By Shilpi Madan
Singer Raageshwari Loomba changed the way she looked at life, to overcome endometriosis and Bell’s Palsy at the peak of her career as a popstar. In 2000, she was diagnosed with endometriosis and a retroverted uterus. A born fighter, Raageshwari bounced back to take on every challenge head-on. She conceived naturally, a result, she believes, of positive thinking, turning mommy at 40. "I remember being a happy person, always, but I was unaware of the true power of positivity until then," she says. Now mother to beautiful Samaya, 3, Raageshwari is busy bringing up her young one with love. Excerpts from the conversation:
There is a sense of beatific calm about you. How do you manage that?
It has been many years since 2000 when I noseped into mindfulness after my facial paralysis and subsequent recovery. I owe my peace and calm very much to that. I learnt very quickly that every illness is connected to our thought patterns. So I did massive inner work and today I very rarely get cross. Once you make the choice of ‘good thoughts’ a habit, it shows in your life and definitely your face. It’s not a miracle but a science.
How does your day pan out?
I’m up at 4.30 am and sleep by 9.30 pm. I have a detailed timetable and truly, that liberates me and brings more power into a day. My visible work may be very sporadic right now but I’m actually working every day.
You have managed to structure your work around Samaya.
Yes. At 5 am, I start life-coaching with my clients (Skype or personal one-on-ones). By 7 am, I take a break to wake up my husband and Samaya. Breakfast and school drop-off ends by 9 am. I run and workout till 10 am. Then at 10.30 am, I start work again till school pickup. It could be an event or simply hosting a seminar. So the day breezes past but I get a lot done, simply because of a time-table. People underestimate time-tables as they remind them of school (laughs).
How old is Samaya now?
Samaya is three but in her mind she is 33. She loves dancing and music. It is so interesting to see that she fights for her space on stage. Definitely a ‘pushy performer’.
If you were to choose the best part about being Samaya’s mom, it would be…?
Learning about a ‘growth mindset’. Going to the adventure sports park has been an eye-opener. Before Samaya came into my life, I would look at these tall tunnels and slopes and slides on my walks in the park and get nervous looking at kids hanging on them.
I never shared /share any fears or setbacks with her. "You can do it" is all I keep chanting to her. Now I watch her take on challenges. My heart skips many beats but I just keep egging her on "Go on Samaya, you can do it". I watch her fall, get hurt, get up, muster courage and try again.
Any tips for moms who wish to conceive in their 40s?
It has little to do with sex but everything to do with how deeply you are connected to your body, your reproductive system and this planet (the greatest mother of them all). If you have medical complications, please go along with what your doctors say but also acknowledge that you are your greatest doctor too. Meditate; connect with all your vortexes. Practice earthing; sit on grass especially under a tree and seek guidance from the greatest mother this planet. Enlarge your thinking. Expand your mind. Most importantly, act like a mother and vibrate that energy at all time.
As a mother, what is it that you have learnt so far?
That our children are our mirrors. If they are throwing a tantrum, sit back and observe ‘Are you agitated or stressed in life’? If they are upset and sad, are you as a parent wrapped up in negative emotions? If they are shy and scared, ask yourself ‘what are you shying away from in your life?’ Are you fearful of perhaps a new job, a new career or simply fearful of new people? If you operate from strength, your child will eventually catch up too. Hence, our children show us our strengths and weakness beautifully.
Is Samaya around you when you are at work? How are you able to strike a balance?
I cannot work yet with her around as she is three and is a seriously active child. She seeks complete interaction at all times. I also try to not use the phone or computer around her. This means, I cannot do any emails or texts around her. But slowly, she is learning to paint on her own, she is starting to read well, play-dough or build Lego on her own. But, I may be lucky if she has spent 20 minutes without calling out ‘Mummy’! If I’m singing at an event, she does come for a sound check but ends up grabbing my mike.
One thing every working parent must remember?
Do away with your guilt. You must be professionally active and have a strong work ethic. Your children must see that to be able to emulate that in their life too. Especially our daughters.
Build passion through goal setting on a regular basis. Treats and gifts should be experiences like a trip to the zoo, a boat ride…rather than a toy or a dress.
Is Samaya more like you or Sudhanshu?
It was a blessing as during the first 1.5 years she was a Zen Lama just like Sudhanshu. Then she built her character like a cub. Lots of dominance, scratching, snatching and a complete ‘go-getter attitude’. Channelising these qualities into strength was dedicated work. At three, she is a deeply loving girl, patient but also very competitive in dancing and sports. Quite like me when I was in my teens.
What are the three things you do together in a day?
We never go to school without completing a jigsaw puzzle. We feed fish in the river down our home. We eat our supper together. We say a gratitude prayer before sleeping. Her ‘Thanks’ are funny "Thank you for my window, my door, my socks, my postman."
How hands-on is Sudhanshu as a dad?
He has a great bond with Samaya and loves his time with her, whether it is reading stories at bedtime or being very involved with her busy life at kindergarten. And Samaya’s very consistent requests to eat ice-cream at dinner time have taught him a lot about the art of negotiation, which is useful for his work as a barrister.
Seriously speaking, he is gentle, kind and always patient with her. She never has to repeat ‘Papa’ twice. He is beautifully ‘present’.
What are family weekends like?
It is the parents’ drill on Saturdays. We have birthday parties to attend. Sundays are all about eating great food at home. We have friends over for lunch on Sundays, always. All about unwinding and relaxing, if at all one can call it that.
One rule that you make sure you emulate at home?
We never disagree on anything in front of Samaya. We are a team in front of her. It builds a strong family.
What do you love to prepare for Samaya?
She loves Indian food and I make everything from rajma chawal, chicken curry, bhindi, kadi pakora, chole aaloo…when her friends come home, she happily eats pizzas and spaghetti with chicken nuggets. Her desserts are simply yoghurt with mashed strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. I love my kitchen and do enjoy cooking.
What does "me" time look like for you?
Samaya in kindergarten. Me sitting by the river and watching boats sail. A FaceTime with my parents. Sudhanshu safe in office. When I know all is well. I can simply breathe, relax and be grateful. That is my ‘me time’.
If Samaya were to pursue acting as a career, what would you advise her?
I would be so deeply happy. I would only suggest to love and respect every person and not by hierarchy. Have a growth mindset rather than a success mindset. You will always be happy if you have that approach. I would just end by saying "Go for it, my champion."
Your support system?
It is actually only you. It all starts and ends in your own mind. If you view it positively, friends and acquaintances will all emerge magically to help. I have no one, yet everyone.
Is Samaya close to her cousins?
Yes, she is deeply in love with Koko, my niece (brother’s daughter) in Mumbai. They both love each other and have a beautiful bond.
One pearl of wisdom for other parents?
The best thing you can do for your child? Love your spouse. Just pamper each other and love each other 50 per cent of how much you pamper and love your child. You will vibrate at a happier level and it will permeate onto your child.