Mj’s Wonder Women Series Feature #1: Gisele Almeida

I grew up in a little town within a gated community. We had no television at home. Not that we did not afford one, but just that my parents felt that it would be an unnecessary distraction for us kids. My brother and I rode to school in our bicycles. In fact the entire campus did. There were no malls or cinemas. Life was super simple and my dream… Well, I did not even know I could dream of a future. I had no clue about the outside world. Forget media and journalism. No one told me that I could pursue my passion. So like 70% of my peers, I landed in an Engineering college! The rest is a story for another day!

At 33 I discovered a passion in me, I pursued it, it freed me, empowered me, defined my identity and the journey since has been an exciting one!

That being my experience and as one who loves documenting stories, I wanted to put together a series titled ‘Wonder Women’ – photographs + real life stories of successful women who have chosen to pursue their passion. I hope these short stories will inspire girls, wives and moms, irrespective of age, background or education to DREAM and chase that dream!

Here, I am debuting my series with Gisele Almeida – a travel blogger and influencer! I photographed these pictures at the very scenic Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde in Stockholm, Sweden!

Read on! Dream on! Continue reading “Mj’s Wonder Women Series Feature #1: Gisele Almeida”

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Gisele + Nicole: Mommy-Daughter Session

A few days ago I posted this picture on my social media and I requested suitable captions or quotes. The replies I received, were sweet, creative and touching! I simply couldn’t choose one. So featuring all of them!

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“Peekaboo!” – Roshini, Jerusha

“If Love is as sweet as spring, then my mother is the sweet spring of Love!” – Rosy Grace

“Hidden Beauty!” – Helan

“I leaf you too, Mommy!” – Sumi

“Behind the leaves!” – Vimi

“Beauty behind the leaves!” – Sophia

“Peek-a-leaf!” – Hanna

“Hiding in plain sight!” – Esther

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The following quote written by Meenakshi in Tamil, may appear short for those who do not know Tamil. However, those who can read Tamil will be able to feel the emotion and the sentiment that are bigger than those words.

உதிர்ந்தாலும் இந்த இலை அழகு!
முதிர்ந்தாலும் என் தாய் அழகு! – Meenakshi

The English translation may not do justice to the beauty these words have in Tamil. But this is what it means,

“Although this leaf has withered, it is beautiful! My mom will remain the most beautiful no matter how old she gets!”

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Photographing this mom and daughter was truly a delight. There is something very pure and heartwarming about the love shared between a mother and her child!

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It is a love that transcends the love shared in every other relationship. It’s utmost selfless, unconditional and sacrificial form of love. So much so it’s often compared to the love of our Creator!

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When Manushi Chhillar, moments before being crowned the sixth Indian winner of the long-running contest Miss. World, was asked ‘Which is the profession that deserves the highest salary?’ she replied, “It’s that of the mother!”

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“A man’s work is from sun to sun. A mother’s work is never done!” – Anonymous 

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I knew the value of my mother only the day I became one. Up until that moment, I had no clue what it took to be a mother. From the moment my girls were born, through each stage of their life, the responsibilities I bear, the sacrifices I need to make, the strength I need to go about multi-tasking, the courage I need to be their role-model, keeps mounting as the days go by. As it does, every time I feel daunted by the challenges of motherhood, I remember my mother! I remember her with a grateful heart!

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I dedicate this post to every mother out there – the confident, the brave, the bold, the beautiful, the multi-taskers, the ambitious, the dreamers, the sleep-deprived, the frustrated, the overwhelmed, the struggling, the tired, the worn-out, the old, the wise… YOU WILL ALWAYS REMAIN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL!

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Enjoy these moments of pure affection shared between this beautiful mother Gisele and her adorable little princess, Nicole!

Ons Hm in Stockholm

 “And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” – Mark Anthony

While I was on my mommy-break at Krakow, Poland, I received a message from Ons Hm. Ons Hm had mentioned that she read about me on the Local and asked me if we could collaborate on her visit to Stockholm. I was curious to know more about her. And boy, I was blown away when I got to know who she is!

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Growing up, Ons Hm was always passionate about fashion and make-up. It was after the Tunisian Revolution, when the citizens of Tunisia were granted the freedom of expression, Ons Hm was urged to share her passion with the world through Youtube. She did and there she was – THE FIRST FEMALE HIJABI YOUTUBER OF TUNISIA!

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Her subscribers multiplied. Before long, her channel crossed a hundred thousand subscribers! With the growing number of followers and young girls who looked up to her, Ons Hm realised here was her chance to inspire, encourage and motivate these precious girls to pursue their dreams.

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Ons wanted to bring together her passion, influence and the need for education of rural Tunisian girls that was pressing her heart. And thus this young entrepreneur launched ‘the O Box’!

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The O Box is a beauty box that consists of six beauty products for hands and face meticulously put together by talented Ons! You can watch her introduce the O Box here 🙂

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Being successful is one thing. Being significant is another. One’s success is of greater significance when it makes a difference in other’s lives. And that’s the reason this O Box is significant – not just for its first class quality beauty products, but with each purchase of the O Box, a portion of its profit goes towards educating young girls in rural Tunisia!

Having fun while supporting a good cause is the greatest gift you can offer yourself!  So gift yourself the limited edition O Box today! Click here for purchase!

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Meeting Ons El-Hammami and photographing her was personally a very inspiring experience for me. She has taught me to think beyond me, beyond my passions, to take off the limits, to look further, dream bigger and make a difference!

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You can follow Ons Hm on her Youtube Channel, Facebook Page and Instagram!

Sunny & Komal’s Cherry Blossom Session

Sunny and Komal are one of the cutest couples I have come across. Although I had only a few minutes to get to know them, the love and admiration they shared for each other was so evident! It was an absolute delight capturing them! Here are just a few of my favorite images from their Cherry Blossom Session! Continue reading “Sunny & Komal’s Cherry Blossom Session”

Nemo & Vincent – PLPP004

Every time I share these pictures and stories, it gives me a sense of great fulfillment. As much as I would like to share my photography with you, I would like each of my viewers to see what brings my images to life – the love, the chemistry and the emotions shared between those in the photographs! I add stories and quotes because I would like you to see each image the way I do and get a glimpse beyond what meets the eye!

Today, I am delighted to share the Pet Love Story of Nemo and Vincent! Continue reading “Nemo & Vincent – PLPP004”