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I want to be heard. I believe that if you’re given a voice and you don’t use it, then you don’t deserve it.

SOBHITA DHULIPALA

It feels like Indian cinema and web series actor Sobhita Dhulipala is exactly where she belongs – surrounded by evocative thoughts and self-reflection. Beyond the eclectic and sharp artiste that the world sees, Sobhita is most often perceptive, sometimes self-deprecating, but always pleasantly unfiltered.

Her mind perceives situations with refreshing clarity. Says Sobhita, “I’ve been told to sound likeable, or assertive, or easier to understand in interviews. But say something happens; perhaps I take a flight that doesn’t land – who will represent my feelings, my opinions? Who will speak on my behalf? People would’ve never known me then. I would just be another person who breathed, ate, and left. I want to be heard. I believe that if you’re given a voice and you don’t use it, then you don’t deserve it.”

When Sobhita Dhulipala thinks out loud, it feels like serendipity. Her words resonate, almost like déjà vu; like she was somehow privy to every conversation that led to the creation of Her Story. “Anybody could be sitting here and speaking about the brand (Her Story), and it would still be authentic because the brand is not about a type, a script, a narrative. It’s about all types of women; all types of spirits. It embodies the idea that preciousness isn’t from materials or acquisitions. Meaning comes from the emotions infused into something,” she muses. “I see myself in a variety of roles, and when I wear something, it really affects the way I conduct myself. I keep imagining that when I have a daughter or a son, I want to give them a piece of jewellery that’s going to reflect who I am as much in the design as in the sentiment.”

At the Life Stories by Her Story session, she shares, “Each poem that I read at the Her Story boutique was about a certain facet of a woman’s personality. I was naturally drawn to a couple, and interestingly, they were linked to the exact collections that I thought were most beautiful. I really resonated with the spirit of Poetry in Motion. It also features the element of ghungroos, and I’m a classical dancer – so there’s a beautiful connection.”

Sobhita’s perspectives on life and identity, while strong now, weren’t always so self-assured. Referring to Tara, the character she played in the hit web series Made in Heaven, she says, “While the stakes were very different for her, I feel that this constant need to belong or to have a stamp of approval on you…it’s very tiring. Because I did try that. I moved to Bombay from Visakhapatnam, and I was hit with a culture shock. I was around 17, and I really wanted to be that cool kid in college, but no matter how hard I tried, I would still feel uncool. And that made me sad. I know now that I will sleep well only when I stay true to my intentions.”

Ultimately, what one sees in Sobhita Dhulipala when they look past her ‘image’ is someone who is constantly questioning what it means to be her. “I am not one thing,” she explains. “There are moments when I’m needy, or annoying, or extremely fragile; I’m not strong in those moments. I am okay with that.”

This is where Sobhita gets it really right, in her complete self-awareness that every situation, interaction and experience is what truly makes her, her. She reveals the many facets of her personality without fear, slowly, and very gracefully, telling her story in a mesmerising way. It’s almost like…Poetry in Motion.

SOBHITA DHULIPALA

It feels like Indian cinema and web series actor Sobhita Dhulipala is exactly where she belongs – surrounded by evocative thoughts and self-reflection. Beyond the eclectic and sharp artiste that the world sees, Sobhita is most often perceptive, sometimes self-deprecating, but always pleasantly unfiltered.

Her mind perceives situations with refreshing clarity. Says Sobhita, “I’ve been told to sound likeable, or assertive, or easier to understand in interviews. But say something happens; perhaps I take a flight that doesn’t land – who will represent my feelings, my opinions? Who will speak on my behalf? People would’ve never known me then. I would just be another person who breathed, ate, and left. I want to be heard. I believe that if you’re given a voice and you don’t use it, then you don’t deserve it.”

