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“I always thought that something was amiss from my life... I worked as a journalist & had 2 kids. But ...
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“I always thought that something was amiss from my life... I worked as a journalist & had 2 kids. But on some days I’d send them to school & remain in bed wishing I wouldn’t wake up the next morning. I wondered how long it would take for my kids to find me & inform my parents. I’d turned anti-social, ... “I always thought that something was amiss from my life... I worked as a journalist & had 2 kids. But on some days I’d send them to school & remain in bed wishing I wouldn’t wake up the next morning. I wondered how long it would take for my kids to find me & inform my parents. I’d turned anti-social, I even quit my job & would just stay in my room all day. I would use twitter to let out my thoughts but I didn’t expect anyone to understand.
I even attempted to take my own life twice... It was a dark phase. I wasn’t ‘hopeless’ per say. I just wanted to stop feeling like a terrible person.
When I went to a psychologist, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder & Borderline Personality Disorder. I had no specific triggers, but I’d struggled for a long time & because of my doctor, I got a better understanding of myself & my behavior. Even my kids were processing it-- they nicknamed me ‘rage monster’ conveniently & through the journey my own family & friends helped me by having my back. They gave me the positivity & space I needed. Eventually, people started relating to what I said on twitter, they were DMing me & responding to my comments… I realised I’m not alone. Lots of people went through the same.
It’s sad that mental health issues are stigmatised in society. And so many people can be affected, no one knows who they could be. It has nothing to do with age, gender, wealth or class. They could be the happiest person one day, but feel depressed the next… one never knows.
It took me a year of therapy sessions to feel stable & work again. I learned how to focus on myself & keep myself happy. I even started to crochet again, something I used to do when I was younger. I made small things like little coasters & all. The very fact that I did something that I never thought I could & developing a passion was exciting to me -- Not to impress anybody, or for any kind of validation, but for myself. This refocused my mind. I learned how to prioritize my mental health – that’s one way I healed myself. I still feel like there’s a lot of things that need to be overcome…I’ll get there, but right now where I am, I’m determined to fight this uphill battle.” #suicidepreventionday
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“I used to be a pandit in Banaras.. I’ve read about every Veda and Granth there is -- I was highly regarded ...
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“I used to be a pandit in Banaras.. I’ve read about every Veda and Granth there is -- I was highly regarded there. But devotion doesn’t pay well, so I came to Bombay and worked as a tailor. I saved enough money to buy a car and became a driver, but I met with a terrible accident, so I returned home... ... “I used to be a pandit in Banaras.. I’ve read about every Veda and Granth there is -- I was highly regarded there. But devotion doesn’t pay well, so I came to Bombay and worked as a tailor. I saved enough money to buy a car and became a driver, but I met with a terrible accident, so I returned home... I started farming and led a simple life. But there must have been some sin that I haven’t paid for with my good deeds, because I met with another accident on my farm and almost died. I was in a coma for a long time -- my wife thought I was dead. When I woke up - I found out that she had fallen in love with another man and married him. She looked happy, so instead of fighting, I left them to live peacefully and came back to Bombay… who was I to break someone’s love?
I’ve been working here as a watchman since 9 years now and I’m hoping to get married again -- I want to live happily with someone… what is a life without companionship?”
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“Growing up, I was a tomboy. I did odd jobs–colouring hair, getting groceries for 50 Paise. My dad ...
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“Growing up, I was a tomboy. I did odd jobs–colouring hair, getting groceries for 50 Paise. My dad was a singer & barely earned–this money fed us. This made people doubt my ‘character’ & I was married off at 14. I’d only seen poverty so a wealthy house was an escape. How wrong I was. The abuse ... “Growing up, I was a tomboy. I did odd jobs–colouring hair, getting groceries for 50 Paise. My dad was a singer & barely earned–this money fed us.
This made people doubt my ‘character’ & I was married off at 14. I’d only seen poverty so a wealthy house was an escape.
How wrong I was. The abuse began immediately. He’d beat me over nothing. He drank, so his rage attacks were normal. But I couldn’t see them coming. My mom-in-law saw everything but said I had no right to resist. Even my dad told me, ‘once a girl’s married, she belongs there until death’. This was worse.
Once, his friends came home & I served water. They told him how nice I was. That night I got the worst beating. Our neighbours tried to stop him–he said ‘I was seducing them.’ At 15, he forced himself on me & I got pregnant. He’d still hit me with a belt, leaving me bruised. The cops asked to resolve the matter within the family or go home. Where would I go? Back to my dad who told me to live with it?
I had a miscarriage. Then I got pregnant twice & gave birth to my kids–I finally found some happiness. I didn’t want my kids to grow up like this. So I left.
We lived in a Gurdwara. They thought I was a beggar–I washed vessels & lived on scraps. I decided to find work–any work.
I danced in Bhangra groups & saved money to rent a room. But no one was ready to lease to a divorced woman. Finally, I got a room. My husband would come outside and call me a whore. But I didn’t break.
I began asking for more work & came across an opening for a stuntwoman. I grabbed it–I knew how to ride a bike & was a tomboy growing up–so action was my thing!
I was nervous on my first day, but I loved it–I finally had work.
I’ve been a professional stunt woman for the last 10 years–I’ve worked with Rohit Shetty & met all these actors–my dream is to become an action director!
5 years ago, I bought the house I was renting–it was the best moment of my life. Never again would I depend on anyone. I hosted Ganpati for the 1st time & bought an A.C for my children–it’s our heaven.
A woman is like tea–put her in hot water & you’ll know how strong she is. I’ve walked through fire, so you can imagine my strength–it’s limitless."
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“I’d been single for sometime–you know that phase where your friends say, ‘you’re single, doing ...
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“I’d been single for sometime–you know that phase where your friends say, ‘you’re single, doing well, don’t get into a relationship’?–I tried but got over it quickly. Around then, I met her.. at shows & on sets, but I didn’t know how to pursue her! She tweeted about my show & we started talking–I ... “I’d been single for sometime–you know that phase where your friends say, ‘you’re single, doing well, don’t get into a relationship’?–I tried but got over it quickly. Around then, I met her.. at shows & on sets, but I didn’t know how to pursue her! She tweeted about my show & we started talking–I invited her to my play & we went out after!
We ended up talking for hours about acting. By the third time, I had a feeling she wasn’t getting it! So I specified, ‘This is a date okay? & she just nodded!
She’s not from the acting circuit–she was discovered by chance. It was a breath of fresh air! I’ve been around serious artists all my life.. this was so different! Even our choices didn’t match! The first movie we watched was La la land–I came out of it emotional & she was like eh! I thought oh no–how’s this going to work?
When we started dating, I was at sea. How do I impress her? I told her that I’m kind of famous as this character, Mikesh..She wasn’t bothered! When people asked me for photographs- she’d wonder why!
The next time we met, she’d watched my entire show! I asked her how–it was so long-she said she watched it while getting ready! I was confused–Why wasn’t it affecting her! But that’s how I knew she was with me for the right reasons.
It’s not one big moment when you know you’ve met ‘the one’. It’s how they make you feel everyday; if they make you a better person & she does. But one such moment was last year during holi! I rode my bike to a party & had a little bit of bhang. I was in no state to ride. She saw that & took the keys –I thought she was joking! I mean it was a Bullet! But she just got on & off we went, me in the backseat & my lady driving the bullet. I thought then, Man! I’m going to marry her! She’s the one!
But, all of a sudden she left for Jammu because she realised acting wasn’t for her! I knew then that I wanted to do everything to make this work. I asked her to move back for our relationship–to give us a chance. Thankfully, she agreed, but I didn’t want to risk it, so this year on my birthday, I popped the question! She was so happy, she had a childlike smile & I swear even though I gave her a ring, it’s me who found the diamond!”
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“I grew up in a small town & went to college in Delhi. I met someone & we got into a relationship, which ...
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“I grew up in a small town & went to college in Delhi. I met someone & we got into a relationship, which turned into long distance. He was everything I wanted–an IITan working in London. I dreamed of moving there after marriage & opening a cupcake shop! I had to make it work–‘first love is the best ... “I grew up in a small town & went to college in Delhi. I met someone & we got into a relationship, which turned into long distance. He was everything I wanted–an IITan working in London. I dreamed of moving there after marriage & opening a cupcake shop! I had to make it work–‘first love is the best love’ after all.
I was floating in my bubble, working in Bangalore, applying to IIMs, with parents in Lucknow & a boyfriend in London. Until the night my father passed away of a heart attack. Everything changed after his death–my perspective shifted...overnight I grew up.
I was in a daze–our family wasn’t prepared for this. We didn’t know anything about our finances–we didn’t know how to move on. That year, I got into IIM Lucknow & moved back home.
I realised that I’d always depended on someone else & forgot to focus on myself. This feeling crept into my relationship & it was our downfall–we broke up. I cried for 3 months but college kept me busy. At 26, when all my friends were getting married, I was single.
People commented ‘You should get married’. I really felt the pressure… I was like, ‘fuuuck! I’m 26, what am I doing?’
I searched aggressively for my ‘suhaag’. At this point, I was working with a TV channel in Mumbai. This was my shot–in the city of dreams, I’d find the man of my dreams! But even with online dating–I found such species of men! Those who I liked were seeing someone or only wanted to be ‘casual’. In the heights of desperation, I joined improv–I didn’t find the B of boy also, but I found comedy!
I started performing at open-mics & realised that people were enjoying my writing–so I went to my 9-5 job & to stand ups at night. My boy problems became so irrelevant! And then Comicstaan happened–everything I’d taken so seriously, about being 30 & single–I started to joke about! What was I thinking? How did I make it such a big deal?
