Tina Fey, says,
“I think every working mom probably feels the same thing. You go through big chunks of time where you’re thinking, “this is impossible – oh, this is impossible.” And then you just keep going and keep going and sort of do the impossible.”
In this week’s #FridayFeature blog focusing on our #WonderWomen segment, we present to you a Mom, who is a multi-talented, super achiever woman. Meet, Program Manager @ Google, and founder of Home Décor & Lifestyle page, Sunahre Khwab, Sneh Tarang Randev. She comes with a 13-year work experience (post her Engineering and MBA degrees), a four month experience with Content Creation & Blogging, but years of experience as a home manager and a mother. How and when did she decide to pursue a hobby-based profession besides her full-time job, and how does she manage time between her job, her hobby and her other personal life duties and responsibilities? Let’s find out in her own words.
“I absolutely never found time to pursue any hobby or let out the creative juices in the last 15 odd years. As an individual, I have been a goal driven, hardcore workoholic and perfectionist. Right after my studies, I started working and got married in the same year. My husband and I had known each other for a long time and were always focused on a plan to create a stable and successful future. I worked super hard, travelled to different countries for assignments multiple times, had 2 kids, but never took a break from work.
So much so that I was back in office in 4 months each time while never compromising on my parental duties and responsibilities. I have enjoyed each bit and am proud of my personal and professional growth – as an individual, mother of my girls and leader for the team I manage. Having said that, I always wanted to engage in a hobby too, and the lockdown provided the perfect opportunity to pursue it. All that I used to enjoy as a younger version of myself in addition to what I have developed as interests over the time, started to pour out onto my Instagram page @sunahre_khwab .
I wasn’t sure initially how it would unfold but my professional avatar has taught me to learn on the job, self-teach and innovate to navigate un-trudged paths pretty quickly. While I focused on the originality and uniqueness of my content, I also did some research about the relevant handles, hashtags and it all started to come together from there.
I don’t believe in calling anything a struggle. I am a strong advocate of the phrase “Get things done”. Strength and growth come from efforts and tough times (which can be referred to as struggle if you will). Of Course there are roadblocks and difficulties and that is true for every human on this planet and for every task one does. Especially as a woman in India, difficulties and roadblocks tend to be a bit more given our non inclusive and patriarchal mindset for majority of the country’s population. I come from a small town in Jharkhand. I always had a modest physical appearance. My parents had a humble income and a transferable job so we never had a permanent home . So I always never had stable childhood friends because I had to change schools often. We were two sisters in a society where having a son was a matter of pride. According to my relatives, girls were groomed and schooled for a good arranged marriage. So was it tough? Yes. Was it beautiful still? absolutely yes.
I give the credit to my parents for their sheer hard work and dedication for laying the foundation to shape my life the way it is today. I still recall, my mom’s ask to my dad when we started schooling to put us in a convent school as she wanted us to learn fluent English because she couldn’t. She did good because speaking skills and communication style has been my strong forte because of this! I think the point where I gave wings to my dreams was when Dad and I decided I should do Engineering. The college I joined was in Uttarakhand and was quite far from home. So for the first time, a student from an all Girls school who had her Dad drop her to tuition himself, went into an all boarding college. All boarding meant all students were staying on campus as the college was perched among the hills, which to be honest was huge fun.
This place changed me. I became Me. I was the only Bihari girl in a college full of UP and Uttarakhand students. Naturally I faced some ragging and some teasing too, but I eventually settled in. I still recall singing aloud in the corridors of my hostel and making maggi and chai late in the night with friends, chit chatting about the future.So a few things happened – I became the Badminton convenor, college Table Tennis champion, won several debates and extempore, became the college magazine editor and also met my future husband. So in a nutshell, I arrived and found my personality which was of an ambitious, fierce but humble, well-educated woman.
