The print newspaper and me go a long way back spanning many many many decades. We’ve always had an interesting relationship.
Sometimes, I consider it my best friend and read it fully.
Many times, I consider it to be an acquaintance and steal a glance (to see if there is anything interesting in the images)
Sometimes, I ignore it.
And many times, I look at a picture / read an article and dream “I wish it was me“.
I’m excited and happy to say that my dream came true :) My “Star Moment” and my 1st newspaper interview is below on Deccan Chronicles (Bengaluru Edition) – which is the largest circulated English daily in South India
How it came to be?
It was a pleasant surprise when I received a message a few weeks ago from the Features Editor of Deccan Chronicles that they wanted to feature me in their paper as they regularly feature ‘inspirational women / women entrepreneurs’. I really wasn’t sure “What I had done to feature here?“. Out of curiosity, I responded saying that I’m open to discuss. What followed next was a couple of connects, interactions and conversations. And I was interviewed for a couple of questions which the editorial team were keen on knowing about me. Again, honestly – I really wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I thought it was for a small feature that they’ll publish. But, I was in for a very pleasant surprise when I saw a full page photo of me, and a wonderfully crafted story about me.
“Wow! That is a dream come true“, and surely my “Star Moment“. And yes, I will save the paper as something I’ll show my grandchildren some day :). Special thanks to Nuvena Rajendran for making this happen.It is indeed wonderful to be acknowledged and appreciated for your efforts.
And since I was interviewed on a lot more than what they newspaper finally printed, so I’m sharing some of my other responses here on the blog.
Give us a brief about your growing up years in Bangalore? How has the city changed over the years?
I spent my childhood and formative years in Bangalore and will probably always be a “Banglorean by heart” (If you live in Bangalore, you will know what I mean!) . They were truly memorable, fun and exciting years which revolved around school, friends, games, studies, books, art and idleness. And I’m really glad for those times and years which were instrumental in shaping / molding my personality and outlook to life. The joy and freedom of playing outdoors, running / cycling fearlessly, playing pranks on / with friends, barking at your neighbors dogs, cat-fights and dog-fights over evening games, bon-fires in winters is unparalleled. You have to live those wonder years to know what they were like. But alas! Those were the good old days.
The city has transformed over past decade primarily due to the IT boom. What followed was increased employment opportunities, increased disposable income, increased inflow of immigrants from other parts of India / world, increased overall industrial / economic development, but with public infrastructure always playing catch-up. Need I say anything about the traffic woes of the city?
In spite of it all, I still love the city because of the familiarity, the memories, the emotional connect, the opportunities, the cultural diversity and for all that it has given me – After all my best memories of life are associated with Bangalore – and no one can take that.
Have you always wanted to be part of the corporate world? Any other ambitions as a child?
Looking back, I’ve always wanted to work. If I had to connect the dots, I think a lot of it can be attributed to the importance my parents associated with our education and the value we (my sibling and me) associated with that education. So after I completed my engineering and management degree, I went on to take up a corporate job and there’s been no looking back.
My ambitions as a child took me from being a doctor, to a genetics engineer, to an entrepreneur, to a lawyer, to a sportsperson, to a police officer, to an artist, to a designer, to a global best-selling author, to a private detective, to the show business, to a motivational speaker! If you’ve read my debut Huffington post article, I’ve written about exactly this..
Who were your inspirations when you were growing up?
I think I’ve had several inspirations – and very many from people I meet as a part of everyday life. They change based on the phase of life I am in and the state of mind / heart. All time inspiration was of course from my parents. Beyond that, there have been moments when I have felt inspired from teachers, friends, family, celebrities, art, movies, culture, genius, creativity, intelligence, wit, et al.
You have explained how you have had multiple passions as a child. Do you think it is the same energy that pushes you to juggle passions even now?
I’ve had very many diverse interests since childhood and have always enjoyed learning new things. It is no wonder that the list of things that I’ve done in life is really really really long. From sports (which includes sprint / marathon running, cycling, skipping, basketball, billiards, snooker, to the Indian street games like Lagori, Elastic, Hop scotch, etc.) to arts (pencil sketching, painting, calligraphy, Ikebana,etc.) to cooking to yoga to (creative) writing – I’ve done it all and much more!
The energy was to learn new things back then. But now I think the energy comes from a different place within. Life’s unpredictable and in the last few years I’ve lost a lot of people dear to me, so you have this inner voice which tells you to make it count while you are around. And since I became a mother I also reflect on deeper questions around life and legacy – I think it comes from there.
One thing that B-school never trained you for?
3 M’s – Marriage, Motherhood and dealing with Medical issues (of self / others). Life experiences are the best teachers / training ground. You reach the tipping point, and encounter make-or-break life moments. From there, you can rise or fall.
