Known for her emphasis on women centric and contemporary writings, Mayaa SH speaks on several Insights
How do you define the word “Sindoori”?
The word Sindoori is associated to be colored with bright, happy, and uplifting emotions in life. It is often described as an energetic color. It may call to mind feelings of enthusiasm and energy. The way we relate to colors used in the environment plays a major role in how we feel about it. If you associate the color with pleasant emotions of Courage, Perseverance and Resilience to generate self-awareness, mindfulness, self-care, positive relationships and purpose, then one will likely to develop strong positive associations with the color.
Sindoori is also associated with the power of the subconscious Mind and Intellect of mentally strong women. It is the voice of many women in the world. The voice that guides them to stay Strong like an oak tree that is a symbol of Strength, Morale, Resistance and Knowledge. Mentally Strong women face their fears, problems, and issues. They tackle them head-on, and we do not run away from them. We all run into different fears throughout our lives, but it is how we handle them that will determine if we are being mentally strong. Women deserve to applaud themselves for their existence and accomplishments, and they deserve to share their pride with the outer world they are a part of. Showing that women are comfortable with the lives they have been gifted with is a major part of being true to themselves and loving their thoughts and ideas goes right along with that comfort.
The book Sindoori is written in very simple language. It simplifies the inner voice of Strength and Grit that women adorn themselves all across the globe. Anybody who feels disheartened amidst the vagaries of time can keep it as a reference guide to not let mental blocks control one’s mind and if you have a dream, then the sky is the limit.
What are the qualities to be nurtured for being mentally strong and how important is mental health?
- Strong Value System
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Resilience To Withstand Any Hardship
- Accountability For One’s Life And Actions
- Learn From Mistakes And Accept Constructive Criticism
- Never Give Up
Everyone is unique and has different skills and traits. Some people are naturally mentally tougher than others inevitably. Mental Toughness can be cultured via training one’s mind towards positivity and understanding that it is ok to sometimes not succeed in everything in life in one go as the only thing constant is Change. We need to adapt to situations and combat fear in order to manage thoughts, emotions and energy in difficult situations. Focusing on solutions rather than feeling sorry for oneself can give themselves a feeling of agency and control and keep moving forwards.
In essence, only those people who endeavour to keep up with the pace of maintaining good mental health are able to adjust themselves in physical and social situations. As a result, a person should pay attention to his or her physical health as well as mental health. Mental health is a person’s ability to adapt to himself or herself and to his or her environment. Healthy mental health is the only way we can develop healthy human relationships. With mental health, a person tries to maintain proper balance in his life and society as well.
What is Gender Equality In your opinion?
Gender equality is intrinsically linked to sustainable development and is vital to the realization of human rights for all. The overall objective of gender equality is a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all spheres of life. Regardless of where you live in, gender equality is a fundamental human right. Advancing gender equality is critical to all areas of a healthy society from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well beings of boys , girls and anyone who expresses their gender differently than the socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and gender diverse people. Gender- Responsive Budgeting needs to be strengthened in comprehensive systems. If you are a woman, you can address unconscious biases and implicit associations that form an unintended and often invisible barrier to equal opportunity. If you are a man or a boy, you can work alongside women and girls to achieve gender equality and embrace healthy, respectful relationships.
What is your opinion on reading books and your recommendation on cultivating any hobby?
Reading anything right from a newspaper article to books can change your life, help you solve problems and improve your knowledge. Books are great treasures from which we can learn, grow, improve our skills, develop new talents and even entertain ourselves.
Through books, we are able to learn from others without repeating their mistakes. We become able to expand our horizons, widen our minds, develop ourselves and become the best versions of ourselves. Reading requires a lot of concentration and attention. By reading books consistently, you will begin to improve your ability to focus and pay attention to details. As you treasure your words, you improve your ability to express yourself more clearly. A good book can introduce you to new words, new expressions, and new ways of using old words. This has the effect of increasing your vocabulary.
A hobby is a way to enjoy leisure time by doing an enjoyable activity. Nowadays, unfortunately, with the stress and rhythm of the life that we lead there are many people who keep their personal interests aside and therefore do not practice any kind of hobby. Indeed, a hobby is essential for any person to be able to take care of their mental health, as it enables you to break away from the daily routine and do something you really enjoy doing.It is important to be aware of the time that is actually available and to prioritize 20 minutes a day to do what makes us feel better in the given moment. To take good care of yourself is to have a hobby and to enjoy the moment of connecting with yourself.
