26 September 2017

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Creativity Takes Courage

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Mira BalachandranIf necessity is the mother of invention, Mira Balachandran is truly the mother and epitome of true strength, grit and courage. A petite lady and a totally unassuming person at that, after a few minutes spent in conversation with her, Mira literally grows in stature in your mind  and moves, inspires and urges one  to tap  into hitherto unknown well springs of strength deep within ourselves.

A post graduate in French, Mira is the mother of two grown up children, Krishna Kumar and Vidya. She was initially teaching French at St Mary’s College in Tuticorin. She is a translator too.

Quite a multi faceted personality and a dedicated doting mother at that, things went a little awry when her son Krishna Kumar was born.” My son was born a breach baby. He went without oxygen during delivery and turned blue. But the doctors did not diagnose anything wrong until years later. “- explains Mira.

After completing the class sixth, Krishna Kumar was placed in a special school but the teachers opined that he did not actually fit in there since he was truly very intelligent. Mira urged him to be independent and on his own request, Krishna Kumar was placed in a vocational school.

He was a quick learner here and within no time, he had learnt to operate the sewing machine. Mira being a very creative lady with good entrepreneurial skills, decided to venture out into making designer cloth hand bags to encourage and motivate him to strike out on his own. It’s a joint endeavor between mother and son and now, it’s a huge success.

The business journey started out in a small way. Mira used to design and create her own bags and had gifted one of them to her friend. This friend’s sister happened to see it and was totally enraptured by its originality and ingenuity of design. She immediately placed an order with Mira and her son Krishna Kumar, for forty bags, to give away as take – home gifts at her daughter’s wedding.

That was just the beginning. The mother- son duo have managed to net large orders from friends, relatives and this venture has spread out by word of mouth and they are kept busy designing and making cloth hand bags as per order.

Krishna KumarEach bag is differently designed and unique. There are baby bags, embroidered ones, pouches especially made for festive occasions like Navarathri and Diwali, clutches, satin bags, tiny pillows, curtains and so on. Even cast away dupattas are converted into ethnic bags! There is no dearth of creativity, imagination and creativity as far as Mira is concerned.

Despite a flood of orders, Mira tackles all the work at home single handedly.  The mother – son duo go out to buy material for the bags together. She cuts and designs them while her son sews them up expertly using the sewing machine.

Mira utilized her time creatively and judiciously to get in a lot of work done in a day. Despite handling all the mundane household chores alone, she still finds time to blog, write short stories, send in articles to various magazines and design and create bags for the never ending stream of orders: last but not the least, Mira and her son get to spend quality time together singing bhajans and even setting ragas to Shankaracharya sththrams. Krishna Kumar is passionate about music too and the duo just let themselves go, listening to music and setting ragas to shlokas.

Mira is well known for her “kolams’ (artful designs on the floor, especially at the door step) and her neighbors at their apartment flock to take a look at her kolams each morning. She aspires to bring out her own book on “kolams’ and is also planning to get her first collection of short stories compiled and published.

We take leave of her feeling awed, deeply inspired , touched and her words keep reverberating in our hearts” All strength lies deep within you and you will find it”

 

 

 

 

 

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