Living life on their own terms
As a part of the weekly column, we speak to city women of varied professional backgrounds who are members of Sakal Times Platinum Women’s Club
HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE
If one meets Anju Bellara, one can easily learn how to be happy in every situation. Being a fitness enthusiast and a second degree holder in Reiki healing, the 61-year-young believes in positive thinking and its impact on health. “I am from Punjab and being the youngest among all my siblings in a joint family, everyone was protective towards me. During that period, we experienced certain family emergencies. But my mother continued to be the happy-go-lucky person that she always was. For every struggle, she would say, ‘This phase is nothing, it will simply pass.’ We learnt this positivity from our mother,” recalls Bellara.
She adds that since an early age, she opted for healthy and organic lifestyle. “I became health conscious after I saw my brothers and sisters getting arthritis and other diseases quite early. Also, my mother had cut down on salt and fried stuff and would have sugarless tea because of BP and diabetes respectively. So I started switching to healthier options like salads, less of sugar, salt and fried food. All these healthy habits are giving their results today. I am blessed that my journey in fitness started quite early and that is why even at this age, I have the best health for a 60 plus lady,” she says.
Her journey into fitness took a turn after she got married at 16 and had kids. At 22, she started yoga and aerobics and after 45, she started lifting weights. Sharing her journey, she says, “I used to own a boutique called Anju Dressy in Viman Nagar since 1999. Here, we used to do embroidery, stitching and designing. But I stopped that later as I didn’t want to work for money. At 55, I started learning all those activities that I wanted to learn since childhood but couldn’t, like swimming, salsa dancing, singing, driving and many other things.”
Since 35, Bellara has been actively involved in social work like planting trees and inviting the street kids home to celebrate the birthdays of her kids. The philosophy she follows is ‘Live and Let Live’ and she states that the secret of her happiness is that she likes her smiling face and aims at spreading happiness everywhere.
Bellara has two titles to her credit namely, Rann Ragini Super Granny Title, 2019 and SPES Super Woman Title. Currently, she is helping her son in his restaurant business.
SPOTTING THE DIAMOND
Sonali Gadani is a diamond grader by profession and owns a brand called ‘Sparkles’. She deals in exclusive imitation jewellery in kundan and jadau as also real jewellery. She has been in this profession for over a decade.
“Since childhood I had a liking for sparkling things and collected American diamonds of different colours. I decided to know more about it and that is how I got into this profession,” Gadani says.
She believes in giving the best quality product to her clients. Says she, “Even though my profession is my hobby, I like to see the smile on the faces of my clients. I get immense happiness through that. Also I strongly believe in delivering quality service.”
She adds that she likes meeting and interacting with new people and get to know them better as she believes in learning from everyone. “Everyone teaches you something or the other. I like to interact with people and I like to spot the best quality in a person and try to learn from it,” she says.
Speaking about her philosophy, she says, “I believe in ‘Be what you are and ardently follow it’. This thought gives me more motivation. I always like to improve myself day by day and look at my drawbacks so that I can correct them. Also I think it is very important to run your life on your own rules and principles.”
As for the pressure that comes with the job, she says, “I mostly work with my friends and relatives. And that is why they are always cooperative when it comes to my work pressure. They understand that if I want to give them the best, it is going to take time. So all my clients are patient when I work for them.”
She adds that her work gives her immense satisfaction and happiness.
FAMILY COMES FIRST
Seema Siotia is an entrepreneur who owns a tea business and believes that family always comes first. Says Siotia, “I hail from Assam. We all know how teas from there are famous. I used to run a shop in Kalyani Nagar but now I am working from home. My tea brand is called Chai Patti,” Siotia informs.
Adding about what made her start the business, she says, “I used to own a shoe showroom called Sole Station, in Assam which ran very well for five years but had to close it as we decided to move here. When my kids grew up, I had ample time in hand, so I decided to start a business here in Pune where I can not only earn but also utilise my time in the best possible way. Today, the response that I get for my brand is really good. I have mostly international clients. Initially my husband too helped me a lot as he had some knowledge about the business.”
Chai Patti has 10 types of teas like Green tea, Oolong tea, white tea and CTC tea. She happily adds that her family supported her throughout the business. “For me, my family comes first and they will always remain my priority. If they are happy, so am I,” Siotia says.
“I listen to the videos of Sadhguru. I feel motivated by seeing people who are less fortunate and are yet working hard in life,” adds she.
Family comes first for her and she calls her mother her inspiration. “Whatever I have learnt in my life till now is from her,” she says.