By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar
Vaishali is a mother of two and is a South Asian mom blogger with a popular blog called onceuponachaitime.com. She is also well-known as v4vaishali on Twitter. Her family is originallly from Punjab, India and she currently lives in teh Bay Area. She says finding a voice as a blogger helped her out of a challenging period in her life when she was going through a divorce and making the move to being a single mom. Today, her children are 19 and 15 and her blog has a growing following as does her facebook page. We interviewed her about her experience as a South Asian mom blogger and what inspires her to write.
Why did you start blogging?
To vent – to get thoughts out of my mind as I tried to figure out my emotions.
What do you blog about and why?
I started to blog about the power of positivity and how it initially helped me out of a dark period in my life. I found that to be very therapeutic and decided to write more about my personal experiences, thoughts and feelings more as an outlet for myself more than anything. I didn’t do this with the intention of anyone reading the blog. With that said , In the back of my mind was the thought that if however someone, anyone person does read my blog and can take away from it a message that will help them in the slightest ways, then all this will have been worth it.
What inspires you to write?
My inspirations is the desire to help others by sharing. Be it a thought, feeling or an experience. We all feel and have an innate need to connect with others. By sharing these things, I feel that someone that may be going through something : positive or negative- will know that they’re not alone. Perhaps reach out to one person that may be able to take a message from my experiences and use it to answer a question , see a different perspective and guide them to a path that leads them to a solution
Disconnected in the sense that I typically didn’t reach out to the mom blogger community before this. Blogging and sharing other than just on my own blog is relatively new as my own blog has evolved over time. I feel more connected now that I am more open to the idea of sharing my thoughts and experiences with a wider range of readers.
South Asian moms sometimes have different cultural challenges and expectations coming from a culture so heavily entrenched in family. Have you ever blogged about cultural issues?
Yes – the most important thing I bring to light in my blogs and tweets is being a divorced single South Asian mom and domestic violence in the South Asian community. I have on occasion written about dating and the experience of online matrimonial sites as well as growing up in a desi family and balancing the cultural differences in events such as Thanksgiving and Xmas.
What role has social media played in your life?
It’s connected me to a group of people across the globe with a plethora of ideas, perspectives , issues and opinions and most importantly a support group that shares the need to discuss and share the topics that I write about that I would otherwise have never met. It’s through the SM connections that I have that I have a voice , an outlet to talk about some issues that are important to me and the South Asian community in general.
What misconceptions do you think are out there about South Asian moms?
That we all sit at home in our saris or suits cooking and cleaning for our men folk – that we’re submissive, weak, uneducated and unapproachable by our kids.
What is the best part about blogging for you?
I love being able to share my life experiences in the hopes that it may help even one person. It’s almost as if it’s a diary of sorts for me. It’s private, yet I’m opening up my life for everyone to dissect, judge and learn from. It’s quite therapeutic for me
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