I started my career in films at the very young at the age of 13. I then moved on to TV and truly enjoyed my stint as a VJ. I was always singing a little girl because I grew up hearing my beloved father play music and compose. He won the National Award in music in 1973. Hence my name Raageshwari.
So moving on to music was organic and natural. My album Duniya was pure fate as the demo for the song had been sent to Asha ji. She did not get back to us and I simply sang the song for a lark. We searched for sponsors as record labels found the video too clean and pure. We stuck to our vision and released it ourselves. It was like a force of nature was working through us. Little did I know people would like my voice and make it a platinum hit! Interestingly, Asha ji presented me with my award and we both laughed about how grateful I am for her not singing ‘Duniya’. I love her and truly am inspired by her talent and dedication.
My music career I solely dedicate to my father who writes very meaningful songs. I feel singers are secondary, the soul is the melody and the lyrics.
Where are you living currently and why did you choose that location?
I am now living in London after getting married. My husband and I had an interesting and very innocent arranged cum love marriage. When I read that he was among the top international barristers in the world, it did not impress me as much as when I read about his human rights work in Afghanistan, Syria, Darfur and Kashmir. I instantly looked up to him and his vision. I always wanted to be with someone who would teach me to be better in contribution and who would have that balance of love, purity and compassion for the world. So I had to move to London because he is also the Vice Chair of the Human Rights Committee in England and Wales.
I always wanted to be with someone who would teach me to be better in contribution and who would have that balance of love, purity and compassion for the world.
I would genuinely love to live in India but my husband has to improve his Hindi so he can generate some work there!!
London is wonderful too. People are so welcoming and love all cultures. They love Indians and if you can make curry, they become your fans!
What do you miss most about living abroad?
I miss Bhel on the streets. I miss the loving stray dogs. I miss my own dog who is an adopted stray himself but acts very pricey. I miss the blazing sun throughout the year. I miss the festivals, drums and music on the streets. I miss it all. Of course I miss my family the most. But Sudhanshu is a very sensitive, caring and open minded man. I visit India very often for my work and I continue to live my life just the way I used to. I only have more members in my family now – my husband and my parents in law. So it is a blessing.
What do you like most about your current location?
The large parks. I can meditate in the park or hug trees and no one wonders what’s wrong. I love the solitude to create new ideas. I also love the inspiring people I meet here as in India I was interestingly only meeting people in the entertainment world.
Here I was over the moon to meet Secretary General of Amnesty Mr. Salil Shetty. He is changing the world with his vision and empowering millions globally. I was humbled and super inspired to meet him.
Did you face any particular challenges moving away from India?
I’m into motivation, I inspire people to ignore challenges.
Truly I was affirming that London would be my breakthrough place to create and innovate. It has welcomed me with open arms. I started my wellness company only seven months ago and we are working with banks and corporates here. In India we are coalescing with the biggest names from Tata to Godrej. Our mission is beyond profit. It is solely to create new minds and to inspire the people to fulfil their dreams. The nature of the work is such that we have to win.
So I personally never face challenges. I guess I have trained my mind to simply not see them as challenges but as enjoyable and motivating movement. I keep myself inspired at all times, be it working with Oxford at Somerville, or Cordon Bleu, or interning with entrepreneurs. I always keep myself positive and inspired by other people.
I guess I have trained my mind to simply not see them as challenges but as enjoyable and motivating movement.
Who in particular helped you during your transition?
We are intrinsically alone, hence the help and the transition has to begin in our minds first. Once we take that first step you will see help everywhere. The universe, your family, friends and even strangers will line up to offer their love, support and help.
Do you live in an Indian community? If so, what are the main differences between Indians abroad and Indians still living in India (if any!)
I live in a typical British community in Central London hence I rarely meet Asians, but when I visit Wembley I see so many Indians. They are more connected to their roots then Indians living back home.
Indians living in London interestingly form ethnic conclaves, which is not truly conducive for growth, as we think only Indians can and should help other Indians. So they almost ignore or are intimidated by Britishers. This blocks our growth in a huge way.
Sudhanshu grew up only in British colonies. He was the only Indian in his school. He overcame any anxiety and focussed on his studies so deeply. He became a scholar at Cambridge and Oxford. He never felt he is any less than any Britisher. That thinking gave him super success. That kind of thinking needs to be honed into every mind.
We are winners if we choose to believe that and we are losers if we choose to believe that. Its all up to our own thinking and believing.
Do you think you’ll go back to India one day?
Of course! Sudhanshu does a lot of international work in India. But we do see a future in India as well as the rest of the world. India is very dear to us. Our souls are connected to India. It pulls us back on a daily basis.
This article was provided by WeAreTheCity Mumbai committee member, Abhishek Chandola.