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Mansi Khandelwal

JWB Blogger

Kalyani Saha: “I Have Been Broken Many Times, But I Was Never Self-Destructive”

  • JWB Post
  •  November 19, 2016


Entrepreneur Kalyani Saha Chawla is a woman who dons many hats. From opening the 1st lifestyle boutique in Calcutta to having worked with Indian Express to being the face of Dior and now venturing into two new businesses, Kalyani has always been a stunner.

After getting to meet her at the recently held FICCI Flo meet in Delhi, we asked her quick questions on her latest venture, her bonding with her daughter and some insightful couture tips too.

Me: You have always been an aficionado of both art and fashion. What is your first love from your art collection?

Kalyani:My most prized possession is the painting my parents gifted me on my 40th birthday which is an ink work by Rabindranath Tagore. It’s a cluster of women draped in sarees with their heads covered. I mean though it’s quite ominous and eerie, it depicts the silent strength of women together. So yaa, despite inheriting a lot of masterpieces from my parents, this one I cherish the most.”

This tweet caught my attention on her twitter handle which truly personifies her strong character and zeal towards life.

Talking about her upcoming business venture, Lulu and Sky, I asked her, “Have you found your muse in your daughter?”

Kalyani:Ohh for Lulu and Sky, I am really glad that Tahira loves it since she hates my wardrobe otherwise. Getting consent from her was one of the biggest validations for me. Also, I feel there’s a lulu in everyone, all we need is to discover it and I’m sure you’ll find that on lulu and sky!”

Me: What is one lesson you want to teach your daughter?

Kalyani:I want her to understand what integrity is and imbibe that. There are certain values I have brought her up with and I hope she never forgets those. She is a very good girl and I am super proud of her. She is very strong and independent in thought. I mean she is only 17 but still she is way beyond her years. Also, she is growing up to become a wonderful young woman who is exposed to a lot of things probably because she left for England when she was only 11 and a half. She has a mind of her own and can’t be swayed very easily which gets difficult for a mother sometimes.” At this juncture, we shared an awkward silence and laughed.

Since ‘Winter is Coming’, and sharing our common love for Game Of Thrones , I asked her about three fashion tips she would like to share for this season.

Being literally obsessed with GOT, she told me how somebody called her to remind ‘Winter is Coming’ that too in a Bengali accent. Haha! Sharing her favorite go-to winter fashion tips, she said, “Winter fashion for me would be getting to wear ‘bomber jackets’ because it can be worn over almost everything. I mean it has taken so many avatars that it can easily be clubbed with a pair of denim, a skirt a shift dress etc. It’s not just in trend but is supremely easy to wear.  It can transform from a casual to a chic to a work look.

The second tip would be to invest in a nice pair of boots because they are always cool. Again, even the boots can be worn with your jeans, your skirt, shorts etc.

Third on the list for me would be twin sets. They take you through seasons and are great for travel since they never crush  and can be easily carried!

Me: How is it different to work with someone on a business venture you are so emotionally attached to?

Kalyani:I am working on a luxury silver venture with my ex-husband and let me tell you that I will always be emotionally attached to him. He is that one person whom I’m going to love till the day I die though I still want to strangle him to death. But the fact also remains that he is the father of my daughter. I might not have seen him if he wasn’t but since he is we decided to be the best of friends and so we are. He is a great guy and two great people need not necessarily live together. So yaa, it’s all positive and great!”

What inspires you to keep going after a breakdown?

“I feel that when a relationship breaks down, of course, you’re hurt and of course you feel shattered. And after being through a few, I would say it’s not easy. I am an extremely emotional person and I have been literally broken many a time. But what is important is that I have never been self-destructive during that phase. Also, I have always had work that kept me going. Moreover, my primary reason has always been my daughter since I never want her to see me weak. It upsets her the most. So yes, I have always tried to be constructive in all those low phases of my life.”

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