When Sobhita Dhulipala thinks out loud, it feels like serendipity. Her words resonate, almost like déjà vu; like she was somehow privy to every conversation that led to the creation of Her Story. “Anybody could be sitting here and speaking about the brand (Her Story), and it would still be authentic because the brand is not about a type, a script, a narrative. It’s about all types of women; all types of spirits. It embodies the idea that preciousness isn’t from materials or acquisitions. Meaning comes from the emotions infused into something,” she muses. “I see myself in a variety of roles, and when I wear something, it really affects the way I conduct myself. I keep imagining that when I have a daughter or a son, I want to give them a piece of jewellery that’s going to reflect who I am as much in the design as in the sentiment.”

At the Life Stories by Her Story session, she shares, “Each poem that I read at the Her Story boutique was about a certain facet of a woman’s personality. I was naturally drawn to a couple, and interestingly, they were linked to the exact collections that I thought were most beautiful. I really resonated with the spirit of Poetry in Motion. It also features the element of ghungroos, and I’m a classical dancer – so there’s a beautiful connection.”

Sobhita’s perspectives on life and identity, while strong now, weren’t always so self-assured. Referring to Tara, the character she played in the hit web series Made in Heaven, she says, “While the stakes were very different for her, I feel that this constant need to belong or to have a stamp of approval on you…it’s very tiring. Because I did try that. I moved to Bombay from Visakhapatnam, and I was hit with a culture shock. I was around 17, and I really wanted to be that cool kid in college, but no matter how hard I tried, I would still feel uncool. And that made me sad. I know now that I will sleep well only when I stay true to my intentions.”

Ultimately, what one sees in Sobhita Dhulipala when they look past her ‘image’ is someone who is constantly questioning what it means to be her. “I am not one thing,” she explains. “There are moments when I’m needy, or annoying, or extremely fragile; I’m not strong in those moments. I am okay with that.”

This is where Sobhita gets it really right, in her complete self-awareness that every situation, interaction and experience is what truly makes her, her. She reveals the many facets of her personality without fear, slowly, and very gracefully, telling her story in a mesmerising way. It’s almost like...Poetry in Motion.

TAMARA MOSS

Born in an apocalyptic and anarchic cult to Indo-Dutch parents, Tamara Moss shed belief at 16 to thrive as one of India’s top models before she gave her time to empowering the lives of a local basti in Jaisalmer. Due to her efforts, 77 children have made up her alternative learning centre program and ten have been sponsored into private schools.

For me, it’s about application of consciousness. I question whether there is such a thing as a human being. Just because you have a body and a form does not mean you are empathetic and compassionate or are actively making impactful choices and decisions.

It feels that change comes in waves. Some people are at the crest, and some people get pulled along the way. I don’t judge those people, but we have a choice, and some of us like to ride the edge.

My biggest struggle was being in a system that is built to exploit...that’s the reason I left fashion modelling. You’re young when you start, and the industry likes you naive and gullible. It’s very nice to express some parts of your sexuality and creativity, but it's a dead end when after 12 years, they don’t want to hear anything that you have to say as a changemaker. People are used by unethical corporations for things one can sell or market: their sexuality, looks, and naiveté. Once you know yourself, you can choose what you want to contribute to, because you believe in yourself and you know your worth.

Even if you need to work on yourself, if you have an open heart, you will be drawn into situations that will polish you, and you’ll find your own brilliance in these moments. Many times I feel like my experience in Jaisalmer was gold...I found my ‘gold’ in the challenges and I found people who had so much potential; so much treasure.

My biggest struggle was being in a system that is built to exploit…that’s the reason I left fashion modelling. You’re young when you start, and the industry likes you naive and gullible. It’s very nice to express some parts of your sexuality and creativity, but it’s a dead end when after 12 years, they don’t want to hear anything that you have to say as a changemaker. People are used by unethical corporations for things one can sell or market: their sexuality, looks, and naiveté. Once you know yourself, you can choose what you want to contribute to, because you believe in yourself and you know your worth.

Even if you need to work on yourself, if you have an open heart, you will be drawn into situations that will polish you, and you’ll find your own brilliance in these moments. Many times I feel like my experience in Jaisalmer was gold…I found my ‘gold’ in the challenges and I found people who had so much potential; so much treasure.”