Through comedy, I realised that the love I was looking for in someone else was already there in me! I perform 7 nights a week now & when I hear people laugh with me–I fall in love with myself a little more. This was what I was looking for all along right? ‘First love’ isn’t best love–self love is.”
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“I’ve been selling Kulfi at this beach for 11 hours, everyday since the past 20 years. My kulfi is ...
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“I’ve been selling Kulfi at this beach for 11 hours, everyday since the past 20 years. My kulfi is evergreen -- rain, hail or sunshine, no one can refuse a Kulfi! That’s the charm of this city, but it can also make you feel homesick! My wife and children live in Pune and I can only afford to visit ... “I’ve been selling Kulfi at this beach for 11 hours, everyday since the past 20 years. My kulfi is evergreen -- rain, hail or sunshine, no one can refuse a Kulfi! That’s the charm of this city, but it can also make you feel homesick! My wife and children live in Pune and I can only afford to visit them twice a month. I describe the beach and twinkling skyline to them whenever I go home. I tell them of all the famous people I’ve seen and the friends I’ve made. They look in wonder, but for me, the whole world is in that room with them -- my wife and children huddled around me. By the way, I should tell you that my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world and her smile...my God! It reminds me of a perfect sunset by the beach -- warm waters, pink skies and a malai kulfi in hand!”
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Everyone said my name wrong. So, at 17, I got a tattoo of my name on my wrist. Say it wrong now, I said! ...
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Everyone said my name wrong. So, at 17, I got a tattoo of my name on my wrist. Say it wrong now, I said! My family disapproved and didn’t talk to me for 2 days. They let it go thinking it was just a phase. And that’s how it started. By 20, I had about 25 tattoos– all of them designed by me. By then of course, ... Everyone said my name wrong. So, at 17, I got a tattoo of my name on my wrist. Say it wrong now, I said! My family disapproved and didn’t talk to me for 2 days. They let it go thinking it was just a phase. And that’s how it started. By 20, I had about 25 tattoos– all of them designed by me. By then of course, my mother had given up on the ‘who will marry you?’ She didn’t mind as long as I was getting a degree and a job.
Everything changed in my last year of BMS. I knew this degree wasn’t what I wanted. So I dropped out and decided to become a tattoo artist. Nobody understood. Not my closest friends, not my parents.
My mother thought that I would become those women at Juhu beach. Who tattoo people with old machines for a few rupees. I showed her videos of famous tattoo artists like Kat Von D. How they were talented artists with their own studios. She gave me her blessing.
After my training, we had to practice on someone. People usually picked someone from their families – but who would I pick? That evening, I told my dad I wanted him to be my first tattoo. He looked at me for 5 seconds–longest 5 seconds of my life! He said yes! So my first tattoo was an ‘OM’ on my dad’s arm.
My parents took time to accept me. I try a little every day. It’s been a roller coaster of a journey. This April, I decided to do the 100 tattoo challenge. I wanted to be the youngest woman in India with the most number of tattoos. I started picking my tattoos carefully–each one told a unique story about me.
My mom didn't get this madness. I used to come home limping having tattooed 6 different pieces on a leg. She watched me in tears. But, on my parents’ anniversary, I got their portraits made on my arm as a surprise. She couldn’t believe how real it looked. Just like that all her anger melted away.
I took her to an opening of a salon where the owner had bought my painting. Everyone loved it and asked the owner for the artist. They were all so fascinated with my tattoos! She finally saw how much my art was really appreciated. That day, she declared she was getting a tattoo! You should look at her tattoo– a lion on her back. She looks so badass. Like mother, like daughter, I guess!
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“The women in my life helped me become the best version of myself. Everyone around me noticed that ...
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“The women in my life helped me become the best version of myself. Everyone around me noticed that I was a little different. So my family & I were asked ‘Why is he like this?’ a lot. How could I tell them? When even I didn’t know? Growing up, I had no idea who I was. I thought my attraction towards ... “The women in my life helped me become the best version of myself. Everyone around me noticed that I was a little different. So my family & I were asked ‘Why is he like this?’ a lot. How could I tell them? When even I didn’t know?
Growing up, I had no idea who I was. I thought my attraction towards men was a phase & I would go back to being ‘normal’. In college, I was made the cultural head of my fest. During that, I found my best friend. She was the co-head. We spoke about her body image issues & about me being bullied.
When I got placed in Tata, my parents were overjoyed. It wasn’t what I wanted, but I went ahead with it anyways. That’s where I fell in love for the 1st time. And got my heart broken too. I was head over heels in love with him. I didn’t know what was happening. So I told my best friend. She had a simple answer. ‘Don’t you know? You’re gay.’ And her next sentence made me who I am today. ‘It’s totally normal.’ At home, relatives started asking about me. Unnecessary ‘tips’ about how my behaviour should be curbed were brushed aside by my mom. Once during Diwali, I was making rangolis, when one of the relatives mentioned how my sister should do it instead. Man! That one was a two for two! My mom snapped back like the boss lady she is.
That’s the way it’s always been–she’s been a barrier between them & me all these years. When we were little, she sat my sister & me down and explained to us this one thing. ‘Whatever you do, tell me everything. It’s us against the world.’ That’s what encouraged me to come out to her when I was 21. I broke down & told her that I’d tried my best for 21 years. I just wasn’t attracted to girls. I layed down in her lap, bawling my eyes out. She patted my head & said, ‘that’s all?’
I’m a celebrity hairstylist now. A long way from a kid working in Tata. I’ve embraced the part of me who loves art & culture. I’m even a nude model now. Yesterday, my mother was the 1st one to text me congratulations after the verdict–it was as much her victory as it was mine. Since yesterday, she’s going on about ‘our future plans’–marriage, grandchildren, great grandchildren also & I’m just like calm down mom–one thing at a time!"
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 #Repost @official.wethepeople ・・・ (Pune, India) “When I started working as a doctor, my colleagues ...
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#Repost @official.wethepeople ・・・ (Pune, India) “When I started working as a doctor, my colleagues found it difficult to accept my unconventional appearance. The nurses would tell me that it’s not hygienic for a doctor to have long hair––which was ridiculous because their hair was ... #Repost @official.wethepeople ・・・
(Pune, India)
“When I started working as a doctor, my colleagues found it difficult to accept my unconventional appearance. The nurses would tell me that it’s not hygienic for a doctor to have long hair––which was ridiculous because their hair was longer than mine! Then someone had an issue with my colored hair too. But what they didn’t say out loud was that their real problem was with the fact that I’m gay.
A large section of the Indian medical fraternity is still ‘queerphobic’. Can I really blame them though? Because our medical textbooks still claim that alternate sexualities are a form of mental illness or sexual perversion. Not to mention the number of ‘God fearing’ people who believe that their God will not accept someone who’s gay.
It all made me realise that there’s a possibility the medical staff might be discriminating against patients based on their sexual orientation. I believe that every person deserves equal and good medical care––so with the help of some supportive colleagues, I began organizing sensitization programs at hospitals. We screen films about the LGBT community, hold talks about breaking taboos, and also guide doctors on how to approach LGBT patients.
Even though we’re making a difference, our efforts are still getting a lot of resistance from some orthodox doctors. So now, we’ve started educating medical students––they’re the ones who’ll eventually become the future healthcare providers in India! If we can change their ideology at the grassroot level, then hopefully they’ll understand that real doctors treat homophobia – not homosexuality.”
#LoveWins
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“I grew up with most teachers who only cared about my report card. They said, ‘This is the gateway ...
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“I grew up with most teachers who only cared about my report card. They said, ‘This is the gateway to your future. Good marks, good job, good life.’ I was an aimless guy, stuck in a rut. I took Physics as my undergrad major–with no idea of what it actually was. My physics teacher was my nemesis. ... “I grew up with most teachers who only cared about my report card. They said, ‘This is the gateway to your future. Good marks, good job, good life.’ I was an aimless guy, stuck in a rut. I took Physics as my undergrad major–with no idea of what it actually was. My physics teacher was my nemesis. After all, I was the problem child–a bane to teach. I had absolutely no idea about the subject or my life!
One day, I came across my dad’s old polaroid. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I started going around the city & clicking photos. With 50 bucks in my pocket, multiple train & bus rides later, I found my passion! But my degree remained unfulfilled. Everyday was agony. This was not what I wanted to do. One day, my physics teacher noticed the utter detachment I had to her class. She asked if I needed to be somewhere. I said I wanted to be out with a camera. Surprisingly, she said, ‘Just go. Don’t worry about attendance.’ From then, it became a regular thing. She let me bunk classes, click photos and later, we’d discuss them. My last year of college, we had to pick a mentor & she was my obvious choice. But she said something to me that day that I’d never forget. She said, ‘Son, I’m being honest with you. Physics is not for you. Find something you love.’ I didn’t attend finals that year. I ended up studying photography abroad.
We stayed in touch throughout–I texted her whenever I missed home. Once, I told her about this project I was working on–body shaming. I was going to photograph real women across the country. To my surprise, she volunteered! She brought in a friend too, all on their own expense! Most teachers only walk you through a difficult math problem or a physics question. But she took that rule & stuck with it.
I’m a photography teacher today. My classes begin with a question–that’s how my students score attendance. The questions are about their passion, love, thoughts–real things that matter. I want them to know how the world works. And when my students show me their 1st pay cheque or something they purchased with their hard earned money, I feel proud. I owe it to my mentor to value these very things in the end. Not just marks on a paper.”
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“I’m 33 years old, a mother of 3 girls and I’ve never been to school --I make henna designs for a living. ...
