In her day job, Vibhuti uses her Ph.D. in biochemistry to support research innovation at the University of Cambridge. Outside work, she’s a volunteer leader for the community food waste charity FoodCycle, reads and watches films as much as she can, and has been known to run the odd half- marathon.
Essay Title: How moving from what society wants to what dharma requires has empowered me as a parent
I’m a mum of two boys one of whom is autistic, I am a trained lawyer currently working as an ombudsman with a special interest in equality act related cases and supporting vulnerable people in society. I love international cuisine and being vegetarian, I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to cook. I love to read books which are motivating and inspiring from autobiographies to self-help type books. Since my son’s diagnosis I have started writing my own blog to share my experience with the Asian community and beyond because I recognise that hidden disabilities and many other things are not openly discussed and are negatively perceived. I would like to use my voice to empower people to speak up and feel comfortable so that we may nourish our own mental well-being but also be able to give the best that we can to our children. I proofread work for others and love reading and writing about the creative process.
Essay Title: Until we-men are equal in it
Husband and father (to a girl). My mother was one of five duaghters, none of whom ever set foot in a school to be formally educated. My personal experiences of becoming a father have enabled me to better appreciate my mothers struggles. Bringing togther these intergenerational stories will contribute positively to the theme of Beyond The Bindi.
Essay Title: What are we so ashamed of? Picking Hindu attitudes towards sex apart.
As a walking cliche, I am a British Indian woman who writes about the reality of being such. This is why Beyond the Bindi has whet my appetite. Beyond this, I am a Communications Manager for a global environmental non-profit, so I get to write as part of my 9-5 too. I'm a fan of music, puns and obscure pop culture references too.
Essay Title: Home is in the heart.
I have been a practitioner of the Bhakti yoga tradition that stems from the Vedic philosophy since I was 15 years old. I work as a UK accredited psychotherapist and hypnotherapist and am currently the head of a counselling service at a University. My writing interests are to blend eastern and western psychological principles and provide this to those struggling with their mind. Visiting new places, starry skies, sunsets and like-minded friends inspire and ground me.
Essay Title: Breaking the Cycle. A woman's search for answers beyond the bleed.
Shivani studied biochemistry but moved to the business world and is now a Director of Media Intelligence at EI. She has a passion for cooking, enjoys working out, and recently channeled her sense of adventure to travel the length of India driving a rickshaw to raise money for charity. As an Indian woman who has battled menstrual, and fertility issues and is now a mum to a five year old she has developed an interest in exploring the cultural taboos surrounding these issues.
Essay Title: Hindu Women in Activism and Politics
Manu Khajuria is a freelance writer/ commentator, activist from Jammu Kashmir. A native of Jammu region and proudly tracing her roots to Bumnal a small village in Bishnah Tehsil, her focus is the region, it's history, culture and current issues. She considers Advait Vedant and Vedic Philosophy the bedrock of her life. She is also a Founder Voice of Dogras, a community organization which espouses the rights of the Jammu Region and its unique history and culture.
Jazz Kaur Sharma
Essay Title: The Coconut Complex
By day I am a management consultant in retail, by night I am an avid reader, dancer, hip hop enthusiast and lover of all things fashion and design. My love for Shakespeare, Margaret Atwood and Oscar Wilde, as well as Nas, Jay Z and Tupac has influenced my passion for words and my love of storytelling. Against the backdrop of my culture and heritage, I hope to tell the nuanced, unique and underrepresented stories and perspectives of British Indian women like myself.