Soniyareshma

Soniya Choudhury Faces Life With Grit And Looks Forward With Hope Despite An Acid Attack That Disfigured Her

An acid attack in May 2004 left her life and body in shambles, but Soniya Choudhury has risen above it. This is her story.

Soniyareshma

In a telephonic interaction, Soniya Choudhary, an acid attack fighter who is now a make-up artist and a beautician shares how much life has changed for her since a gruesome attack that occurred over a decade ago. This is a story of pain, heart-wrenching emotions but it is equally the story of grit, hopes and willingness to adapt to new opportunities and changes.

Perhaps it is the mentors or the inspiring people she has around her that has changed her perspective. “It was in the year 2004 in Ghaziabad where I stay that I was looking to own a simple mobile phone. I come from a background where my family had minimum resources. My father was running a very small business and my mother was a homemaker.

After my 10th grade, even though I wanted, I could not pursue further studies. I had to start working and I had begun my work in a beauty salon. Soon I was working in a bigger salon and I really worked hard. I learnt all the skills required to be good at my job.

It began small

When I was about 19 years, I wanted to have a phone to communicate with my family when required and it was a small desire. I went to two to three mobile stores to get my own connection. It so happened that I was denied obtaining a SIM card as I didn’t have an identity card. It was not just me, but my entire family who didn’t own any identity proof at all. I was unhappy that a simple thing like a mobile connection cannot be obtained. My neighbour, who got to know about this, suggested that he could get me a SIM connection and the mobile at a price.

Unwittingly I agreed and soon I owned a mobile phone. I was using the mobile for one week and everything was normal until one evening that a call came from a police station. I hadn’t done anything wrong in my entire life and I was petrified when I was speaking to the official over phone. He told me that I was using a stolen phone and I will be held responsible. Completely nervous I told the official everything. As to who gave me the phone, his name and address and that I was not the culprit. Before I could reach home, apparently the police had picked him up from his house.

The threats

Unfortunately as things happen, the very next day he was on bail and he came to me and threatened me of dire consequences if I didn’t apologize in front of his family and the entire neighbourhood.

I am not sure whether it was the right decision to be taken but I didn’t want to apologize for an act which I never really committed. However the matter didn’t die down there. I started getting more threats from this person. Even my dad supported me saying it was not my fault, but I had to be careful. I think the ‘male ego’ made this individual lose his sanity and the threats became more often.

More than saying sorry, I started avoiding this individual at all times. I am the eldest daughter and I was supporting my family financially too and was involved in my work. My father would drop me to my work place and pick me up whenever he could.

The acid attack

But one evening my father couldn’t come and I decided to reach home on my own. I was just about 20 to 25 steps away from my home. Suddenly two men came on a motorcycle, the first one –the rider was wearing a helmet and I didn’t even see him. The second one, the pillion rider was this neighbour. He suddenly opened a huge can and poured acid from a can of 5 litres. At that moment I didn’t even realize what was that liquid. I was just screaming in pain. Those two managed to escape and I was on the road lying down in indescribable pain.

Even now when the date comes closer; this happened on 12th May 2004 and to this date I feel very uncomfortable. Those memories invariably come back. I don’t know whether it was the shock or apathy but no one came forward to do anything. My mother who apparently thought a child was crying loudly came out to see what happened and she just rushed to me crying and hugged me.

I was then taken to the hospital and I had 65% burns with my right eye completely damaged. I was feeling I was on fire and did not understand what was happening to me. I collapsed on the way to the hospital.”

The aftermath

Soniya goes into a moment of silence before speaking again, “When I gained consciousness I was in the hospital was just numb at what had occurred in my life. My parents were naïve and hadn’t even filed a case. It was after a couple of days that a friend who knew someone in the media went to the police to file a case on my behalf. I was perhaps too ignorant or innocent, I hadn’t even heard of anything called acid attacks. I kept questioning ‘why me’? Soon the hospital visits became more often and there were a lot of expenses. We were hardly able to manage with the treatments and the expenses.