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“I’m 33 years old, a mother of 3 girls and I’ve never been to school --I make henna designs for a living. But I can still speak English very confidently today because people like you have always helped me. When foreigners come to the beach - they always talk to me and I pick up a few words from them! ... “I’m 33 years old, a mother of 3 girls and I’ve never been to school --I make henna designs for a living. But I can still speak English very confidently today because people like you have always helped me. When foreigners come to the beach - they always talk to me and I pick up a few words from them! I first learned ‘Hi, hello, how are you?’ and kept practicing it. Slowly, they taught me how to use Youtube --I even came in a Youtube video... go watch it! Slowly, I started learning to how to speak English, but I want to study more, I want to go to school again.
I haven’t been able to do anything so far because I work here from 5-10pm and that’s the only way I’m able to afford my daughter’s school fees! Since the past few months, they’ve been coming home and teaching me whatever they learn at school and I’m feeling so motivated! I’ve finally figured it out -- I can go to something called ‘night school’ -- I’ve already started saving money for it!” #HappyTeachersday
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“I grew up in a chawl on Mohammad Ali Road. The girls who I grew up with would get married by the time ...
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“I grew up in a chawl on Mohammad Ali Road. The girls who I grew up with would get married by the time they were 15 & by college they’d have their 1st child. I was 1 of the few who went on to do something ‘abnormal’ by continuing school. While neighbours used to say things like ‘what’s the point of studying! ... “I grew up in a chawl on Mohammad Ali Road. The girls who I grew up with would get married by the time they were 15 & by college they’d have their 1st child. I was 1 of the few who went on to do something ‘abnormal’ by continuing school. While neighbours used to say things like ‘what’s the point of studying! Learn cooking instead!’ or ‘if you keep working, when will you get married?’, my mom was firm about getting me educated–she wanted me to make something of myself. She wasn’t working & she didn’t want that for me. My brothers supported me too when this came up.
Still, it wasn’t easy–when my mom fell ill, it was assumed that I would stay at home to look after her, while my brothers would go out to work. I’m not complaining–I would do anything for my mom, but why is it always the woman’s role? I didn’t understand it. I got a flexible job as a teacher so that I could take care of her. In college, I realised that there were women out there with real opportunities–I realised that life could be different from my reality–so I started preparing for my MBA secretly. During this time, my mom passed away, but somehow her death inspired me to push harder to change things...for myself and others. I managed to get a scholarship for my MBA– 1 year in, I founded a start-up which focused on women’s literacy.
The more I worked with these girls, the more I realised that I could’ve been them–most of them had no option to study, others had to take permission from a male figure to go to a doctor & some had to give up their education to take care of their siblings.
In 2017, I got a full scholarship and stipend from the University of Oxford. I got a degree in Women’s Studies & even though I got job opportunities abroad, I came home–ready to make a change.
I’ve worked with daughters of sex workers & girls from low income backgrounds. We’ve tried to enable change through things like feeling comfortable wearing shorts while playing football or finding a middle ground between home & school. I’m now working on encouraging companies to invest in women. I know change won’t happen overnight, but we must try & try hard–equality IS progress for the country, something we must never forget."
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“My life has been full of experiences. In my school days, I was the backbencher and the silent rebel ...
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“My life has been full of experiences. In my school days, I was the backbencher and the silent rebel participating in mischief, but never getting caught. I failed 7th Grade and couldn’t finish my studies. Around this time, my father committed suicide after he found out that my mother was having ... “My life has been full of experiences. In my school days, I was the backbencher and the silent rebel participating in mischief, but never getting caught. I failed 7th Grade and couldn’t finish my studies. Around this time, my father committed suicide after he found out that my mother was having an affair. Suddenly, I was the man of the house -- while my mother went door to door washing utensils, I learnt how to become a mechanic. I would earn 2 Rupees a day, and slowly climbed up the ladder to become a permanent telephone electrician. I even got electrocuted and dodged death. Then I started my own family, I educated my children, settled their lives and became a grandfather. Looking back, I’ll tell you one thing. Look at all the incidents in your life as experiences -- they shape you; they aren’t meant to make you bitter. I’ve lived a hundred lives in this one life and it’s a great story to tell -- I mean, who else would chit chat with you casually about being electrocuted? All is well!”
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“Everything I am is thanks to my dad. Being the only child, I was subjected to overprotection. Each ...
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“Everything I am is thanks to my dad. Being the only child, I was subjected to overprotection. Each day he’d drop me & pick me up from school; he’d help me with everything– so when I grew up & asked to go to London for a work assignment– he was hesitant, because it’d be my 1st solo trip abroad– but ... “Everything I am is thanks to my dad. Being the only child, I was subjected to overprotection. Each day he’d drop me & pick me up from school; he’d help me with everything– so when I grew up & asked to go to London for a work assignment– he was hesitant, because it’d be my 1st solo trip abroad– but he agreed, saying I’d curse him for life if I didn’t get this chance! When I returned, I realised that he’d proudly boasted about my trip to everyone! We knew that it was my 1st step to being independent– It gave me the courage to start out on my own later.
Before, I used to be in an 8 hour job in Vikhroli. But I had a typhoid attack & was in the hospital for days. The 3 hour commute got to me & I resigned. I wanted to do more- be happy! So, In my free time I grappled with different things. Then my friend asked me to help with her son’s birthday. I ideated for the party & executed them while having a blast!
I enjoyed working creatively so much that I took a leap of faith & decided to build my company of designing gifting products. I struggled at 1st-clients weren’t paying, many never even showed up. I had to chase people for payments for months! But, my father helped me out when I was stuck. He had a rule– that I shouldn’t depend on anyone...not even him! He taught me to work with difficult people– a crash course in entrepreneurship!
It takes hard work to set up a business. Once, I took on a lot of projects for different clients, I had 20 hr work days & ended up with a fever. But 1 difference between this & my last job was–I was happy to be overworked. After getting a big client, dad & I ate dosa & discussed the future of my business–I told him my dream of coming in Forbes & he just smiled as though it’d already happened!
Today, I’m the Boss & the Peon of my company–I sweep the floors when required! I’ve worked with over 100 amazing clients & they keep growing! I lost my father a while ago & it broke my heart. But I’ve stuck to what he taught me– to make each experience a lesson– this being the biggest. Now, I won’t rest till I’m in Forbes & I’ll celebrate with a crisp dosa, knowing that he’s smiling from up there, eating a bite & saying ‘I knew it all along!”
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“One night, when I was 3 years old, my mother told me a special fairytale. She said that mumma and papa ...
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“One night, when I was 3 years old, my mother told me a special fairytale. She said that mumma and papa were walking on the beach one night, wishing they had a baby. They looked up at a sky full of twinkling stars and prayed hard to God to give them a baby who they could love forever. God heard their ... “One night, when I was 3 years old, my mother told me a special fairytale. She said that mumma and papa were walking on the beach one night, wishing they had a baby. They looked up at a sky full of twinkling stars and prayed hard to God to give them a baby who they could love forever. God heard their prayers, plucked the brightest star from the sky and sent her down to my parents -- her eyes were shining bright and she smiled, finally completing their little family! As I grew older, Ma told me that that star was me -- I was adopted from a Convent and because I was special, they named me Naisha! This is my favorite fairytale because I feel so special that mumma and papa found me, but also because we got our happily ever after so soon!”
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“I’ve led a hectic life–my father was in the air force, so we travelled all over and I changed schools ...
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“I’ve led a hectic life–my father was in the air force, so we travelled all over and I changed schools often, making plenty of friends along the way. I started my digital agency and worked pretty much all the time, except for when I was cycling, or doing yoga–at one point I was cycling a 100 kms ... “I’ve led a hectic life–my father was in the air force, so we travelled all over and I changed schools often, making plenty of friends along the way. I started my digital agency and worked pretty much all the time, except for when I was cycling, or doing yoga–at one point I was cycling a 100 kms a week!
I had a few lumps, which I avoided checking–but when they got a little bigger I finally made the visit to my doctor. My husband and everyone else wanted to come along–I couldn’t understand why!
Honestly, it’s not like in the movies where you’ll faint one day and people will rush you to the hospital...the symptoms are there, we just ignore them. Long story short, when I was detected with breast cancer and the word ‘oncologist’ was mentioned–I drew a blank. My chemotherapy started and I started hearing horror stories of hairloss, puking, fainting. So I was like you know what, ‘why give Cancer even that power?’ –so before anything, I myself went and got a buzz cut! I was ready. My family supports me, in ways I can’t even understand. I also met with a number of cancer survivors who made it easier. I added humour wherever I could –The first time I went in for a CT scan, I went with a friend–it was scary. It’s in a dark room, a machine whirrs and it’s so claustrophobic. Throughout the scan, we made fun of the choice of music inside the machine; how we should probably provide a better playlist–it went by quick!
Another time, I told the doctor that the colour of the gown wasn’t really my thing–so they laughed and changed it! Honestly, positivity in this situation isn’t easy–you have to work on it every single day. So I do–I go in for Chemo every monday, recover the next two days and then resume my normal routine–pottery classes, work, yoga! I meet family and friends, crack jokes on my haircut and blog about it along the way.
Cancer is a chapter in my story, it isn’t the entire book. So I’m accepting it and setting it free–I won’t give it power, I won’t allow it to consume me. I’ll beat it with love, with happiness and with unwavering faith that I will make it to the other side–I’m the only one who gets to write my story and it’s going to be MY way!”
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“While working in office, I realised that I’d gotten my period & didn’t have a pad. I didn’t ask anyone ...
