Ep 13

How Adversity Changed my Life’s Purpose and Mission with Malini Rajendran

Malini Rajendran

Show notes

Katerina: Hi, Malini. I’m so glad to have you on the show because you are one of the ladies that have so much experience and learning behind and could you just tell me because you are a Fulbright scholar at the Cornell University School of Hotel Management, and you got Bachelor in Botany, and you got a Masters in Psychology and so many more degrees. How did you manage to get all these degrees? Could you just tell us about the importance of learning because you are a life long learner right?

Malini: Yeah I’m a permanent student. I’ve spent about 40 years of my life as a teacher, but I think I’m more of a student and less as a teacher. But, but you know what, I sort of feel my, my academic and professional journey has been all over the place. I’ve often been told, you know, I’m a jack of all trades, master of none. My parents are always very clear that I should master something but it just wasn’t me. I was just interested in everything that was going on around. I’ve probably haven’t done a too good a job in any of them but I got them all done, you know, that was, I guess, each one of us has made a little differently. But, but my… you must understand one thing that I graduated in 1971. I took my first Masters in 1991.

Katerina: Wow.

Malini: Yeah, you know, so it took me 20 years to realise I wasn’t educated enough. And, and, and it was a subject of, I was always fascinated with. So I did my Master’s in Psychology, but that was a time in my life when something very funny happened. I’m academically not very clever I mean I’m not very interested in in the academic part of education. I love the concept to be educated… And I’m not good at it and I have an awful handwriting and my mother would always say, I pity the guy who has to, you know, check your answer sheets, because I don’t know if he’s even going to be able to make out a word of what you’ve written. So, um, the thing was that, you know, when I, when I graduated, I, you know, we didn’t have the kind of grades that you nowadays get.

Do you know nowadays in India get in 90s and hundreds. I mean if you got a 50 or 60 you were considered brilliant and my time. And the marking was also very very strict, you know…

Katerina: Yeah, great inflation it’s called…

Malini: Yes, greatly inflated scores if you ask me, as a teacher, now I realised that you know the kids really don’t remember anything and they ask me How do you remember something you studied in sixth standard. I said well because we were taught that way, we were taught not to get marks but talk to learn the subject. So, so when I sort of decided that I wanted to change my job, I realise graduation has no value in India. If you want to want to go job, and just being a teacher and working in an airline. At that time I was working at the Airports … as a housekeeper. I was in charge of Delhi airport which is one of the country’s busiest airports. I was in charge of housekeeping there.

And I just needed to change, and I don’t know some, there’s something funny in my life, every seven to 10 years I do a change, and I change from one industry to a completely unrelated industry, and every seven to 10 years, I go and study, a completely new subject. So I did my Master’s in Psychology in 1991-92. Then 10 years later I did, I did my certification in Environmental Law. And then 10 years later I did a certification. I did my master’s again in Spirituality and Value Education.

I mean you know so it’s, it’s just all over the place. But now I realised that you know all of us are born with a certain plan, which we don’t realise but there is a larger plan of which we are a part. I do believe a lot in destiny. I believe that there are no coincidences, you are at a certain place to meet a certain person, you see yourself… get a certain idea at the given time, not a second before not a second later. So, I’ve, I’ve just gone with the flow Katerina. I’ve never sort of been one… but you know basically because I wasn’t very smart so I didn’t think I had the brains to question things.

So if I was, I got the, you know, a direction or urge to do something or I was told to do something, I just did it. I mean, it wasn’t that smart to double guess or think it. So, basically, that’s, that’s one of the reasons why I’ve been able to go through so many different industries. And also, I do have this habit of doing more than two jobs at the same time. So, when I was working at the airport, I was also a newsreader and broadcasting in the radio station, which was a night-time job you know because I nobody wanted to do the night news, and night shifts, so I would do the night shifts.

And, and even in my education, you know, I applied I applied for my MBA… I applied for my Bachelor in Education and I applied for my Psychology, thinking that you know kids nowadays are getting 95, and I got 52 and who’s going to give me an admission and the funny thing was I got admission and all the three courses. So I was like, Oh my go, what I’m going to do… but fortunately, a lot of papers were very common between psychology and education… there were six papers that were very very very very common you know like learning, learning techniques learning psychology, cognitive theory and all that was almost similar.

So I just said Okay, the big one was nine months so I finished that the Master’s in Psychology was two years, so I finished that, and the MBA, I had to jump halfway, I’m not halfway through… There were 13 papers and I am hopeless at maths, I, you know, even now, to this day, doesn’t make …. for me, so I couldn’t handle the business accounts, the business mathematics, the you know the all the stuff that needed maths part of it. So I said okay I mean I wasn’t getting these degrees to get a job, I was getting these degrees basically I realised that I was kind of under educated and I didn’t know much about anything. So I said, well, just let me expand my horizons and so I really wasn’t upset but but you know I must let you tell you that when I took… appeared for my Master’s I was already married.