My mother had hidden the mirrors from the house. The first time I had seen myself I had cried for the longest time I could remember. The accused got arrested but came out soon too with the help of lawyers. It made me feel very depressed and I have even once tried to commit suicide.

One thing however changed, the entire neighbourhood stopped interacting with this individual. He had even got married somehow but when his wife came to know of this incident, even she distanced herself from him. His colleagues were not interacting with him and he became a loner. He went into a major depression and at the age of 24, he died of a heart attack.

The attacker was gone but I had my life to be taken care of and that of my family. I had to pick up the shattered pieces.”

When I ask her what about the rider? Was he arrested? Soniya replies, “He was never found out and recognized. The accused too never identified him and yes the rider is scot-free even to this date.

After the wounds healed

“For eight years after the attack, I used to hide my face and be myself completely covered. Only my eyes were seen little bit. I even now nightmares but I have learnt to cope up with the circumstances. I have had five surgeries and undergone many treatments. I wanted to get back to work but no one would be ready to employ me because of my scarred face. Least of all in the beauty industry. As a young girl I had many dreams like to become a known beautician and even an airhostess. Everything changes for a person when acid scars your soul more than anything else.

Last year I did get featured as part of a calendar like a model and it was awesome. It was in fact a news paper clipping where I saw other acid attack fighters like Laxmi, Rupa who seemed so confident and were not hiding their faces. By this time I had started working as a beautician in my own house. I had opened a salon within my small home. Many customers who started coming to me couldn’t see me at all for a long time. For the first customer I told her that she can pay me if she was happy with the service.

Gradually more number of people started asking about why I was covering my face and they could see some scars, I would get defensive and answer, I had an accident of gas cylinder burst, boiling water on me, all excuses but never the truth.

Facing life

It took me a while to admitting to what life had thrown on me and asked me to face it. So I started talking to people about the incident and it felt better in healing to some extent. In fact people around me in the neighbourhood too started talking to me positively and were encouraging me to carry on with my life in a positive way.

It so happened that I got to know of Stop Acid Attacks organization and since the time I am with them my confidence and accepting myself has become better.

Soniya’s voice suddenly indicates a smile when I ask her what is she been up to these days. “We are setting up a café-salon and a lounge with a spa in Gurgaon. I also work at the Sheroes hangout café in Agra when time permits. ”

She tells me that through a reality show, she has had one of her wishes fulfilled of meeting beauty expert icon Shahnaz Hussain. The episode on Colors is yet to be aired.

Dreams for tomorrow

To make the conversation little lighter, I ask her if she wants to meet an icon or a celebrity for whom she would like to do make-up. She is silent for a few seconds and shyly utters ‘Salman Khan’.

As I tell her perhaps after reading this maybe Salman Khan might try to reach her, she laughs and says she adores his carefree attitude in life.

As a dream Soniya Choudhary now is hopeful of becoming an entrepreneur and setting up more salon-spas in the country. For now she is working on her project in Gurgaon.

As the conversation comes towards an end, I cannot help but admire Soniya’s attitude towards life and as she says the scars are on her body but she has been able to rise above and looks forward to meet life every single day with hope.

Images source: Reshma Krishnamurthy.

Originally published on women’s web

http://www.womensweb.in/2016/02/soniya-choudhury-acid-attack-victim/

Time to explain to my child on the religion I belong

Generally I commute by my own vehicle in the city of Bangalore. This becomes an exception when I have to travel with my child over long distances.

This evening I had to travel over 20 kms and more than the distance I was not comfortable taking a 6 year old in the city during the evening rush hour.

It was a visit to my child’s grandparents home and it was time for us to leave considering we would take an hour or little more to reach home.

In the evenings it will be your good fortune if you happen to get an autorickshaw who agrees to take you you to your destination.

So after about 7 to 8 of them refusing, one who was not wearing his driver uniform agreed. He asked me to guide him on the route and I agreed.

