Anupama Dalmia is an acclaimed and multiple award-winning blogger and an author whose work has been published in various coveted magazines and online platforms like Women's Era, Women's Web, Momspresso, eFiction India, Youth ki Awaaz, Readomania, SheThePeople & many more. She was featured by Women's Web as one of the top bloggers and by Femina as one of the leading five bloggers in South India.
Her debut e-novella "Aarohi" has been garnering rave reviews and is among the top 3 in Goodreads list of "Best Kindle Unlimited Picks for Indian Readers - 2018". Her second book "Muffled Moans" is an International Anthology which has stories and poems from selected authors from across the globe.
Anupama tries to do her bit to make the society a better place and had won the "Volunteer of the year" award while volunteering with a local NGO in the counseling of human trafficking survivors. he is also a professional dance choreographer and is the founder of the dance enterprise "Rhythms & Beats" which is into dance events and workshops. She co-owns the award winning cookery portal "Tingle Your Taste Buds" along with her mother. She is the founder and chief mentor at "Beyond the Box" as a part of which she mentors children as well as adults on creative writing through classes and workshops at schools, communities and corporates.
What inspires you?
Life inspires me. I believe in taking inspiration from my entire milieu. If we are perceptive enough, there is so much we can learn from the world around us. In fact, I take inspiration from my own self too. At times, when I feel low, I think of my journey and how far I have come in spite of the challenges and struggles, and this instantly brings back my energy and confidence.
How has what you do made an impact on your life?
I am involved in multiple lines of work and everything I do has impacted me immensely. As a writer, the ability to touch lives has made me much more responsible and sensitive. As an entrepreneur, I have become more resilient and fearless. As a mentor to kids, I have become more patient and have learnt to unlearn. The love and respect I get from all my students is something I will cherish all my life. I am evolving each day - as a parent, as a human being and I could not have asked for a more fulfilling journey.
What is the greatest challenge you have faced getting to where you are today? How has that shaped you?
Well, I do not know if I can call it a challenge but when I resigned from my plush IT job to pursue an unpredictable path in the creative field, I was mocked by some. Some even said things like, "Why are you doing all this time pass? Stop wasting your degrees." While my parents brought me up to be a person who never bothered much about what society says, all this does affect a person at some level. However, I just kept taking a step at a time and am proud of my journey so far, even though there are miles to go. Today, I realize that there is no point in holding back because of the fear of the unknown and of what people think. What they think is their problem and we are only answerable to our own selves. This is the advice I give even to those who approach me for one when they are about to begin their journey as a writer or as an entrepreneur.
The other major challenge I have always faced is managing my time. I have a 4-year-old and at one point I did struggle to give time to her as well as manage all the different areas of work am into. However, it was leading to a burn out situation and I decided to do something about it. Thanks to our social conditioning, I realised I was trying to do it all. So, I took a step back and prioritised. I told myself strongly that my worth does not lie in only my culinary skills or my domestic efficiency. I stopped feeling guilty and this helped me become much more productive in all spheres of my life.
What did you want to be when you grew up? What options seemed open or closed to you, if any?
Honestly, I never was fixated on one aspiration. When I was around 7-8 years old, I wanted to become a teacher. Then, as I grew I wanted to become a professional choreographer. In between, I also wanted to become a movie writer and director. Well, I just realised that actually I am doing all of this currently in some way :-) Those times were different so of course, all of this seemed like a far fetched idea. Though my parents were quite open-minded and supportive, they were clear that I would first have to get a degree and then I can do whatever I wish to. I did my engineering in Computer Science and MBA in Systems and Finance. I worked at Infosys for 6.5 years before I decided to pull the plug which I think is one of the best decisions of my life.
Who is your role model?
As I said in my first answer, I do not have just one role model. I look up to everyone who inspires in any way. However, considering she is the one who has shaped me to be the person that I am today, my mother is undoubtedly someone who keeps me going always. Whatever I am today is not just because of her upbringing, but also because of the amazing woman that she is - strong, practical, sensitive and up lifting.
What in life has brought you the greatest satisfaction?
I can probably write a whole blog on this but I would say being able to positive influence others through the power of my pen. Nothing can be more satisfying than learning that you have inspired someone to find themselves or your words have given courage and strength to a stranger.
One piece of advice to women everywhere.
I do not know if I am at a place where I can give advice to others. But I would just say one thing to the wonderful women out there - "Do not let anyone else sit in the driver's seat in your life and believe in your self because you can. Let us rise together and empower each other."