Pinky Ghelani, renowned model, former radio presenter and now motivational speaker is a fireball of energy and good vibes. She exudes class and has a great sense of humor. She currently runs a forum called “What Women Want” that focuses on discussions that are geared towards motivating and uplifting women by encouraging healthy conversations on the matters that affect women from all walks of life.
We asked her a few questions on the recent Diwali festivities and why she chose to celebrate it in a different way this year.
This is what she had to say...
What is Diwali?
In a nutshell, it’s a celebration of good over evil and how villagers put out little lamps for the Lord Ram (a major deity of Hinduism) after he returned for 14 years of exile.
How is Diwali celebrated? What kind of preparations are made?
Nowadays it is very commercial. It actually is a 5-day celebration, with a lot happening during those 5 days. The idea is to decorate our homes and light the lamps and welcome the Goddess of wealth to bless us. The decoration of the homes takes time, buying of gifts that we distribute to friends and relatives, making of sweet meats and preparing for guests is all a part of the tradition.
Why is Diwali special to the Hindu Community?
It’s like Christmas for the community, everyone dresses up, we all get together and it’s a celebration. Most importantly, it’s filled with prayers and a lot of spiritual practices.
What prompted you to start "What Women Want"?
I think it’s very important that we engage in valid and positive conversations. The way the world is going we are losing the art of interacting in public as well as highlighting topics that are vital and timely. Knowledge is power. It’s so important to share information to be able to influence a community in a positive way.
What challenges have you faced while running the forum in the past?
To be honest, I would say the only challenge we face is where to host it. So many people want to show up for these events and I am so excited to see how it’s gaining traction.
Why was it important to have a Diwali edition of "What Women Want" as well as to collaborate with Vivo on the same?
There are so many aspects to this.
Let’s start with the fashion; Vivo has so many great garments that can be used in Indian clothing. The mix and match idea came from me walking into the store and thinking “oooh that would look good with this or that.”
The next would be to celebrate women from the Indian society who are the light, if you will, who continue to walk tall despite their challenges, struggles and who are positive role models. Vivo is an inclusive brand and we wanted to recognize the Asian community as being part of the Vivo community. Vivo is a Kenyan brand. The Asian community are Kenyan.
What Women Want is for Kenyan women. Diwali is now a Kenyan celebration.
Making it all come together just made sense :)
What was your biggest take home from the event on the 29th of October, 2019?
That society has a huge role to play on how our future will look like. We are not separated by traditions or clothes or color, we are all in this together. Yes, we may be different but the idea is to partake in what we don’t understand so we get to understand. It’s important that we recognize the same in everyone’s journeys too - we all have struggles, which is why we need to be kinder to one another.
Where do you see the "What Women Want" forum in 5 years?
I want it to be its own entity; empowering people with knowledge and healing.