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“While working in office, I realised that I’d gotten my period & didn’t have a pad. I didn’t ask anyone for it because I was taught that it was taboo–to be hidden behind words like ‘chums or Aunt Flo.’ When I told my chemist that he doesn’t need to wrap the pads in paper, I’d apparently made a ‘bold’ ... “While working in office, I realised that I’d gotten my period & didn’t have a pad. I didn’t ask anyone for it because I was taught that it was taboo–to be hidden behind words like ‘chums or Aunt Flo.’ When I told my chemist that he doesn’t need to wrap the pads in paper, I’d apparently made a ‘bold’ request. He was surprised that a woman would prance around with pads on the road! That’s when I found my purpose–I wanted to make a change to mindsets! I started at home, I spoke to my house help openly about periods & got her used to it.
I approached schools to make students aware of periods through workshops. It was tough at 1st because teachers didn’t want to have this talk, but once we got the ball rolling, people spoke up.
Some parents told me their stories too–a woman shared that during her 8th grade exam, she got her period for the 1st time. When her teacher gave her a pad, she stuck it over the skirt as she didn’t know what to do. Everyone started laughing & she was so embarrassed–she never went to school again. She works as a maid now & when her son asks her to help with his homework, she can’t. All because of this! This fueled the fire inside of me–I wanted the next generation to not think of periods as a ‘problem.’ I stuck by my passion–we soon started working with nurses, we installed vending machines for pads so that everyone had access! I was happy knowing that I’m making a change, no matter how small. So far, we’ve worked with 30 schools & even the state government!
With this project running, I applied for the Queen’s Young Leaders award & got it! I didn’t expect it! I was honored to be invited to Buckingham Palace this year where I met Meghan Markle, Prince Harry & the Queen! I was so nervous in my sari–all I wanted to do was make sure I don’t trip over it! The Queen was so kind–she reminded me of the importance of the impact I was making. It was an unbelievable evening. One I can’t get over in a lifetime.
I can’t believe that what started off as just a thought, turned out to have such a huge impact. But I’m not stopping. I’m going to keep working till the day advertisers realise that only the sky is meant to be blue, not the blood on our pads.”
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“I’ve been driving this taxi since the past 20 years. I’ve worked hard to save a decent amount. My ...
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“I’ve been driving this taxi since the past 20 years. I’ve worked hard to save a decent amount. My daughter is currently pursuing a B.Ed, and most people ask me when I’m going to ‘marry her off’ -- like she’s a liability. She isn’t -- in fact, I’ve been saving for her further education, not her ... “I’ve been driving this taxi since the past 20 years. I’ve worked hard to save a decent amount. My daughter is currently pursuing a B.Ed, and most people ask me when I’m going to ‘marry her off’ -- like she’s a liability. She isn’t -- in fact, I’ve been saving for her further education, not her marriage -- let her first stand on her own feet, then we’ll think about marriage!”
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Thank you for always opening your hearts to us! <span class="emoji emoji2665"></span>️ #Repost @karimehta05 ・・・ This was exactly 3 ...
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Thank you for always opening your hearts to us! ️ #Repost @karimehta05 ・・・ This was exactly 3 years ago — the first time I ever told a story with the intention of raising money to help the daughters of sex workers who were removed from their home. The amount was 5 lacs and I was clueless about ... Thank you for always opening your hearts to us! ♥️
#Repost @karimehta05 ・・・
This was exactly 3 years ago — the first time I ever told a story with the intention of raising money to help the daughters of sex workers who were removed from their home. The amount was 5 lacs and I was clueless about whether I would be able to even raise 5000₹. We raised over 6.5 lacs for those girls overnight & I knew then that this is what I want to build. Today, that amount is somewhere around 6 crores, SAVING over 41 lives. I can’t thank the community enough for placing that trust in me, in our company and in everything we do— every time we ask, you open your hearts to give. Thank you, thank you, thank you. #HumansofBombay #WithYou #ForYou
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“We lived in a joint family in my village. It was a loud house full of laughter. My happiness only multiplied ...
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“We lived in a joint family in my village. It was a loud house full of laughter. My happiness only multiplied when my children were born. We cultivated coconuts for a living & led a fairly comfortable life. Those times seem so far gone, now. The first calamity struck when I lost my older son to ... “We lived in a joint family in my village. It was a loud house full of laughter. My happiness only multiplied when my children were born. We cultivated coconuts for a living & led a fairly comfortable life. Those times seem so far gone, now. The first calamity struck when I lost my older son to a brain disease. It shattered us–we tried to come out of this darkness by devoting our lives to our 2nd son.
At the age of 7, we noticed spots on his body. A series of expensive tests later, he was diagnosed with severe immune deficiency, which affects his vital organs. He required a kidney transplant first. My kidney was a match but the procedure cost us a fortune!
But then, we realised that he’s still weak & needs a bone marrow transplant. My family’s attitude changed– they refused to bear the costs anymore. “Let him die,” they said. Even my husband agreed as he’d lose his inheritance so I made the obvious choice & left them. My son & I moved to the city & we live in a tiny room here. While he rests, I approach politicians or other big people, but no one has donated to save my son.
I used to sleep at the bus stop to save money until a small lodge owner decided to give me shelter for Rs. 350/day. I’ve been eating 1 meal every 2 days since the past few months. I go to mosques, temples & churches to beg for help, so I can feed my son properly for his treatment– his surgery requires 22 lacs. He often asks ‘Why can’t I go to work? Why can’t I be like them?’ I have no answer. The doctors say surgery will make him normal again, but how do I get the money? I’ve sold everything I own for his treatment & I’m literally at the stage where we both will die of hunger before the disease kills him. I don’t know what to do–I feel I’m failing as a mother.” ––
Uma & her son Sanjay are struggling to gather funds for his bone marrow transplant. Uma’s days are dedicated to approaching people & asking them for funds, but time is running out. She doesn’t even have money for food to keep him healthy -- it’s heartbreaking. Please, let’s come together to help them as a community by donating & tagging someone who can donate through link in our bio.
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“How old are you?” “Oh, I’m very young....just 91!” “You don’t look a day over 80, aunty.” “I think ...
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“How old are you?” “Oh, I’m very young....just 91!” “You don’t look a day over 80, aunty.” “I think you mean 70....” “How old are you?”
“Oh, I’m very young....just 91!”
“You don’t look a day over 80, aunty.”
“I think you mean 70....”
“I grew up in Meerut, where girls weren’t supposed to go out, or study a lot. In fact, I was married ...
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“I grew up in Meerut, where girls weren’t supposed to go out, or study a lot. In fact, I was married by 21 & by 22 I already had a son. But I told my husband I was feeling caged with household work– I wanted to find my purpose. So with his support- I pursued a B.Ed. I used to drop my son to daycare, go to ... “I grew up in Meerut, where girls weren’t supposed to go out, or study a lot. In fact, I was married by 21 & by 22 I already had a son. But I told my husband I was feeling caged with household work– I wanted to find my purpose. So with his support- I pursued a B.Ed. I used to drop my son to daycare, go to college from 9-5, come home, put him to sleep & then do my assignments.
Then, for 8yrs I taught in schools. I saved 50% of my salary. Eventually, I worked in a corporate, training teachers– that’s where the hustle came in. I never said ‘no’ to an opportunity. I used to travel to different cities to work with schools & meet the directors & principals. Sometimes I’d give a presentation - catch a night flight to the next city for a morning meeting. I loved every minute!
When I couldn’t go to PTA meetings, my husband would. People questioned us, ‘are your financials okay?’, ‘why is your wife working, when you’re earning?’ Or, ‘how I could abandon my children?’ But just because I’m working, does it mean I love my children any less? What’s wrong if my husband attended the PTA & I didn’t?
Infact, when teachers asked my son why I wasn’t there, he’d proudly tell them that his mummy’s working hard! This support kept me going– I learned to balance.
After 13 years, I decided to take the plunge & start my own company. I invested all my savings in ‘Skills and You’, which offers various teaching skills– I started in a rented office & 1 employee.
I worked with different schools– It was hard, because all the funding came from our pocket. Then, I found a wonderful co-founder who invested in & our company took a new turn.
We started with 3 schools & today, 5 years later, the team has trained 50,000 teachers, close to 10,000 school leaders in over 80 cities. We even got funded!
Who would’ve thought that a mother of two could someday start a business venture.. But now you can think again! I finally feel like I am where I deserve to be– balanced & CEO of both my company & my home!”
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Humans of Bombay in association with &PrivéHD bring to you #TheHustlers. A series on those who’ve made it against all odds. The ones who create a way if there isn’t one–we applaud your spirit!
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“My mom met with a horrible accident on her morning walk. Since then, she’s afraid to go out and is ...
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“My mom met with a horrible accident on her morning walk. Since then, she’s afraid to go out and is on heavy medication. I’m 35, and I made the decision to stay at home and take care of her. I quit my job and focused on her full time. It was a no-brainer. My mom took care of me for 3 decades, without ever ... “My mom met with a horrible accident on her morning walk. Since then, she’s afraid to go out and is on heavy medication. I’m 35, and I made the decision to stay at home and take care of her. I quit my job and focused on her full time. It was a no-brainer. My mom took care of me for 3 decades, without ever asking for anything – she held my hand through every heartbreak, worked, cooked meals, and managed everything in between with a smile on her face. I finally had a chance to be there for her….so I took it!”
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“When I told my parents I wanted to become a pilot, my dad was unsure because the course in the US was ...
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“When I told my parents I wanted to become a pilot, my dad was unsure because the course in the US was 25 lacs–but still, my mom fought for me & finally dad took out a loan & gave me his blessing. After my training, I applied for jobs here, but I couldn’t get any. So for 2 years, I sat at home, feeling ... “When I told my parents I wanted to become a pilot, my dad was unsure because the course in the US was 25 lacs–but still, my mom fought for me & finally dad took out a loan & gave me his blessing.
After my training, I applied for jobs here, but I couldn’t get any. So for 2 years, I sat at home, feeling like a burden. My relatives didn’t make it easier with their taunts like, ‘you’ve spent too much on a girl’s education’. After a point, I started believing it too.
