Q1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to being a Beauty Brand consultant and hair / makeup artist?
My journey of realising love of beauty started pretty early in life when I straightened my hair at the age of 14. The confidence felt suddenly when my hair acted as my crowning glory , I knew I had to do this for other women. Through makeup and hair, help them feel more confident and bring happiness to their lives
Right after higher secondary education I took a break from studies for a year to learn makeup and hair with Samantha Kochhar’s Institute. It was so fun there to learn, to go to fashion shows and assist the models, all the backstage chaos, drama and experiences probably fuelled my adrenaline further to work harder in this field and be something!
My passion and life took me to various experiences both professionally and personally. After my Masters in Luxury Brand Management from London and courses from Vidaal Sassoon London, I worked in the corporate industry of India with brands like Lakme Lever Pte Ltd and Tata Trent.
Presently married to a gem of a man, I'm in Singapore pampered and living life with my favourite human! freelancing as a makeup and hair artist in the local market and consulting beauty brands for their product !
Well I say “CANCER CHOSE THE WRONG DIVA!” but ya the journey was not that upbeat and I wouldn't try to sugarcoat it.
I realized post a scan that I have cancer in mid of 2017 and the first thought that came in my mind was Why me!
I had just come out of an abusive marriage and had started to get back to life and enjoy it. Was successful in my professional life, travelling the world and then Cancer hit! It was one hell of an experience which is only fought as a family together. My parents took over and I'm ever so grateful to them and to my family and friends who stood by me rock solid.
Today when I chat with people about these topics of abusive marriages, divorces or cancer, a few have great conversations, some seem shocked, some ask me why I am so open about my life. Well at a young age when you fight through evils of life, I personally think one should share so that others feel more strength through you and are able to handle their life issues
Q3. What advice would you give to someone battling with CANCER?
A few things:
1. YOU NEED YOUR FAMILY: I have met and talked to a number of people especially women who fall into the trap of feeling guilty for seeking so much support / sending money on treatment / not being able to contribute in house etc etc. While I feel you but you are not being selfish you are taking care of yourself and one day you will get better and then you can do your part. It's ok to take help from family / it's ok to be vulnerable / it's ok to say I am not ok. Your mind and body is going through a lot so please allow it to heal.
I think my mother has experienced all my mood swings the most in those months as if they were her own and my dad gave me every percent of his strength to keep me going. My brother and sister in law got the laughter in my life and tried to make the whole process a bit lighter. My parents, brothers and sisters gave them the strength to hold on tight! Friends who got me busy with their lives and colleagues who helped me in so so many ways.. I am god's lucky child.
You can still do everything you always wanted to do, achieve the same success, reach the heights you aimed for but you need to rest the speed and maybe the path.
Again a few things:
1. You will constantly live with the question ‘WHY ME”?: You have to find your peace with this question as there can be a number or reasons why you - your body / eating habit / lifestyle / DNA / karma anything.
For me reasons as to what could have caused this Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Bad eating habits (which I never had), smoking & drinking (who doesn’t really right!?), stress (all have it, I had a lil more than normal), sleeping habits (mine were pretty alright), the list goes on… But find your new normal and work towards success.
It's been a while since I finished my chemo but there are still days I get exhausted ! it could actually just be age haha ! It’s taken me a while to get back my confidence, cause when you fall, you fall flat to ground zero and then you have to work your way up. A change in lifestyle, meditation, help on my diet (No sugar, no gluten and no dairy:/) and oodles of love from my family, each day !
· I had lost all my hair and now it's all back !
· I'm back to working and dressing up women
· Married to a great guy and have a lovely family
I don’t think life really turns out the way as planned, but it worked out amazing in more ways than we ever expected! Isn’t that the reason why god made me go through all this anyway? I am very scared of the future, but I am doing all I can in my control to have a healthy one!
Human mind is pretty cool. It helps you forget the pain and sufferings pretty fast! It just gives me another reason to be happy and be positive. I wake up and sleep with thanking my body and god for a healthy day and for being alive. They say “It's perfectly okay to say you are not okay” and so I'm learning how to speak and cry to friends and family rather than hide my feelings and myself in a shell.
THANKYOU CANCER for getting me closer to family, a whole new understanding of life and valuing and loving my body. You in your own way filtered the dirt out of my life and gave me a chance to recognize those people who are truly the keepers. You gave me a chance to be a better person, a new me, a stronger me, a new life for Chandni Sahu 2.0 - Dance while you can, dance cause you must!