Through “100 Conversations” I have been collecting inspiring stories and exploring interesting minds. However, today I had the most singular experience of meeting a wonderful woman who actively explored my mind while I tried to explore hers. Her curiosity fuelled our 2-hour conversation which touched upon various aspects of life – childhood, youth, academics, relationships, and most important of all – relationship with the “self”. This soulful conversation was with Kaushi Bidappa!
Kaushi heads the Communications portfolio at General Motors, Technical Center Bangalore. At work her day is all about effectively engaging with technical and non-technical audiences alike – helping them understand the inner workings of the organisation. Her role involves channelizing energies to enable the network of leaders to break the traditional norms and forms of communication styles. She is also the popular unofficial mentor for young women at work and the forum enjoys the label of “washroom wisdom” – the wisdom includes a range of topics right from health, wellness, personal style, to career progression not being linear. She is widely recognised as a Presenter who resorts to a conversational style to create impact.
Off duty she is a Mom who is passionate about conscious parenting. She loves curating interesting escapades with her husband to help create various experiences for her 6-year-old so that he gets a glimpse of all shades of life. As a mother, one virtue that she is passionate about inculcating, is kindness.
Her take on self-care is truly inspiring because she loves doing all that she needs, to feel centered and complete while she holds the center stage as the anchor of a home filled with good energy.
Her husband Mithun, who she first met at college, has been her biggest cheerleader as she has been navigating through the journey of life, experiencing various roles, in her personal and professional life! How endearing 😀 – the warmth is evident in these lovely pictures!
Kaushi and I first met over two years back at a unique networking event called the Conscious Closet Party. This event was hosted on International Women’s Day by Shenomics and the concept involved exchanging lightly used garments while networking. The lively evening was buzzing with energy. Kaushi walked up to me that evening and initiated a conversation with such warmth that I still remember how good those few minutes “felt”. Along with her, was her beautiful jacket – she promptly asked me to try it on, clicked a picture ( fortunately I had preserved the picture – I think it was meant to be a part of this story) , showed me how it looked on me and generously handed it over.
The jacket was given to me with good vibes and a lot of love. Even today, when I see it in my wardrobe, it radiates positivity because Kaushi made that interaction feel a warm hug.
After that evening, we kept in touch, often exchanging ideas, concepts and interesting content. To me, Kaushi, is someone I admire deeply for her commitment to personal growth. I was keen on knowing what got her started on this spirited journey of learning relentlessly. Certain childhood impressions narrated by Kaushi explained how her unique approach to stereotypes set her on a path of finding answers and creating shifts for herself.
As a young girl, Kaushi often noticed how the concept of beauty was limited to being fair-skinned. I think growing up, we all saw how fair skin dominated commercials, bill boards and I think even movies. Curious Kaushi often wondered what it would feel like to bring in more possibilities to the world of beauty! Come to think of it, there is colour all around us – flowers come in a wide range of beautiful colours, what makes the rainbow so appealing is all seven colours coming together. Why are we limiting the range of colour when it comes to skin?
Being a dusky young girl herself, she set out to explore the world of modeling so that she could question this rule of colour and find an answer for herself! The world of modeling did not disappoint her – her stint in modeling gave her the answer she was looking for. Beauty is not confined or limited to one colour. The moment one is willing to look beyond the limited view available, there is a so much more to explore and appreciate. Breaking this stereotype, set Kaushi on a path of questioning “limiting” perspectives.
The next stereotype she got to explore was – well turned out women and intellectual horse power do not coexist. She found her path to break that pattern as well. Being a part of the automobile industry, which by the way has very few women, Kaushi makes it a point to learn new stuff every single day. She relies on ET, ET Auto and Auto magazines to keep herself updated with the latest in her industry.
She enjoys reading and was heavily influenced by Joseph Campbell, the legendary author and teacher known for his work in the field of comparative mythology. Joseph Campbell had dedicated 5 years of his life to reading books – all day, every single day. That’s where she drew her inspiration and her journey on the path of “self-awareness” started – it felt therapeutic and enriching, both at once.
She has a soft spot for psychology, personal growth and understanding how the mind works. Writing helps her go deeper with her reflections. She believes internalising and sharing what one learns further deepens the impact. Her passion for learning is not limited to reading and writing – she loves learning from those younger than her. Personal Branding is one of her favourite subjects.
She loves sharing how one can be more intentional with creating ones’ presence on different platforms depending on “intent” and the “context”. She loves being on stage as a presenter and a speaker.
The next stereotype Kaushi is all set to question is the association of beauty with youth. She feels aging is a natural process that must be accepted with grace. Aging can be beautiful. Bringing quality to the life you lead is a choice that makes the process of aging enjoyable and enriching. Just as you make every effort to feed yourself with nutritional meals it’s equally important to feed yourself with healthy thoughts, in fact the latter is far more important.
Seeing her mother-in-law age gracefully has inspired Kaushi to believe that it is possible to embrace this process such that one grows and evolves in a way that is truly timeless and beautiful. Needless to mention the process involves dedication to self-care 🙂
As I reflect on Kaushi’s journey, what stands out is her commitment to finding answers when certain stereotypes did not make sense to her, eventually questioning the rules that made her feel boxed in and replacing them with more meaningful rules that felt relevant to the person she is deep down!
I also love how her curious mind always makes her look inwards and ask herself about what positive shifts can she make today that will shift things in her outer world. She believes in being the center of her universe because that gives her the power to be the creator! I find her approach extremely empowering! Empowering the “self” is taking ownership and accountability – it is not selfishness!
Conversations with Kaushi have always been exciting for me – this one was exceptionally energizing and inspiring in the area inner work! Being curious and passionate can help one accelerate personal growth, experience life whole heartedly and create a lifelong happy relationship with oneself.
Kaushi! You are fabulous – keep inspiring!