This was a low phase & I couldn’t bear to stay at home, so I applied 4 times for the airhostess post and failed. The Secret got me through this–I kept visualising and on the 5th try, I got in!
I started earning & getting international flights, but I wasn’t content. My dream was to see myself in that pilot’s uniform–I knew that being an air hostess wasn’t going to last. I had to clear 5 more exams to become a pilot, so I applied for the position of Ground Staff to give me time to study.
I wasn’t sure how I’d work 12 hour shifts, but I had to make it happen–I’ve literally studied in trains, buses, washrooms & while eating every meal. All the while dealing with irritable people throwing their boarding cards at me for no reason!
It was now or never–there were only 2 openings a year & I couldn’t miss out!
Finally, I gave my exams to become a Pilot. I remember waiting for the result–I was 27, with just 600Rs on me & I had no idea how I’d pay 20 lacs to finish my training if I cleared! My parents had given up too–they wanted to spend their savings on my wedding.
I don’t know what it was–a miracle or the law of attraction, but I TOPPED India in that exam & got a FULL scholarship!
After 7 long years I would wear that uniform. On my 1st flight, I tripped over a bag when I saw people staring at me, proud to see a female pilot–I was even asked for an autograph by a little girl!
How I got through it? It’s simple–as pilots, our major training is for emergencies. When everything goes wrong; when the engine fails, what will we do to land safely?
Similarly, when everything was crashing around me, I said to myself–I AM going to land safely, I just need to calmly think of how I’ll do it & I did it!”
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“I’m a full time musician… one trick I’ve learned is that your heartbreak can really help with your ...
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“I’m a full time musician… one trick I’ve learned is that your heartbreak can really help with your music. You feel everything differently! I broke up with my ex 2 years ago, and even though I’ve moved on now -- my music is thriving! So I guess I want to thank her for breaking my heart! What to say...with ... “I’m a full time musician… one trick I’ve learned is that your heartbreak can really help with your music. You feel everything differently! I broke up with my ex 2 years ago, and even though I’ve moved on now -- my music is thriving! So I guess I want to thank her for breaking my heart! What to say...with every heartbreak, I just progressively get better!”
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“Since the time I was 14, I wanted to be a businessman. I’d often wear a jacket and carry a bag that made ...
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“Since the time I was 14, I wanted to be a businessman. I’d often wear a jacket and carry a bag that made a ‘tak-tak’ sound as it opened. I feared not having enough money– which drove me to hustle. After 10th grade, I joined my nana’s transport company. For 5 years I learned everything from supervising ... “Since the time I was 14, I wanted to be a businessman. I’d often wear a jacket and carry a bag that made a ‘tak-tak’ sound as it opened. I feared not having enough money– which drove me to hustle.
After 10th grade, I joined my nana’s transport company. For 5 years I learned everything from supervising loading to dealing with truck drivers. On the side, I ventured into stock trading & became a self-taught analyst. I found businesses even while attending college!
Then, I joined my father’s company & turned it into the 1st sock exporting company in India– giving me the confidence to start something new.
After analysing media– I landed up with my internet ventures, Contests2Win & Mobile2Win. I made games around brands for people to enjoy! It was a struggle to get clients on board– I wanted Coke as a client, but couldn’t get through.. Once, on my flight–I struck up a conversation with someone by complimenting his watch– turns out he was the marketing head for Coke & we managed to get them! So, I made it a rule to meet someone new everyday.
But there were bad times too– ‘.com became .gone.’ People said, web internet’s done.. We couldn't get funding. Clients and employees didn’t want to work. People judged me based on my bank balance, not on my effort. Someone said–‘tuh dabba ki gadi kyon chala raha hai?’ and funnily enough– it inspired me!
I didn’t give up. My mind resurrected itself, ready to fight– that’s when I started Games2Win! And when I acquired a million dollars, which I’d dreamed of.. But I wasn’t excited. My mentor said ‘your cup is very full, empty your cup & share.’ So I started an online platform called The Rodinhoods, where I connect with entrepreneurs in need!
I’ve gained knowledge by meeting people. In about 6300 days, I’ve met 7800 people - each of them has given me an opportunity to be better. We started with a team of 3 people in a rat infested small room in Chira Bazaar and now we’re global. I don’t think this ferociousness can be stopped.”
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Humans of Bombay in association with &PrivéHD bring to you #TheHustlers. A series on those who’ve made it against all odds. The ones who create a way if there isn’t one–we applaud your spirit!
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“I’ve worked all my life without taking any breaks. I finally retired two years ago and I’m learning ...
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“I’ve worked all my life without taking any breaks. I finally retired two years ago and I’m learning so many new things about simple pleasures. The joy of taking long walks with old friends, enjoying my ‘newspaper time’ with a hot cup of tea or taking the bus to our weekly lunch spot. I also learn ... “I’ve worked all my life without taking any breaks. I finally retired two years ago and I’m learning so many new things about simple pleasures. The joy of taking long walks with old friends, enjoying my ‘newspaper time’ with a hot cup of tea or taking the bus to our weekly lunch spot. I also learn to play the guitar on Saturdays and just yesterday I watched the most beautiful sunset with the most beautiful woman by my side...my wife of course!
I even serenaded her with a song I just learnt how to play -- oh, what a sunset it was, and how complete life felt in that moment!”
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“Very early on, our mom became a single mother. It wasn’t that dad wasn’t around -- he just didn’t ...
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“Very early on, our mom became a single mother. It wasn’t that dad wasn’t around -- he just didn’t contribute much. Still, I don’t think we had a rough childhood. I was 5 when my brother came into my life, despite of us fighting, we had the same old sibling relationship. By the age of 12, our mom ... “Very early on, our mom became a single mother. It wasn’t that dad wasn’t around -- he just didn’t contribute much. Still, I don’t think we had a rough childhood. I was 5 when my brother came into my life, despite of us fighting, we had the same old sibling relationship.
By the age of 12, our mom was working to run the house, so I became like a parent to him. I used to feed him, put him to bed -- I even burnt his butt once by mistake when I was in charge! As we grew older -- we realised that we were opposites! If mom told us to drink the milk -- I would obediently drink it all, while he secretly threw it away in the gutter. He was bold, while I followed the rules. But we had the best of times being partners in crime!
He was the ‘cool’ kid who teased everyone, while I was bullied in school by my teachers because I was a slow learner. I still remember once, I was frustrated with everything in school, so I stole a wallet. When mom asked us, ‘Where did this wallet come from, it’s not ours.’ I didn’t speak up -- and Danish took the blame & got beaten for it… only then did I tell her the truth. But you know what? The very next day, mom went and got us our own wallets. That’s what our childhood was like -- mom always inspired us to enjoy the blessings that we’d earned. We’ve grown up watching her work, which made us drive to work harder….she made me want to do better for her & Danish. So when the time came, and he was going to study abroad, I contributed my own bit to help our mom!
Now we both are living in this city, hanging out almost all the time. And even though we don’t NEED each other -- the support counts. We review each other’s work & honestly, he can be the best cheerleader & the worst critique for me and I’d still turn to him for advice because he’s always there to help & push me to do more.
Danish & I have come a long way from where we used to be. Our roots are strong now because of everything we’ve learned & seen in our home -- we can never take anything for granted. It’s nice to know that with all the moving on happening in the world, there’s someone by your side, whose love for you is unconditional... even though I’ve scarred his butt for life!”
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“My dad got him when he was just a little puppy for my sister’s birthday. We named him Brownie and even ...
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“My dad got him when he was just a little puppy for my sister’s birthday. We named him Brownie and even though he’s the youngest, he behaves like a protective older brother. I still remember once, when we were in Karnataka, my cousin who was taking care of him left the door open at night by mistake, ... “My dad got him when he was just a little puppy for my sister’s birthday. We named him Brownie and even though he’s the youngest, he behaves like a protective older brother. I still remember once, when we were in Karnataka, my cousin who was taking care of him left the door open at night by mistake, so when we came home at 4 am, we found him at the door, wide awake, protecting our home! He’s always been like our bodyguard!
I actually just bought him a superman rakhi! Every year on raksha bandhan, we do his aarti, put a tikka and then tie the rakhi -- it’s the sweetest thing! He’s pretty clueless about what’s happening… all he cares about is the treat at the end and then his tail just doesn’t stop wagging!”
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“We were married right out of college. Our parents were against it–we were too young & I didn’t have ...
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“We were married right out of college. Our parents were against it–we were too young & I didn’t have a job because I was hell bent on starting something on my own. Being from a small town, they thought I was insane to start a business from nothing. But my wife was my anchor–she got an IT job and took ... “We were married right out of college. Our parents were against it–we were too young & I didn’t have a job because I was hell bent on starting something on my own. Being from a small town, they thought I was insane to start a business from nothing. But my wife was my anchor–she got an IT job and took up the responsibility to put food on the table while I focused on my dream.
We moved during this process & finding the right carpenter or repairman was a task! I wondered why our whole world was online except these services–a light bulb went off & the idea for Zimmber was conceived.
Soon after, I lost my brother to cancer. I was in shambles. My wife reminded me how he’d put me through college & I owed it to him to make it count–I turned his loss into a fuel to push forward.
I asked a friend to partner with me & launch the idea, but he was worried he couldn’t survive financially until we became profitable. So my wife suggested that both our families move into a 3bhk to cut costs. The only person earning in our new family of 5 was my wife!
Then my partner & I set up shop in a tiny office shared with a studio. The walls were so thin that sounds from the studio could be heard in our office! Once a client asked if someone was yelling ‘Bachao Bachao’ in the back! Our wives knew the stress we were under, so they would swing by the office & bring picnic lunches for everyone!
