Sheetal Embraced Change, and Found Her Calling in an Unexpected Place

By Sheetal Mohlajee Chopra, 48, Gurugram

As a teenager, I was very creative and dreamt of being a famous fashion designer. My sports journalist father and teacher mother raised my sister and me in a liberal way. My father said, “If one has freedom, books, flowers and the moon, how can one not be happy?”

And so my childhood was spent among books and open spaces close to nature. Values like honesty, respect, hard work and humility were deeply instilled in us, along with a sense of never being afraid of the space between dreams and reality.

After graduating from NIFT and working as a fashion designer for two years, I got married and joined my husband’s advertising business. It worked out very well for us – love and profession rolled into one package. Having our son together further cemented our relationship.

In 2003, I lost my father, leaving a void that can never be filled. To feel closer to him, I paint or spend time in nature. Then came a phase of several challenges in my life: my family moved from Delhi to Gurugram, and I was besieged by illness, requiring surgery and long months off from work. My son went abroad to study and I was left with a question: What do I do next?

And so, in 2015, I decided to start my mother and baby store, Baby Station, in Gurugram. I love being around babies, and I love being able to support pregnant women and new moms through their journeys. I put my heart and soul into this business and, gradually, things fell in place.

My life has been a journey with ups and downs and new directions I had never imagined. But I always embraced the change. As the poem The Words I Want You to Keep by Dominican Republic poet Gaby Comprés goes:

“there are stars you
haven’t seen
and loves you haven’t loved
there’s light you haven’t felt
and sunrises yet to dawn
there are dreams
you haven’t dreamt
and days you haven’t lived
and nights you won’t forget
and flowers yet to grow
and there is more to you
that you have yet to
know.” 

First published in the October 2018 issue of eShe magazine