Davinder Kaur "Innocent Runaway"
Davinder is perfect example of a successful diaspora member who traversed different continents and countries from England, Denmark, Australia and now the US. Currently a resident of sunny San Diego, she was born and brought up by a traditional Sikh family in the UK. She is an entrepreneur at heart who ran a business for over a decade and currently works as an administrator in the county of San Diego.
Davinder is passionate about the rights of young girls and has chosen the YKB platform to voice against “child marriage”. Her goal is to bring to light how it harms girls rights to health, education, equality and a life free from violence and exploitation. Part of Davinder’s incredible strength comes from her wanderlust of traveling and seeing the world. She has been to 23 countries so far. She is also an avid reader, writer, and enjoys cooking and photography. She is a proud mother of three amazing children who are doing very well in college and school.
Aparna Balasubramaniam "My Gift"
Aparna, is a resident of sunny Cali since 1999. Born and raised in Pune, Aparna made Silicon Valley her home in 2005. An engineer by education and consultant by profession, her heart is in the arts and belief in living life to its fullest. She was first introduced to YKB during her friend’s performance in Pasadena in 2017. She loved the concept, the stories, the blend of reality with art. She participated in YKB Silicon Valley in 2018 and there was no looking back. She is excited and grateful to be a part of the Sisterhood of strong, real and talented women who will participate in YKB this year in San Diego!
Sriram Rajagopalan "Confessions to my Father"
Originally from India, Sriram has lived in the beautiful Pacific NW for more than 30 years, with the love of his life and a rich community of friends. It’s truly home – for his body and his heart. After many, many years of working in various software engineering roles for a local corporate behemoth, Sriram is now pursuing a solo consulting practice in search of greater flexibility, fulfillment, and fun. In his spare time, he loves to travel, bike, hike, read, and support non-profit causes that help make our community better.
Sriram has had the privilege of witnessing the amazing Yoni Ki Baat shows for a decade now. He has been blown away by the strength and courage of the women who have shared their stories and how their YKB experience has transformed them. This has moved and inspired him to come forward and share his story. He is grateful for the platform and supportive environment Ahaana is providing to enable men to share their stories.
Reva Subra "A Cosmic Joke"
Reva was born, raised and educated in the southern India. Two decades ago she moved to the US with her husband. She was trained to be a Psychologist and Educational Counselor in India. For the last 25 years, she has devoted her time and training to counsel families towards acceptance and appropriate care for their children. This led her to start an NPO called UPforCause serving families with special needs, for parents from all over the country to help them with resources and counseling.
Reva met Nanda, Founder of Ahaana 4 years ago, and admires her for her amazing work in women empowerment through Ahaana & YKB. Ahaana compliments the mission of UPforCause to empower parents especially mothers. Reva wants to spread awareness and mission to empower parents of special needs and reach out to them to provide them a helping hand to persons with disabilities and their families to achieve their goals. Outside of her work, Reva is passionate about music, reading and photography. She enjoys time with her two sons and husband in the outdoors.
Tejas Dixit "Knock, Knock...Who's There?"
I have been a Seattle native for the past 20 years but also have a part of my soul firmly placed in Pune, India where I grew up. At home, I try mostly to keep up with my significantly better and kickass wife, Sudeshna and our two teenagers. I love everything outdoors and keep myself busy with biking, tennis, golf, skiing – and once in a while kick the tires with adventure sports. In my spare time, I work for Microsoft and travel the world.
Since the first YKB show, I continue to be amazed at the audacity, courage and conviction of the women presenting their stories and am immensely grateful for the opportunity to share the same platform through MenOlogues.
The Brave and Courageous Performers of 2019
Vanitha Rao Knudson "Chronicles of a Starship" written by Meenakshi Rishi
Vanitha has always had a passion for acting, and that turned this beauty queen teenager into a drama queen active in television and cinema in India while going to college for journalism, psychology and English. However, as she is an eternal romantic she gave up a budding career in acting and decided to follow the love of her life to the U.S.
Vanitha Rao Knudson gives women the gift of confidence: self-empowerment through beauty and self expression. As a journalist she learned the power of truth. And as a makeup artist she has spent the last 16 years helping other women find theirs. From styling models' looks for fashion shows, to makeup artistry for studio and stage, to teaching master classes on makeup, and speaking as brand historian for cosmetic companies at trunk shows and trend shows, Vanitha has been helping women feel their best in all walks of life. "Being a part of Yoni Ki Baat has nudged me forward to work on my screenwriting and brings me full circle back closer to my heritage and better yet closer to my dreams of being the Drama queen!"
Bipasha Mukherjee "Yoni to Yoni/It's Time"
I have always believed that emotional well-being is the cornerstone of a good life. When I immigrated to beautiful PNW, I was able to leave behind the pressures of being in the engineering or medical fields (sound familiar?) and work in mental health. Best decision I ever made. I will soon be a practicing Life Coach. For being an only child, I now have a lot sisterhood in my life. I am grateful for the richness of the “framily” I am surrounded by. Being with kids is my favorite thing to do and I served as a youth adviser for a few years. Also, I’ll babysit any day! I started a band with some friends in 1992. We still perform and are proud of the thousands of dollars we have raised for kids in India. But bottom line, I’m still trying to figure out what I’ll be when I grow up – why don’t people admit this in our community?
Before there was #MeToo and #TimesUp there was YKB. Using the ancient tradition of storytelling, women create a safe nonjudgmental space to explore their life stories. In 2008 the first YKB I watched blew my mind and I was humbled by the courage of the stories I heard. It inspired me to share my story in 2009 in Seattle, 2018 in Silicon Valley and 2019 in San Diego. I believe it’s a powerful experience for both those on stage and in the audience, that makes us question our beliefs, make better choices, shift our lives and create deeper connections.
Rumela Ganguly "Motherhood"
Rumela is a homemaker and mother of 3, who found her passions quite late in life. Theater became her first love since 2005 and she has been staging plays ever since, through her non profit, Seattle Theaterwala, where she explores her creative side. She performed in YKB in 2013, co-directed YKB in 2014 both in Seattle. She traveled to San Diego to perform in YKB 2015, and YKB Silicon Valley 2018. She loves to continue being a part of this heart warming sisterhood. An explorer at heart she likes to travel and work with the under privileged with various non profits.
Rumela's In 2011 as a YKB spectator, she was blown by the strength, courage and spontaneity of the women who told their stories fearlessly on a platform that is completely non judgmental and accepting. She knew then, she had found a circle of women who stood up for each other no matter what and she plunged right into that secure circle. The bond that established leaves her feeling enriched and empowered. She hopes to hand over that baton of empowerment to other women to continue the movement.