Daughter of the charismatic Nana Chudasama, the former mayor and sheriff of Mumbai, Shaina NC has distinguished herself in multiple ways at a young age. She is the BJP candidate for the district of Bandra in Mumbai, she has her own fashion label, she’s a social activist, and a TV host. She is confident and stylish as she breezes into her store at Fort, texting on her phone. Looking fresh and lovely in a soft white draped shirt, a long pearl necklace, jeans and heels, Shaina oozes class, confidence, and glamour. It is difficult at this point to imagine her as one of the few modern young women navigating the murky world of politics, but clearly there is more to Shaina than meets the eye.
Fashion designer, social activist, politician, and now a TV host: how do you manage these different facets of your life?
Time management. I work in a way that every minute is utilised to its best. You will never find me whiling away time at social events — I am literally in and out, not staying a minute longer than required. Sometimes people criticise me for that, but I try to do two to three things together and that seems to work for me.
Did you have to make sacrifices to reach where you are?
So many. I feel very guilty as a mother; the whole world is dropping their kids back and forth from school and doing this or that with their kids. But I have grown up with a working a mother and I know that somewhere down the line they will respect me when they realise what I was up to. This is me living life on my own terms.
How would you describe yourself when you were 17?
Very focused. I was ambitious, hardworking, and humble. I think I achieved what I wanted to because when I started designing I was 18. Most people after college used to just hang at the canteen, while I was working. It seemed boring to some, but I thought it was the correct way of living my life.
What are your mantras for success?
Three Hs: hardwork, humility, and honesty.
How would you encourage social and political involvement for adults and teens today?
I would tell them to not be pessimistic about the situation and not to constantly sit on denial and criticism. If you really want to be part of change, plunge into it and take up a social cause of your choice. Through my designing years, I have always had shows for cancer patients and other aid associations and it has helped me a lot.
Do you have anything to say about the dress code of today’s youth?
I feel the youth today ape the West too much. One should patronise the Indian saree, especially at the international level. It is also a great option for formal dinner parties. Bollywood stars are wearing gowns at the film festivals when they should be wearing sarees.
Is there any advice you would like to give to budding entrepreneurs, especially women?
I’d tell all women to make sure that you’re financially independent, because men learn to respect you once you’re financially independent.
Who is the most charismatic personality who you have ever met or interviewed on your show?
It’s been a great cross-section of personalities and all of them have been very interesting at their individual capacities. But I think Baba Ramdev knows how to play the gallery.
If you were to have dinner with five famous personalities, who would they be?
Probably all political. I am great fan of Narendra Modi, I have worked very closely with him in the past. Others from my own party would be Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj. From the Congress, I would choose Rahul Gandhi because I would like to ascertain for myself whether he is what the media makes him to be or if he is different. I would also include Nitish Kumar, as he has done phenomenally well in Bihar.
Volume 1 Issue 1