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ShAi

Pune, Maharashtra, India

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16% response rate · Last login 9 days ago

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Overview

  • 385 Positive References10 Neutral
  • Ambassador
  • Fluent in English, Hindi; learning French, German, Gujarati, Marathi (Marāṭhī), Spanish, Urdu
  • 40, Other
  • Member since 2005
  • Art/ Design/ Social entrepreneurship...
  • travel, stories, personal experience...
  • From all over--- I've lived in 9 countries.... theyre all home :)
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

CURRENT MISSION

Living my Dreams!

ABOUT ME

I have varied interests ranging from arts, to musing about the universe, would die without music and would feel soul-less without travel.

I thrive on books and good movies, and interested in world politics, and addressing issues that challenge developing countries like India. As a fashion and textile designer, I love exploring craft traditions as well as people watching, especially street fashion.

I enjoy philosophies, stories and coffee, good wine and good food. I love the sea and animals and once again travel...... the one thing that makes me feel alive and excited about having a chance to explore the world!

I am passionate about what I do. I made a transition from a career as a commercial designer to working with social welfare as the disparity between the poor and rich in India was too disturbing for me, and I felt that my education is meaningless unless I am able to do something that has far greater value than just making money. I work towards empowering underprivileged women and believe that helping them regain their self esteem and a sense of achievement will go a long way in working towards a changing India. I use my design background and my interests in communication and people as a means of shaping this project of mine, which is very close to my heart.

I am a people person, and enjoy meeting people, and as a lover of stories, love good cinema, music books and history.... the rest we can talk about over a cup of coffee :)

PHILOSOPHY

I personally think traveling is important for everyone....it helps you grow, and also broaden your world perspective...it allows one to take each day as it comes and enjoy every experience that you have, long or short...if you meet people along the way, it only enhances it :-)Be happy no matter what you do..life is too short to be judgemental and bitter.. fear is a figment of our own imagination......If you really want it, you will make it happen...if you don't, you don't really want it enough

Why I'm on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

I started my CS experience in 2005 as a member, hosting, surfing and traveling, but as time wore on, in 2006 I got actively interested in working with CS, especially on communications and designI worked for over 3 months at the CouchSurfing Collective in Nelson New Zealand, working on the CS member communications, in charge of the Newsletter and the design team as an advisor to finally get the logo going. As of now though I am hosting occassionally, meeting people on and off. I focus however on promoting the spirit of CS, through meeting members in person, hosting in Pune and surfing sometimes when I travel :) I am always happy to talk about CS with a member should they have difficulties or questions, though I would rather talk about you and get to learn more about your life and your experiences, to learn and expand my own horizons :)

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

Well I've couchsurfed in the past with various friends and acquaintances all over the world..Its always been fun and a good chance to get a brief glimpse about a person and his/her life in an informal, happy way; with a chance to share and learn something new,with respect to different cultures, lifestyles, languages, everything thereby making it so much more a unique experience.... to generally have fun and hopefully make a new friend...many times really meaningful friendships from chance encounters which have compounded with CS :-)

Interests

I love meeting people from different cultures and countries, traveling, photography, reading , movies, music, languages, poetry, cooking.I enjoy philosophy, politics on a global stage), understanding and discussing socio-cultural and economic changes and events that are shaping the world, as well as film and the arts.

Music, Movies & Books

MOVIES. ..so many...definitely more independent... stuff by David Lynch,Fellini,Krystoff Kieslowski,Akiro Kurosawa,Polanski Lars von Trier, Paul Thomas Anderson,Almadovar, Satyajit ray,Anderson,Terrence Mallick ,Hitchcock....stuff like Hero, Happy together , Dog Days,and Requiem for a Dream, memento, pulp fiction, godfather series, the life of julien po, citizen kane, mystic river, garden state, a history of violence, fight club, magnolia, amelie, seven samurai, ran, hero, rashoman, the double life of veronique,Run Lola Run, thank you for smoking(brilliant parts to it really) the three colors:red/white/blue etc, the sea inside, Volver, the motorcycle diaries, the March of the Penguins, Blood diamond...