As I sat in the hired vehicle with my child, I was not comfortable that he was not wearing his driver uniform. Somehow only then I realized that a uniform portrays a sense of responsibility. Nevertheless I brushed aside my thought and was relieved I had got an auto.

After 2kms of  travelling, the driver suddenly started driving too fast and rash. I asked him to slow down even while my child was looking at me for security if the driver uncle of the auto was driving right. I felt the young one caught me twice closing my eyes as the driver almost brushed aside other vehicles and the child could feel his mom holding his hand more firmly. Even then the young one was trying to smile at his mom’s fear which perhaps he thought was amusing.

After another 4 kms I told the auto driver again to slow down and yes I told him politely that I was in no hurry to reach home but I wanted to reach safe with my child.

The driver gave me a stare that was not pleasant. I tried looking up to the sheet where driver details are mentioned but saw that it was stuck far away near his seat and in the darkness, in the evening I couldn’t see any details.

As we moved through crowded streets and roads at a crossing we just missed hitting into an oncoming vehicle. This action  finally again prompted me to speak and I told sternly that I am not interested to go in a hurry.

The driver then just stopped the vehicle at a corner and asked us to get out. I thought I heard him wrong but he said loudly GET OUT.

It was a main road but due to metro construction and other work, the road was dark and I stepped down hurriedly and grabbed my child to put him down.

As I was removing the billed amount according to the meter of the auto, he told me ” I am not your servant to listen to you”.

I told him I cared for my and my child’s safety and this action of asking the passengers to get down midway on an almost deserted road was wrong. Meanwhile my child kept asking ” Why have we got down?”

As I made him quiet and told the driver that this was incorrect suddenly I told him if he was right he could come with me to the nearest police constable or traffic policeman and I will pay him in front of him.

The driver sternly told me to get into the auto and he would take me to the police station to solve this matter.

I dared not step inside and told him that I will walk with my son and he could come along and kept my 100 rupee note inside my wallet.

My little one screamed, ” Accha ki mumma”

I gestured towards my son to be quiet and kept walking briskly towards the next road hoping I will see more crowd or an individual in police uniform if I required help.

And suddenly I was worried; I was concerned what if the driver came back and removed a knife, what if he had an acid bottle. You would think I was thinking or imagining too much. Probably, but the recent year’s reports have made me more alert and skeptical too, even though I consider myself to be an optimist.

I turned back to check if the driver was coming and I decided I will pay his billed amount and not argue.

When I was at the next signal where there was more light, more traffic and more people I asked myself why I hadn’t clicked picture of the auto driver or the vehicle number. Instinctively I had reacted as a protective mum. Least of all I wanted my child to be harmed due to my imaginary act of bravery.

Within ten minutes we found another auto, the driver wearing typical attire where you would recognize his  religion. It really didn’t matter as I was more keen on reaching home safely.

As we reached home my son asked me what made the earlier auto uncle to leave us midway. I really had no explanation but I did feel it was time to explain only two kinds of beings exist in the modern world when it comes to people.

Insaan aur Haivan.(Humans and Devils). These two categories are more than enough to determine our character under every situation in front of anyone.

I do not think we require any further categories of people based on background, language,  region or religion.

 

 

 

 

 

Shamanthareshma

How Shamantha D.S. Went From Page 3 Reporter To Running A Rural Radio Station

A dream by a media professional Shamantha D.S., to begin a community radio station, has ensured it has impacted far many more lives than she ever imagined she could.

Shamanthareshma

She is hopeful the dream continues to live on.

A print journalist, a film critic, a radio professional, a script writer, a travel journalist, documentary film maker, founder of a NGO, founder of a community radio station, author of 13 books; these are just a few descriptions of this individual spanning her dynamic 20 year professional career.

Broadcasting on 90.4 MHz

Shamantha D.S. is the driving force behind Sarathi Jhalak 90.4 MHz, a community radio station at Anugondanahalli, approximately 70kms away from Bangalore in rural district (Bangalore) in Hoskote taluk.