And I, I was pregnant with my daughter, and there’s a 13 year age difference between my first and my second, and I had a lot of resistance from family as to, you know, and I was in a government job and I just sort of … I said no no I’m done. I… I guess all have this… The day you can do a job blindfolded … behind your back, there’s no learning curve… there’s no challenge. I call it quits. I mean, I mean there’s… I can’t just get up and go and be a cookie cutter. I mean if there’s no challenge in the job. So I left, and this was a government job and government jobs aren’t easy to come by in India. And can you imagine here I was…

I was I was pregnant and I left the job and I did my Masters, I caught a lot of flack from family. I had to face a lot of, you know, why do you want to do this, are you sure and it was a bit of a battle, but on the other side, and my mother’s family and my father’s family, especially my mother’s family. We have the average age is 90 so when I say I’m 64 they look at me and say excuse me we are 90, so don’t talk about your age. But I come from a family of people who have been constantly joining courses… programmes. I have an uncle who took up flying at the age of 70.

So, so my doing another course at this age was really nothing new, and then my grandfather was great support, and he said, nothing doing. If the money is the problem to pay for the course I’ll pay for it, but there is no limit to, there is no age limit to education and there is no age limit to experience, you just have to take it, you have to do it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get the job at the end of knowledge you will never be sort of measured in terms of how much… what is the return on investment on. You know, a lot of people when they do engineering, when we do medicine in India, parents actually calculate. I pay so much for this degree, my child will get the job which will give you much in return and they make choices for children based on the ROI which is really sad but it is what happens in India. A large part of the country. A lot of families do that. It’s all over the place Katrina.

Katerina: But it’s fascinating because you’ve done so much learning in the in the past, and the typical sort of path for many entrepreneurs is that a lot of them kind of choose entrepreneurship because they are not academically strong enough. They are maybe dyslexic and they’re doing so badly at school and then they choose to become entrepreneurs and they never really think about nine to five job or going into academia and trying to get educated. Whilst you’re a serial entrepreneur, but you’ve done …. for the sake of learning right?

Malini: Yeah, but you know, I became an entrepreneur by default. Because you… I don’t know if you understand how the system works in India. You know, we still, we still to a large extent follow the old caste system… the traditional communities. And most businesses in India are run by people who come from the business class… you know the business caste. It’s a community of people who for generations have been businessmen, and they only know business. They don’t understand education, they don’t understand, you know, so, you know, it was historically created to have a more efficient society where people were chosen as per their skill sets, but somewhere down the line, it became a tool for manipulation and preserving power.

So you have the … who were originally the teachers and the priests who were the literate community who were most of them were either priests, or teachers and I come from that community so teaching and education is a given in my community. Nobody … about it, but you have the business class which … community where education is not important, those people those children most women aren’t really, you know, for an entrepreneurial sort of environment … Those kids are born thinking doing business from day one, you know, you will see a five year old and a six year old negotiating over chocolate or a coffee or an ice cream.

You know it’s that… it’s something that they invite organically and if, and those children who come from those families when they get into academics, do very well because they have the basic brains. But, but they get into academics with the the approach that what is the return on investment than spending in terms of time and money. Then we did have a class which was supposed to be the warrior class which no longer exists because you know we have now the modern Army, Navy and the Air Force, where anybody and everybody who meets those parameters selection criteria and parameters just get in. And then of course we have the, the, you know what was at that time, all the service class, which did all this, all the janitorial services which did all the support services.

I … for a period of time… what has happened is that you landed up inheriting those skill sets, for no fault of yours. So a lot of people who are born in my community who come from my community who actually have fantastic entrepreneurial skills have to really fight an uphill battle, understanding what business is about understanding the dynamics of business, understanding the kind of mindset you need the kind of attitude, you need, you know, where you come from a class where academics education… where you are. I mean I don’t like to call it … considered the superior class because you were the … who control the control the future of the masses. I am speaking historically. So, we inherently, you know, it’s not done in a very obvious manner, but it’s a very subtle kind of an organic attitude … that you know this is beneath us. And you know, we don’t know these kind of things.

And that was one of the biggest challenges I faced when I started becoming an entrepreneur. I became an entrepreneur, totally by default because I have these brilliant ideas, which nobody wanted to touch…. I’ll do it myself. And, and I can tell you I’m still learning. I, you know, unfortunately, entrepreneurs success is measured by how much money you make, and how successful you are financially. On that score I’ll say that I haven’t made any money. In fact, I was very fortunate. I had a nine to five job that paid very well, and I used almost all the money that I got as a salary in running my business which was the dumbest thing to do.

