“Growing up in a puritanical setting, I believe, ingrained in me this sense of rebellion to fight against oppression even from a very young age. It seeded in me those very core beliefs of feminism that I would carry with me throughout the years to come. It also helped me become an ambitious woman who will eventually sail through each and every milestone in her life with hard work and determination. I aced through BITS PILANI for my undergrad and moved to the USA to complete my Masters in Computer Science. Pursuing a masters from a different country brought with it an exposure unparalleled to anything else.
I started setting up a steep curve up my career trajectory and held some prestigious roles and responsibilities. I was also selected to attend an entrepreneurship boot camp at Harvard. Eventually I met my husband and moved to the UK. It was here that I met someone who opened me up to a new world of home birthing, as a friend of mine was planning to have her first child at home. As we met for discussions, I became entirely fascinated about this concept.
She lent me a book on this titled ‘The Secret Life Of The Unborn Child’ and reading through it felt like unearthing a precious treasure. Everything started to make sense then – on the importance of giving the child a peaceful entry into the world and the impact a birthing experience has on a mother. It was then decided that we would have a home birth for my first child but it ended up being a last minute run up to the hospital due to medical emergencies.
But somewhere deep down, I had developed a deep thirst to know more and with the birth of my kid, it brought so many deeply ingrained issues and I went down a deep research into trauma manifestations and its related impact on the nervous system. The arrival of my second child however happened at our house and it was a phenomenal home birthing experience that changed the world for us. It planted a deep desire in me to help women gain this wonderful experience. I trained to become a doula and also a childbirth educator and I travelled globally to learn more about childbirth practices. As the years progressed, juggling two different paths led to a persistent internal conflict. On one end, I was in a flourishing career and on the other, I was exploring and discovering all about birth, systematic oppression and trauma and healing. As I reflected, I felt it no longer made any sense for me to continue my job as a strategy consultant as my purpose lay elsewhere. I quit my job at that time and moved to India to set up my independent practice.
Having left India in my 20s, I had spent most of my adult years in a foreign country and moving back here was a cultural shock in itself. I came in with the idea of setting up a birth centre at Chennai but it was incredibly difficult to get people to open up to the idea of a different birthing experience. I started pitching to hospitals from private to government and in the end, it was all narrowing down to a game of power and popularity. With my credentials, the hospital had a better leverage by adding my name to their website but that was it!
However, this didn’t stop me from pursuing my deep burning passion. As someone who has always been curious and eager to learn more about human psychology, I nosedived deep into work and started earning certifications for somatic psychotherapy. With my own experience of journeying through healing and becoming a mother, I began to work as a birth doula and also a somatic psychotherapist. With time, my work started to gain popularity. I won an International Award for my contributions to the healthcare industry. I also started to travel wide and across the world to talk in conferences and present papers about my work.
Today I am part of a wonderful community of women who are creating an impactful change through their incredible work. Starting out, I would have never imagined my life to lead anywhere close to where I am now but with each and every turning point, I have only been able to unearth an entirely new path for me. My work has always been at the intersection of the collective and the individual and has brought in more conversations about all the systematic oppressive practices in place. Both of my birth experiences were entirely surreal and it has contributed heavily to what I am today. Becoming a mother, I learnt that I had nowhere to hide and that I had to confront my demons deep inside and learn to let them go. As I help a multitude of women today by either assisting in their birth or through somatic psychotherapy, I must admit that it is one of the most rewarding experiences.
The path had to take multiple detours to get to where I am now but looking back, I can’t help but marvel at how organically everything fell into place. I went from paving the path down to the last detail to allowing the path to reveal itself to me and guide me to my soul’s true purpose.
It is quite hard to be a square peg in a round role. Choosing healing and choosing yourself can be an extremely isolated place and it is going to take a while to make our peace with it. But those who dare to step out of the cogwheel eventually learn that trusting and letting go might just be the best thing they do for themselves. And choosing to do right by the next generation and choosing healing over anything else will come at a price but there are a bunch of us here, wading our way through the uncertainties and I am here to tell you that, it always gets better and it will be one hell of a memorable journey.”