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Month: December 2016

To everything new that enriches our lives

To everything new that enriches our lives


“I can hardly wait for tomorrow, it means a new life for me each and every day. ~Stanley Kunitz

Five years ago in the cold winter of December, I had joined an all women trekking trip (courtesy Women On Clouds – in Uttarakhand. A group of complete strangers, we had climbed together the Chandrashila summit at 13000 feet and seen one of the most spectacular sunsets ever (as seen in this image). This trip holds a special place in my heart, as it gifted me one new experience after the other, touching my heart in the most beautiful ways. At the end of that trip, I was a different person! It was then that I had made up my mind to do something new every year – build a life with enriched experiences and bring more meaning to my existence with deeper connections.

In the last few hours that remain of 2016 in my continent, I choose to look back and recall everything new that enhanced my life this year. I summarise:


  1. Scuba diving –A desire to go scuba diving was long nursed, especially after watching Hrithik Roshan in ‘Zindagi milegi na dobaara’. It was simply fabulous to dive in the deep clear waters of Thailand, giving me a new high after I surfaced above the marine world. What a psychedelic existence there is down under! One beautiful adventure off my bucket list.
  1. My Blog – Maybe sometimes you have to live your story before being able to write your story. I’m glad I began ‘SoulMom’. Writing here is proving to be cathartic for me.
  1. 10 km. marathons – Though I have always been a fitness freak, running is something that never appealed to me. It seemed arduous and looked like an effort. Perhaps why I decided to venture, from a yearning to step out of my comfort zone. Ever since, it has turned out to be such a liberating experience. There I was struggling to run one km. at one go, and here I am having completed three 10k marathons this year. It truly feels like a huge feat – I have come a long way, literally.
  1. Santoor recital by Rahul Sharma – Music lifts our soul, but listening to Rahul Sharma playing the santoor goes a step further for me – my senses resonate to his tunes in some sort of spiritual harmony. Watching him perform live was such an ethereal experience. Another strong wish ticked off this year.
  1. Flying in the Airbus A380 – As kids, it was such a joy sitting in the red double-decker buses in Mumbai, quickly running up to the upper deck and grabbing the first seats in the front. I was curious to know what it feels like to fly in a double-decker airplane. Well, I did happen to fly in an Airbus A380 this year and marvelled at the engineering. But it did not come close to the gratification of the upper deck front seats of the bus.


This year has been abuzz with Indian companies riding on the start-up wave and creating some of their own. What is even more heartening is to see the number of start-ups that have been founded by women. I happened to attend a few exciting events in 2016 and meet some of the most dynamic women in their workforces. Women who are making a difference in other women’s lives, who are passionate to turn their dreams into realities and who are hurdling umpteen challenges in their way. While I had the pleasure of interacting with several self-driven women who are making a mark in their own unique ways, I would like to make a special mention of a few who left a mark on me. I sincerely admire them for their indomitable spirit as well as humility. I feel quite challenged to describe them in only a few words, so I choose to just mention their names and links here:

Sairee Chahal, Founder-CEO, Sheroes:

Aparna Vedapuri Singh, Founder and Editor, Women’s Web:

Shaili Chopra, Founder, SheThePeopleTv:

I feel lot of gratitude for all the ‘new’ in my life. What an inspiring 2016 it has been in an otherwise insipid year for me. I look forward to converting these inspirations into something more productive for me both professionally as well as personally.

The sun has set on 2016. Ring in the new 2017!

What divorced women would like to tell the society

What divorced women would like to tell the society


“Those who have gone through divorce know the pain and special challenges of raising a child under such circumstances.” ~Mike Macgavick  

My divorce hit me hard, it sure did. It is after all a life-changing event in more ways than one can imagine. But what hit me harder was the way our society is conditioned to perceive divorce. People have strange ways of reacting and looking at divorcees, especially divorced women.

We divorced women have a lot on our plate, we can surely do without more stressors. As we deal with our situation and with our difficult feelings, these are some of the things we would like to tell people:

  1. We are not victims: Whether we have chosen to end our marriage or our spouse has, we do not want to be seen as victims. Life is not meant to be fair and everyone has their share of challenges. Just like any other relationship, a marriage too can end for several reasons. Do not stare at us with pitiful eyes or call us ‘poor her’. We do not ask for sympathy.
  1. Do not gossip: Divorce tends to become a topic of juicy gossip in our society, be it in private gatherings or social functions. Both husband and wife are analysed and people love to indulge in finding faults. Do recognise that divorce is agonising for the families concerned. We have too many perplexing emotions to deal with, we do not require any mud slinging. Kindly do not add more negative energy into the situation.
  1. Divorce is not a sign of weakness: On the contrary divorced women are strong enough to recognise that staying in a bad marriage can be hazardous – for us as well as our kids. We would have put up with a lot of trauma and suffering before our separation. It would probably have been the hardest choice to arrive at the inevitable decision. But going through the painful process of divorce and its aftermath only makes us more resilient than one can fathom.
  1. Do not judge us: The society tends to put the onus usually on the women to save a marriage. It is assumed that the wife has to work harder to adjust and make the husband and in-laws happy. Yes, marriages are sacred for us and we would have mightily strived to save it. We do not marry to get divorced especially when we have children. But do not think of men as a superior sex who can be excused for their misogyny. Shake out of the long imbibed patriarchal conditioning. Stop expecting us to bend over backwards all the time. Our husbands are not our Gods.