Sarathi Jhalak radio station is situated on the eastern periphery of Bangalore reaching over 200 villages. The programs relayed cover Malur and Anekal taluks, Sarjapura, ITPL, Whitefield, Marathahalli, and Kundalahalli gate to name a few, catering to a population of close to a million.

This has been a project that has seen growth, but has encountered various struggles to exist and is currently straddling on the thin line of existence due to lack of funds.

Yet an interaction with the president and founder of this special community radio station makes one feel she is optimistic, as the station has grown from being her baby project to something that has impacted many lives in rural Bangalore.

Recipient of several awards, Shamantha has also won the Karnataka Madhyam Academy Award for initiating the first women’s community radio in Karnataka. She has also won the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award in 1999 for being the first woman to write in Kannada literature, for her book on Nepal Himalaya’s expedition.

Sarathi Jhalak was started in August 2012 and has come a long way in reaching out to a huge community. The coverage area has a mixed population of educated, semi-urbanized, illiterates, and predominantly young people who are at the threshold of urbanization. The community radio station believes it can enable opportunities for development, education of young and old alike including counseling and can effectively integrate the residents with city life.

The tiny station premises are nestled between tomato and cabbage gardens and is housed in a small space in a building, with absolutely no frills, unlike most urban radio stations.

Yet the station is as vibrant as any other commercial radio station even with limited hours of ‘on radio time’ from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm and from 6pm to 9.30pm. Sarathi Jhalak airs various programs related to farming, health, devotional programs, education, women, among a few light entertainment programs. This juggling exercise of balancing between a community radio station and touching upon a few aspects of being a commercial radio station, has been tough according to Shamantha.

The reach and impact is higher as the radio jockeys are mostly from the nearby villages and speak in local language, primarily in Kannada.

Who is Shamantha D.S.?

Shamantha, who has largely grown up in Bangalore, did her education in law like her father who was a practicing lawyer. But somehow she was inclined towards media and landed a job in a media organization as a Page 3 correspondent.

“Initially I used to love going to these glamorous parties, covering, reporting about them, celebrities, film personalities and well connected individuals. But soon the honeymoon period got over,” she laughs.

“Gradually I started feeling that I wanted to write on subjects that would make a difference in other’s lives. I always loved books. My mother was a voracious reader and my parents ensured that my siblings and I were exposed to world literature. I was also fascinated by the great works of Kannada literature.”

“My mother wanted me to be a doctor but I was very weak in Science and Math. But after class X, I chose to pursue Arts and it then onwards that I really enjoyed learning or in fact educating myself. Until then it was a torture for me to scale up from one class to the next one.”

“It is ironical that I actually never got officially trained in journalism or went to specific colleges but media became my lifeline and I have always expressed myself through this medium, in all its channels of being a print, radio and television journalist.”

Branching out

“Soon, on a trial and error basis, I started making documentaries, working with NGOs, and did a lot of programs related to various issues that truly mattered for the society, for Kannada channels, and the Government. I slowly established my identity as an independent media professional. Apart from this I also founded an organization relevant to my interests – an NGO Sarathi, a resource centre for communications primarily for developmental activities.”

“As a developmental and independent media professional, I had started working on projects involving Anganawadi workers. Everything I did was learning on the job and right from scratch. Once I was in a session where NGOs and educational institutions were informed and educated on community radio stations. I was overwhelmed by this, and decided that this is what I wanted to do.”

Starting Sarathi Jhalak

“The people at Anugondanahalli and surrounding villages had shown interest in participating in workshops, seminars, discussions and so in August 2012, we started Sarathi Jhalak on air. We have come a long way from just Anganawadi workers working as RJs, to now where colleges are sending their students for internships with us. We currently have radio jockeys who have been thoroughly trained and can compete with any other professionals in the same field.”

“But all of them are working on minimal salaries and for a long time we went without any funds or salaries at all. The initial seed funding went into setting up the studio, equipments and other things required for setting up a radio station. It was tough as me and my friends too had to pitch in with initial investments and in September 2015, the radio station went off air for a few days.”

