When I was in 7th grade, our school had taken us to Kashmir for a trip. The trip had been quite eventful because the unrest in the valley had just started to build up while we were there. We would hear of some terrorist attacks or bomb blasts in neighbouring areas. Of course as young kids we were far more excited than worried about these incidents while our parents back home were going crazy calling us on the hotel landline (Yes, it was the year 1988 and no mobiles) to check on us and incessantly question our teachers about our safety.
And among all that craziness I still remember that day very clearly, like it was yesterday. We had been getting ready to leave the hotel to visit the famous Nishat Bagh and I had gone to the loo just before we got on the bus and thats when I had seen those red spots. I remember that I had come out of the loo pretty excited. I was sharing the room with my best friend and her older sister and I had announced with much enthusiasm that I had finally got my periods. They had gotten their periods before me and I too wanted to be just like them (peer pressure, I guess). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I remember my friend’s sister had gotten a little worried about me not knowing what to do or how to use a pad. Luckily for me my doctor mom had already told me about periods long ago (when I was pretty young actually) and I was well prepared with those extremely uncomfortable pads in my suitcase (you millennials will never know how horrible those beltwala pads 🙈used to be).
Though I wasn’t prepared about one thing - you see my mom had told me about periods when I was pretty young and because she probably didn’t wanna scare me as a child, she had mentioned that I would get my periods once every 3 months or so. But when I got to know from my friends that I would get them every month, I had felt a little cheated 😔
And yes my #MyFirstPeriod
happened on my first and last trip to Kashmir, the homeland of my ancestors. -Ruchita Dar Shah, 42. CEO & Founder of First Moms Club
“I grew up in a village near Patiala. I came from a humble background, my father used to make ‘mitti ke bartan’ & mom was a housewife. Some days, I’d struggle in school because I was helping my father with his work–we’ve seen our fair share of poverty. A moment I remember was when I was in class 8 in my village’s government school & I first saw a Jawa motorcycle parked near a river–I wondered if I’d ever be able to make enough money to buy one for myself.
I worked hard throughout school & at 19, I went to Chandigarh to visit my brother & landed up getting a job as a mechanic. My salary was 90 Rupees… I learned everything there was about bikes at that point. I worked there for 13 years–I saved most of my salary, did double shifts & finally, I was able to get a shop of my own!
Everyday I went to work by 7am & left at 7pm. I prayed for an hour before starting work. That was my routine for the next 35 years. While I was busy taking care of the shop, my wife would take care of our home. It was because of her that I was able to keep the shop running for so long. She was the backbone of everything–without her, I wouldn’t have survived even a day! Bit by bit, we were able to build our lives & give our children everything we never had. And then a miracle happened! I repaired an old Jawa bike… & did such a good job, that the owner gifted it to me– my dream came true! It’s been my lucky charm & still drives me to work every day, both literally & metaphorically–it reminds me that anything is possible & everything happens at it’s own time.
In my 67 years, most of which were spent working–I’ve always accepted the work I was capable of & only taken the money I deserve. I’ve never taken advantage of anyone even though not everyone is as kind... I’ve learned how to forgive people. Once, I did someone’s work with all my heart & he paid me 2000 Rs less. I felt betrayed but then remembered that God is watching everything & let it go.
It’s simple - hard work, perseverance & faith can get you everywhere. The cheating, greed, monopoly won’t. So keep dreaming about the things you want to achieve & work your way towards it– It HAS to fall into place, there is no other way.”
“We’ve met after a long time today, I’ve been in Kolkata for almost a month so we decided to catch up. We’ve been friends since we were 3 and grown up together – I used to rag him back in school, but didn’t allow anyone else to. We used to meet every single day! We’re now getting used to living our lives separately because of work. We’re like the two friends from Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety - except both of us don’t even have a girl in sight! I think we’ve taken this bro code too far!”
“We had an arranged marriage – everything was good, we fell in love. I worked at people’s homes & he was a cook – he liked that I was independent. He used to cook for us and do the household chores, treating me as an equal. We were earning enough for our family, we were happy.
Soon we moved to Kolkata for his job in a jute factory, where he had to inhale dust & smoke. We noticed that he was constantly coughing & falling sick. When we showed the doctor, he said that my husband may have TB. We even thought it was pneumonia for a while. No one knew what was wrong.
But everything was put on a back burner when I had to get an operation. The bills, the recovery cost us a lot.
But slowly, he got sicker. And after serving 12 years at the factory, he was forced to quit because he couldn’t cope. So we decided to move to Hyderabad for his treatment – there we found out that his lungs had deteriorated. Since then, he goes everywhere with an oxygen mask.
I’m the sole worker of our house now, I collect TV cables & only get around Rs. 6000 a month – just the medicines he needs are for Rs. 25000. He has to stay in the AC constantly. He also needs a double lung transplant! How will I pay for his treatment?
