It would not be incorrect to say that Annu Kalra’s life has been like a roller coaster ride from the very start. Yet she has emerged to be a person whose presence can calm the people around her.
She has balanced working with motherhood, has been in the corporate world for over twenty years and now focuses on helping people discover ‘their inner selves’.
My brothers and I were kids when we lost both our parents to a road accident. I was brought up lovingly by my paternal Aunt & Uncle, who became my Ma Papa; and my brothers grew up with the maternal family.
I graduated from LSR in Economics(Hons) and soon got married to a person of my choice. Post my 1st child and a gap of four years I started my Masters in Economics from JNU. During the 2nd semester I became pregnant with my 2nd child. However I took a zero semester, and after my 2nd kid went back and completed my Masters. When my younger one was over a year old I started working in Advertising as a Media Planner & Buyer.
Like every other working mother I had to deal with the constant balancing of work and household responsibilities. It was a hectic life, but I felt gratified as a Mum as well as a career woman. I found the wherewithal to balance as well as grow through Yog and Meditation.
After 16 years of marriage, my husband wanted out and then started my journey as a single parent. My two sons were 14 and 11 years old at that time. We all stumbled through some difficult times and each one of us emerged stronger and wiser. Unfortunately, my ex husband, who had remarried, passed away suddenly. Though some people still find it incredulous, his demise affected me very adversely and I took some time to come to terms with it.
A few years later life had another challenge in terms of the Organisation I worked for getting into trouble and money inflow getting severely affected. In order to generate more resources I started exhibiting and selling my paintings, which was earlier just an interest and an expression of my spiritual quest. I even dabbled in Tarot reading. Over a period of time all the various aspects of my life, my painting, my counselling, my spiritual wanderings & exploration, all came together.
The idea of a system of guidance cards based on Hinduism took root in me. I am now on the verge of launching Aavirbhaav- Hindu Deities Guidance & Meditation Cards.
Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
I wear many hats. I have been in the corporate world in roles as Media Planner & Buyer and Brand & Communication consultant for over twenty years. Now I focus more on helping people discover their inner selves. I am a Spiritually Inspired Coach, Counsellor, Artist & Guide. I conduct individual counselling sessions, group workshops, participate in Art shows with my paintings and take classes. I conduct Musings and Mystical Art sessions as well as write on interpreting ancient wisdom in the modern context.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
I am about to launch a Self-Help set of Book & Cards called “Aavirbhaav- Hindu Deities Guidance & Meditation Cards”. Aavirbhaav means manifestations, and the Deities manifest to help us in our human journey. This set is a means of accessing their guidance.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
I am not sure what you mean by ‘achieving your success’, every one’s definition of success is different. Also what may seem like a challenge at the current time, may turn out to be an opportunity in retrospect. In fact I think all challenges are opportunities for growth and development. Having said that, each and every moment has contributed to my being where I am, which to some might read as success and to others maybe not.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
I can tell you what has given me greatest joy, that is motherhood. I think mothering comes to me most naturally; I was born to be a Mom. I feel a similar sense of joy when people who come to me seeking advice feel helped.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
Hmm… I don’t know…as it is I do a lot of things. If there is something I want to do, I just go and do it.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
All of life inspires me – my children, people, nature! When I see kindness around me, strength, beauty, courage, I feel very inspired. The young people, how they help each other, care for the environment, I feel very inspired seeing them. People supporting each other, going out of their way, even for strangers, working towards uplifting others at huge personal costs inspire me. The trees inspire me, the rivers inspire me, when I listen to a beautifully sung song, when I see someone dance with their soul, the paintings of Artists gone as well as living. Like I said – all of life is an inspiration!
What does the future hold for you?
Happiness, Peace, Contentment, a more compassionate and caring world, where people look out and care for each other, share their bounty willingly, care for nature, care for all other beings – humans, animals, plant kingdom…Yes, this is what the future holds for me. The future of the world is my future, is every body’s future, because we are the world.