By Avantika Sinha, 35, Mumbai
Growing up in Darjeeling, my parents would take my brother and me to a new place in India every winter so that we could learn about new cultures, histories and people. In retrospect I thank my parents for this annual ritual that immersed us in experiential knowledge. I wish my baby daughter can experience it too when she’s older.
I completed my schooling from Sherwood College, Nainital. While doing my graduation in Bengaluru, I sent an application to Cardiff University without informing anyone back home. Within a month, to my surprise, I heard from them with an unconditional offer to join. My father was petrified about sending me so far away, but he soon realized he had a very stubborn daughter! So I headed to London to do my Master’s in international business and marketing management.
In 2004, I moved to Mumbai, and in 2009, set up my own PR firm Soapbox catering to celebrities in TV and cinema. This city has given me everything. I owe a lot to my clients who have relentlessly stuck by me and trusted me. I now have a two-year-old daughter, Aadya, and I believe you’ve experienced nothing till you’ve experienced motherhood! My mother, my daughter and I share a beautiful bond – for me, unwinding means going off on a girlie trip with them! We’re a crazy family.
But most of all, I’m inspired by my father, who even at 70+ has the energy of a 30-year-old. He worked his way through law school, became a respected advocate and now owns two hotels, all because he fell in love with my mother – who was the first woman PhD from West Bengal – and wanted to give her a good life. Not wanting to let my father down is the single most motivating thought that keeps me going.
I am choosy about the people I allow into my life – and, hell yes, I make my choices before others make them for me. My mother always said, “Education and strength of character are the only two things that will stay with you when all leave, so make sure they are strong.” I hope I’ve done her proud.