July 13, 2020

Charmaine Kenita on living life to the fullest

Meet Charmaine Kenita a writer, blogger, entrepreneur , mom a homeopath doctor turned content creator and someone who follows various interests.

Mums and Stories managed to get in touch with this interesting mom to share her journey and she began with her childhood reminisces. “I was born in Mangalore, brought up in Belgaum. My parents both worked, and me and my brother were looked after pretty much by my grandmother. This woman had a huge impact on me.

She became a widow very early, had many health problems, both hip replacements and couldn’t walk much, but there’s no one who’s zest for life came close to hers. She was bold, without fear, terribly headstrong, very talented and commanded respect wherever she went. My childhood was therefore spent following her, learning from her. To a large extent it made me the person I am now.

I was very studious, a rank holder, singer and pianist and part of the church choir for 15 years. My drawing skills come from my dad and crafting from grandmum, As wonderful as my childhood was, it was also conflicting. I always stuck out like a sore thumb for my thinking, always wanting to ask more, seek more, find more answers, never satisfied with what was said, always seeking. This had its positives and negatives.

I believe there’s something in me that wants to question everything even today, but with a purpose. I acquiesce and accept if I get my answers, or continue probing if I didn’t. Growing up I was quieter, terribly shy and introverted, and the thought of crowds would give me a panic attack 🙂 So imagine me, a quiet & shy girl who only ever opened her mouth to contradict someone or put forth her opinion & viewpoint.”

Talking of her pregnancy particularly of childbirth, Charmaine shares, “The one instance that changed me completely as a person, a 360 degree change in fact was becoming a mother. Right from the start my delivery was fraught with complications, threatened abortion at 3rd month, bed rest for a few months, continuous injections, and then the delivery. My delivery complications included low platelet count that forced an emergency C-sec, cord wound round the baby’s neck.

After the baby was removed, I had an amniotic fluid embolism on the operation table, heart rate zoomed to 139, BP shot up thrice the normal, went into septic shock (from a urinary infection picked up during pregnancy) and was given 48-hours to live. The entire experience was a cascade of things that went wrong. It’s only mainly because of my husband, the family, prayers and blood transfusions from plenty of strangers that I lived that 11-day ICU ordeal.

I was always a quiet, shy person with minimal talking to get me by, but after this incident I realized that life cannot be meant to live for the next moment. What if that moment never came? I promised to myself to stand up and more importantly say what I believed in, show people my true identity – my strong thoughts that I often kept hidden to myself – even if it meant losing people close, really doing something with my talents however minuscule & inconsequential they were.

I had a child who was watching me, and that made it all the more important. Post delivery I’ve become emotional stronger, less afraid, open to taking risks, challenging myself and all of this so that I could be more truthful when I looked at myself in the mirror everyday.

Entrepreneurship happened by chance, I started writing to fund my art & creative pursuits. Now I’ve left art to make writing my career. At first I did it for a lark, never serious and then gradually when I saw people connecting with me – friends, family- who’ve never known me like that for years, the entire thing was an eye-opener. I’m not an activist, but I care too much about heritage, trees, people to not lend a voice to them. If people respond to me, I presume I can drive other things to them. We all come from the same thinking, but that needs to be reinforced.

It is important for us to question, ask, be involved. I’ve ranted on social media, but try wherever possible to get on the ground and be vocal about things. My daughter watches all this, I take her everywhere. She asks questions, understands and hopefully one day does the same too. I want her to learn 3 things – never be afraid to question if something doesn’t feel right, have an opinion even if someday you have to take it back and practice what is preached. These seem simple but the toughest to practice.

I learn from my girl, literally everyday. I have good and bad moments with her, but she’s made me stop and think. It is from her babble I get some profound life lessons, she questions me without fear of saying the right thing. The unconditional love, the opportunity to have someone break down complex life lessons for me. She is also a great ice breaker, is pally with all my clients and work colleagues. I drag her for almost every client visit or business meeting and now people actually question me if I don’t take her”.

When asked a message from her end to a younger Charmaine and other women, she shares, “ Stop being afraid, of yourself and of others. Don’t fear what you unleash by truly being you. For a large part of life, as women and as mothers, we are unsure, constantly looking for help and support. But I believe if you listen to your voice, your gut and be truthful to yourself, you can never go wrong. Another important thing, don’t blame yourself for everything that happens. If you do things with the right intention, with passion (as Patanjali says in the Yogasutras), good things will happen to you. I believe in this very strongly and have actually seen it unfold. “

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