Tell us something about yourself

I started working at a very young age, simply because I always had an independent streak in me. I wanted to learn money management, build confidence and a sense of responsibility. I started working when I was 14, at an exhibition, then I went on to work for a share broker, did accounts for various firms, and also worked with a few magazines.

I also exported silver jewelry and bridal wear to East Africa. My business of bridal clothes took off and I had also opened a store in Pune. Later I joined an advertising company and was a copywriter there. That is when I realized that I had a flair for writing and decided to pursue a career in journalism.

I started as a sub-editor in Maharashtra Herald and then I went to Bahrain and worked as a senior reporter for the Gulf Daily News. I also used to freelance for Gulf News in Dubai.

I later got an offer from the Government of Bahrain, to join them as an International Press Officer and that was a phenomenal experience. I used to travel with political delegations and business delegates to various parts of the world, writing speeches for Ministers and other high-level delegates. Co-ordinating Press coverage and Press Meets in Europe, the US, India, the Far East, and Middle Eastern countries. It gave me tremendous international exposure and learning.

On my return to India, I pursued a career in the Real Estate Industry, where too I had a great inning.


What were the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

One of my biggest challenges was when I was in Bahrain. Being the youngest and the only Indian in Bahrain Promotions and Marketing Board (BPMB) – The Government Organisation I was employed with, I faced a lot of challenges and had to work ten times harder than the rest of my British, American and Bahraini colleagues to prove myself. But I overcame that with hard work, perseverance and faith in the Universe and myself. And ultimately own accolades at my workplace.

Even in my current work at Raah and The Raahat Foundation, I have faced many defeats, but I am not defeated. In fact, such encounters are important in life so you can know who you are, what you can rise from and how you can still come out of it.

What or who inspires you the most?

If I had to name someone who inspired me, I would have no one to name. What inspires me is ‘Perseverance’.

Life isn’t easy, there are ups and downs, but when we decide that we won’t let it stop us and rise from it, that is inspiring.

Tell us about your achievements and which one are you proud of the most?

There have been so many achievements big and small in the course of my life. I think one of my most exhilarating and fulfilling moments was when I bought my first house, all with my hard-earned money and no loans at the young age of 24. That was huge for me.

I also won the India Forward Award in 1997 from the President of India for being an outstanding NRI. Have been mentioned in the Asian American Who’s Who Directory published in the US on outstanding Indians in 1999. I won the Woman of the World (WOW) Award last year from the UK.

Apart from this, every smile that I bring to the face of the helpless and the needy and the not so fortunate for me is an achievement. The fact that I can help and make a positive difference in someone’s life keeps me going.

Could you enlighten us about the Fragrance Tree? How did it start, and also tell us about other hobbies of yours?

I have always been drawn to various types of fragrances since childhood and find inspiration in everything around me. Most fragrances tend to evoke different memories. This has molded and influenced my design aesthetics over the years.
That’s how I also started canvas painting. My house is filled with my paintings in oil and watercolors. So, where my fragrances are concerned, I use my creativity while blending my perfumes. I have realized the best way is to stay in the same family such as woody floral fresh and citrus as they gel well with each other. I have currently launched eight fragrances – Burberry For You, Tempt, Walk in The Woods, White Butterfly, Vintage, Be Intense, Breeze and Musk. I use nothing but the very best ingredients which I source from all over the world.
Proceeds from the sales of these perfumes go back to our charitable work through The Raahat Foundation.

I am also a professional Tarot Card Reader. This journey first started when I was visiting Egypt as a tourist around two decades ago. I met an Egyptian Tarot Card reader while cruising on the River Nile. She taught me the cards and I have started practicing them for a while now. My confidence soared when I made very accurate predictions for the first few who came to me for guidance and now, I have many who come to me for readings. I am always happy to help people find answers to their problems or questions whether related to love relationships, marriage, jobs, money, or business.

Soon I intend to start my Tarot Certification Course. My methodology is different from other tarot readers. I help you connect with the cards not just learn the meanings.

Tell us about Raah, how did it start and what made you take this decision?

Raah is a Literacy & Cultural Center, where many talented people in Pune practice their talent and hone their skills. Raah aims to build the strength, capacity, and influence of the community and neighborhood by bringing together artistic and intellectual expression. This has been accomplished by engaging in inclusive activities, and cultural, educational, charitable, and intellectual expansion.

Raah is a catalyst for community development by providing a platform for expression. Raah was established under the aegis of The Raahat Foundation on December 3, 2017. The aim of Raah is to build the strength, capacity, and influence of the community and neighborhood by bringing together artistic and intellectual expression. This has been accomplished by engaging in inclusive activities, cultural, educational, intellectual, and charitable.

We decided to start Raah as we wanted to provide an ideal platform for nurturing and encouraging upcoming talent and youth particularly those who are gifted but lack availability of resources. We wanted to nurture new creative work and ideas while also showcasing old and established artistic work.

The Vision at Raah is to make a worthy contribution to society.

In a culture where all these art forms are slowly fading away, what inspires you to keep this art alive?

Despite social distancing, we at Raah are committed to keeping the arts alive in our communities.We recognize that it is more important now than ever for our communities to stay inspired, engaged, and connected.

We encourage everyone to get involved and explore new ways to use technology and fun and creative ideas on digital community-building as we lose some of our physical proximity. Simply put Art and Cultural activities make us complete human beings, its healing and a wonderful shared experience.

So many foundations and NGOs do charitable work, what is it that sets you apart?

We are probably one of the rare charitable organizations who focuses on the promotion of Arts, Literacy and Culture amongst many other things.

Our zeal and aim is to focus on areas which are otherwise neglected or where more help can be rendered.

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