I mean, no sensible business family person would ever use their own funds to run a business, but then I had this drilled into me that you never take a loan you never take funding from outside and you know this was… imputed into me. The other thing, a challenge that as an entrepreneur I face Katrina was in India women aren’t seen in business, period.

Katerina: Yeah.

Malini: If you are in business, you’re either a secretary, or you’re an assistant, you don’t own a business, it’s just not done. And very often when I even to this day when I go to make presentations and people look at me and like where is your boss, you know.

Katerina: Okay.

Malini: it’s really really really really very, very, very challenging. So, and I got into an area which was… where no woman would have ever gotten to. I started… my first business was when I did my Master’s, it was called Good Foundations and I developed educational material for learners, not for teachers — for learners, you know, education… often people think teachers need because… were learning materials, teachers could use now and they were designed for age groups of seven to 14, and they didn’t need an… even if you were challenged in any way, even if you were mentally retarded. If you couldn’t see… by a system of cards that were used a lot of skills between that age group.

And I tried selling you know, and selling them and I couldn’t so I’m very good at production, it’s like music. If you tell me something has to be made, I instantly know what are the steps to be taken to produce something, and I’m very quick at producing and making these…

Katerina: Where did you get this skill from?

Malini: It’s like music, Katerina… it’s just an embedded talent.

Katerina: You were born like this?

Malini: I was born like this because I love making things. If something has to be made and someone says, you know, can we get this done, I would be the first one of the block and get it done. You know, it’s like, to do maths, some people can sing… It’s like music or maths. I just have that talent in me and so a lot of people ask me so where did you do your engineering… you know when I filed for my patents and stuff like that… “Are you an engineering graduate?” I said No, I’m just a common sense graduate. It needs common sense to build a machine. So, so I have machines that I have designed and, you know, there’s one thing to design something. There’s another is another skill set that to actually make it … you know to physically make it. I am able to do that transition very easily. So I just jump into manufacturing stuff. And then I realised “Oh my God, I’ve got a room full of stuff and I haven’t got a clue how to market it.” I still… marketing is my biggest challenge.

So any entrepreneur I tell them… you know my father would jokingly tell me any monkey can make any, you know, any monkey can make anything. It takes a genius to sell it, and I would sort of you know tell my father oh daddy… and now I realise I’m at the short end of the stick. I realise it does take genius, to sell something. And if you can’t sell it — there’s no point having a room full of stock manufactured and really what you need to learn is to sell it. So, so that’s even a digital product, you will have to learn how to market it. And that’s my biggest challenge so I would tell any entrepreneur before you get into production, get some good marketing… good marketing skills..

Katerina: Yeah get some marketing skills because you you’ have to be able to sell it… because you’ve been involved in… you’ve been involved in integrated toilet project for rural areas, and you were also creating lighting for rural areas as well. So a lot of projects with a social impact…

Malini: You see you know why I started Roshni in 2008 was… way back in 1982 the Government of India had something called literacy scheme called “Each one teach one.” And it was a scheme where they reached out to all educated adults to take people you know your servants, your drivers, your maidens to take them and to teach them literacy and to teach… basically to get literacy off the blocks. So as usual I was one of those who would be the first one to jump into these types of schemes. So what happened was that the man… and they said that he would give you the local government resources like you’re in the government school building for you to hold your classes because we all lived in small homes, you can hold a class in your house.

And the funny thing was most of the people were free in the evenings you know not everybody had to go for work in the morning, or they went out in the daytime. And in the evening when we would go to the school, we couldn’t have our classes because there’d be no electricity, there would be no light. And at that point of time, you know I realised that in India there are… you know, we have something like six lakh villages at 600,000 villages. None of them are electrified. And I sort of analysed the technology wasn’t available in 1982 to actually have off site, be centralised… any form of lighting… the concept just wasn’t there. It’s only in 2000 that you know you had LED and solar panels and all these things sort of… . So somehow, um, again it was a question of timing, I think 2008 was a year when I was meant to do this work. So then I set up the foundation and I went and visited a village.

I have a friend who runs a woman self-help group in a very remote village in India. It’s considered the final frontier, you know, the last the last mile frontier of under development. So, under development so when I went there and I started looking at started looking at okay so let’s put the light, the women cornered me and they told me a couple of things they said… a) please give us light that we can use because you know if you understand how the Indian village cultural system is, if you put a light in the, in a public area that men will sit under it and play cards and have their smoke sessions, which means that we will still be functioning without light.