Local support

“But the people who have become loyal listeners from nearby villages really wanted it back on air and came out in support. There is a sense of ownership from the listeners and that’s why we are not ready to give up.”

And yes now we have begun our operations and trying to reach out to more organizations to get this going in a sustainable form in the long run. We currently depend on the resources raised by the individual contributors and voluntary efforts from individuals.

We have resolved many issues like finding a boy lost from his parents, helping an accident victim get justice and compensation, and even finding lost cows for a farmer,” she says laughing, much to my amusement.

“The community radio station has been instrumental in getting the youth professionally trained. They come and work as radio jockeys and have moved on to other careers. But they become aware of many issues, do research, get the knowledge of how to talk to people, build customer base in airing relevant programs. Of course a few radio jockeys who were there initially are even now there with us and I am glad that they have been around in spite of pursuing other careers like those who are beauticians, teachers and others who are working on part-time basis with us.”

Looking ahead

Shamantha says she is in a more of a supervisory level asking radio jockeys at her community radio station to discuss important programs with her before it gets aired and she pays a lot of surprise visits and checks. There is the second level management and radio jockeys who manage the shows on air.

Sarathi Jhalak is a women owned community radio station and though it began as an all women employee station, now they have both young men and women working in different capacities.

Shamantha can talk for hours on her project and she does that with immense pride. Sarathi Jhalak as a community radio initiative has become a source of support of knowledge and trust for many who have become its listeners.

Shamantha wants her dream project to have a better form of sustainability and manage her initiative with appropriate funding and technology to impact many more lives.

Image source: Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma.

http://www.womensweb.in/2016/02/meet-shamantha-d-s-founder-of-sarathi-jhalak-90-4-mhz-a-semi-rural-radio-station/

 

About the author Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma

I am an independent writer, storyteller, blogger and a mum residing in Bangalore, India. Having explored various careers like being a radio jockey, PR manager, communications manager in a hospital, I have fairly been loyal to the world of writing. Besides my love for writing stories for children, I am also involved in being a content curator and editor for a page on social media called Mums and stories.

Author’s Blog: http://www.reshmaks.com

 

Taking a new step in life

I have always wondered how people are able to succeed and what is it that really drives them up to do better.

Being a parent blogger, a writer and now in the shoes of creating a publishing platform for mums to share their innate stories with me makes me feel I can do this even better.

To pull it off successfully will take me a long tedious route but I do know I am passionate about this platform and really hoping that it will connect and engage mums across the world.

Do check out Mums and stories on facebook.

 

Sun & Moon in a competition. Who wins?

Not so long ago, something unimaginable had happened in the Universe. It was an argument between two children who lived in the Universe.

So one day, the Sun decided to show his supremacy over the rest of the planets, stars, asteroids, everything in the Universe, more importantly his power over Mother Earth. So he tried to instigate the Moon by saying, ” I am the supreme lord. Without me the living beings on Earth cannot live happily. Even our Mother cannot live without me.  After hours of self proclaimation, the Moon said, ” You may be huge, but the beings on Earth have always adored me more than you.

Poems are written on me. People out there go for moonlight dinners. The animals and birds get to rest peacefully when I show up in the sky. I am very important and Mother Earth loves me more than you.”

For some unknown reason, the Sun then decided he will not revolve around the Earth for a few days. He wanted to show he was more important. The Moon too decided not to show her face to the Earth. Since the time this decision was taken, the climate on the Earth turned chaotic.

There were huge windstorms everywhere. The sunlight was no where to be seen. It was pitch darkness. The seas were behaving violent. Lands started getting flooded. Birds and animals were frightened. People were constantly moving from one place to another to be more secure. The Earth turned cold, wet and windy.

Human beings, animals, trees, birds, none understood what went wrong suddenly.

The scientists couldn’t explain this un natural occurrence. Religious leaders just asked people to pray for goodness to come. They asked people to help each other.

