The M in my name stands for Mrs., Mom: Mediator, Maid, Mobility Manager, Medical director, Marketing executive and Master of ceremonies at the Vijaykar household.
I came to the US in ’83 expecting to return in ’84! Having qualified in visual communications from NID (National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad) and Sir JJ Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai followed by a 3 yr stint as Art director/visualiser at Lintas and Frank Simoes, I came ready to take on the world of American advertising. What I found instead was recession. Luckily, Resources for the Gifted, a publishing house in Arizona opened new avenues and launched my interest in children’s books. Ever since, I have drawn upon my experience as Mom, Immigrant and Artist to focus on my passion, which is to generate Universal understanding.
Utilizing every possible medium to express myself, I have adopted a multi-pronged effort to achieve this goal. As writer/artist/playwright/singer/composer/sculptor/ my life is dedicated to building self esteem among Indian children across the globe. In the process of reading and researching material on India’s ancient culture, I ventured onto the fascinating path of Hinduism (in other words, Sanatana Dharma meaning Eternal knowledge based on Vedas). My Catholic school/pseudo ‘Hindu’ upbringing barely shed any light on Vedic philosophy. Now I hope to contribute my skills to the global effort of making this secular world culture meaningful and ‘user friendly’ for all children.
An immediate initiative is India in Classrooms, the teacher assistance program that I have designed for accurate teaching of the history and culture of Indian civilization in schools. This involves trekking across the SF Bay Area, projector and laptop in hand to make presentations in random classrooms. Teachers are usually prompted by parents to invite me and I try to accommodate their schedule. Sadly, I have not yet found a speaker willing to join hands as most speakers wish to hastily create their own individual presentations. This reinventing of the wheel occurs repeatedly and hurts our bigger mutual cause. However, India in Classrooms is an idea that seems to have caught on, albeit slowly. It is a seed that will hopefully germinate in time. At best it should bring consistency to classroom presentations through community networking. I have created the website specifically for teachers and others who wish to understand and share the basics about Ancient India or Hinduism. I am extremely grateful to the editors of Hinduism Today, for donating critical feedback, guidance and most of all credibility through their generous support. I am also thankful to Dr Subhash Kak for his supplying accurate historic resources. I hope to continually upgrade the website and maintain its professional approach.
I live in Saratoga, with my husband, who is my strongest and best critic, and who, in retrospect, has driven me to excel and provided every opportunity to do so. My sons and confidants, are also my inspiration ~ one a biotech graduate from UCLA, and the second, a Sophomore majoring in Economics at Berkeley. Guests at our home have rarely been spared an evening of Hindi songs, tabla jugalbandis and dramatic performances in Hindi, Marathi, Spanish and English.
My parents and family including in-laws and friends across the globe are the souls who make up my spiritual strength, my window to life’s many truths.