Bit by bit we grew and other businesses started merging with us. More employees, larger offices & 250 service partners later, we were acquired by Quickr–that was our big break!
Looking back now, I can’t thank my wife enough–the backbone of our dream! She juggled her job, our home & dealt with me bringing 15 people home every other week–all with a smile on her face. Now, she’s quit and works on her fitness blog & it’s my biggest privilege to support her–after all, she’s been my saviour. So take my word for it, the best partnerships are formed at home & only then can you write your success story..together.”
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Humans of Bombay in association with &PrivéHD bring to you #TheHustlers. A series on those who’ve made it against all odds. The ones who create a way if there isn’t one–we applaud your spirit!
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“In the year I’ve known him, he’s become the Joey to my Chandler. We met through friends, one night ...
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“In the year I’ve known him, he’s become the Joey to my Chandler. We met through friends, one night -- and decided to take a cab ride home together because we lived in the same area. We had one real conversation about life where he gave me some good advice. I saw the elder brother in him at that moment; ... “In the year I’ve known him, he’s become the Joey to my Chandler. We met through friends, one night -- and decided to take a cab ride home together because we lived in the same area. We had one real conversation about life where he gave me some good advice. I saw the elder brother in him at that moment; the brother I actually craved for all my life and after that conversation I asked him “can I tie you Rakhi?” He was surprised at first but then immediately said yes! He also looked for a sibling to spoil rotten. Any normal girl would have fallen for a guy like him but I was dead sure in my mind he's the guy would be my soul brother and he's been the best brother ever in every way.
We complement each other in our own way - I’m 22 and he’s 27! I’m kiddish and he’s so mature If I tell my parents I’m going out with him -- even when I’m not, they don’t question it. He’s always been there for me. On the cab rides home, that I take late at night - I call him to feel safe. No matter what the time it is and who he’s with -- he picks up.
And I’m busy finding a bride for him now -- not because I want him to get married quickly, but because I want him to buy me a lehenga for the wedding!
So it’s just that simple -- sometimes we don't look for a relationship, we just look for someone who’s going to be there no matter what --a keeper and a protector! I found him and sealed the deal with a Rakhi!”
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“For a middle class family, their son getting into IIT is huge. It means a stable income; a stable ...
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“For a middle class family, their son getting into IIT is huge. It means a stable income; a stable life. But college opened up my world. It was the 1st time I heard about a startup. Something just clicked–I knew that I wanted to create something, but I had no idea or money. I got placed at an investment ... “For a middle class family, their son getting into IIT is huge. It means a stable income; a stable life. But college opened up my world. It was the 1st time I heard about a startup. Something just clicked–I knew that I wanted to create something, but I had no idea or money.
I got placed at an investment firm in Bombay. My parents were so happy–for them, I’d made it. But for me, it was just the first step to pursuing a bigger dream. In fact, I found my business partner here–my roommate! We hit it off. Both of us would go to work & then ideate all night. We decided to get into cosmetics! Imagine, IIT kids selling make up–we were clueless!
Funnily, I’d talk about cosmetics to my boss, my colleagues, everyone. I thought I needed an MBA before starting, but when I told my boss this he cut me a cheque & said, ‘Just start!’ And that was it. We quit & told our families. My parents thought I was being reckless by giving up a 6 figure salary to start something new but I asked them to trust me.
With our savings, a team of 6, a 10 by 5 ft office & a dream we started Purplle. We went to malls, make-up artists & asked girls on the street about cosmetics. Just before we went live, our partners & investors backed out. My dad called every Sunday–I had nothing positive to say. In 2 years, we ran out of money & some of our employees stopped showing up! My father visited at the time & saw that we were living on borrowed money–he was let down.
I couldn’t give up–we worked round the clock, cut corners, barely paid ourselves & worked out of a stuffy warehouse for 2 months. Some were cleaning, others were packaging boxes & the rest were delivering. This team got us through–we put everything on the line.
It finally paid off when we got our big investment! From a team of 6, we now have hundreds of employees. A few months ago, my dad came to visit again. He saw what we’d created–he sat on my chair. He didn’t say anything. He just smiled. There it was, for the first time–MY ‘made it’ moment.”
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Humans of Bombay in association with &PrivéHD bring to you #TheHustlers. A series on those who’ve made it against all odds. The ones who create a way if there isn’t one–we applaud your spirit!
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“My husband left me and my son when I was 40 -- I haven’t studied and all my life I’ve just been at home. ...
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“My husband left me and my son when I was 40 -- I haven’t studied and all my life I’ve just been at home. But I didn’t have the time to sulk -- I had to earn to survive. I worked all day -- from washing dishes, sweeping floors to learning to how maalish babies -- I would work 15 hours a day. My son started ... “My husband left me and my son when I was 40 -- I haven’t studied and all my life I’ve just been at home. But I didn’t have the time to sulk -- I had to earn to survive. I worked all day -- from washing dishes, sweeping floors to learning to how maalish babies -- I would work 15 hours a day. My son started working, but recently he quit. I’m earning for the both of us and hoping that he gets a job soon-- then I’ll make Kheer for everyone and buy a big chocolate for myself!”
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“I was a carefree boy, accompanying my brother to see a prospective bride. As the families discussed ...
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“I was a carefree boy, accompanying my brother to see a prospective bride. As the families discussed his marriage, I noticed a chirpy girl–the bride’s sister & we instantly liked each other. Before we knew it, the two weddings were held together! I still remember how radiant she looked that ... “I was a carefree boy, accompanying my brother to see a prospective bride. As the families discussed his marriage, I noticed a chirpy girl–the bride’s sister & we instantly liked each other. Before we knew it, the two weddings were held together! I still remember how radiant she looked that day.
We were living a modest but happy life with my salary as a tailor at the textile factory.
Soon we had a little boy, and 3 years later, a lovely girl. But, our good times were short-lived–we lost our girl to chickenpox when she was 2. We focused on our son to get over the loss–handsome, intelligent, and talented. ‘He takes after me, not you’, my wife joked. But life took him away from us too. He drowned during a picnic. Losing your children is irreparable. I broke down completely, but my wife gave me strength. She lifted me back up. It was her idea to eventually adopt a sweet little girl, and she became our world.
She’s in the 9th Std now. We finally felt happy & complete before our world collapsed yet another time. This time my wife was diagnosed with Lung cancer.
They say it was because she inhaled the fumes from the plastic our neighbours burnt. If I’d known, we would’ve moved–I would’ve done anything!
Now she needs to take pills for 8 months, each cost 60K. I have to retire in 2 years from the factory where I work–so I don’t know how I’ll repay the loans & pay for her treatment.
We’ve been sucked dry of all our savings. She was teary eyed when we had to sell her mangalasutra. I told her it was only a symbol. Our love is not based on a piece of gold.
We’ve been fortunate to have each other. I can’t tell her this–but I don’t think I’ll be able to go on without her. I desperately need some help to save her… to save me. Our daughter & I can’t imagine our lives without her.”
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Khantesh Jadav and his wife Veena have suffered through a lot…but they’re still willing to fight. He is struggling to raise funds for his wife who is suffering from Lung Cancer. Each day they wait, her health is worsened. Let’s all come together once again to save a life & give some hope to this family. Please consider donating directly online or tagging someone who can through the link in our bio.
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“I think I took on too much at the beginning of this year. I was helping my brother study for his boards, ...
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“I think I took on too much at the beginning of this year. I was helping my brother study for his boards, I was on an organizing committee for a marathon in Mumbai, and I was volunteering with AIESEC. I thought I could juggle it all and still get 50% attendance…But I ended up with 49.37% and failed ... “I think I took on too much at the beginning of this year. I was helping my brother study for his boards, I was on an organizing committee for a marathon in Mumbai, and I was volunteering with AIESEC. I thought I could juggle it all and still get 50% attendance…But I ended up with 49.37% and failed that year. It didn’t matter that it was so close. I was upset at first, but then I thought that maybe it was a sign to slow down and explore my options. I’m doing constructive things with my time -- I’m studying Emotional Intelligence, watching TEDtalks and volunteering. I’m feeling like the world is my oyster and this little set back has allowed me to add method to my madness...never knew the lack of attendance could give me so much perspective.”
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“We were a lower middle class family in a small flat in Ahmedabad. Education was important, but I ...
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“We were a lower middle class family in a small flat in Ahmedabad. Education was important, but I wasn’t a good student– all I did was take apart things in my house! My parents were supportive but I’ve been thrashed– imagine finding your ceiling fan on the floor! With no aim in life, it became ... “We were a lower middle class family in a small flat in Ahmedabad. Education was important, but I wasn’t a good student– all I did was take apart things in my house! My parents were supportive but I’ve been thrashed– imagine finding your ceiling fan on the floor! With no aim in life, it became my obsession. But when I was 12 & my dad passed away– I had to step up for my mom. She started tailoring to make ends meet but it wasn’t enough– I took up odd jobs. I sold sunglass cases & repaired electronics. I made a T.V antenna so we wouldn’t have to pay for cable.
From my allowance, I spent 30p for time on a computer. Once I accidentally came across the code– I got obsessed & sneaked out library books to learn.
At 16, I was creating softwares. My mother was saving to buy a house but I convinced her to buy me an expensive computer instead– I would then code all night.
With a friend, I decided to sell software. It was almost ready when he said I was disposable & betrayed me.
I left the company & vowed to make it up to my mom. I took the first job I could find– selling modems. I was just a 12th pass but I still got it!
I set-up a server for an American customer once & showed him some of the software I’d created too. He was so impressed that he offered me a job. So at 23, I went to the US. My mother was ecstatic. Everyone who’d taunted her was congratulating her. This was my dream job, my ticket! I worked for the biggest companies without an engineering degree!
