Today’s spotlight is on a very versatile, erudite, articulate, gem of a person Noopur Virendra who dons many hats. Today, she shares pearls of wisdom with us.
‘Noopur’ literally means ghunguroo, the anklet adorned by Classical Indian dancers. Just like her name, you can hear her all the time. She loves to talkJ.
I begin the interview by asking her to take a walk down her childhood memories.
“My childhood was very different from an average child’s. Being an Army BRAT, I travelled all through my childhood. Just as I got comfortable in one place, it was the time to move. But I loved every moment of it. Thanks to my dad’s job I have stayed in places like Kashmir and Chakrata.”
Perks of being an fauji bachha !
“Can you narrate any interesting anecdotes from your childhood?”
“I was a naughty child, but most of it came from my elder brother. I followed him unquestioningly. He used to be the mastermind & I was an ardent follower. Together we used to cook up a storm for my parents. I remember us trying to climb the pot in the bathroom to get a peek at the first snow from the window because all the doors were locked. I remember cooking up and enacting a crazy story of my cousin getting kidnapped in Srinagar by terrorists (and getting our ears bit off because it was for obvious reasons not funny to my parents). This one time my brother and I ushered a donkey into a neighbor’s garden. These are just some incidents of my childhood. I had a perfect childhood.” Her eyes light up with the fond memories.
“Who has been the greatest influence and inspiration in your life?”
“My family has had the greatest influence in my life. My father, mother and brother have defined my life and shaped me into who I am.
My father is the most positive person I have met. He sees the silver lining in every dark cloud. He has been such a positive impact in my life. He has always stood by me in my every up and low. He is the solid ground on which I stand, the shoulder I can lean on anytime.
My mother is the strongest lady I know. Even after suffering from arthritis since I was three years old, I have never heard her complain. She is my moral compass. She has taught me right from wrong. She has been the biggest influence in my life.
My brother is the most determined person I know. He has pushed me endlessly to achieve my goals. He has done that for himself. I have learnt self-motivation from him. He has helped me realize that nothing is impossible; you just have to try hard enough. Now that my sister in law has joined us, that force, that push has doubled.
Noopur is truly blessed to have such a strong family support.
Please tell us a little about your background, your education and profession.
“I am a double Masters, MBA from University of Rajasthan, India and MSc. Human Resource Management from University of Sheffield, UK. Human Resource Management is my bread and butter. I relate to this profession because I love working with others. My job demands a lot of planning and empathy and I thoroughly enjoy it. I also enjoy the power that comes with being an HR in a set up J.”
“What are your hobbies and passions? “
“Books and music.” Pat comes the reply.
“These are a few of my passions. I love reading. I can read anything and everything under the sun. I generally do not confirm to what is ‘in’ and popular, I like to read according to my mood. Sometimes it’s a romantic trip with Jane Austen, other times I explore my sleuthing skills with Sherlock. Sometimes I return to my childhood with Archie and the gang (Just to mention, Jughead has been my childhood crush), other times I am engrossed in the workings of Mossad.”
“ Have you ever thought about writing yourself?”
I have tried my hand at writing. I have been writing short poems. I also plan to write a novel someday. It’s work in progress. I do intend to and dream of being a published author someday. I have some ideas that are just waiting to be penned down. Someday I hope that writing can be my bread and butter when I don’t want to be tied down in a 9 to 5 job.”
We wish her all the luck!”
“When did you start writing ?”
“I remember that I first started writing when I was still in school. I must have been in 8th or 9th standard. I started writing a dairy and then I started writing some poems. There was a huge gap in my writing after my school ended. I started writing again a few years back. I generally write according to my mood. Sometimes it’s dark and depressing other times it’s romantic. I sometimes write random musings when I feel like. I generally pen down my thoughts. It’s much easier than sharing it with someone. I recently found a stash of some of my work from years back. It was like finding a pot of gold.”
We hope she’ll share her treasure with us!
“ Who are your favourite authors?”
“Jane Austen, always Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters are a close second. These women created strong female characters when women were not allowed to have a voice. They themselves were strong women who ventured into a man’s world. They made their mark in a male dominated area. All the characters that they created were strong headed, rebellious ladies, who stood for their rights and stood for what’s right. And all this in times when women were treated as second grade citizens. These authors were true feminists who paved the path for feminism today. “
Can’t agree more with this strong persona .
So what kind of music do you like?
“Music is my oxygen. Old English and Hindi songs are to die for. I am a huge Michael Jackson fan. He was God to me. I still shed tears when I listen to his songs. Md. Rafi when he sang for Shammi Kapoor and Joy Mukherjee was romance personified. I sing too. I have been singing since I can remember. I was also a child artist for AIR.”
Wow that’s one talented lady we have here !
“I love watching movies and all kinds of series. Romcoms, drama, period romance, mystery, horror, I watch them all.
Also I love watching series. Again I can watch anything from Frasier to Narcos, from Friends to Quantico, from How I Met Your Mother to Twin Peaks, from The Big Bang Theory to Riverdale.”
“What advice would you give to aspiring writers?”
“Write from your heart. Write what comes naturally to you. Don’t write to impress others, don’t let it be a forced activity, write for the joy of it. That way you will never go wrong.”
There’s pearls of wisdom here.
“Have you ever had to face any obstacles in life? Can you share your struggle with us? What kept you going at that time and how did you overcome it?”
“I wouldn’t call it an obstacle or a struggle, but I faced a very low phase in my life sometime back. I underwent a messy divorce. In those trying times my family stood by me like a rock. It was because of their unending support that I could overcome that depression. I read a lot and I rediscovered myself. I started writing again.”
It takes a lot of courage to face something as nerve wrecking as this. But it’s in these situations that one realizes one’s own strength.
“What is your belief/ motto / secret mantra in life specially when facing adversities.”
“If there is darkness now, the light will soon follow. After every night is a sunrise. Tough times can’t last forever. Just hang in there.”
She has her head on her shoulders for sure!”
What are your proudest moments (professional or otherwise)
I feel proud every time I make my family happy and proud.
What advice would you like to give to women who want to do something in life but are stuck up due to family pressures or self-doubt?
“Believe in yourself and follow your heart. Don’t let the girl in you die. You get only one life. Realize your dreams.”
“Do you think it is important for each and every woman to inculcate a hobby and nurture her talent?”
“I believe it is very important to have a passion. This is the thing which is hers and only hers. Something she can turn to. A woman’s life is full of responsibilities. A passion or a hobby is like an oasis in the desert”
What according to you are the most important issues/challenges faced by Indian women?
“Women worldwide face the issue of inequality. They do not get equal opportunities as their male counter parts. Talking about India, the most pressing problem that we face is crime against women. We do not feel safe anywhere. Even in the confines of their homes some women face unimaginable horrors. Women safety is the foremost concern that should be addressed at the earliest. Another problem faced by a major part of Indian women who live in rural areas is that of proper hygiene. Providing proper sanitary conditions to them is also very important.”
Would you like to give any suggestions/advice to your fellow women?
“As I said before, live your life to the fullest. Just because you are a woman, does not mean that you have to give up on your dreams. Just remember that you are second to no one.”
What do you think of the Shenergy and thebitches initiative?
“It is a wonderful initiative. It is what is needed in today’s times. This initiative will empower women and give a platform to those who can’t find a way to express themselves. The best part is that women from all walks of life can contribute to it and be a part of a bigger community.”
I would love to be a part of This wonderful initiative. This is one place where I can learn a lot from others and contribute and help others. I plan to write regularly and publish it on The Bitches.
With this we draw a curtain to a very engrossing and heart to heart conversation with the multi talented superwoman Noopur.