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Adding a new chapter in life

Shilpa Raina, August 19, 2015, DHNS 0:00 IST

Women's group

It was while clearing her mother’s drawers after her death that multifaceted Sohaila Kapur came across a children’s drawing book that had artistic imprints of her mother everywhere. The theatre actress, playwright and writer knew her 68-year-old mother used to draw, but the drawings were “so vibrant” was something Kapur wasn’t aware of. “She had Parkinson’s disease. Her hands would shake, and to steady them she would sketch something. We knew she painted, but this well... we didn’t know,” Kapur admits.

This personal pain filled Kapur with an overwhelming feeling of reaching out to those women who selflessly devote time to the family and ignore their interests in the process. Be it a homemaker or a working professional, investing in hobbies never comes to their mind. “Many of them don’t want to do it after a certain age because they don’t feel confident enough,” Kapur tells Metrolife.

It was this very thought of bringing together women above 50 years on a platform that would engage them in a conversation, help them forge lasting friendships and encourage them to take up a hobby that silverstreak.in was born and in their second dialogue prominent artist Arpana Caur was in conversation with Kapur, at the Goethe Institut where the Delhi-based artist talked about her oeuvre.

Caur elaborated on how being part of an all-women household in early 80s was a daunting task and how her mother, novelist Ajeet Caur, always taught her children to nurture their creativity. She also pointed out how Rabindranath Tagore started painting when he was 70 plus and felt that “age should never deter a person in doing what he wishes to do”.

One of the participants, Rashmi Khurana, admitted how she always felt out of place in the company of 50-year-olds and struggled to be a part of the “gossip gang.”

“How much shopping can one indulge in when you have nothing to do in life? Our children have grown up and are busy in their own life, husbands too have their own friend circle, so the options for a woman are restricted to relatives or neighbours,” Khurana tells Metrolife.

Facing similar dilemma, Khurana started painting at 45 to keep herself busy. “It was relaxing and therapeutic. I felt as if I was giving myself time for the first time in my life,” she says. According to Kapur, founder of the website, the platform is a place for likeminded women to overcome “age barrier”. “It is not about getting featured in Page 3 or getting recognition. It is more about discovering yourself. The fear remains and we need to overcome it,” says Malati, another participant.

Kapur plans to make it a monthly feature and hopes women get inspired to give a new direction to their life at 50 and above.

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