Women’s job market participation stagnating at less than 50% for the past 25 years- What is your Understanding on this?
Twenty-five years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, progress towards equal power and equal rights for women remains elusive. No country has achieved gender equality, and the COVID-19 crisis has threatened to erode the limited gains that have been made,” as per UN Secretary-General’s statement.
This lopsided distribution of unpaid domestic and care work prevents women from participating in the labour market. In 2020, only 47% of women of working age participated in the labour market, compared to 74% of men – a gender gap that has remained relatively constant since 1995. In Southern Asia, Northern Africa and Western Asia, the number is even lower, with less than 30% of women participating in the labour market. And the pandemic has exacerbated these gender disparities, as many women work in the subsectors hardest hit by COVID-19 and lockdown measures, including in paid domestic work, accommodation and food services, and the retail trade. Women also makeup over 70% of workers in the health sector, therefore facing higher infection risks than men in the workplace. In terms of power and decision making, women held only 28% of managerial positions globally in 2019 – almost the same proportion as in 1995. And only 18% of enterprises surveyed had a female Chief Executive Officer in 2020. Among Fortune 500 corporations only 7.4%, or 37 Chief Executive Officers, were women. In political life, while women’s representation in parliament has more than doubled globally, it has still not crossed the barrier of 25% of parliamentary seats in 2020. Women’s representation among cabinet ministers has quadrupled over the last 25 years, yet remains well below parity at 22%. (Source: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs)
The econometric results indicate that religion and social perceptions of women, women’s level of education, household size, responsibilities and income, and the presence of young children in the household all influence the likelihood of India’s women participating in the labour market. The structural characteristics in the labour market have played a more important role than changes in the underlying characteristics of the female working-age population in influencing participation rates. These structural barriers, such as norms that inhibit women’s labour market options, in conjunction with a consistent decline in agricultural employment, are likely to be key factors in explaining the long-term stagnation in female participation rates. The largest issue over the long run, however, has been a lack of employment opportunities for India’s women. Persistent informality and slow growth in wage and salaried employment are limiting the employment prospects of both women and men in the labour market. But India’s women have additional disadvantages stemming from social norms, including gender-based discrimination and occupational segregation.
You usually speak on realistic ideas in podcasts, thus, What is the Essence of Life as per You?
When a person sows a seed, he or she wants that seed to become a big plant or a tree that bears fruits. These fruits represent our personal development, uniqueness and individual beauty. Just as the branches of a tree strengthen and grow upwards to the sky, we too grow stronger, striving for greater knowledge, wisdom and new experiences as we move through life. God created this world and then created human beings so that we can take advantage of every Blessing of this world and cherish the gift of this Life. May we all experience the Joy of Living a fulfilling Life. Any action that been has done willfully and with awareness is going to create an effect, which means the fruitful action results in any effect. The virtues or vices of it carried by humans are interpreted as good or bad as a result of their acts.
What is your concept/ideology of attending to any girl, woman or anybody giving you a call at 2 am at night?
Listening is the key to effective communication and is also an area to be focused on in the world. Many people need to be understood first as most of the underlying principles in life are connected to the interpretation of any information in the right sense and sensitivity. While we speak on progression in our grandeur based on various means like education, income, etc., what we need to focus more on is also paying attention to what people have to express. Human Brain creates a prejudice. Unconscious bias, also known as implicit bias, refers to a person’s attitude or beliefs about others that happen without the person being aware of it. These biases are based on common facts or one’s past experiences that may affect how one thinks of things now. Misinformation and stereotypes can have a negative effect on our attitudes. This could lead to a human discriminating or treating other people unfairly without them realizing it. Many people do not have access to resources and means to be attended to or being listened to without judgement, thus, looking at the severity and situation of many girls, women and overall, it is quintessential to attend to anybody who might just require a smile to cheer them up or the need to be encouraged to and motivated in life by means of talking to them and understanding them and making them feel safe.
If nobody will attend to anybody, then who will? In order to succeed in life, we must focus on collective reforms in society to carry all along with us . Tomorrow anybody can be in the spot of anybody we might have ignored at some point in time. Our words have the power to uplift many, we must try to use them judiciously.If we cannot do anything for anybody, it is totally fine, however, we must listen to what anybody in distress might want to say.
What does the word “Indian” mean to you?