Another major milestone in my life has been joining Google. Needless to say, I love my job and I am extremely proud of my company’s contribution in the evolution of my thought process. The inclusivity, the rejection of bias, the identification and control of microaggressions, the aspect of swaying away from being judgemental and being more objective and the overall encouragement to pursue my goals and dreams is extremely helpful.My journey as a blogger is also something that has been greatly appreciated by my company and I have been featured in the company’s newsletter recently. I thrive on life. I am an extremely positive person and am generally motivated to do something every day. I tell myself that I am God’s favorite child and I need to maintain the spot! I just think that we are blessed to be in this human form and we only have this one life and hence I am always inspired to make it beautiful and productive.
Having my girls around also is a big motivator in itself. You see, your children see you as their role models for most parts and hence your moods and your attitude rub on them quickly. I feel happy when they talk about me with their friends and teachers etc, with pride in their voice and beaming eyes, saying my Mom will have a solution for every problem – I totally feel like a wonder woman.
Having said that, if there is one person who motivates me to do better every single day, it’s my best friend, my confidante, my partner in crime – my husband. Aditya and I have known each other almost 18 years now and I think apart from the fact that he truly believes in me, my potential and my passions and pushes me every day to reach the stars; I also learn from his extremely grounded and unclenched persona. I think he is a huge ying to my yang and a lot of what I am today is because of him. I still recall when I started the Instagram page, his first ask was – write down what you want from this blog in the next 6 months and 1 year and keep that in mind every time you blog about anything. It should all tie together. And that’s so true, isn’t it? It should all tie together, the story, the image, the brand of who @sunahre_khwab is. I try to do that, and will continue trying to do it, with the hope and determination that it’s working.
It’s been a very fulfilling journey so far. I think I am fortunate that I never had a day without a purpose. Also probably because I find purpose! Doing something is so important, the brain cells need to be engaged. So until 24 it was a lot of study and getting a job that I wanted. Two big milestones were the birth of my 2 daughters. I am proud to say I have never taken any help, never kept a nanny, took day care service from well established centers so I could go to work and raise my kids the way I always wanted to – strong and independent young women.
Some great milestones / experiences have been the travels I have done to different countries because of my work engagements. Working in different cultures teaches you a lot of cross-cultural nuances. It also teaches you to survive in circumstances you are not naturally comfortable with and broadens your horizons. I have my Mom, Dad and my sister to thank for being able to do this as they took care of the girls when I was travelling. They have certainly been a strong constant pillar in my existence so far on this planet – we argue and makeup, we differ and agree but we always stand by each other. Mi familia!
As I mentioned before, being a Googler has been a great milestone in my life and continues to be. Coming to my blogging experience, the journey has been extremely insightful and fun so far. I have come to know so many people from different parts of the world, backgrounds, cultures, stratas, businesses big and small – I feel I have just touched the tip of the iceberg. I do a lot of things on my blog which is primarily my Instagram handle – from decor to poetry, from art to day to day lifestyle stories, and I am glad I have been able to touch 4500+ lives in such a short span of 4 months. Where am I headed you ask? May be towards becoming a motivator and influencer sharing my learnings and in whichever small way I can, help people achieve work life balance while pursuing their hobbies and passions.
You can’t please all and happiness starts from self.
These are my biggest two learnings throughout everything that I have done, seen or experienced. If I am happy, that will rub off to my family, my children, and everyone who knows me or comes in contact with me. Seeking happiness outside can disappoint, so seek it with what you want or like. I think the entire positive thought process that I have is based on the fact that I find my own happiness.
Every post or story that I share is generally inspired by a personal experience and what influenced me or made me happy at that point. It could be while watering the plants or ruffling the cushions, reading something, or a painting that my kid showed to me. I am very fluid like that, and it shows in my feed. Also remember that what we’re compelled to do these days is merely physical distancing, not social distancing! But let’s be honest to ourselves, it hasn’t been easy. There are days I am uninspired, and I don’t want to do anything. But I tell myself what I tell my kids: we are humans; we owe our present to ‘Survival of the Fittest’. And a fit body needs a fit mind. So try to be as positive as possible given the circumstances. Buckle up and figure out what’s next. Also, watch and read stuff that is inspirational, and always focus on the good as it does tend to stay at the back of your mind.”
To drop in a message to Sneh, check out her wonderful hobby blog on Instagram, and to give her works a follow, check out the links below:
Professional and personal social media handles:
Features & mentions: