of gold from gold bits. This is the time when cow dung cakes were used as a heat repellent because they don't transmit heat. With a manual fire blower tool called a dhami (more older jewelry manufacturing techniques in this link), the fire was directed to the 1 mm flat gold bits, which fluff up like a round ball when blown on with fire.
When they came to Mumbai, she went to get admission to Kandivali municipal school. From getting her own railway passes for the travel and traveling each day, there was nothing holding her back. Her father believed that there was nothing that her little girl could not do on her own. Brahmini knows the brahm. After one year in school, the parents signature was required to obtain the report cards. Then she requested that her father come to the school and get the report cards.
This school did not have classes above the 7th grade at that time. Sudha and two of her friends went looking for a school from street to street to continue their education regardless.
She founded Navjeevan High School, where she continued her studies. She was the one who used to do the Ganesh vandana at every school function. National Day used to be her platform to show her respect to the nation through her songs. At the sudden demise of Lal Bahadur Shastri, she wrote, composed, and sang, which made all the students and the teachers cry for three hours straight in the morning assembly.
In 11th grade while juggling school, goldsmithing, and household chores. An unprecedented future was awaiting her so she built the foundations of her Satyagrah for women's empowerment for the rest of her life. She returned to law and enrolled herself at Wilson College to study law, which provided her with the intellectual arsenal she needed in her journey.