The word Indian refers to the metamorphosis of the idea or feeling that has a sense of belonging to India into a fervour. This zeal is meant to paint the kaleidoscope of life with the genius of the glimpse of the five elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether (Space). These are also called the “Panch Mahabhoot.” Knowledge of these five elements helps us understand the laws of nature.
There is something in the texture of the soil that reverberates with the echo of “Vande Matram” that is, “I praise to the motherland, Mother”.
सुजलाम् सुफलाम् (Sujalam Sufalam)
Rich with thy hurrying streams, bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight.
वन्दे मातरम्।(Vande Mataram)
Mother, I bow to thee!
Why do people call you Pushpa – The Fire and Mayaa Tai?
I have always emphasised on straightforwardness in life. No lie, no bending of facts, and no diplomacy, although sometimes people considered it as rudeness or arrogance and can also be hurtful.
Being straightforward is the ability to reflect on your own thoughts and feelings. So, being straightforward allows people to know who you really are . Moreover, It takes an immense amount of courage to be straightforward and say what you feel. Being straightforward is not the absence of fear but doing what you know you want and need to do. It is difficult to be straightforward but the payoffs are enormous.
Mayaa Tai is the name gifted by many women in the country. Tai means elder sister.
Pushpa – The Fire is a medley of Pushpa meaning Flower and Fire – It said that fire was the first element created on earth and humans have benefited from it ever since they discovered it.
In Sanskrit, the fire element is called Tejas and it comes third in the order of Pancha tattva or the five elements of the body. Fire is evolved from ether and air, where ether gives the space for it to exist and air gives the momentum or capacity to burn.
It was the Greeks who proposed that fire was the first element that gave rise to the other 3 elements. Thus, Strong Women give rise to a Camarederie of Equally Strong Women. So, Pushpa – the Fire is the ideology that represents Combat Fear and accelerating forward.
What is that one Gamechanger Line that got You to pursue writing seriously?
I have always believed that the bend is never the end, The most simplistic yet effective one-liner that became a gamechanger for me was, “In order to become a J K. Rowling, you will have to leave the country as your talent will not be recognised here. ”This was my biggest motivation in life and I made my critics my best friends(there is a lot of learning). After this, I won my first Award at the National Level for the poem “The Candle In The Wind” as I started my humble journey by co-authoring more than 50 plus anthologies and so on. There was no looking back thereon. I also attribute a lot to great people from the Writing Community who walked along with me in this stint and believed in me.
How do you think Literature can reflect on contemporary issues in society?
In literature, the traditions, customs, conflicts, and rules of any society can be seen in written form. A conscious litterateur describes through words by feeling the traditions, ideas happening in the society. In this form, literature not only presents a reflection of society but also indicates the direction and condition of its future.
The relationship between literature and society is inseparable. Literature cannot become timeless by neglecting society, the literature of the time also has an important contribution in giving the right direction to any society. Needless to say that the sensibility of literature is the sensibility of society. The progress and downfall, traditions, merits and demerits of any society are expressed in literature. The literary events that occur daily in society and their culture are realized through their writings. On one hand, it would not be unreasonable to say that today the value of literature and its responsibility is not in the right direction. Today, personal frustrations and the terror of ideologies have brought literature down to some extent from its heights. In such a situation, most of today’s literature is becoming unreadable. Certainly, the literary decline has had an impact on society.
Can you share an excerpt of any poem written by you that left an imprint in your mind?
On the occasion of 75th Independence Day, a common poetry compilation of 75 poets, with 75 compositions was published on 15th August 2022.
The following stanza is from a poem titled “Kesariya” from Amritutsav Kavya(Festival of Nectar) the tricolor is a symbol of unity, strength, and sacrifice and of this nation’s pride. It flutters in the last breath of every patriot who lives to see the National Flag commemorate and celebrate the martrydom of those who symbolise that “The valiant never taste the death but once”
भगवा झंडा मुस्कुराने के लिए फहराया,
कि आज वो दिन है जब भाग्य के साथ प्रयास मुक्ति को ले गया,
उस कड़ी मेहनत के ज्ञान की क्षितिज की ओर ,
जहाँ अनंत आकाश में केसरिया आज आजादी की धुन गाया|
(The saffron flag ascended with the slight breeze to smile, to commemorate that today is the day when fate along with efforts led to the liberation of this great nation -Towards the horizon of knowledge of that hard work. This allowed the tricolour flag of India saffron, white and dark green to unfurl softly in the infinite sky to sing the tune of freedom today.)
