Celebrating The Spirit Of A Kashmiri Woman: Aakanksha Kaul Part 5

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Aakanksha comes from a Kashmiri family and has been inspired by the stories of courage and determination of the Kashmiri women. She believes that every Kashmiri mother is a fighter. An example of dedication, commitment, resilience, and sacrifice. She feels blessed to have been born into a Kashmiri family that is supportive of her pursuit of a career, studies, prosperity, and well-being.

A highly educated individual with degrees in biotechnology and bioinformatics, an MBA in Marketing, and a graduate in science with honours in English Literature.

While reflecting on her life, she acknowledges that making some wrong decisions has led to valuable learning and growth. For example, not pursuing a PhD and going into higher education led to significant struggles to achieve her career aspirations.

However, she found her true passion for teaching, and it continues to be her love to date. She currently runs a Kumon Ghatkopar Center in Mumbai. She also teaches NGO kids and devotes time every week to them.

Inspired by the stories of courage and determination of Kashmiri women, including her maternal grandmother, who managed her household and agricultural land in Srinagar without family support, making her a businesswoman of her era. She is blessed to have been born into an open-minded and supportive Kashmiri family that values education and career opportunities for all, regardless of gender norms.

Though I was not a part of what existed in Kashmir or before that in the early 1980’s, yet, I would say both the communities existed in perfect harmony, brotherhood and respect for each other’s beliefs and value system until vested interests created vents and built tall walls amongst these beautiful co-existing communities in the Valley.

Aakanksha cherishes her Kashmiri roots and tries to celebrate major Kashmiri festivals, cook Kashmiri dishes, and perform Janamdin puja for her husband and son’s Koshur Vohorvood.

She believes that preserving Kashmiri culture requires more effort from her end, and if she had to describe it in one word, it would be “Oneness.” Aakansha admires the hospitality and adaptability of Kashmiri people and their rich culture, values, thought processes, and principles, which set them apart from the crowd.

Loves to do physical activities such as yoga, dancing, jogging, and zumba. She enjoys organizing events that interest her and loves socializing.

Despite being married to a Maharashtrian, she celebrates major Kashmiri festivals and speaks fluent Kashmiri with her family members. She likes eating and cooking Kashmiri dishes, which she considers her soul food, and is happy that her son shares her taste buds.

She believes that more efforts are needed to preserve Kashmiri culture, which is all about oneness, hospitality, adaptability, and respect for each other’s beliefs and values. She is passionate about propagating Kashmiriyat wherever she goes and feels proud of being a Kashmiri.