Most people tried doing good for others. This went on for days, nights until everyone felt they were all going to die. One day, Mother Earth put her hands up in the air and called for her kids, the Sun and the Moon.

She told them she was quiet all these days. But they had behaved very wrong. It was too much for her to bear their deeds. Their ego had hurt lives. Mother was crying. She said that she was ready to give up Earth. But the act of not doing what you are supposed to do had ended in an unhealthy example. She had come to say goodbye to her children, The Sun and the Moon.

Both were ashamed of themselves. They promised her, never again despite any fight, argument or anything, they will not give up doing their primary role of being present for the Earth.

They rushed back to sort things out. Many lives had ended but after several days of bad climate, the Sun shone again. People rejoiced with their children, pets, farms. They also made a silent prayer to mother earth not to anger her.

They wanted children to learn to protect nature as much as possible. They promised to plant at least one tree on Earth. Mother Earth was glad to see people making children learn about loving nature.

By evening, it was time for the Sun to go. The Moon got ready for her daily evening performance. She looked beautiful in her white gown. She came to her brother Sun and said, ” Nothing is worth hurting others. I am never going to do this again.” The Sun too promised her that he will behave well.

Mother Earth went back to sleep peacefully as her children had learnt not to hurt others.

Life was normal again thankfully on Earth.

 

Acid Attack Fighter Laxmi’s story on Mums and stories

This is a story that surely needs to be read, liked and commented for positive feedback. An inspiration to millions who get engulfed in worries which may seem tiny, when you read how Laxmi has faced problems in life.

A true fighter, A lovely mum to Pihu.

And watch out for beautiful stories on motherhood on Mums and stories on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/mumsandstories/photos/a.509533672543486.1073741826.509523629211157/522300194600167/?type=3&notif_t=like

Mums and stories is proud to share this incredible story of being a mum by Acid Attack fighter Laxmi. Laxmi is also the lead campaigner with Stop Acid Attacks.

 

A global face, Laxmi speaks on her prized gift in life, her daughter-Pihu.

“Pihu is seven months old and somehow, just before two days before she came to this world, I started feeling that I should name my baby Pihu. I was almost into depression due to personal tragedies in the family. I had overcome the attack and am a fighter. But tragedies in my family were happening, where few of my close ones including my father and my younger brother died in recent years.

Life seemed to come to a stand still. I was in a stage of numbness but then things changed when I got to know I was pregnant and the amount of joy Pihu has given me and Alok is immense.

Pihu was born on March 25th 2015 in New Delhi and at that time, my mother, Alok and my best friend too was there with me. When well wishers got to know that evening that Pihu had arrived in this world, they started visiting us all through the night. It was tiring but amazing too.

We celebrate her birthday every month. And since then every month, Pihu charms us with a new skill she has learnt.

Pihu has made me a mother. There are certain things I missed in my childhood and that I am trying to provide for Pihu. Yet I would say that I am not going out of my way to give her a special upbringing. She is going to be raised in a normal atmosphere. There is lot of travelling regarding my work and she is coping with it in the current scenario.

I have always felt that if we think negative, then the negative emotion surrounds you so much that it is going to be difficult to come out of it. Even the world is not going to be considerate. That’s what happened to me too. When I was thinking negative, I was left alone. But when I chose to fight back the world was with me. Today the adulation that I am receiving because of Pihu is not new. I have received this warmth, love and wishes from people when I decided to fight back too and not remain confined at home. But I must add that the feeling of receiving positive vibes from people, because of Pihu is something I will treasure in life.

I am not sure but we might change her name too. And every moment with her is enjoyable. She keeps me awake throughout the night and she wants to play all the time. I have not thought what I would like her to be when she grows up and that stage is many years away. Right now I am enjoying being a mum to Pihu.”

Laxmi is now 26 years of age and was attacked in the gruesome incident when she was just 15 years old. Last year, Laxmi among the several awards she has received was awarded the prestigious award, ‘International Women of Courage Award’ by US First Lady, Michelle Obama at an awards ceremony in Washington.