We’ve asked all our family members. My own family provides us food – his mom takes care of the kids while I go out & work all day. They’re barely 6 years old, but they’ve learned to help their dad with the oxygen tube so that I don’t get more stressed.
But we don’t have anything left to give. I’m not educated – this is the best job I can find for myself. But I don’t know what I’m going to do to save my husband. I’ve never felt this helpless before. I keep showing him that I’m strong….but I’m falling apart. What will I do without him?” --
Mrs. Srinivas Rao is struggling to save her husband’s life. She’s working very hard to save every penny, but can’t get enough for his surgery. They’re dreaming of a happy life together with their children. Let’s come together as a community and help them achieve their dream. Please consider donating AND tagging someone who can donate through the link in the bio.
This one is from Sania's Arangetram (debut on-stage)
When I first started shooting Arangetrams, I wondered what could I do differently. Obviously, things like the joyous dancer, her facial expressions, here elegant moves were all at my disposal to capture. But on such occasions, there's constraint to move. For example, we don't like to inconvenience the audience and to add to it, there was no space to go around the stage and shoot from a different angle. Perhaps that's why I like this image more. I believe that as a photographer, what matters is to be available to what's in front of you, to experience it fully, and to make the most of it.
This particular image was taken from the stairs that lead to the stage, right from a gap under the handlebar. .
#bharatanatyam #arangetram #classicaldance #indiandance #classicalindiandance #nrutya #dancer #indianclassicaldance #folkdance #southindia #indiantradition #bnw_mood #storiesofindia #_soi #natyashastra #indiandancer #embassyofIndia #liveperformance #igersmumbai #everydaymumbai #igerspune #humansofbombay #indianamerican #photographers_of_india #dowhatyoulove #positivevibes #bnw_india #dancephotographers #artofvisuals #maharashtraig
“I’d been a single mom for 7 yrs. After the divorce, my son Tinju & I began our journey together in Singapore. I had meagre savings & no confidence, but a purpose to start over. We moved to a shared flat. I remember the 1st day, we saw the sky together–it was a new lease on life. I worked hard, repaid my debts & bought my parents a house.
As my journey towards self love began, I met him. Ashwin had put up a video playing my favorite song cover on FB–I texted him & we began talking. I’d be on the phone all the time–Tinju thought I’d gone mad.
When I told Ashwin I’m a single mom, he said ‘Wow.’ Any other man would’ve run, but he only showed respect. We fell in love. He even bonded with Tinju & taught him to play the guitar!
One day, Tinju asked why I wasn’t getting married- I said because I hadn’t found his role model. But he said ‘Ashwin is my role model’. I told Ashwin this & he said, ‘Can I marry his mom?’, & we were engaged! I never knew I’d ever find someone for Tinju. I cried–it was a feeling of a lifetime.
We got married & soon, I moved to US. Yes, I had to give up my job to move. But I didn’t see it as sacrifice, only as the 1st chapter of a new life that we were building together. Even when I asked if he had to make adjustments for us, he said he saw us as a gift! It took adjustments from both our ends, I was moving somewhere new, while he was embracing 2 more people in his life–but we were determined to build something great.
We’re partners in everything–we cook our meals together & split the chores–he calls me our Finance Minister! The other day when I was PMSing, he just told me to relax & not move–he did all the chores himself & massaged my feet!
We pamper each other. He admires me for raising a good son who reveres Ashwin too–if he makes a mistake he’ll say ‘Ashu’ll feel bad’. They’re best friends & to me, that’s everything. Every moment, we both feel lucky to have him, while Ashwin feels he’s the winner. Our relationship is founded upon understanding for the people we’ve become, without any changes. All of that aside, I find it mildly amusing that my son is better at picking guys than I am…well done, what a choice, son!” #LoveMeansRespect
“ extraordinary moments are always created in ordinary settings “. 💫
. ▪️Have you ever seen the wonderful kids at the local bmc park, they swing, do pull ups, cross bars with such speed, agility and enthusiasm it kicks in major adrenaline rush into your own body. ▪️Have you noticed the elderly who wear these cute sports shoes and walk vigorously towards good health.
▪️Have you noticed the persistent runners or walkers who have made it their goal to become fit no matter what. .
Why do I call it extraordinary? Cause such observations trigger our participation and sometimes that’s all the motivation kick you need.
When you’re in a not so good mood or find yourself in a dead end, STEP OUT AND HIT THE NEAREST PUBLIC PLACE, and observe.
You may have gone with an empty or cluttered mind but you’ll always return with smile and mindful thoughts. That’s a promise. .