About Mayaa SH
Mayaa SH is a multi National Award Winner a Double World Recorder Author, an Artist and a Record Chart Topping International Fastest Anthology Co-Author. She has also received recognition from the Exclusive World Book of Records Global Pledge for Campaign to follow the guidelines of WHO during the pandemic with a Certificate of Awareness. Mayaa carries a Super Hero Certificate from The World Health Organisation to fight against antimicrobial resistance. She is a Women Empowerment Culturist. Mayaa has depicted gender inclusivity and equality through her certifications and powerful writings on Feminism. Her work depicts the identity, economic and social freedom of many. She has written on various topics like Feminism, Transforming Vision Into Action: Transmogrification on Transgender Community and Mental Health Awareness Topics. She has co-authored more than fifty-plus anthologies and has been featured in several magazines including international ones. She is an avid motivator of uplifting women across all sections of society by navigating them through emotions and empowering them to rekindle hope and self-belief. Mayaa is a Human Right Champion and Pledge Holder at – The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) and is certified on Gender Equality In Education, Gender Responsive Programming, Accelerate Progress For Gender Equality In Education through Strategic Partnership, Taking Gender Responsive Education To Scale Coordinated Action For Gender equality Cross Sectoral Approaches from Center for Universal Education at Brookings, United Nations and University of California, Berkeley. She has been accoladed as Scientist for a Day by Radioisotope Systems by The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Mayaa is certified in Building Gender IQ- Powered by UN WOMEN, PWC(PricewaterhouseCoopers) And HeForShe, Disability Inclusion connected Humanitarian Coordination, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Inclusive connection module, Strategies to fortify the Social Service Workforce for Child Protection, An Introduction to Thinking and Working Politically, Understanding Violence Against Women and Girls, Introduction to Child Protection by the United Nations. Mayaa is a pledge Holder – WAC Global Human Rights Foundation & World Against Corruption People Foundation, National Commission Of Women, India, Human Rights Commission, India, Pledge for “Fair Play” under National Sports & Physical Fitness Board India, Women Olympic Association, The Central Vigilance Commission has acknowledged her commitment to uphold highest standards of honesty & integrity by adopting the Integrity Pledge to the to the cause of eradicating corruption. She has been featured among top 8 Exceptional Women Of India,36 self-made personalities,5 Passionate People Of India and Their Magnificient Success Stories, 31 Gems of India, Top 20 Personalities of the Globe, Top 25 Incredible Talents Of India and so on. Mayaa has been featured in various Indian Magazines and as well interviewed for International magazines along with main star featuring 2022 in an international magazine on “The voice of the youth is the voice of tomorrow. So let the world hear its future”.Her powerful quotes have been inked in Tejaswi: The Imperishable – A magazine dedicated to Feminity which highlights Women’s Power. She has also participated and won several national level contests and has collaborated with several publication houses along with numerous recordings for podcasts.Mayaa has recently been a part of “Dugga Elo 2.0″. Dugga Elo 2.0 Magazine is a Durga Puja Special Magazine to showcase the works of the budding artists, poets and photographers in the largest platform of creativity through which their work can reach to every home of West Bengal on the occasion of Durga Puja.
Mayaa has a Record Of Achievement – Introducing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in Emergencies and Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence for Health from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Besides, she holds a Certificate of Achievement at National Level for General Knowledge and Awareness on COVID-19, a Certificate on Work Readiness from SkillsTrainer launched by Unifiers Social Ventures Pvt Ltd, a National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC )partner. Certificate of Appreciation On “Course on Indian Constitution” by NALSAR University of Law and sponsored by the Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice. Mayaa has pledged for Cyber Security and Safety for Women by the Ministry Of Women and Child Development, Government of India.Certification Of Completion On Nutrition Education Programme under Poshan Abhiyan ICMR- National Institute Of Nutrition, Department Of Health Research, Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare, Government Of India, Hyderabad, Telangana and Ministry Of Women And Child Development, India, Pledge Holder from VMP, affiliated with Niti Aayog, Government Of India and, World Human Rights Council to combat COVID-19. Mayaa has been a part of several anthologies set for World Record like International Anthology named Multilingual G2 and National Book Of Record Anthologies like Thirty Minds, Mindset, etc. and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam co-author Award in Record International Fastest Anthology “Eye Of The Wolf ”
Her books Sindoori and Sankalp both focus on the will to succeed in life that gives Strength to all and it is Courage and Determination in Life that helps anybody combat fear and stay focussed.