RUCHIKA
SACHDEVA

Ruchika Sachdeva has taken her womenswear label, Bodice, to exacting heights, simultaneously becoming the recipient of the prestigious International Woolmark Prize (2018)

I’m incredibly driven. I thought that maybe, with age, I will mellow. But the older I get, the more authentic I want to be. When I was younger, I would want to control things more, and I think that was more out of fear. I was afraid of the outcome. Today, I have no fixed plans – I have guidelines, because I’ve discovered that magic lies in the unexpected.

I’m not saying it’s difficult to become successful when you come from a humble background, but it takes persistence. And for me, the proudest moments have been those in which I questioned what it really means to be successful.

I had to grow up faster and was pushed to a level that I didn’t expect. Today I am basing things on what I am feeling, rather than what people are telling me. The voice is alive inside me. Success is something that comes without compromise. Not from an aesthetic or product point of view, but more from the feeling, purpose and values point of view. What am I willing to sacrifice, in order to get something in return?

There’s a side of me which is a bit introspective and spiritual. Recently, I discovered a book which is a more philosophical version of the Gita, and speaks about working on the journey without worrying about the outcome. This would help you feel better, and make you less anxious. The moment you let go of fear, you can create better.

RUCHIKA SACHDEVA

Ruchika Sachdeva has taken her womenswear label, Bodice, to exacting heights, simultaneously becoming the recipient of the prestigious International Woolmark Prize (2018)

I’m incredibly driven. I thought that maybe, with age, I will mellow. But the older I get, the more authentic I want to be. When I was younger, I would want to control things more, and I think that was more out of fear. I was afraid of the outcome. Today, I have no fixed plans – I have guidelines, because I’ve discovered that magic lies in the unexpected.

I’m not saying it’s difficult to become successful when you come from a humble background, but it takes persistence. And for me, the proudest moments have been those in which I questioned what it really means to be successful.

I had to grow up faster and was pushed to a level that I didn’t expect. Today I am basing things on what I am feeling, rather than what people are telling me. The voice is alive inside me. Success is something that comes without compromise. Not from an aesthetic or product point of view, but more from the feeling, purpose and values point of view. What am I willing to sacrifice, in order to get something in return?

There’s a side of me which is a bit introspective and spiritual. Recently, I discovered a book which is a more philosophical version of the Gita, and speaks about working on the journey without worrying about the outcome. This would help you feel better, and make you less anxious. The moment you let go of fear, you can create better.

AKANKSHA DEO SHARMA

Known for her distinctive aesthetic, product designer and textile innovator Akanksha Deo Sharma has made headlines as IKEA’s first and only Indian designer.

I’ve always questioned the idea of home. For me, home is not a person, or my house, or my country. It’s what I feel when I am on the road, when I am moving. It’s changed from being a place to becoming a feeling.

It’s a constant journey, to keep getting closer to who you really are. I think it can be quite daunting, because you have to face your fears; your inhibitions. Maybe it’s because we don’t spend enough time with ourselves…when I’m sitting alone, I look at myself and wonder, who is this person? I should get to know her more.

I just don’t get the chance to be with people all the time. So I have to rely on myself, or cherish times when I don’t need anyone else to experience a moment with.

A lot of people know me for my work at IKEA. That’s why I do projects outside of that role to show the side of me that’s a designer, an artist and a creator. People see the emotion, intensity and the openness with which I do things. What they don’t see is that my inner self is still a child.

I feel like a different person in different situations. Of course there is a core ‘me’, but I enjoy having variations of myself.

I am getting comfortable with myself, slowly but surely. You have to be kind to yourself in a way that you embrace the person you were in the past…and accept the fact that you’re not that person anymore, but constantly evolving.

DIKSHA BASU

Diksha Basu is the author of The Windfall (2017) which is currently in pre-production as a television show in Los Angeles, USA. She is slated to release her next novel, Destination Wedding, this year.

As a woman, as someone raising daughters, just as a general citizen of the world, it’s very easy to be afraid. How I manage to not be scared is through humour. Some people may say it’s through averting my eyes, but I think it is exactly because I engage so deeply with the world around me that I feel a need to find a route that isn’t fear.