THERE IS NO SUCH PLACE AS HAPPINESS, Finding is Futile... YOU have got to make every place you place your foot on as a HAPPY PLACE 🤘
#shivalikasays #nosmalltalk #realtalk #bmcpark #observepeople #peopleinspirepeople #humansofbombay #takeadvantageoftheday #stepoutside #seekinspirecreate #lookforgood #goodwillfind #thatsimple #bewilling #believeingood #and #beyond
“Our ‘marriageable’ age was passing quickly, I was 32, & he was 34 when we met, before that everyone kept asking ‘when are you getting married? It’s so late.’ Out of well-meant concern, but I just wanted to establish myself 1st.
Call it fate–my dad was at a matrimonial office when his mom called there. And we were set up! We hardly spoke when we met, but I loved his smile & the ease with which he talked to my family. It just clicked. In the 2nd meeting, we said ‘yes’.
We had those 2:30am conversations every night, exploring our different perspectives. When we went for our 1st ‘date’ after being engaged, we exchanged ‘I love yous’ We were so in love that our family thought we’d lied about this being an arranged marriage! It was just a whirlwind of family outings, talking & dates–and in May last year, we had the perfect wedding.
What I love about him is that he appreciates who I’m, not wanting me to change–he understands my ambitions to grow as a marketing manager. Even if it means working late.
I remember once we were all stuck at work. He came to pick me up at 9:30pm & I told him I’d take some more time, to which he said, ‘I’ll wait.’ I came out at 11pm & he hadn’t bothered me even once. He’d just patiently waited, knowing the demands of my work.
But support like that just seeps out of him. I’ve had some late nights & when he’s home–him & his mom don’t eat dinner without me. And from deciding which color curtains to buy, to managing our finances, we do everything as partners. Not only that, but he also helps me in the household work–sometimes when I'm really tired, he takes over the cooking. I love eating his fish fry! And I try to do the same–I cook his favorite dish before he leaves or whenever he comes back after a long trip, I pick him up, no matter the time.
I feel loved because he values my choices. I don’t know if it was fate or really good calculations on the matrimonial website, but I count my lucky stars that I have him. It’s amazing to have a partner who makes you feel respected, like an equal & loves you for who you are. I’m so happy that I waited for the right person–because he’s made the wait worthwhile….and how!” #LoveMeansRespect
Sometimes I feel that, life comes with its own set of ups and downs for each one of us. It’s not fair to judge someone for their downs because maybe in their world, they are going through a lot more than we could ever imagine. Or maybe feel like what’s happening to us in our downs, nobody would have been through that, ofcourse people would have. What counts is getting through the tough times, more than that accepting it as a tough time and letting it pass.✨
I met these two beautiful souls, the mother and the daughter in the picture. The mother works 4 jobs so she could provide her daughter food and schooling, yes I know a lot of people work way harder to provide the basic necessities. But what stole my heart was the smile, the contentness on the mothers face while the daughter was happily enjoying her meal🌺.✨
I don’t think anything that day would have made me happier, than seeing the smile on her face, and how all her worries came down to zero while she saw her eat❤️.
#just #thoughts #blogger #stories #intensethoughtsaboutlife #realstories #travelblogger #uniquestories #safarbynikita #happyme #happypeople #empathy #mumbai #storiesofbombay #humansofbombay #humansofindia
“I’ve led a good life with a good man by my side. He took care of me and took all my opinions seriously. Even though I’m uneducated he would listen to what I would say about his business. He used to sell tiffins on this street, while I worked as domestic help— he would pick me up every night and we would walk home together.
I lost him last year...I miss him so much. But I know he would want me to be happy, so I try to make myself happy for him. I work hard and keep myself busy, but he’s in all my memories — so whether I make his favorite dish or try to cross the road alone, I miss him so terribly that I feel he’s around me... and then I smile, just so he's happy too."
It rained a lot last night so the air felt really clean and fresh this morning. Within 7 minutes of opening my eyes I was walking along the coast.
A lot of the time I'm physically out in the world, but I'm not really there. I'm wherever my thoughts are. I'm currently reading a beautiful book called Lattitudes of Longing so this morning I was deep in conversation with Chanda Devi, a character from the book.
There's a man who lives on a piece of wall under a tree. I know because he wakes up there every morning. He uses a wheelchair. •
This morning he was still laying down. I know he was awake because one finger was stroking the tree bark. •
I was stood behind him looking at him and my thoughts turned to him, his life. I was feeling pity. What misery, was my conclusion.
He turned to face me and sat up. I was still staring at him. My face must have shown what I was thinking. He flashed me the biggest smile, 'Good Morning!' He almost sung. •
And another lesson is learnt in India. •
Happy Sunday All!
#lessons #humanity #india #stories #humansofbombay #bombay #humility #smile #humans #beautifulworld #travel #traveltales
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your mind sees your life to be perfect, but your soul feels all the way unsettled, just struggling to figure out what could be wrong?