               You alone cannot save your marriage

  1. We don’t necessarily have to remarry: Marriage is not the be all and end all for a woman. Break free from old thinking that a woman cannot remain single forever. Or that she needs someone to support her. Whether we choose to date anyone or live in with someone or decide to remain single or even remarry, it is completely our choice. If we have male friends, do not jump to conclusions or malign our character. Our relationships are our choice and we do not seek outside advice.
  1. Spare our kids: Kids from a divorced family go through too much stress. Do not label them or make their parents’ divorce their identity. They don’t need to hear any insensitive chatter or blather from others. Nor do they need to hear any bad-mouthing of either of their parents. It is not their fault, they have absolutely no control over the situation. So please do not ask them anything that is difficult or embarrassing to answer.

              How children see their family

  1. We have our own identity: Our identity does not stem from being someone’s wife or daughter-in-law only. We are complete in our own ways. Just ‘cos we are single also does not make us easy prey for men to flirt with. We are okay to go out alone be it the movies or dining or shopping. We do not always need a shoulder to lean on. Being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely.

What we really need is for people to be sensitive. To understand and to give us our space and privacy. We need time to rediscover ourselves, renew our confidence and our self-esteem. What the society can do is to let us be and not decide for us. What we truly want is to heal from the trauma and build our lives back together.

 Image courtesy: Pexels

A strong woman is more than what meets the eye

A strong woman is more than what meets the eye


A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. A woman must do what he can’t.” ~Rhonda Hansome

Recently, I had the privilege of attending the private screening of actress Tisca Chopra’s first short film as a producer and writer, ‘Chutney’, at the Lightbox preview theatre in Mumbai. Invite courtesy – Ritu Gorai, award winning entrepreneur and dynamic founder of JAMMs – short for ‘Journey About Mast Moms’ (Read more about JAMMs* below).

Now I admit that I am a novice in appreciating the genre of short films, which I understand is relatively new in India. So watching ‘Chutney’ that started and concluded in less than 20 minutes was a first for me. When the film began, it left me stunned. The actress whom we had just met outside appeared on screen in a completely new look, almost unrecognisable. And when the movie ended, it left me speechless! Just like her wonderful metamorphosis from actress to writer and producer off-screen, Tisca’s screen character had beautifully transformed towards the end of the spicy film!


That a lot can be conveyed in a short duration, is what I realised after watching my first short film. And when a story leaves you thirsty with questions, wanting more, it lingers on your mind. The more I thought of it over the next few days, the more intrigued I felt with the many layers portrayed by the protagonist. The story as well as the characters could have several interpretations. I guess the reason I kept analysing the role Tisca played was ‘cos she could well be a woman or women we may know of in our daily lives. Perhaps women we have met, having various shades, portraying an avatar for different occasions. One or more than one woman with several undertones.

A homemaker. She does what she enjoys doing best – running her domestic abode with utmost dedication. She may appear naïve but don’t you underestimate what she can pull out. For she is a powerhouse of talent and knowledge. She has figured an effective way to balance her home and work life. A simple lady – whose benign outward appearance can be deceptive, for she hides the dark secrets of her family. And is shrewd enough to use them as a weapon in order to shield her marriage from a neighbouring threat.

A loyal wife – yeah sure she knows when her adulterous husband is cheating on her. Yet she chooses to be tolerant and maintain a dignified façade. She is fully aware of her powers and knows exactly when and how to unleash them. She may choose to remain a shadow of her husband in the eyes of the society, but she has a light shining within. Inside the closed domestic doors, it is she who is in full command. A strong woman is the one who pushes ahead in times of crisis and rises to the occasion, while the man of the house sheepishly follows orders. She is a go-to person when her folks need the right advice or action the most. She exemplifies that still waters truly run deep.

Haven’t we all seen or met such women that we admire in our lives ?

A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.– Nancy Rathburn

A woman knows how to adapt beautifully when life demands it from her. She can face a situation at hand with poise and stoic tolerance. Dig deep and you will discover a pool of resources within. Very often it is presumed that power lies in arrogance and in being loud and demanding. Ask a woman of substance and she will tell you that true power is in maintaining a demeanour of grace and dignity – especially when the odds are against her!

Here’s to more women power!

Watch this spicy ‘Chutney’ here if you haven’t already:

*JAMMs (Journey About Mast Moms), initiated by Ritu (Chief Connecting Officer) is a multi-award winning Mumbai based Moms support group for networking that started in April 2014 and has been steadily expanding and evolving since then. Over 16000 moms from various areas connect and communicate online regularly, plus meet offline every month during complimentary workshops, interesting seminars and diverse events.

The groups have been categorised on WhatsApp based on specific aspects like age group of children, area-wise for local networking, single moms, moms with special kids, grand-moms, common interests like books club, pets, artists, etc. It regularly conducts funding drives and events to support the underprivileged.

JAMMs is a social initiative of the moms, by the moms and for the moms!

JAMMs social media links:





I am lucky to be a Jammie. Happy Journey with JAMMs!


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