What I really try to do – which is increasingly difficult as the world sort of goes up in flames around us – is to bring a certain lightness of touch to everything. Small things used to spark off tempers within me, and that has really mellowed. It’s a combination of my kids and my books. I’ve chosen to narrow what I’m looking at, so every moment has taken on an intensity which is very joyous.

How do you define achievement? On the one hand, did I simply get pregnant and have children? Yes. If you look at the way the world works, it doesn’t feel like an achievement. But on the other hand, it’s hard not to feel a sense of vanity when I look at them. But then when you think about man-hours put in, I probably put more into my books. The achievement really is this point in my life right now – everything personal, professional, emotional…the growth. All that has fallen together like a puzzle piece to form this current moment.

I always want more. I hope I keep wanting more. Otherwise, I’d be terribly bored. Am I happy? Yes. Content? No. Because I always want to have the next goal in sight. I’d be scared the day I didn’t. And there are days that I don’t – and I am scared on those days.

Some days I do nothing; I struggle to get out of bed. That’s something I only recently decided I want to start talking about because I went through a diagnosed postpartum depression. I want to be more open about dealing with my anxiety. I don’t have a full understanding of it; that’s why it continues to be a challenge. Because in many ways I’m not at all sensitive. I’m extremely strong and emotionally resilient.

DIKSHA BASU

Diksha Basu is the author of The Windfall (2017) which is currently in pre-production as a television show in Los Angeles, USA. She is slated to release her next novel, Destination Wedding, this year.

As a woman, as someone raising daughters, just as a general citizen of the world, it’s very easy to be afraid. How I manage to not be scared is through humour. Some people may say it’s through averting my eyes, but I think it is exactly because I engage so deeply with the world around me that I feel a need to find a route that isn’t fear.

What I really try to do – which is increasingly difficult as the world sort of goes up in flames around us – is to bring a certain lightness of touch to everything. Small things used to spark off tempers within me, and that has really mellowed. It’s a combination of my kids and my books. I’ve chosen to narrow what I’m looking at, so every moment has taken on an intensity which is very joyous.

How do you define achievement? On the one hand, did I simply get pregnant and have children? Yes. If you look at the way the world works, it doesn’t feel like an achievement. But on the other hand, it’s hard not to feel a sense of vanity when I look at them. But then when you think about man-hours put in, I probably put more into my books. The achievement really is this point in my life right now – everything personal, professional, emotional...the growth. All that has fallen together like a puzzle piece to form this current moment.

I always want more. I hope I keep wanting more. Otherwise, I’d be terribly bored. Am I happy? Yes. Content? No. Because I always want to have the next goal in sight. I’d be scared the day I didn’t. And there are days that I don’t – and I am scared on those days.

Some days I do nothing; I struggle to get out of bed. That’s something I only recently decided I want to start talking about because I went through a diagnosed postpartum depression. I want to be more open about dealing with my anxiety. I don’t have a full understanding of it; that’s why it continues to be a challenge. Because in many ways I’m not at all sensitive. I’m extremely strong and emotionally resilient.”

LIFE STORIES

SOBHITA DHULIPALA

It feels like Indian cinema and web series actor Sobhita Dhulipala is exactly where she belongs – surrounded by evocative thoughts and self-reflection. Beyond the eclectic and sharp artiste that the world sees, Sobhita is most often perceptive, sometimes self-deprecating, but always pleasantly unfiltered.

Her mind perceives situations with refreshing clarity. Says Sobhita, “I’ve been told to sound likeable, or assertive, or easier to understand in interviews. But say something happens; perhaps I take a flight that doesn’t land – who will represent my feelings, my opinions? Who will speak on my behalf? People would’ve never known me then. I would just be another person who breathed, ate, and left. I want to be heard. I believe that if you’re given a voice and you don’t use it, then you don’t deserve it.”

