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The Ex-Files: Vandana Shah #54

Today, Vandana Shah is amongst the top divorce lawyers in India. The story of how she got there is unique. Vandana was in an abusive marriage and only got out of it because her in-laws pushed her out of the house one night. With only 10 dollars in her account, Vandana rebuilt her life taking every opportunity that came her way. When she found that she was running around in circles as a litigant, because of her limited understanding of the law, she decided to study law. She chose to document...


The Modern Desi: Bhavna Kalra #53

Bhavna has a career in IT, but her passion lies in connecting people through food. She's the author of the blog, Just a Girl from Aamchi Mumbai which featured in the top twenty blogs in Perth. Her most recent venture, The Modern Desi, a culinary experience represents both, the girl holding on to her culture and roots in India and the newer her as she embraces and grows in a different culture in Australia. Bhavna's birth-home, India and home of choice, Australia are different at various...


Inkahaani: Suzanna Varghese #52

Suzanna grew up surrounded by nature and by all things natural in Munnar, India. When she moved to the city, she quickly adapted to the city life of access and "use and throw" mentality. All that changed when Suzanna's daughter was born. She wants her daughter to grow in a world that is not being crushed under the burden of consumption. And so, Suzanna became conscious of the everyday choices she made. She found this shift in her way of living was not easy, cheap or accessible. We consume...


Womaniya on Road Trips: Priti Vishwakarma #51

Priti Raman Vishwakarma's love for travel began after her first solo trip to Himachal Pradesh in India. Despite her initial apprehensions, she found the courage to travel alone, and her life was forever changed. She hopes that by sharing her experience, others are encouraged to travel more. That's how Womaniya on road trips, a travel company for women, led by Priti began. Priti has Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy and was advised by the doctor to stop travelling after she had a seizure at an...


Schizophrenist: Reshma Valliappan #50

Reshma is an artist-activist advocating and supporting several issues from mental health and sexuality to human rights. Val Resh as she's popularly known was diagnosed with schizophrenia at twenty-two. Since then she's had many diagnoses. She does not let these labels define her and calls herself the schizophrenist, combining the words schizophrenia and artist-activist. She gives us an insight into what it is like to live in our society with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, in her book Fallen,...


Tathastu: Sonam Shekhawat #49

Sonam Shekhawat is the first Indian to win an Emmy Award for writing. She shares her story of growing up in Jaipur, India, watching cartoons all day to becoming one of the most coveted animation series writers. Sonam had offers to pursue a degree in medicine or engineering from some of the most prestigious colleges in India, and she chose to pursue a degree in animation, a career choice her parents were not keen on. However, they supported her decision, and Sonam is grateful for their...


Culture Chaos: Isha Soni #48

Isha Soni has moved between twelve apartments, four cities and two countries over the past three years and is currently settled in Canada. She shares her story of growing up in India and then moving to the west and finding herself in an environment that felt completely alien, causing a kind of cultural chaos she hadn't expected. She chats about her about life abroad, trying to make sense out of different cultural norms and a whole new way of living while trying to hold on to her culture,...


Green Wedding: Snehaa Sundaram #47

Snehaa Sundaram, our guest today works with Wildlife Trust Of India, helping address wildlife emergencies across the country. Before this, she worked in the forests of Kanha National Park (Madhya Pradesh), Sanjay-Dubri National Park & Great Nicobar Island. She followed her passion for a career, and it led her to find love with Yaju, a naturalist, in the beautiful Sal forests of Kanha.Working closely with nature every day means they are always aware of the impact we have on earth and chose to...


The best diet: Uma Narula #46

If the word diet immediately makes you think of a stringent weight-loss plan, you are not alone. Humans have been obsessing about their weight for over two thousand years. We chat with Uma Narula about the importance of nutrition and why we must focus on nourishing ourselves instead of obsessing about following diet fads. She shares her opinion on various current diet fads. She believes in holistic nutrition and not overcomplicating food and that a happy, healthy and balanced life can be...


Raising Third Culture Kids: Suman Manning #45

Suman Manning is an events organiser, entrepreneur, manages the community Twinplus Arabia which supports parents of multiples and is mum to triplets Zara, Zoe and Zander.She shares her story of finding love with Shane, fertility struggles, having triplets and now raising them in a culture that is different from both hers and her husbands. She hopes her children will grow up to be cross-cultural and can feel at home anywhere in the world. Connect with the guests:Email:...


