A working professional, a doting mother, a fitness enthusiast, a wife and whatnot! Nonita Kawatra is all this and much more. The gorgeous lady is an epitome of grace and elegance and, in an interview with us, she recently shared how a family trip to Kasauli changed her perspective towards her sons. We talked about this and a lot more in an exclusive chat with her and here are excerpts from the same.
I was a judgmental mother but one evening actually changed my mindset
: Since you have made it big and carved a niche for yourself in the industry, tell us about your ‘Nothing is Far’ moment. A moment when a trip changed your life or your perspective.
We went on a family trip to Kasauli, about two years. So, all of us, biased parents, feel that our kids are temperamental, and they have teenage hormones. At least, as a mother, I always felt so. I always used to be judgmental about my boys. So, this trip was planned with the mindset that the family would be together because as your kids grow up, things change. When this trip was planned, my elder one was finishing his 12th grade and was almost ready to start going to college. So, for that reason, all of us went together.
We were in Kasauli and our hotel was absolutely in the center of the forest area so access to city was difficult and everything was available in the hotel only. It was a very chilly evening, I remember, spending four hours in the balcony, sitting with my kids, my husband and doing nothing but actually drinking and talking about the family.
We talked about the past, how the family came this far. We also talked about what the kids want to do ahead in their life. And when me and my husband were talking, I realized that how mature my boys are. I came to know how sentimental my boys are towards the family. I was a judgmental mother but I think that evening when I actually spent 4 hours doing nothing at all with my sons, it actually changed my mind about my children. So, I think that was a turning point in my life and my thought process towards life.
: Your idea of an ideal tourist spot
The definition of an ideal tourist spot varies as you grow. For example, when you are very young, when you get married or even before marriage, your idea is different. But maybe today if you ask me, wherein I am 20 years into a marriage with grownup kids and 23 years into a profession, my definition would be different. At this point in my life, since we are very busy, I would select a peaceful place, and yet be connected with wi-fi. Too much of nature is also boring for me. I prefer nature, peace, and not too much commercialization of that place.
The most important thing is not where you go but with whom you go
: 3 most over-rated tourist destinations in India according to you
I would not name 3 but 2 because I have compared them past vs present. There is something that you read on social media, there is something that you hear from word of mouth but seeing and experiencing is believing. So, I think in India, one place which I feel overrated is Mussoorie. 20 years ago, it was very beautiful, less polluted, we almost had clouds entering our room but today if they talk about Mussoorie and if you go there you feel it’s almost overrated now. It is not as beautiful as it was. The second one would be, I think, the beaches of North Goa. The way they are flaunted on social media and people talk of all the good things that happen at the beaches over there, if you actually go there and see, it is nothing. We have made the beach so dirty.
: The most bizarre thing you ate on a vacation or tell us if there are plenty of them.
Not on a vacation but I was on an official trip to Japan and all the sushi kind of things that I ate, it was awful for my Indian taste buds. It was bland and raw and since it was an official meeting, I couldn’t tell anybody about it. I was smiling while eating throughout but that was one of the weirdest dinners I have ever had.
: One destination in India you would like to go to for a romantic getaway
Dalhousie because it gives me a feeling of vastness and peace. There is a lot of greenery and it gives me a feeling of being away from people and yet being connected with them. And maybe Jim Corbett also. But the most important thing is not where you go but with whom you go. At this stage, we don’t have to enact with each other. If I want to read a book, he is okay; if I want to exercise, he is okay; if we both want to go for a walk; he is okay.
: 5 things about India that surprises the travelers the most
I keep meeting a lot of people belonging to different nations and what most of them have to say about India is that it is home to hardworking people. They see Indians going out of the way and using ‘jugaad’ to get things done. People have also started noticing the cleanliness in India ever since BJP introduced the cleanliness drives in India. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has made people more conscious about the environment and maybe this image of India is gradually improving.
Let’s do a quick travel rapid-fire now!
: 5 things you never forget to pack for your vacations
Comfortable footwear, jeans, a book, moisturizer, and a power bank.
: Several short trips or one long trip
: Crowded places or secluded ones
Neither crowded nor secluded, something in the middle of these two
: India or abroad
Preferably India but someplace clean
: Mountains or beaches
: One word for ‘travel’ for you is
If you must describe India in one sentence, how would it be?
It is a bunch of flowers made into a beautiful bouquet and we just need to make sure that it is well maintained with lots of love and lots of discipline so that it remains colourful for the entire world
The story of Nonita certainly touched our hearts and made us question if we really know our kids that well. The story might have been told by Nonita but it will resonate with almost every parent. On the work front, Nonita is a Director at BL Lifesciences Pvt Ltd which is India’s leading manufacturer and distributor of disposable devices for hospitals.
Nonita has a lot of experience to her credit and while her work speaks for itself, stories from her personal life taught us a lot about strong family and mother-son bond.