When Sobhita Dhulipala thinks out loud, it feels like serendipity. Her words resonate, almost like déjà vu; like she was somehow privy to every conversation that led to the creation of Her Story. “Anybody could be sitting here and speaking about the brand (Her Story), and it would still be authentic because the brand is not about a type, a script, a narrative. It’s about all types of women; all types of spirits. It embodies the idea that preciousness isn’t from materials or acquisitions. Meaning comes from the emotions infused into something,” she muses. “I see myself in a variety of roles, and when I wear something, it really affects the way I conduct myself. I keep imagining that when I have a daughter or a son, I want to give them a piece of jewellery that’s going to reflect who I am as much in the design as in the sentiment.”

At the Life Stories by Her Story session, she shares, “Each poem that I read at the Her Story boutique was about a certain facet of a woman’s personality. I was naturally drawn to a couple, and interestingly, they were linked to the exact collections that I thought were most beautiful. I really resonated with the spirit of Poetry in Motion. It also features the element of ghungroos, and I’m a classical dancer – so there’s a beautiful connection.” 

Sobhita’s perspectives on life and identity, while strong now, weren’t always so self-assured. Referring to Tara, the character she played in the hit web series Made in Heaven, she says, “While the stakes were very different for her, I feel that this constant need to belong or to have a stamp of approval on you…it’s very tiring. Because I did try that. I moved to Bombay from Visakhapatnam, and I was hit with a culture shock. I was around 17, and I really wanted to be that cool kid in college, but no matter how hard I tried, I would still feel uncool. And that made me sad. I know now that I will sleep well only when I stay true to my intentions.”

Ultimately, what one sees in Sobhita Dhulipala when they look past her ‘image’ is someone who is constantly questioning what it means to be her. “I am not one thing,” she explains. “There are moments when I’m needy, or annoying, or extremely fragile; I’m not strong in those moments. I am okay with that.” 

This is where Sobhita gets it really right, in her complete self-awareness that every situation, interaction and experience is what truly makes her, her. She reveals the many facets of her personality without fear, slowly, and very gracefully, telling her story in a mesmerising way. It’s almost like...Poetry in Motion.

TAMARA MOSS

Born in an apocalyptic and anarchic cult to Indo-Dutch parents, Tamara Moss shed belief at 16 to thrive as one of India’s top models before she gave her time to empowering the lives of a local basti in Jaisalmer. Due to her efforts, 77 children have made up her alternative learning centre program and ten have been sponsored into private schools.

Born in an apocalyptic and anarchic cult to Indo-Dutch parents, Tamara Moss shed belief at 16 to thrive as one of India’s top models before she gave her time to empowering the lives of a local basti in Jaisalmer. Due to her efforts, 77 children have made up her alternative learning centre program and ten have been sponsored into private schools.

For me, it’s about application of consciousness. I question whether there is such a thing as a human being. Just because you have a body and a form does not mean you are empathetic and compassionate or are actively making impactful choices and decisions.

It feels that change comes in waves. Some people are at the crest, and some people get pulled along the way. I don’t judge those people, but we have a choice, and some of us like to ride the edge.

My biggest struggle was being in a system that is built to exploit...that’s the reason I left fashion modelling. You’re young when you start, and the industry likes you naive and gullible. It’s very nice to express some parts of your sexuality and creativity, but it's a dead end when after 12 years, they don’t want to hear anything that you have to say as a changemaker. People are used by unethical corporations for things one can sell or market: their sexuality, looks, and naiveté. Once you know yourself, you can choose what you want to contribute to, because you believe in yourself and you know your worth.

Even if you need to work on yourself, if you have an open heart, you will be drawn into situations that will polish you, and you’ll find your own brilliance in these moments. Many times I feel like my experience in Jaisalmer was gold...I found my ‘gold’ in the challenges and I found people who had so much potential; so much treasure.

RUCHIKA SACHDEV

Ruchika Sachdeva has taken her womenswear label, Bodice, to exacting heights, simultaneously becoming the recipient of the prestigious International Woolmark Prize (2018).

I’m incredibly driven. I thought that maybe, with age, I will mellow. But the older I get, the more authentic I want to be. When I was younger, I would want to control things more, and I think that was more out of fear. I was afraid of the outcome. Today, I have no fixed plans – I have guidelines, because I’ve discovered that magic lies in the unexpected.