Mums and stories wishes on behalf of all the mums Laxmi a beautiful motherhood to be cherished. We know Pihu is lucky to have Laxmi as her mum.

— with Acid Attack Fighter Laxmi.Pihu, Laxmi

Women unsafe in my city-bangalore

Bangalore has number of pros and pitfalls like any other city.

But increasingly, I have begun to feel and worry on how unsafe the city is becoming at any time, especially post 9pm.

I have been brought up in an environment where I was used to see my father raise his voice over any kind of wrongdoing by anybody.

Even though for most of my teenage years and much later, I continued being an introvert, work life made me see everything and everyone in equality. This applied to me as well where I started raising concerns over any inequality when it came to me or those around me in an organization. Of course it didn’t help me in my career graph but I chose to be a person who wanted equality.

Over the years I have got into several arguments at public spaces, traffic junctions and several other places when I have felt someone is misbehaving or breaking the law or even basic human manners.

Slowly, I have received threats from auto rickshaw drivers, bus drivers, motorists, car drivers (men and women) that they would abuse me or manhandle me.

I have learnt to calm down and now my freedom of moving around has become limited as I am not very sure, i will be back home safe after a watching a play or movie alone or with my child post 8pm. So I tend to travel in crowded spaces or closer home and try to avoid arguments with anyone.

Like many others. I have started silencing my conscience even when there is something wrong going on in a public space. Unless it is too huge a problem for me to be silent.

Reading this morning, just after a festival of good over evil, I felt sad that it is in my bangalore another rape has occurred. This one, the third in a month’s time.

I do hope collectively as Bengaluru citizens we will help each other in being good and avoid crimes.

I do not want to pinpoint to any community or religion but its time to take a stance for women to be safe and happy. This I mean within homes and outside homes.

 

 

 

Why you need to blog?

If you have a skill over a language or  good at expressing yourself through an art form, along with primary writing skills,  then it’s time you start your own blog.

Bloggers are present in all industries and now we have food bloggers, travel bloggers, parenting bloggers, tech bloggers, career advice bloggers and so many more.

Well if you are one of those who wants to add,  ” But I am not good at anything specific, so what do I blog about”? Then its time you find something that interests you.

Even if you are not a good writer but an entrepreneur, then do consider joining a crash course in writing or hire a blogger who can update a blog for you. Blogging has over a period of time become an important marketing tool in the internet and mobile age.

There are many spaces where you can contribute your content besides your own blog. It may initially not pay you well financially but it definitely helps in personal branding.

Writers may not be bloggers. Some professional writers may even consider bloggers to be of lesser strata in talent but if you are a professional blogger, you will be soon credited for good work by corporates or your own readers who value your opinion.

What does a good blog on any topic do for a reader? It actually makes the reader feel that someone here understands his or her position over a dilemma on a particular topic. Blogging should help readers to solve their anxiety to a certain extent at least after reading a blog. This often doesn’t happen in every article in a publication as the writer is expected to take a stance of a third person. But a blog is like a friend talking to you so there is higher scope of a personal connect.

Its absolutely fantastic if one develops into a niche blog to find and build a targeted audience.

On a personal level I am able to identify myself as a blogger who loves to write on women and parenting. If there is something known as short story blogging then would like to credit myself to that title as well.

Reading a review of a movie or a  product or service is great by a publication or online media. But a regular and talented blogger will also find her or his audience who would love to believe in the blog as an honest opinion.

With blogging becoming serious business, its time people hone their writing skills.

Good bloggers are valued in today’s content driven digital world. So good luck in becoming a blogger or finding the right one for your business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payal, the quiet girl who found her voice finally

Short story for kids aged between 4 to 8 years.

Payal was a very quiet girl. She would attend her new school, do all her worksheets regularly,  but she hardly interacted with anyone in her school or in the neighbourhood.

When any child would try to befriend her, she would excuse herself to find solace in her world of aloneness.

