Meera Ganapathi is the writer and editor of Soup, a bi-monthly website on culture and people. She’s not only smart, she’s also super kind & beautiful.
Launching Soup, changing lives wasn’t an easy decision. Meera had to let go of an 8 year long career. With that, came a handful of doubts and difficulties.
I quit once, realised I wasn’t ready, wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do, so I joined work again after 9 months of blowing up pretty much all my savings. But after a while I realised that I had to be brave and do this now or I would probably never do it.
Change is a process with no right or wrong path. The first step is taking the plunge and Meera did just that! She spent months thinking, planning and figuring out what she really wanted to do.
There’s no client and no pressurising financial investment, just the desire to finally do the kind of work I really enjoy. I’m still not completely ready yet, but I will be soon.
She loves that there are no restrictions and the freedom it gives her to do whatever she REALLY wants to do. There is a little pressure but it has nothing to do with what you are confronted to in the corporate world. In this “world” the pressure is between you and…you.
…you have no one to blame for the times you screw up, but it also means you have to do your best, no excuses.
When asked how she would describe herself, Meera’s answer gives us a little glimpse into her chaotic-fun mind: “There are the equivalent of 80 tabs open in my head, it’s highly distracting”.
Meera feels her line of work is THE BEST thing to happen to women. Through writing women are allowed to have a voice, they can add their stories to the book of Humanity.
I see so much of support and readership for women now. I don’t think we ever had that before. JK Rowling could write as Joanne K Rowling today.
8 years ago, Meera chose to live in Bombay (Mumbai). She doesn’t regret making this bold move.
I longed to be free and freedom is what Bombay has offered me. The rents may be ridiculous but you get to travel alone at 3 in the morning, can’t unfortunately say that for anywhere else in the country.
Her typical day?
My day includes a lot of well-intentioned attempts.I try and make exotic breakfasts (I really do try), water my plants, absolutely fail to get the attention of my cats, write and think (most times) for about two hours, get distracted by 40 actual internet tabs and Netflix and read. But the best part of my day is a one hour jog on Bandstand. It makes me feel happy, alive and a bit ache-y.
What important to her? Kindness. It’s important to be kind!
She’s feels strongly about women being discriminated because they are too dark. Being a dark skinned woman (dusky) she feels angry when she hears: “We can’t cast her she’s too dark”. Or “You’re dusky but pretty”.
It’s not funny and it’s not OK. We need a realistic representation of beauty that’s inclusive and real. We are after all a country of brown skinned people, why can’t we love ourselves for who we are?
Her advice to women out there?
There is so much pressure. Magazines with covers like ’30 powerful women under 30′. Who wouldn’t want to be on that cover? But maybe you have a loan to pay, or a family to provide for or you simply aren’t ready. I think we should go easy on ourselves and stop being sucked into the pressure trap of being successful, skinny, well-travelled, married, magical or figuring out what the hell contouring make-up is supposed to be. The human lifespan is 90 years, there’s a lot of time to work things out at your own pace, rather than within a socially dictated time-frame.
As always, I’ll leave you with our interviewee’s favorite quote:
I love what a beautiful writer and well-lived woman Maya Angelou was. My favourite quote is by her,
“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.”
#sheisthecity #theyarethecity #sheisbombay
Photo credit: Keegan Crasto