But I felt lost– I missed my mom & home. So I quit in a few years to start my own company here. From a simple idea, I created Burrp & sold it for a hefty amount. Then I started CleverTap. Today, I’ve hundreds of employees & a funding of over 9 million dollars.
It all began with my mom giving up her dream of owning a house. Today, life has come full circle– I have the privilege of giving her everything she can dream of. Sometimes all you need is one person to have faith in your madness– & look Ma, it’s paid off!”
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Humans of Bombay in association with &PrivéHD bring to you a series of real-life #Hustlers who’ve made it against all odds. The ones who create a way if there isn’t one – we applaud your spirit!
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“I work at a bakery nearby. My family lives in a village near Lucknow. I miss them, but I’m never lonely ...
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“I work at a bakery nearby. My family lives in a village near Lucknow. I miss them, but I’m never lonely because I live with my friends here. We watch cricket, work at the bakery and then eat dinner together every night. It’s Eid today and we all can’t go home to our families, so we’re celebrating ... “I work at a bakery nearby. My family lives in a village near Lucknow. I miss them, but I’m never lonely because I live with my friends here. We watch cricket, work at the bakery and then eat dinner together every night. It’s Eid today and we all can’t go home to our families, so we’re celebrating in our own way. Each of us is making one dish -- then we’ll distribute Seviyan and Barfi to everyone around. Today, I’m going to thank Allah for giving me a home away from home and friends like family -- this makes me feel like I have all the riches I need.”
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“We met through Daniel’s band mate at a club in Vegas. He says it was love at 1st sight, not for me though, ...
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“We met through Daniel’s band mate at a club in Vegas. He says it was love at 1st sight, not for me though, because all we did was make small talk–there weren’t any floating hearts or violins. But somehow he got my number & email ID. What I liked is that he didn’t call me, but emailed me instead–that’s ... “We met through Daniel’s band mate at a club in Vegas. He says it was love at 1st sight, not for me though, because all we did was make small talk–there weren’t any floating hearts or violins. But somehow he got my number & email ID.
What I liked is that he didn’t call me, but emailed me instead–that’s how we began talking. Coincidentally, I was going to NY, where he lived when he emailed me saying, ‘You’re never going to give me your number, are you?’ Which is when I gave in & he asked me out.
I was late for our 1st date. But like a gentleman, he waited patiently. When I reached & we started talking–there was the violin moment. The whole restaurant disappeared & it was just us. We spoke for 3 hours–it was like I’d known him forever.
We had a long courtship–in the beginning, it was just us getting to know each other. I remember when I was in Oman–he sent me a mixed CD & flowers from across the world! I had a stack of calling cards because of how much we spoke! I was in love.
He’s so considerate & supportive. In fact, because he wasn’t comfortable with me working with other men in my adult films, he began working with me & we started our own company.
Within a few months of dating, my mom passed away. I’d expect a guy to run from such an emotional responsibility–but he stayed. Not only for me, but for my family. I’d wake up crying at night & he’d hold me. He didn’t try to fix the situation–he was present & that’s what mattered. I knew then that he was the one, but it was his turn to make me wait.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was looking for a box to put my ring in. When randomly, he gave me this beautiful mahogany box which he’d made. It said, ‘With love, Daniel.’ I was so excited with the box, when he said, ‘I also have another ring for you!’
YES!! I was jumping–how could I not? I’m so lucky to have him. The proposal was simple–exactly how I wanted it.
It’s been 7 years now & we’re just the same. He supports every dream of mine like it’s his own–he makes me believe that anything is possible. And when we’re all together–the kids, me & Danny making us breakfast...life itself is a dream, one I can’t believe I’m living.”
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“I was in France for this study abroad programme when I had an epiphany. Every girl secretly has a ...
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“I was in France for this study abroad programme when I had an epiphany. Every girl secretly has a Simran from DDLJ inside her waiting to be saved. I had my moment when one night I was late to catch my train -- I ran after it, literally expecting that a ‘Raj’ would pop out of nowhere and give me his ... “I was in France for this study abroad programme when I had an epiphany. Every girl secretly has a Simran from DDLJ inside her waiting to be saved. I had my moment when one night I was late to catch my train -- I ran after it, literally expecting that a ‘Raj’ would pop out of nowhere and give me his hand...but that never happened! I was left stranded on the station until the next morning -- I was scared at first, but survived it just fine! Disclaimer ladies -- there ain’t no Raj coming to save you with a guitar in hand and a smile to die for -- the hero in your story will always be you.”
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“This house has been in my family for over 103 years––it’s our identity. My grandparents came to ...
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“This house has been in my family for over 103 years––it’s our identity. My grandparents came to live here in 1915. My father was born and raised here, so were me and my children. In fact, the chowk below is named after my grandfather. There was hardly anything around back then – no street lights, ... “This house has been in my family for over 103 years––it’s our identity. My grandparents came to live here in 1915. My father was born and raised here, so were me and my children. In fact, the chowk below is named after my grandfather. There was hardly anything around back then – no street lights, no proper roads, no buildings. My aaji used to send the house-help with a lantern to escort my ajoba from the station.
I remember, when we were kids, all my cousins used to come over during the holidays - 25 people, in our home together for 2 months! There was a pond behind the house––we’d swim there and get 50 paise kulfis later in the night. I want the same for my grandchildren.
You know, my grandparents, father, uncle; everyone passed away peacefully in this house. It’s that big a part of our lives. But I can’t see that in my future. I take care of the maintenance of this old house alone. Most of my earnings go into that, but it’s getting harder everyday.
Over the years, I’ve seen properties nearby being sold and redeveloped into high rise buildings. And I think the day isn’t far when I’ll have to give up this home too. My extended family thinks it’s only logical that everybody gets their share from the sale of the property. They haven’t forced me to accept any offers yet, but I know the expectation is looming over my head.
My elder sister lives with me – she has a heart problem & can’t climb the stairs. Everybody thinks it makes sense – a new building with modern facilities instead of an old, outdated house. There have been 15 offers made by builders. But we don’t want to give in. My kids don’t want their childhood home gone. It’s a piece of us – I can still see my son taking his first steps in the living room and the spot where I taught my daughter to cycle. I can’t put a price on these memories. I want to hold on as long as I can.”
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Property cases are painful – they last for years and torment those who live in the constant fear of losing their homes. Imagine having to worry about having a roof over your head one day, and not having it on the next. It’s time to listen to their stories. Inspired by true life events, ALTBalaji brings to you – HOME.
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“In every situation I try to enjoy myself and keep smiling. I’m a tour car-driver -- driving from ...
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“In every situation I try to enjoy myself and keep smiling. I’m a tour car-driver -- driving from one place to another can be tiring, but still, there are so many happy moments to look forward to. Once, I was taking a car full of tourists from Bombay to Goa! It was an eleven hour trip. As we were ... “In every situation I try to enjoy myself and keep smiling. I’m a tour car-driver -- driving from one place to another can be tiring, but still, there are so many happy moments to look forward to.
Once, I was taking a car full of tourists from Bombay to Goa! It was an eleven hour trip. As we were driving, they played some english song -- even though I didn’t understand much, they made me sing along and join their fun. 11 hours seemed like 11 minutes. I laughed so much during that entire trip! It was as if I’d known them for years.. So I guess you can find happiness everywhere only if you remember to make the little things count.”
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More than 323 people have died. 50,000 homes have been damaged. 23 Bridges have collapsed. 35 Dams ...
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More than 323 people have died. 50,000 homes have been damaged. 23 Bridges have collapsed. 35 Dams have opened… and the numbers are growing. We’ve established donation centers in Mumbai and Delhi. We encourage you to donate generously and #ActforKerala More than 323 people have died. 50,000 homes have been damaged. 23 Bridges have collapsed. 35 Dams have opened… and the numbers are growing. We’ve established donation centers in Mumbai and Delhi. We encourage you to donate generously and #ActforKerala
“Everyone has something they’re passionate about– something that sets your soul on fire & makes ...
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“Everyone has something they’re passionate about– something that sets your soul on fire & makes your eyes shine. For me– it’s bikes. When I was 10, I saw 2 women repairing their bikes at my father’s motor shop–I was fascinated. I wanted to be like them. It was unconventional–while the other ... “Everyone has something they’re passionate about– something that sets your soul on fire & makes your eyes shine. For me– it’s bikes. When I was 10, I saw 2 women repairing their bikes at my father’s motor shop–I was fascinated. I wanted to be like them. It was unconventional–while the other girls discussed dresses, I itched to talk about bikes!
My brother shared my passion– in fact, we saved money to buy our 1st bike together. Everytime I ride I feel so powerful, but people around me would be surprised. I’d get curious looks as if to ask, ‘why are you riding a bike?’ At some point, I stopped.
I settled into the grind of securing a job & getting married. I got lost in routine. I had a son to look after & a home to run. The turning point in my life was when I got into a car accident– I injured my face, spine & was on bed rest. It was then that I realised that I’d taken my passion for granted– why had I given up on something I truly loved? There I was, unable to move & the only thing I wanted to do was get on my bike and feel the wind in my hair…& I couldn’t.
That’s when my brother initiated me into a Jawa Yezdi Motorcycle club. For 2 years, I met people who shared my passion & encouraged me to not give up. I’d made a recovery, but hadn’t managed to ride again. I needed a push & that came from my brother– one morning, when I said I missed it, he put the keys in my hand & said ‘just go’– I took off on my Jawa & felt like a bird...I felt so alive.
I feel like if I can ride a bike, I can do anything! I wonder why more women don’t ride. It even helps my confidence as a corporate trainer. I’m a Muslim & it saddens me that not all the women of my community can pursue their desires. I hope in some way, my story helps them go after what they truly want.