You are one of the very few women who blog about out-of-the-box stuff. Did you ever think that your writing would take you places? How does it feel to be featured on the lists of top blogs to follow?
Thank you for that comment. It is the first time someone has mentioned “Out of the box” for my blogs. Looking back, I don’t think I ever thought my writing would take me anywhere. See here’s the thing. I was not much of a reader or writer in my growing up years. I was more an “outdoor” person, and my school books are probably all that I managed to read those days.
Marriage made me a ‘reader’ and motherhood brought out the ‘writer’ in me. I actually started seriously blogging on my journey to motherhood. In a few months my writings were published as guest blogs by some globally reputed brands like Problogger, TheChangeBlog, etc., and the blog was featured on Alltop under many sections.
I was also featured among many bests – like the Top 10 most influential bloggers in India (which included Chetan Bhagat, Shekar Kapur, etc.), then in the directory of Best Indian Blogs (which included veteran bloggers / writers / CEO’s / celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shoba De, Rashmi Bansal, etc.), among 50 indian women to follow on Twitter (which includes women like Kiran Bedi, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Shabana Azmi, Barkha Dutt, Rujuta Diweka, etc.). All the recognition and accolades feels wonderful. Who does not like to be recognized for their work, especially if it is something you love to do. And yes, I have grown and evolved significantly as a writer in the past few years, and I think that has also helped me grow and evolve as an individual.
Your advice to women who are thinking of taking the plunge into the corporate world.
Firstly, congrats on that thought and good luck on your corporate career. I’d have lots to tell them based on my corporate experience of more than a decade – which is why I started a separate section on my blog for Women At Work. I’d ask them to head over to my blog and read all that I’ve shared.
Here are 15 points I’d like to call out:
1) The word CAREER starts with CARE. So take full responsibility to CARE for yourself, your professional growth and success
2) Take the time and effort to know and understand yourself – your strengths, weakness, your desires, your values. Acknowledge it, Accept it, Celebrate it.
3) Believe in yourself. If you don’t there’s a chance that others also won’t
4) Invest in personal and professional networks. They will hold you in good stead on the rainy days.
5) Invest in your physical health and wellness – This will be one of the most important variables if you are serious about a long term career
6) Stay relevant in your field – read, take examinations / certifications, participate in community discussions, etc.
7) Learn to use technology for your benefit. Make an effort to know what you need, understand the power of technology and find ways to make technology work for you.
8) Choose your battles wisely – at work and at home. You have finite energy and time, and not every battle is worth a fight
9) Understand that while emotions define most women, control on your emotions will define your career path and its longevity
10) While earning is important, managing your finances and investments is even more critical. Save regularly, invest wisely and review your personal finances periodically. If you can’t / don’t have the time, hire professionals to do it. It is a worthwhile investment. Again, a lot of women are guilty of being clueless about where all their money wen
11) One of the most important career choices you make as a woman is the choice of your life partner. Understand its depth and accept its reality
12) Find a mentor. Having one early on in your career can sometimes be the only factor in determining how long your career will span, and how far you will go
13) No matter how complex, formidable, complicated and unique you think your situation is / maybe, remember that there is at least one other woman in the world who has faced a similar situation and found a way out of the adversity. So it is possible. Believe in it
14) Age and Karma almost always catch up on you – no preferential treatment for women here
15) Your happiness is in your hands. You are the “Chief Happiness Officer” of your life. Play the part, and play it well
What are your other passions? How do you find the time for it?
These days I get limited time for other passions – With a full time corporate job, 2 kids – being a working mother is most of what I do. But the 3R’s which make my world go round are Reading, Running and Writing.
How I get the time? I rarely watch TV. I set goals for myself. I make plans. I follow the plan. I work hard. I’m disciplined and I’m blessed to have a supportive family who supports me to find the rhythm in the madness.
Something about Nischala that we do not know.
Planning is one of my greatest strengths, and I’m one of those people who can make a plan for anything in the world. I would have created zillions of plans in my life, and think there is a science, skill and art to making comprehensive and realistic plans.
Also, I’m a big advocate of efficiency in the kitchen and have devised a process for maximum output with optimum time / effort . There was one phase when I used to enter the kitchen with a stop watch. When the time is up, I step out. Honestly, just think about how much time, energy (physical, emotional, mental) resources are consumed every single day in any Indian house in the kitchen? If that time is reduced even by half, I think overall business / economic / personal growth and development will increase phenomenally because people think and do less “food related” activities. Worth a thought, right?
And yes, if and when there is an affordable personal robot for home maintenance work (which reduces / eliminates “dependency” on the Indian house-help) I’ll be one of the first to buy it
Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost India | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes 20 Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]
Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”