MUSIC..depends a lot on the mood...pretty diverse. I love music..especially discovering different genres of music while traveling...love the cello....... like fado and flamenco :) Music...depends a lot on the mood...Like Miles Davis,Ella Fitzgerald,U2, mingus, pavarotti, James Blunt,coldplay, fountains of wayne, Oasis, the beatles, rolling Stones,g'n'r, Zero seven,Shivaree, Jack Johnson, Prince, Queen, Gin blossoms,Nina Simone, Fiona Apple, Norah Jones, Louis Armstrong, Elvis, Johnnie Cash, Beck, Blur, Dave Matthews,aimee mann, Smashin pumpkins, Garbage,Pink floyd,Jeff Buckley, Gomez, Pearl Jam, Amalia Rodriguez, Mariza, Ana Marou, Enrique Morente amongst others...
BOOKS... some of Joseph Campbell, Salman Rushdie,Kerouac amongst others, Milan Kundera, Tolstoy,..some such as The Power Of Myth, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, The inferno, the upanishads, The Gita, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, the Prophet, the Unbearable Lightness of Being, Hitchiker's guide to the Galaxy, Angela's Ashes.. .i guess theres too many to list...i wind up reading a lot of non fiction...autobiographies included....love political non fiction and history too have read the Secret and a Man's search for Meaning..Love poetry tooo...esp, Byron, Keats, Whitman, Kipling, Shelley and Dante. Currently reading Power vs. Force by Dr. David Hawkins...I find these days I read 95% non ficition and just little tricklings of fiction...

One Amazing Thing I've Done

Currently my husband and I are expecting our first baby in early 2014..and its an incredible experience just to go through the journey.....I am sure life will never be the same after this :)

In 2012 I was a part of the Jagriti Yatra, an annual train trip around India for young people interested in entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship to bring innovative, proactive change to India. This trip is the longest train trip in the world- 8000 km covered in 15 days, while living on the train with 450 fellow entrepreneurs!

Traveling to Turkey and flying in a hot air balloon, going deep sea fishing off the coast of New Zealand......there are so many incidents to recall..

Amongst other interesting lifetime experiences, I went to Austria to work with a fashion/textile designer who lived and worked out of a 17th century castle, and spending the summer travelling around to Prague/Vienna etc....i took a year off from school to go there and it turned out be an incredible experience and she is an amazing teacher and had the greatest stories to tell of all her unbelievable crazy artist life. But moving to New york...that was incredible...the city has a vibe that just can't let you be down for long.
Spending a year 2007...traveling, learning ...living and understanding life from a completely different perspective.....the quintessential gipsy...or nomad...or turtle considering i had everything I owned in my backpack..I believe I am a better person for that. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity and blessed to have found CS and meet an incredible bevy of people whose diversity, experiences, depth, generosity touched my heart and impacted my mind in ways that I hope that I carry some of the learning with me. I KNOW this system works having been a recipient, participant and traveler. Finding the clarity to pursue my dreams finally, and falling in love with travel...the greatest teacher of them all :)And surely there will be more to update...:-)

Teach, Learn, Share

I can teach Hindi, help people learn about Indian culture and food, plan their trips to India, help out someone who'd like to explore Indian textiles, someone who wants to discuss fashion and fashion business ...Moving back to India after travelling and living in so many parts of the world, doing commercial fashion seemed a bit alien to me. I found myself drawn to doing something that helps bridge the massive bridge between the rich and the poor in the country, and I found that children and women are the two groups that need the maximum assistance. I worked for a couple of years with organisations working with kids, but as a woman in India found that challenges are far greater.Currently I am in the process of setting up a legal portal for the awareness and to make law easier to interpret for Indian women, leading to a degree of empowerment of women. Its in the starting phase as yet... If anyone would like to talk about this, please let me know.. Of course we can talk about a whole lot of other things :) but this is my passion!

What I Can Share With Hosts

Ah well, conversations, music, insights, my version of Bombay and Pune, recipes, cooking tricks, how to make chai, great coffee, photography, my experiences in India and around the globe... and my best buddy of all...laughter :)

Countries I've Visited

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, San Marino, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State

Countries I've Lived In

Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, India, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, United States

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