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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

They found love, and how!

Navleen Lakhi and Prateek Walia, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 08, 2013
First Published: 12:29 IST(8/3/2013) | Last Updated: 12:39 IST(8/3/2013)

While we still await the day women would grow wings, in the true sense of the word, HT City gets in touch with some women who grew a pair and grabbed the opportunity of following their heart with both hands. This International Women’s Day, we bring you some women who left their safe, conventional, well-paying jobs to do what gives them true happiness.

Sanjana Sharma, 30, Panchkula 
Previous field: Corporate banking
No. of years worked: Eight
Current field: Art (painting)

Why did you change? Had a passion for art and wanted to pursue it professionally.

Is it difficult to take such a big step?
Yes, of course. There is always risk involved, as you have to give up your financial security. Another challenge you face is convincing your loved ones that you’ve thought this step through.

What pushed you?
My husband’s support and self-confidence eliminated my fear of losing out on financial security.

How has life changed? I am just a happier person, doing what I love!


Neetu P Chaudhury, 32, Mundi Kharar
Previous field: Corporate banking
No. of years worked: Eight
Current field: Media and community service

Why did you change?
The passion to chase my dream of being a media professional while working for the community. I wanted to contribute to the society in any way that I could.

Is it difficult to take such a big step?
Yes. It is challenging, so you need to have strong determination, along with family support, of course.

What pushed you? My husband Pranav, who taught me to follow my instincts.

How has life changed?
I’m more confident, creative and close to social causes. I’m in the position to change the set patterns of the society.

Ikwinder Pal Kaur, 31, Jalandhar
Previous field: Medical officer
No. of years worked: Two
Current field: Radio jockey

Why did you change?
After doing a bachelor’s degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery in 2005 from Dayanand Ayurverdic College, Jalandhar, I started working as a medical officer at Nipun Nanda Hospital, Jalandhar. Alongside, I was also a casual announcer at AIR from March to December 2006. Once, I saw an advertisement of an opening for RJ in the paper and I auditioned. Though I liked the medical line, my love for literature, stage and mic from college had to be exploited!

Is it difficult to take such a big step?
It was a little confusing. But then, I had the opportunity of doing what my heart always wanted to.

What pushed you?
When I was indecisive, my father said, “Don’t regret not choosing a path that came your way.” He asked me to try it out for six months. It’s been six years, and I’m
sticking to it!

How has life changed?
From being responsible for someone’s life, I’ve come to being responsible for my own words. Since I do the night show, a lot of people think I must be practicing medicine during the day. But, for a three-hour show, I have to study through the day and keep myself updated.

Bobby Cheema, 37, SAS Nagar
Previous field: Doctor
No. of years worked: 15
Current field: Actor

Why did you change?
I worked as an emergency medical officer at Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh, for five years, and followed it up by working at Cheema Medical Hospital as a hospital manager. I did a course in hypno-therapy and theta healing from California Hypnosis Institute, New Delhi, in 2005. Since then, I’ve been practicing hypnotherapy and theta healing to heal people by working on their sub-conscious mind, without any medication. Since school, I had always been interested in singing and dancing. Even as a doctor, I used to participate in various talent hunt competitions. Once, director Deep Raj Kochar asked me to audition for a movie, and I ended up doing the movie Akkad Bakkad Bambe Bo. One of my upcoming movies is Chunchu Ka Marabba.

Is it difficult to take such a big step?
If you have the passion, nothing is difficult.
 
What pushed you? I have always been a strong person. I’ve always done what I wanted to.

How has life changed? When you evolve, things around you also evolve. One should always be ready to accept change.

Neelam Jindal, 40, Panchkula
Previous field: Dentist
No. of years worked:  13
Current field: Yoga trainer

Why did you change?
Working as a dentist, managing a house and the twins, I lost control of my health and ended up weighing around 90kg. In 2005, it hit me! It was time to do what I loved — dancing. I had learnt both Bharatanatyam and Kathak during college, so I started pursuing the hobby. And since dance involved stretching techniques, yoga too started to fascinate me. Hence, I adopted both. I gave several dance performances and won a prize from choreographer Saroj Khan for a Bharatnatyam performance. I decided to become a full-time yoga instructor in 2011 and gave up on my dental profession.

Is it difficult to take such a big step?
Nothing is difficult if you want to follow your heart.

What pushed you?
The fact that I wanted to share with everyone what dance and yoga did for me.

How has life changed?
Now, I feel fitter, healthier and look better! Above all, I’m happy.

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New Delhi, 1984. New York, 2014.

In my parent’s bedroom is a framed photo that seems a bit out of place. The small image has an aged yellow tint and displays my father at the young age of 24, standing proudly atop the GB Pant Hospital in New Delhi, India. He looks just as I do now. Tall, skinny, his not-yet full beard kept neatly on the sides of his jaw as he sports a clean pair of glasses and a neat turban matching his shirt. That year (1984), my father was in his medical residency pursuing a specialty in anesthesiology. His eyes shine of dreams of the success that would come from his hard work in the future. However, what could not be captured in the photograph is what my father had seen in that year, 1984. Writes Manmeet Singh Gujral
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