What did you do for someone else today darling?

Some stories touch the deepest parts of your heart. Aditi Chaudhary’s did that to mine. I had the privilege of meeting her and hearing her talk at #imaginewithcf- Parenting with courage event. I haven’t yet seen the film ‘ The Sky Is Pink’ and wanted to write this before real Aditi Chaudhary became a reel character for me.

Aditi Chaudhary with Shailaja Sen@imaginewithcf

What does losing a child mean?Even a thought of a pain like that makes me miss a lot of beats in my heart…. i don’t think any of us can ever know exactly what dies in you to have a child like Aisha and living on an edge everyday. Aditi & Narain Chaudhary’s story of courage and looking at death in it’s face and accepting the reality, making it into a life purpose of helping others and giving back…… has changed something inside me.

Snippets of Aditi’s talk that left me awe struck:

” When Aisha asked me if she would still be alive at Christmas, I told her I don’t know if anyone of us will be alive till then”. Isn’t that true how do any of us know if we will live till Christmas.

” I have started feeling achievement is a dirty word. Do we ever ask our kid- what did you do for someone today darling”? Isn’t that true how we always want our kids to succeed , success and achievement is revered in our society. Aisha has gone but her motivational talks are still inspiring many to make stem cell donations. Aditi, her mother is now a mental health worker & activist who helps people through their emotional struggles. Narain, her father still sings in fund raisers to raise money for charitable organisations.

‘We grieved the loss of her life even before she passed away. But one day we woke up and made a resolution and we said we may not have the years but we will seize the moment…We will keep her happy” . Isn’t that true , no matter how long we live, it’s the moments we seize is what counts in our well being.

 “I don’t feel like she’s gone. I have a great sense of loss but I feel a lot of gratitude. I feel blessed that I have a child like Aisha. The strife has shaped us into the people we’ve become.” We run from adversity and yet it is always the tough times that shape us into our best versions.

AND another one from Aditi’s world, which resonates with my parenting sensibilities and what I do too is I tell my kids often ” No one can tell you which colour your sky should be. You are the one who paints your own sky.”

Hats off to you Mom..

Let’s all let our kids paint their own sky…

Let’s accept our kids as their own little persons….

Let’s parent with courage …

Let’s inlcude giving back in our achievement graphs….

Let’s inspire kids to give back…

Saakshi Kapoor Singla

(Aisha was the daughter of Aditi, a mental healthcare worker and Niren Chaudhary, the president of South Asia operations of Yum Brand. She had an elder brother named Ishan Chaudhary, a music composer. She was born with an immunodeficiency disorder. When she was 6 months old, she had to undergo a bone marrow transplant as a side effect of the medical therapy following bone marrow transplant, she developed a serious illness called pulmonary fibrosis a type of condition that causes irreversible scarring of the lungs.Aisha Chaudhary was giving inspirational talks on various platforms since she was 15. She was named an INK Fellow and spoke in the 2011 and 2013 INK Conferences.Aisha was also a speaker at TEDxPune in 2013. She wrote a book called My Little Epiphanies (2015)( that got released one day before her death) which included her thoughts about life and also wanted people to know about her journey that could help others going through such hardships in life Her book, Aditi and Narain’s story has helped in awareness for Stem Cell Donations )( credit: wikipaedia)

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Ada Lovelace Who?

Lilsakos was at Green Crusaders market last Sunday. Showcasing at a place where you end up meeting like minded parents, your kind of kids and see some examples of parenting done right is what makes this job I do amazingly interesting.

Green crusaders market is a sunday market in Noida that encourages green organic , meaningful companies to come out and display their passionate business ideas and products. The ambience and energy here is very different from the mall visits families are stuck with because of few available outdoor options in the city. When your work gets to you to meet the right audience it makes all the hard work worthwhile. I met some fabulous parents and kids who were thrilled to see Lilsakos products tickling their kids brains.

Lilsakos Achievers Coasters were the heros or should I say sheros of the display on Sunday. Ada Lovelace coaster was recognisable by a few kids and it became a wonderful conversation starter and we ending up discussing Charles Babbage, first computer, Ada being the first computer programmer in the world and lots more. Ada who? came from a few parents who lost out on undertanding the conversation. They also pledged to read up on her and went back appreciating the thought behind the inspiring products. Lilsakos is also proud to have a young fiesty budding designer who likes stories where girls save themselves and has designed some fabulous wall art to inspire kids that got rave reviews too.

Another hit product was the bathroom ettiquette wall art. Lots of parents engaged and discussed the perils of toilet trining, how important it is to put up signs that help in building good habits and help in educating about importance of hygiene in their kids.The continent cushions and continent coasters always find buyers who love to travel. Lilsakos has the essentials like bath, decor, accessories, mini learners products and also some not the usual kind of merchandise. These aren’t mainstream or focus on how kids look,these look beyond and* aren’t tiaras and bows,

* instead are conversation starters about the 🌎 , inspiring people & ideas,

* designed to make home environment more and more stimualting,

*made with love to motivate kids to be their unique selves &

*and inspire them to dream and work towards their dreams and read stories like that of Ada Lovelace, Emelia Earheart, Serena Willaims, Indra Nooyi etc

*there are no pink & blue brains here

*it’s a mighty little place for little strong, adventurous and kind kids and their conscious parents.

Saakshi Kapoor Singla

Rome wasn’t Built In a Day!

Growth Mindset comes from our willingness to put ourselves outside our comfort zone. Nothing is easy at least not as easy as staying at one place- being where we are and where we have always been.

There are lots of people who are willing to take the entrepreneural plunge out there & it was heartening to meet some of them during the TIE Start up Expo in Gurgaon last week. Buzzing entrepreneurs- some young & some not so young with stars in their eyes were talking about their wonferful ideas. Amazing elevator pitches, many worthwhile mentoring sessions and a hall full of many dreamers and some doers.  Inspiring success stories from the founders of companies which started just as some small ideas like Chayos, Biryani by Kilo ,Beer Café ,India Mart, Make My Trip.

 Loved every bit – What made these entrepreneurs tick?

How it isn’t easy?

How it isn’t for the faint hearted?

How money doesn’t mean success is guaranteed?

And a reminder that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Lessons Worth Remembering for me & Worthwhile enough for kids – yours and mine both!

  • Go out, invest time in your learning, take more courses and read about/listen to inspiring people.
  • Your own conviction in your idea matters not the idea so much
  • There are many people with ideas but only some have the courage to go all the way.
  • Seek a mentor, accept that you can’t know it all
  • Don’t expect quick results, hard work but done smartly is only thing that works.
  • Stick to it, perseverance is the only way to success.
  • Give your dreams all you’ve got, and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.

Walking outside my comfort zone is tough for me and I surprise myself every time the jitters push me forward towards a road less travelled. When in trouble, I sometimes curse myself for not staying put and taking it easy but what makes me go still is that i know my kids are watching. They might not see me succeed but they have to see me try at least. And it has helped as my kids are becoming thinking people, propelling themselves to grow and evolve always. Only problem is that when they are walking out of their comfort zones, the mother in me has bigger jitters & and they do that a little too often for my fragile little heart.

Rome surely wasn’t built in a day…It just was made by people who had a growth mindset.