A beauty that comes from within – filled with warm love, kind thoughts and a very giving nature, this is what embodies the spirit of Meghna Chaurasia. She shared with me her personal journey and her secret to happiness.
- Tell me a little bit about your childhood and a story that was special to you whilst growing up.
My childhood was simple and special as I remember it, entailing travel and being in natural surroundings. My dad being in the tea industry, we lived on the tea estates across India and it was just wonderful to be surrounded by nature at all time. My holidays were spent visiting my grandparents and our house in Dehradun had litchi, mango, guava trees. As mischievous kids, we would climb these trees to pluck the succulent fruit….and the best fun of it was doing it because we were “told not to do it.”
I went to boarding school when I was a bit older and visited my parents in East Africa for vacations and we would go on safaris to game reserves and nature parks/reserves.
When I look back today I am grateful to my parents for having provided me those enriching and memorable experiences and the times spent with Mother Nature.
- What did you dream of as a teenager in terms of what you expected from your future self.
My dreams as a teen was to live in a good world, I was a part of Greenpeace and WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and those were the cause I passionately supported. I wanted to do something related to the environment and contribute to consciously taking care of it. Being a part of the nature club in school and taking part in tree planting and plastic bag cleaning projects in the hills sides of Mussoorie.
I think I still live being a conscious individual wanting to make a difference in the world today.
- About five years ago there was twist of fate in your life, a sudden “turning point” and you rose from the ashes like a phoenix – tell us about that experience.
I met with a hit and run, road accident 5 years ago, where I was dashed into a ditch and if not for the passerby commuters who helped us, we would have been left to die. As a result of this, the entire right side of my face had to reconstructed. Which I wont say I rose from the ashes but yes the knock on the head was a definite reality check to slow down, think and be grateful for every moment of my life. It has taught me how to be positive, see opportunity in disability, be thankful for the people who are by your side through thick or thin and for each day and the experiences it brings. It has taught me that when you love life its loves you right back and when you want to give and share happiness it finds you the right people to share it with.
- Why do you believe “challenges” are necessary to grow as a human being?
I believe that challenges are needed in our life, they help one learn, grow and appreciate what we have and what we can do. Personally, its has taught me to value and appreciate what I have and have given me an important lesson of giving back and/or paying it forward.
- I know you have helped and supported many young women in Canada. What advice would you give young women who come to Canada as new immigrants?
While I don’t think I have helped many, a small bit of advice I can give is embrace the challenges and opportunities that you come across and along the journey, don’t forget to build your support system, whether it be a teacher/mentor, a friend you meet at the bus-stop or a colleague at work – in a new land these people can become your lifeline.
This heartful story made me realize the importance of a fine balance between our authentic self and the outer world we live in each day. I dedicate this poem I wrote many moons ago to my kindred spirit and soul-sister Meghna. Keep shining like a star that you are!