When You Are Happy By Choice Not Chance
An Ex-Google India employee who used to head the Quality Team in Google Geo, a Masters Degree holder in Sociology, a life-long writer, a loving wife and a doting mother of a 6-year-old son, Tasneem Sariya, is absolutely a unique amalgamation of beauty with brains!
The 33-year-old Tasneem lives in Chennai with her husband, in-laws and her son. She has done her schooling and studies from Kolkata and later completed her graduation in Geography.
When I got a chance to interact with her, even from hundreds of miles away I could feel the warmth in her personality. Tasneem loves travelling to different places, enjoys reading and watching movies in her free time and calls herself an introvert.
Currently, she works as a freelance writer and writes for various blogs.
Tasneem and Her writings:
I remember reading Tasneem’s one of the best article on SHEROES ‘Is Your Daughter Prepared For Her First Period?’ and I was so impressed with her writing style that I always wanted to know more about her.
So when I got the chance, I asked her how did the writing come to her and whether it was her hobby or passion or a career option?
To this, she replied, “I was always interested in writing. It began when I was in school. There was a supplement newspaper called The Voices that was published every week by The Statesman in Kolkata. I enrolled myself for becoming a ‘coordinator’ with the publication. I was selected and for about 2-3 years I wrote for the paper. I have to thank our editor Gopalidi who initiated the love and nuances of writing for a whole lot of us at that stage.”
Now that was something really fascinating to me. This proves that Tasneem certainly had a knack of writing from a very young age and thus the articles that she writes today does have an impact on the reader.
“I think I write because I want to express. For me, writing is a far easier way of expressing myself than even talking.”
But the expression is a personal insight when you are writing an article that many people are going to read. One has to be very meticulous while drafting any piece of work and thus Tasneem feels that, it is important to see things differently as a writer.
“I believe that when you can see something differently and not in the usual way that it is meant to be seen, then you become a writer. For example, Wordsworth saw the Daffodils more than simply flowers. That according to me is the most important sense that you need as a writer.”
Tasneem had recently captured, Palak Kapadia’s love for travel, teaching and learning in the #KnowYourWriter series.
In addition to SHEROES, you can find Tasneem’s writings on indiavivid.com, caleidoscope.in, wildvoyager.com, parentcircle.com, parentune.com, ewomen.com. Plus, she also has articles published in the Women’s Era.
As we know that writing and reading usually go hand-in-hand, Tasneem along with writing enjoys reading too. But what pleasantly surprised me was when she said that she thoroughly enjoys reading entertainment news, movie reviews and claims that it is kind of a secret stress buster indulgence that she has!
Tasneem’s Journey in life:
“Life has been very satisfying for me so far. I am thankful for all my experiences and hope to never lose faith in this journey called life.” Tasneem said when I asked her how has life been to her.
Tasneem’s positive approach in her life has truly motivated me, but when I got to know about her persistence and determination, my respect for her has only increased.
“I think my biggest challenge was during my work years in Google. I was hired as for AdWords, but my interests turned naturally towards the mapping department. At that point, the mapping team was very small and there were no outside hires. I found it difficult to shift my role. The way I overcame this, was that I would volunteer for the mapping team every day after work until I left them with no option but to hire me.”
Getting Back To Work
“I quit my job when I had to move cities for marriage and was held up in household chores for a good five years before I realized I needed to do something else.
I wanted to explore other avenues and was struggling to get back to doing something that would make me feel independent at the same time help me learn and explore different things.
That is when I decided that freelance writing would work best for me and it took me some time trying to apply and find the right platforms to showcase my work.
This again I would consider as a challenging period, where I was trying to find what worked for me and facing rejections from various publications as well. Again it was persistence that finally paid off and I started getting freelance work one at a time.”
Talking about balance, which I am very weak at, I thought of seeking a piece of advice from her.
She gave me the golden advice every work from home professional needs to hear.
“The best way to achieve the balance is to prioritize each. I value my relations most, but again I think that when we do put an effort into keeping our relations together it has to be a two-way process. So in that regard, it has been easy for me because my husband and son understand my need to dedicate some time on my work and pitch in when required. Again, duties need to take precedence over everything else on some days and on those days I try to adjust with work in order to not let these clash. The good thing about working from home”
Did you read the lip-smacking Chicken Biryani recipes by Tasneem in this article: Why Is Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani So Important To Me?
What intrigued me more was balancing home and work is understood, but what is in store when you become a mother? Like how does the motherhood change a lady?
“Motherhood has changed me in many ways. I think I have become more open to handling kids which was a big hesitation earlier.
On a serious note, motherhood allows you to feel a whole gamut of emotions and most of these are pretty much extreme. It also has helped me to enjoy little joys, such as making a craft out of cardboard or listening to imaginative stories. I think motherhood has made me emotionally more stable and at the same time also made me reconnect with my childhood.”
Tasneem is a hardcore believer in persistence. Her approach in her life is to keep trying for what you desire and look for ways to achieve goals with lots of hard work.
“Persistence paves the way. Don’t justify, rectify.”
One thing which has stayed constant in her life, from childhood to adolescence to adulthood is the support of her dear parents. She fondly remembers, “I have always felt that I can count on them to understand no matter what. I am very thankful to my family and some very close friends. Also, I am a very spiritually inclined person, so I can say that I am also thankful for believing in the scheme of things that make up life and that helps me remain grounded.”
After talking to her and knowing her I also learned from her that, she never felt stagnated at any point in life and this was her biggest motivation.
Tasneem shares her take on What Happens When Women Lead with Kindness & Empathy.
Tasneem and SHEROES
For sure SHEROES is a place we all can be ourselves, what is the thing that you love the most about this women-only platform, I asked Tasneem.
“The wide range of topics that one can read about in SHEROES is what I love the most about it. Also, everyone pitches in with opinions and discussions including the CEO, Sairee Chahal. The discussions here are women centric and easily identifiable by women of all groups. This makes it different from other social networking sites.”
Tasneem: The Woman we all want to know:
“I used to head the Quality Team in Google Geo and learnt as well as enjoyed a lot. Besides, I think as a stay at home yet working mother, I find my biggest accomplishment in the fact that I am learning to manage my home and work together. On most days that balance works!”
About the stature of women in our society, she thinks that, “Women-centric balance in our society is still a long way off. Though there is a great improvement as far as educating our girls goes, there is still prejudice attached to social norms, such as crossing marriageable age, being working mothers and so on. The stature of women is changing and people are more accepting of a woman doing “male jobs” and men doing “female jobs.” Hoping that we reach this balance soon.”
Tasneem strongly vouches that the one thing that every woman should keep in their minds, no matter what is their respect and dignity.
Choice and happiness go hand in hand
“I would say to all the women at home to please take a moment and figure out what makes them happy. In other words, to chose for themselves what they really want to do that makes them feel good about themselves and happy. The operative word here is choice! Many times there may be no reason to do a certain thing besides the fact that it makes you feel good. And whatever you chose to do being at home, whether it is being a full-time homemaker or working part-time or working from home or working full time, do it happily and confidently. Do not hesitate because you might be questioned or because it has never been done before. Do it anyway if it makes you happy. I know I am repeating 'happy' a lot many times, but it is a basic fact, that if you are not happy with yourself you will not be able to raise or glue together a happy family either”
You should give this a read if you are struggling with the idea of Whether you should raise your kids in a joint or nuclear family?