The class teacher after two months of school asked her parents to come and see her. Payal’s parents came to the school and explained to the teacher that Payal has always been a quiet child. And she wants to be left alone. They assured to the teacher that she had a loving environment at home. Even in her old school in a different town she had been a quiet child.

One day as Payal was walking towards the school gate a bright black butterfly with amazing designs on its wings came and sat on her shoulder. Suddenly Payal froze. She wanted to remain still in that position.

She just didn’t wanted to disturb the butterfly who seemed to enjoy resting on the little girl’s shoulder.

The security guard outside  the school gate whistled loudly as the school bell rang giraffe morning assembly. He saw Payal at a distance and asked her to get inside the gate. Payal didn’t utter a word. The guard now raised his voice and asked her to rush inside as he was closing the gate, or else he would complain to the teacher.

Payal gestured towards the resting butterfly and asked him to be quiet. The guard went inside and got the class teacher in s few minutes. Once the teacher saw Payal, she asked her what was she doing there outside when it was time for her to be in the classroom.

Payal whispered that she didn’t want to shoo away the butterfly. The teacher was stunned st the response and she angrily asked the girl to walk inside. But Payal nodded her head in disagreement.

After a few minutes the teacher who had angrily told Payal that she will be complaining to the Principal, came back with the entire batch of students from the class. By now it was almost an hour since Payal was standing still.

The teacher, Ms. Dixit said ” I was very upset this morning. When I told about you to the Principal Ma’m, she asked me to take a session here outside under the tree. So all students will be having an open classroom today. And you can join us when you are ready”.

Payal nodded her head now in complete agreement. After a class on mother nature and a drawing session, finally Payal was able to relax herself. The butterfly had flown away from her shoulder.

Payal walked up to her teacher and said that she felt like standing still as she identified with  the butterfly who wanted to just be there as it wanted. Not disturbed. The butterfly though just wanted to rest somewhere felt as though it seemed to love aloneness and that need not be loneliness.

Her teacher told her it was fine to be like her but it is nice to return smiles and build friendships in the world.

From that day Payal tried to converse little more with her classmates but she was often again seen happy being alone. And everyone too was fine with it.

It seemed as though Payal, (the meaning in India refers to anklet that makes subtle noise when the wearer  moves) found her voice.

She was the silent Payal. One finds anklets that don’t make any noise without the little bells and those are adored too by those who wear them.

She was like one of them, doing just fine and required acceptance.

 

 

 

Once upon a time a writer was a Radio Jockey

 

Jpeg
Jpeg

I came to know a month ago of term know as multipotentialites through a you tube video featured on Tedx talks. This was by Emilie Wapnik. It was refreshing for me to listen to the talk and I could identify myself with what she tried to convey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJORi5VO1F8

Somehow I have always dabbled in various professions and one of them happened to be getting to the shoes of being a Radio Jockey. I loved being there and doing what I was doing. AIR FM Rainbow gave all the recognition to me as one of the well known RJ’s.

In all its limitation of not able to compete with private stations of having a edit technological tool before playing live radio or hosting from different venues or reaching out to Bollywood or Kannada film stars, yet FM Rainbow had its loyal audience.

I had hosted careers’ shows, baking shows with an expert, interviewing Bangalore icons and much more.  Yet it had become the case of a filled glass and not wanting to dive more

 

So I had to say goodbye to one of my best loved jobs/careers and embraced a new juncture in personal life. This further led me to a totally new career and as of now continuing with some parts of the phase. Though I like to identify myself as a blogger these days than anything else.

Stumbled upon this photograph where I used to literally travel 18 kms from my home to the AIR station at 5.30 in the morning to be on time at 7.00 am. Along with the Kannada RJ, we had to present our shows and the show finally culminated in a request show. Of course now the formats have completely changed and further too I had started doing the afternoon shows where it was a pleasure hosting Meethi Yaadein of old hindi numbers and the 4pm show of playing the latest Hindi film numbers as part of the request shows.

If any of the old listeners still remember me then it would be lovely to receive a hello message from you.