I’m not saying it’s difficult to become successful when you come from a humble background, but it takes persistence. And for me, the proudest moments have been those in which I questioned what it really means to be successful.

I had to grow up faster and was pushed to a level that I didn’t expect. Today I am basing things on what I am feeling, rather than what people are telling me. The voice is alive inside me.

Success is something that comes without compromise. Not from an aesthetic or product point of view, but more from the feeling, purpose and values point of view. What am I willing to sacrifice, in order to get something in return?

There’s a side of me which is a bit introspective and spiritual. Recently, I discovered a book which is a more philosophical version of the Gita, and speaks about working on the journey without worrying about the outcome. This would help you feel better, and make you less anxious. The moment you let go of fear, you can create better.”

AKANKSHA DEO SHARMA

Born in an apocalyptic and anarchic cult to Indo-Dutch parents, Tamara Moss shed belief at 16 to thrive as one of India’s top models before she gave her time to empowering the lives of a local basti in Jaisalmer. Due to her efforts, 77 children have made up her alternative learning centre program and ten have been sponsored into private schools.

Known for her distinctive aesthetic, product designer and textile innovator Akanksha Deo Sharma has made headlines as IKEA’s first and only Indian designer.

“I’ve always questioned the idea of home. For me, home is not a person, or my house, or my country. It’s what I feel when I am on the road, when I am moving. It’s changed from being a place to becoming a feeling.

It’s a constant journey, to keep getting closer to who you really are. I think it can be quite daunting, because you have to face your fears; your inhibitions. Maybe it’s because we don’t spend enough time with ourselves...when I’m sitting alone, I look at myself and wonder, who is this person? I should get to know her more.

I feel like a different person in different situations. Of course there is a core ‘me’, but I enjoy having variations of myself.

I just don’t get the chance to be with people all the time. So I have to rely on myself, or cherish times when I don’t need anyone else to experience a moment with.

A lot of people know me for my work at IKEA. That’s why I do projects outside of that role to show the side of me that’s a designer, an artist and a creator. People see the emotion, intensity and the openness with which I do things. What they don’t see is that my inner self is still a child.

I am getting comfortable with myself, slowly but surely. You have to be kind to yourself in a way that you embrace the person you were in the past...and accept the fact that you’re not that person anymore, but constantly evolving.”

DIKSHA BASU

Diksha Basu is the author of The Windfall (2017) which is currently in pre-production as a television show in Los Angeles, USA. She is slated to release her next novel, Destination Wedding, this year.

“As a woman, as someone raising daughters, just as a general citizen of the world, it’s very easy to be afraid. How I manage to not be scared is through humour. Some people may say it’s through averting my eyes, but I think it is exactly because I engage so deeply with the world around me that I feel a need to find a route that isn’t fear.

What I really try to do – which is increasingly difficult as the world sort of goes up in flames around us – is to bring a certain lightness of touch to everything. Small things used to spark off tempers within me, and that has really mellowed. It’s a combination of my kids and my books. I’ve chosen to narrow what I’m looking at, so every moment has taken on an intensity which is very joyous.

How do you define achievement? On the one hand, did I simply get pregnant and have children? Yes. If you look at the way the world works, it doesn’t feel like an achievement. But on the other hand, it’s hard not to feel a sense of vanity when I look at them. But then when you think about man-hours put in, I probably put more into my books. The achievement really is this point in my life right now – everything personal, professional, emotional...the growth. All that has fallen together like a puzzle piece to form this current moment.

I always want more. I hope I keep wanting more. Otherwise, I’d be terribly bored. Am I happy? Yes. Content? No. Because I always want to have the next goal in sight. I’d be scared the day I didn’t. And there are days that I don’t – and I am scared on those days.

Some days I do nothing; I struggle to get out of bed. That’s something I only recently decided I want to start talking about because I went through a diagnosed postpartum depression. I want to be more open about dealing with my anxiety. I don’t have a full understanding of it; that’s why it continues to be a challenge. Because in many ways I’m not at all sensitive. I’m extremely strong and emotionally resilient.”