International Women’s Day
Making Waves — Singapore’s Expat Women; of substance
Tejinder Singh Bedi
Sassy Sunshine aka Harsween Bedi relocated to Singapore early last year after having spent her first forty years of life in India, where she had her own house and which she had decorated the way she had always dreamt it, setting it up along with her hubby Tarun Ummat’s unflinching support in her unique taste, with both having their her own cars, supports of a driver and both a full-time and part-time maids at home.
The change, without doubt, was really big. A completely new place, new environment away from her parents and all of the jovial second family members from her in-laws. The change had also required her to leave her full-time corporate career.
And on top of all this happening, as a full-time homemaker, alongside her globe-trotting hubby she also had the tremendous responsibility of ensuring that their only little kid; our SuperStar Eshan less than four would quickly adapt to his new school, new friends, new teachers, their communique — mostly speaking Mandarine, Malay or Chinese to stay as expressive as he has been and is, back home in India with English the only initial common connecting language of communication in the new island! Though still very young, small — Eshan had to leave all his friends back in India, shifting out of his first playschool — Intellitots in Gurgaon (Gurugram) and most of his most loved playthings like his battery operated car, a similar bike and the company of his Nanu — ever ready to catch up with his lifeline at his first call.
Not only our dearest Eshan, our Sassy Sunshine too braved the big change almost seamlessly though it was exactly almost a year by when everything seemed to have fallen in place with all that is good about back in India now remaining an occasional exchange only, as possible from both the ends.
Thanks to an excellent public transport system, a highly neat and clean environment, a robust supportive logistics chain in general even in the absence of all personal luxuries left back in India, this young Indian expat woman of substance has evolved into her new ‘avatar’ of Sassy Sunshine bringing out the best of her hitherto unchallenged creative skills — showcasing most of her prototype artifacts, home decor items in the NRI Buzzar initiated as a regular annual feature by the huge Singapore NRI Buzz — an interactive group which strives to propel sharing of ideas with the glocal community, driven by a passionate team of Indian women entrepreneurs lead by Shagun Chand, Chandni Jain, Sonali, Sujata Bangur & Arpana Malhotra.
The initiatives truly showcase the stories of women in Singapore, making a marked difference in their respective fields, with dignity and grace of their interventions promising to integrate the people of Singapore, to share and appreciate diverse cultures and at the same time provide a platform to the numerous entrepreneurs among new arrivals in Singapore. Expat living Singapore as a leading mouthpiece and voice of expats moving into Singapore seems to me to be the best platform for this story this International Women’s Day to inspire more women entrepreneurs like these to keep exploring all possible ways to contribute to Singapore’s growing multi-cultural growth along with their own development and hence its HDI too! Indian parents back home also take this opportunity to salute their brave daughters for making waves in unknown territories too just as they did back home in India; their native nation!