Make choices consciously: Be aware of every choice and make the most aware choice in every moment.
Set good life goals: Well-thought-out goals are intrinsically more achievable.
Trust the universe: Align yourself with the universe. Truly believe that the universe has your best interests at heart.
I have a wonderful anecdote to share about my friend, Hema Deora, and myself. Early in 2000, we were asked by Shobha De to participate in a fashion show called Almari. It was held in Mumbai to shed light on breast cancer, how it affects people and what should be done immediately to start recovering.
There were fabulous models there, and pillars of Bombay society had also been invited to walk the ramp alongside models. The show was to be held in the lawns of the American Consulate in Mumbai as breast cancer was an issue very close to the Consul and his wife’s hearts.
We were told to arrive at 5 p.m. for hair and make-up for a 7 p.m. show. A famous make-up artist, and his team were doing the make-up for the show. I had my make-up done at home and was there, waiting for a touch-up. I bumped into Hema Deora, wife of late Union Minister Murli Deora, and she seemed a little upset.
‘Hi, Meera. How are you?’ she said. ‘I am looking forward to the show,’ I said. ‘I’m also looking for someone to touch up my make-up here backstage.’ Hema looked at me calmly and said, ‘Well, I am considering leaving. I was told the make-up team is too busy with the professional models!’ I was really surprised by the lack of professionalism of the makeup team, but I thought the show was going to be fun. In any case, Hema is always up for a good cause. ‘The cause is worthy,’ I told Hema. She nodded. ‘Yes, that’s why I am still here.’
Then I asked Hema if I could do her make-up. I used silver to highlight her stunning eyes, put on some beautiful lipstick, some high cheekbone powder and a stunning bindi to match her beautiful sari. We were laughing and chatting the whole time and suddenly, the show was to start. We were being lined up. I gave Hema a big hug and we walked the ramp. Hema and I received whistles, howls, laughter and some incredible responses! We were joined on the lawns by our children; we had dinner and then went home.
The next day, all the newspapers ran pictures of Hema, Farzana Batliwala, Shobha De and me. But there were no pictures of the models. ‘Walk for a Cause’ picked the social girls and the entrepreneurs of Mumbai! It was hilarious! With our humble make-up, laughter and amateur skills, we made it to every newspaper in the country! Hema and I laugh about this even today. Karma is so interesting. We stayed to support a really good cause and we were recognized in the press with so much love, even though no one thought we were worth being made up for the show! Yes, doing the right thing in the present moment, and for the right reasons, always produces the right results. This is known as the right karmic output!
This also reminds me of another great person I’ve had the pleasure to come across. There is not a single Indian in any part of the world who has not grown up with his or her special Asha Bhosle moment. Asha Bhosle is talented, kind and has a very high emotional quotient in addition to her beautiful voice. Her son, Anand, is an equally kind and interesting person. I have met Asha Bhosle on two occasions. The first time was when she performed at Carnegie Hall to a packed audience. I had the pleasure of going on stage at the end to present her with a bouquet of flowers. Later that evening, she attended a dinner for some guests at my home in New York, and despite being there right after the performance, she spoke to all the guests.
It takes a special, strong and caring person to be able to treat others so well. Performing is exhausting, but she still powered through at the dinner. She clearly believed that despite her intense efforts to entertain the same people at the concert, it was still her duty to be as friendly as possible, even though she was tired. And, she knew how to swing the karmic pendulum her way!
In 2018, I had the good fortune of meeting her once again at the Asha restaurant in Dubai with my parents and siblings. My brother had generously arranged for the dinner tickets as it was Asha ji’s eightieth birthday celebration. My father had recently suffered a stroke and movement was difficult for him. However, since he was a huge fan of hers, I went up to Anand and asked him if Asha ji could kindly come and meet Dad. He was unable to walk, but he had brought a dozen red roses to present to her.
Before we knew it, she was at our table. She chatted with my father, who felt like he had reconnected with the songs that he grewup listening to. She gave my mother a big hug, and when I think of that evening, it still brings joyful tears to my eyes. The power of love and kindness is infinite. It never goes away. It always stays with you. Kindness to another person is the biggest gift you can give yourself. Remember, karma is keeping score!