Your speech in Oslo just shook me; it gave me goose bumps on my skin, tears in my eyes and enormous respect for you in my heart.
When the news of you getting the Nobel Peace Prize was out in October this year, I did a Google search on you. Call me ignorant, but before that I just knew that you are the girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban.
And then today I watched the entire award ceremony.
Dear Malala, you are an inspiration to all women and men- your struggles depict the amount of strength a fearless and a courageous woman could possess. Your story proves the saying, that the pen is mightier than the sword.
Malala, your commitment and dedication towards achieving your goal, inspires me. The passion in your voice, the sparkle in your eye, strengthens me. Your struggles wake me up from by ignorant slumber and your steps guide me to take the road less travelled.
At an age when girls are concerned about pimples, fashion and boyfriends and are still discovering themselves, you, at that age, have stood up for the basic right of the girl child, the right to education, all over the world. Malala, I salute you.
As I watched you receiving the Nobel Prize along with Kailash Satyarthi, two of you who are fighting for the cause of child education and child labour, I was reminded of the child of the lady who works as a domestic help at my place. I felt deeply ashamed, she does not go to school, and occasionally replaces her mother at work in an event of an emergency. Remorseful thought.
And then Malala, you inspire me further.
You inspire me to stand up and speak up for my rights, to go out there and fight, that age is not a barrier and doing what you feel is right, is never a crime.
Your story is a slap on the faces of all those who go to school, but never study, those who complain of studies being a burden, to all those who do not respect their teachers and to those who have access to internet, but use it only to ”have fun”.
Your friend’s dream of becoming a doctor was crushed into pieces by the hooligans who forced her into marriage at the age of 12, and motherhood at the age of 14. But Malala, I hope that your dream, of becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan, turns into reality one day.
I have ordered my copy of I am Malala.
You are my strength.
More power to you.