I live my passion everyday–I own many bikes and have a family that doesn’t put clauses on my freedom. I won’t lie, being a woman, a mother & a Muslim, I enjoy the look on people’s faces when my bike and I shatter more than one stereotype. Today, when the roar of my motorcycle makes heads turn as I ride with my son, I feel like I’m teaching him about freedom & being fearless...that’s all that matters.”
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“We met at our dance class. When I entered the first class, I fell and noticed that he kept staring ...
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“We met at our dance class. When I entered the first class, I fell and noticed that he kept staring at me -- now he claims it was because of the fall, but we all know that isn’t true! He did cute things -- if our trainer cracked a joke, he would look at me and laugh for no reason! We became friends and ... “We met at our dance class. When I entered the first class, I fell and noticed that he kept staring at me -- now he claims it was because of the fall, but we all know that isn’t true! He did cute things -- if our trainer cracked a joke, he would look at me and laugh for no reason! We became friends and it just happened...there wasn’t any official ‘we’re dating’ conversation -- it was just understood. He makes me feel like a queen...I think the sweetest memory was on Valentines day. He surprised me with roses, chocolates….the works basically. And then, he danced for me on Ed Sheeran’s Perfect...that moment, couldn’t have been more perfect.”
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“My mother taught us two rules: One, family comes first and two, if we put good out in the world, it’ll ...
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“My mother taught us two rules: One, family comes first and two, if we put good out in the world, it’ll come back to us in some way. My parents were refugees when they came to Bombay. They had nothing and lived in one room in the railway colony. But my mom was fierce. She was uneducated, but did everything ... “My mother taught us two rules: One, family comes first and two, if we put good out in the world, it’ll come back to us in some way. My parents were refugees when they came to Bombay. They had nothing and lived in one room in the railway colony. But my mom was fierce. She was uneducated, but did everything to give us the best. We were five kids and I was sent to an english medium school.
The room that we lived in was tiny - a chawl system, toilets outside, no fan and only one fridge in the entire colony. We had one bed and 7 people in the house. I loved studying, so I would do my homework under the bed! My mother used to say ‘you will be a doctor. I just know it.’ I scored 63 percent in 10th grade -- a huge deal back then. I was the first from my family to go to college. On the first day my parents came to drop me -- I was wearing a second hand purple frock. My favourite! My father wasn’t happy about the frock, I was a girl after all. But, my mother took a stand. ‘She can wear whatever she wants. Look at her, she’s in college’. My mother has been my backbone. In college, I came down with Typhoid during my last year. My doctor told me to rest and miss my final exams. I still went and ended up failing! I was crying continuously when my mother asked, ‘Did you try your best?’ I said yes. ‘That’s all you need to do’. I appeared the next year and put in double the effort. I would study under a streetlight at night so that I didn’t disturb anyone’s sleep-- my mother would give me a bottle of cold water to keep awake. I passed with flying colors and then chose to study advanced chemistry. We all moved out of our chawl and after my father’s death, it’s been my biggest privilege to look after my mother and spoil her!
Today, I work as a scientist in cancer research. Earlier this year, I got awarded an honorary doctorate. My mother never attends functions, but this time, she came. She wore flowers in her hair and asked for a lipstick! She had tears in her eyes when she saw me receiving that award -- it was like both of us had made it.”
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“I want to be a police officer when I grow up!” “Why?” "I don’t want to take off my fancy dress costume ...
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“I want to be a police officer when I grow up!” “Why?” "I don’t want to take off my fancy dress costume — I want to wear my uniform forever!" “I want to be a police officer when I grow up!”
“Why?”
"I don’t want to take off my fancy dress costume — I want to wear my uniform forever!"
“My father came to Bombay when he was 16 and started from nothing. He was uneducated so he wanted his ...
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“My father came to Bombay when he was 16 and started from nothing. He was uneducated so he wanted his children to have the best -- naturally, I worked hard to become something big, but my ‘secret’ passion was making chai. I was 12 when I made my first cup of tea. I remember my mother’s face when ... “My father came to Bombay when he was 16 and started from nothing. He was uneducated so he wanted his children to have the best -- naturally, I worked hard to become something big, but my ‘secret’ passion was making chai.
I was 12 when I made my first cup of tea. I remember my mother’s face when she first tasted it. That ‘aah’ moment was all I needed. I returned from school each day and made tea for everyone -- All for that ‘aah’ moment.
At night, my brother and I would talk about how our tapri would be like. He would be the manager and I, the barista.
You expect childhood dreams to become more realistic... That’s what happened when I became an engineer -- My parents were proud. In college, I kept planning for my cafe. Meanwhile I got a job offer --I decided to tell my father once I graduated that all I wanted was to make tea. But before I said anything, he asked me about my plans. I told him about my job offer -- he patted my shoulder smiling.. I clearly couldn’t tell him -- After all they had spent, I couldn’t pay them back with disappointment. So, I took the job and worked hard for 3 years. I forgot about my dream as long as the paychecks were coming in… But I always had this looming question -- was I happy? I knew the answer -- I wasn’t doing something that I loved. That was it -- on new year’s as my resolution -- I decided to work on my dream.. I was going to be happy again.
I looked for a place to rent for my cafe -- with a limited budget and lots of ideas, I finally found one and went to break the news to my family. I told them how they were the ones who had helped me dream by loving my chai every day for the last 12 years. They said nothing. On the day of the opening, my father was disappointed, but I knew he would see it eventually- this is what I was meant to do.
6 months in, we had regular customers and a waiting line! One day, my father came to the cafe to pick me up. One of the regulars went up to my father and told him my chai was the best. He would never miss his evening chai here. My father had a huge smile on his face. Like a new customer had just tasted my chai. There it was, the aah moment I’d waited for for so long.”
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“I was excited to finally do the adult things -- move to Bombay for my studies, live by myself and manage ...
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“I was excited to finally do the adult things -- move to Bombay for my studies, live by myself and manage my life. But I quickly realised that it’s a sham! Like the first time I ventured out to buy groceries from a sabziwala -- I didn’t know about anything! I didn’t know what to buy or how much to ... “I was excited to finally do the adult things -- move to Bombay for my studies, live by myself and manage my life. But I quickly realised that it’s a sham!
Like the first time I ventured out to buy groceries from a sabziwala -- I didn’t know about anything! I didn’t know what to buy or how much to buy -- When I came home and called my mom, I realised I'd overpaid! Even small things like forgetting my house keys when I leave and then realising that I can’t just call my mom or dad to open the door -- it’s a process! I swear sometimes when I even get the basic things right I feel like celebrating with #adulting written on my forehead! -- I honestly don’t know how the real adults do it!”
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“I met my husband when I was a teenager. We were neighbors and good friends. He used to express his ...
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“I met my husband when I was a teenager. We were neighbors and good friends. He used to express his love for nature to me -- my in-laws had a tradition of making their children plant a tree on their birthdays. His love for plants started there. Even when we started dating and went out, he would take ... “I met my husband when I was a teenager. We were neighbors and good friends. He used to express his love for nature to me -- my in-laws had a tradition of making their children plant a tree on their birthdays. His love for plants started there. Even when we started dating and went out, he would take me to the beach because he loved being around nature!
When he grew up, he worked part-time in a hotel, where his job was mainly to maintain the flowers in the rooms, and he loved it. He had a passion for nurturing plants, which he turned into a business. He started a nursery and named it Vriksha, because Vriksh means tree, and the ‘a’ at the end, rhymed with my name.
Two years after he started the nursery, we decided to get married. But because I was Jain and he was Sindhi, and we were a decade apart in age, my parents didn’t agree. He was also in an unconventional profession, which didn’t get support from either families -- but we were in love, so we eloped. Then, I was welcomed to a home full of greenery. Birds were chirping outside our window, and with flowers everywhere, it was so colorful -- a surprising site in this city. I loved it!
His passion was so strong, that it became mine, and I joined him to build our nursery. He started ‘greening up’ movie sets, offices, airports….he even revamped a garbage dump, and turned it into a beautiful garden. It was hard work, but we were building something together. Soon, even our kids joined us.
There were times when we went from one corner of the city to another, carrying heavy potted plants on a bike. It was a struggle, we even went through a lot of ups and downs in the business -- builders trying to take over the property or BMC trying to tell us that we’re causing malaria. But his work never stopped. He was just so passionate about what he was doing.
I lost him in 2009. It was the hardest time -- he’s the love of my life. Our kids were still studying and I knew that I had to go on for him...for his dream. So this is what I do...I nurture our nursery and make sure everything is as green and colorful as possible. And with every flower that blooms, my love for him grows...and my world feels complete again.”
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“My mother has been working as house help for as long as I can remember. My father passed away early ...
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“My mother has been working as house help for as long as I can remember. My father passed away early on because of a drinking problem, and my elder sister got married early on, so it’s been just the two of us. There were days when we didn’t have enough food, but still my mother was so positive about ... “My mother has been working as house help for as long as I can remember. My father passed away early on because of a drinking problem, and my elder sister got married early on, so it’s been just the two of us. There were days when we didn’t have enough food, but still my mother was so positive about everything that I learnt to appreciate every little thing. I still remember this one year when I really wanted a bike, but knew there was no way we could afford it. My mother also agreed -- she barely earned 5000 Rupees a month! But on Diwali, she asked me to take her somewhere. She wouldn’t tell me where. We went to a bike showroom and she asked me to pick out a bike! Without telling me, she had started saving money in a secret bank account. My eyes welled up and I just hugged her...I had no words.
I now work as on office boy at a production house -- my dreadlocks actually landed me the job! When I got my first salary, I went and bought groceries for the house. My mother was so happy and that night we ate the heartiest meal.”
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