Have you ever stared at a blank wall for hours together, with a lot on your mind, yet very little in your heart?
Have you ever just looked at the waves, and the territory they mark on the shore before they recede?
Have you ever just blindly heard the fan creak at 3 AM?
Have you ever seen your closest person just walk away, and you're right there wanting to set it right but you're utterly helpless.
Have you ever hated yourself, while you continued to adore yourself all the more?
Have you ever just seen a pretty flower and walked away without smiling to yourself?
Have you ever been so dead from inside, but still wanting to breathe?
Have you ever been there?
We all have.
And we've risen from the daunting darkness, with grace - stronger, more beautiful, than ever.
Beauty within a person grows with time and experiences.
Beautiful people evolve.
#fatalframes #gramslayers #depthobsessed #moodygrams #visualambassadors #yourshot #thingstodoinmumbai #indiagram #visualsoflife #everydaymumbai #everydayeverywhere #streetphotographyindia #_soimumbai #mumbaithecityofdreams #crazycreativeframe #_soimumba #mymumbai #photographers_of_india #loveformygrid #mumbai_uncensored #mumbai_igers #inspiroindia #igramming_India #humansofbombay #blr_photography_hub
“I was born in a Dalit family, in Akola. When I was 12, everyone pushed my dad to get me married to a boy 10 years my senior. My dad didn’t want to, but because of societal pressure, I was married off.
I came here & learned that he lived in a room in a slum & didn’t have a job. I was treated horribly– beaten up for every small mistake. It was my personal hell.
When my dad visited me–he couldn’t even recognize me. I was wearing ragged clothes & I’d lost my smile. He fought with my in-laws & took me home. He told me to forget about it like it was a bad dream.
But people still blamed me. I tried to commit suicide, but they still said I was giving up because I’d done something wrong! And I realised–if I was going to be blamed, I’d rather live.
With this new leaf turned, I got a job in Mumbai as a tailor. That was the 1st time I saw a Rs. 100 note! I rented a room & moved my family here. But when I couldn’t afford to save my sister, I knew I needed to make more money.
So I took a govt. loan & started a furniture business. It did well & we began living a better life.
But there were so many more people who were struggling just like I used to. So I started an NGO to help them get loans. And if they couldn’t, I helped them out of my own pocket. Slowly, I’d built a good reputation for my social work.
Which is why, in 2000, Kamani Tubes asked me to help save their company. It was tied up in litigation cases, with a debt of 116 crores. 500+ families were starving–it was a challenge, but I chose to help, wanting only justice. We got the debt reduced–I got a team & shifted factories. Everything I tried was new–but I wasn’t afraid.
In 2006, I became the chairman & owner. We had to pay off the bank loans within 7 years. We did it within 1! Slowly the company developed & today, the turnover is more than we could dream of–I was even awarded the Padma Shri in 2013!
It’s been an unbelievable journey, from a Dalit Child-Bride to an owner of a multi-million dollar company. It’s been tough–but I’ve made sure to never let the fear of challenges overpower me. I took me a long time to learn that, but now that I have, I can’t choose to face life without full faith in myself.”
A kid in me travelled a long time back in nostalgia seeing this.. A photographer woke up, a writer smiled and a psychiatrist analyzed.. Remember how as school kids we were always curious to know what happened to out answer sheets after we finished our exams? Well, apparently this science teacher has a habit of checking answer books in a train. Couldn't have envisgaed that as a kid, could we?
A psychiatrist in me looked at it differently, analyzing various factors which were at play in forming her current state of mind. So, a student whose paper got checked while she was being served a bad tea at Surat was at risk of getting his paper checked harshly, a student whose paper got checked after she had eaten the tasty khari singh (a variety of peanuts) in Bharuch, could expect leniency.. It's amazing and at times frightening how so many people reside in us and look at things differently-
A kid, a psychiatrist, a photographer and writer in my case.. #photosofinstagram #humansofindia #humansofbombay #humansofsurat #indiadiaries #photography #portraitphotography
“My home is back in a village near Pune. I want to go back when I retire and take care of my house - my brother and I grew up there. When he passed away suddenly, I thought I wouldn’t be able to get over it. But when I finished the rituals of his funeral and was walking back alone - something happened.
I saw God sitting there, on the side of the road, smiling at me. It was just a glimpse, but it gave me the strength I needed to heal. And also, since that day, I believe that I have been blessed by God and it has allowed me to take away the pain of others. People even come to me at 2 or 3am with their problems - and I try to help them. I have a lot of faith in my God - all I want to do is share His blessings with other people who need them.
A lot of people don't believe in Him, which is okay. But they should know that there's always someone out there who is ready to help.”