A mother to three grown up children, an activist, an author, a divorcee after marrying a childhood sweetheart, a philanthropist… Meera Gandhi has seen it all… and learnt something from every experience.
“My life, in every phase, has taught me a lesson that helped me go forward in more than many ways,” says Meera Gandhi, during a tete-a-tete, when she was in India to launch her book — 3 Tips: The essentials for peace, joy and success.
A thorough bred Mumbai girl; Meera spent her weekends at Mother Teresa’s Ashadaan during her growing up years. The seeds of philanthropy were sown then, at an early age. “I played with the children there, shared my books with them, taught them… I preferred doing that rather than hang out with school friends doing nothing,” Meera remembers. “Often, friends and siblings wondered why I was doing that… but my mother always supported me. She was very happy that I had found my calling.”
Born to Irish mother and Indian father, Meera grew up absorbing the nuances of both the cultures. Her mother ensured that she and her siblings had best of both. She drove them on her Vespa scooter to the nearby church on Sundays. Meera’s biblical values of gratitude were engraved.
A born leader, Meera spent college years in India leading her fraternity in myriad activities and introducing them to their ‘giving’ side. She aspired to be in Harvard, but was denied admission.
“That itself was a learning experience,” tells Meera. “I was shortlisted for the final interview. When I reached there, the area was in dark. I had an issue with my shoe, so I bent down to fix it. And suddenly there was light in the lobby. I looked up and saw an elderly lady enter the lobby. I asked her – ‘where is room no. xxx’? She showed me the way and disappeared. I realized that I was not courteous to her when I saw her in the room as my interviewer! She gave me the toughest interview/scan I have ever faced. She held it against me that I didn’t even wish her. That taught me a lesson — one must always smile, wish, and show gratitude.”
Meera married her childhood sweetheart at quite a young age and became a mother to three kids soon. It was the most fulfilling thing in her life. Her journey as a mother taught her patience. “I also found out that child like innocence teaches to learn without bias... and I learnt the true meaning of unconditional love!”
Always a spiritual person, Meera was initiated into meditation by Deepak Chopra in 2005. "I meditated on and off. A friend, a mother of Kanika's classmate introduced me to transcendental meditation as well. But it was in 2016, after a session with Sadhguru, and learning the Shambhavi technique got me meditating regularly twice a day. Today, I meditate on my own regularly. Sometimes even for four hours a day — and also to any Deepak Chopra guided meditation I can get my hands on.
In 2010, Meera’s kids were independent and she was rediscovering herself. Her journeys across the globe had shown her that women and children are the most neglected components of the society in most countries. The need for education, empowerment was unambiguous. Meera founded The Giveback Foundation, which, today, directly funds St. Michael’s School in Delhi among many other institutions that educate underprivileged children in various countries and organisations that work for the betterment of women. The profits of the haircare products, candles etc. created by Meera go to the Foundation.
The most turbulent time of Meera’s life, probably, was the end of her marriage in 2012. While some saw that as just another divorce, Meera admits that it was one of the most vulnerable phases of her life. “A divorce is a divorce; be it a beggar or a trillionaire. The emotional upheavals are the same. I won’t deny that it kind of broke me down and left me searching for myself yet again…” Meera confesses. “People think it is different for affluents from US. But it is not. It is as onerous as it would be for a simpleton housewife from an Indian village. Though I agree that being financially sound does reduce the insecurity.”
Meera rose as the legendary phoenix. She took care of her business, growing up children and pulled herself up through the dumps. “I got myself together, found myself again, and launched the The Meera Gandhi Show in 2017 for B4U, US.” This show changed Meera’s life in more than one way. She was soon a household name in US. The most popular segment of the show was the shortest segment of the show — 3 Tips! “The producer soon asked me to reduce the time of the other two segments and increase the time of 3 Tips. I realised that there were so many who wanted to know about how to handle life. Everyone wanted a shortcut to happiness.”
It was this realization along with her basic urge to giving it back to the Universe, that prompted Meera to write the book, 3 Tips – The Essentials of Peace, Joy and Success.
“Idea is to make more and more people happy. And if my tips are going to help them regain their peace and happiness, I am more than willing to help,” says.
“Nothing makes me happier than giving joy and peace to others. I believe that we are to the Universe only as much as we give back to it,” Meera concludes.
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