Astrophysicist: Parshati Patel #44

Parshati Patel is an astrophysicist, planetary scientist, science communicator and educator. As a young girl, she discovered astronomy on a trip to the planetarium on holiday with the family and has not looked back.She struggled to convince her traditional Gujarati family about her career choice and found a unique way to win them over. With her family convinced, she moved to Canada to study astronomy and build her career as an astrophysicist. Today she is a passionate advocate for Women of...


Forgiveness and Acceptance: Mehek Gidwani #43

Addiction is a progressive mental illness. Mehek Gidwani shares her story of addiction, recovery and now living a sober life. She was born and raised in Hong Kong and had her first interaction with alcohol and drugs at the tender age of thirteen. The drug didn't seem like a drug. It was a natural thing found around the house. What started as a fun, exhilarating experience and way to fit in with friends quickly progressed to full-blown addiction by the age of fifteen. She was torn, one part...


No More Nirbhaya: Janani Viswanathan #42

Janani Viswanathan from Sunnyvale, California was on a break from work a couple of years ago, and that lead to her becoming the co-creator of Project NoMoreNirbhaya in Chennai, India. This initiative aims to create safer public spaces for women. Their team teaches free self-defence sessions for school and college girls. They've also conducted gender sensitivity training for bus drivers and conductors and safety audits to rate which parts of the city as safe or unsafe. She also works as a...


Too Blessed to be Stressed: Gulshan Kavarana #41

Gulshan Kavarana is the founding member of SFS - Special Families Support group - a support group for families with children with special needs and an art mentor at Mawaheb, an art studio for adults with special needs. Zara, her younger daughter, was diagnosed with Dravet's syndrome before the age of one. At the time Gulshan desperately tried to seek advice from others who may have been in a similar situation like hers, but she couldn't find a network. So she set up SFS, a place where others...


Emotional Intelligence: Arti Tuteja #40

Have you ever wondered what Hypnotherapy is all about? No, it's not a swinging watch over your head or people clucking like chickens. Explaining the difference between Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis is Arti Tuteja, a world-renowned hypnotherapist, and founder of Potential Unlimited, a company focused on helping people improve their Emotional Intelligence, learn to manage stress, change behaviour and improve self-confidence. She has many titles to her name like NLP Coach and hypnotherapist but the...


To Travel is to Live! Andrea Bailey #39

Andrea Bailey is a world traveller and explorer. Mum to three young daughters, she has made travelling with her children her focus to create a lifetime of memories.She’s here to share her experience as a world traveller while raising her three wonderful daughters, on how one can have a career in travel whilst being a mum and her current passion, sustainable travel. She also shares her favourite destinations, where she thinks is a great place to start if one has not travelled before, her...


The Cappuccino Chronicles: Pashmina Reis #38

Pashmina was born in Thailand and brought up in a traditional Indian family in Hong Kong. At sixteen she met and fell in love with her soulmate Willian. They dated in secret for ten years - why secret, because he came from a very different culture and community - literally, one that is at the other end of the world. He's black Brazilian and their formative years together as a couple were extremely painful as they were shunned, ostracised and looked upon by her fellow community as a traitor...


Rescue Foundation: Triveni Acharya #37

Triveni Acharya is a strong, fearless, brave journalist and multiple award-winning activist. She is the president of the NGO, Rescue Foundation. The organization is devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation and repatriation of victims for human trafficking from different parts of India, and it’s neighbouring countries. She chats with us about her day to day work, the hazards of fighting trafficking, the gratification of helping the girls reclaim their dignity and how it all started when she was...


Decluttr Me: Shelina Jokhiya #36

No one plans to be messy, but over time with increased access to stuff, clutter creeps into almost everyone’s life. Shelina talks to us about how the concept of professional organizing is only just catching on, what one can do to declutter things that have sentimental attachments, especially after a bereavement and how her method is different from Marie Kondo’s method. Shelina Jokhiya is the owner of professional organizing business, Decluttr Me. Since 2013, she has been working within homes...


Wings of Angelz: Shobhika Kalra #35

Shobhika Kalra is a campaigner for wheelchair accessibility. She was thirteen when she was diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia, a degenerative disease affecting the nervous system and movement. By the age of eighteen, she was bound to a wheelchair. She says, "Disability is not something that can stop people". She has facilitated building over 1100 ramps in Dubai improving accessibility for the many residents there. She hopes to build ramps in India so it can be more inclusive of people with...