In villages, there is still a lot of the caste system you know, women are still under the way, you don’t have to be Islamic to be under the was in Indian culture also as concept of the …, and the women sort of don’t come out when the men are sitting. And I looked at the houses, and that’s when I realised that this concept of putting a light on a pole or putting a light in a mall will not … something nearby, that … can take with them. And law and behold, the boys the youngsters cornered me and they said, you know, you’re making us a device can you make something that can charge our mobile phones.

And he says no you know we have to drive a we have to cycle, at least for … hours to the town or the nearest main Village. This was really a remote the domain village and paid 10 rupees for every time we charge the phone, and by the time we come back because of the tower sequencing the charge goes. So can you give us something to charge the phone… that was something really out of, you know, it… me between the eyes. So I came back and then I designed a very ugly looking very rudimentary very hardcore light, which I called a light in a bag, and, and then I realised I ran out of money so then I started reaching out to friends to for donations and people gave solutions and I was able to manufacture.

Again, manufacturing was easy part for me. So I made about 100 of these lights and I took them and I gave them to the villagers… NGO, but then again what happened was that died natural because I ran out of funds, and then the the government changed, and you know I mean I want to share with you something very unique. If you’re, you know people who are looking for stats and data about India. You, this was this was an eye opener to me in… As for you know in Indian data that we have, I was trying to look at. Okay, I was… when I was looking for funding, the finding guys say tell us what the size of your market is and you know how big is this going to be. So I suddenly looking at the data and I looked at okay we have villages how many villages are electrified. And I found that the village that I have been to where there was absolutely no light was marked as electrified, and I sort of, you know, researched and I found that if, if there is an electric pole installed in a village that village is ticked off the boxes electrifying. The fact that there is no supply electric supply to that pole, and the fact that that poll is only one and if there are 100 houses there is no electricity, going to hundred houses, so it’s ticked off as electrified and forgotten.

So people still do not have a life after sundown in the villages, you know, that, that is, is the is the hard fact. And, and then what happened was this particular village I visited again three years later, and I found that you know the government has come up with this very big scheme saying oh we have electrified villages. And when I went to the village asked for a pole he said yeah the pole is but not in man’s house, you know, again it’s that hierarchy politics that works there. So the poll just went to the head men’s house, and the Department said oh he’s giving you electricity inside the house, so we don’t need to give you any more electricity. So, so that just… but Roshni foundation is, is, is sort of dormant, because I’m one person handling everything.

Although I’ve often been told you have to hire people but then to hire people you need to make money, and I’m really not very good handling people, I would rather make and do things with my hands on the other side of business, which is, which is so very essential. And then, 2016. This was 2008, mind you, so 2008-2009. I did the Roshni foundation work, then 2016 when the when the Modi government came up with this Swachh Bharat, you know, where they were going across the country pan India to stop open defecation. And then there are no toilets, there is, there is no proper facilities, anywhere, in these villages.

So they came up with the scheme. And again, I was very fortunate. I had some NGOs contact me and say listen we know we know here you do work in this. Can you look at it, so I actually taught about nine village 910 villages, because I said, I am not willing to sit in a city penthouse and work out a module. I need to be in the field to really understand what the, you know, most of the schemes that don’t work in environment are because they are done by people in suits sitting in air conditioned offices. You need to be out there in the field to really understand what the real challenges are, what, what, what is the problem that they are facing. And, and come up with a solution for their problem, not what you think is the right solution, you know. So I went to these villages and then I realised that there were many issues. So I came back, and the whole thing was how do you get the women to use the bathrooms, you know. And what was the reason why women would not adapt to using the bathrooms. So that’s how I came up with the integrated toilet project where the women would actually, you know, have it was a full system where in the villages, they all were growing their own food, and you know plants and crops so I said this is nutrition nutritive water that comes out if it’s properly processed. So, it’s a very integrated project but again.

Most of my work, Katrina has some have come up against roadblocks for the most bizarre reasons. I mean it defies logic, and sometimes I’ve often wondered as to why, why am I asked to do this stuff if it’s not meant to go forward. But I still do it. I don’t question. One of those really dumb or, you know, obstinate entrepreneurs who doesn’t get it right. I will still continue and keeping at it.

Katerina: So it didn’t make you rich in the process right being involved in these projects… doing all this work for this remote villages, it didn’t make you rich?

Malini: No, it didn’t. It didn’t. You see, because of the funding. Nobody was willing to pay for the concept, you know, everybody. Most of the people who wanted me to build the toilets in the villages, said no we don’t want an integrated concept we just want you to build four walls and a hole in the ground. And I said no, it will not work, people will not adopt a hole in the ground. They are already going out to the field which is already a hole in the ground. The only thing you are giving them is four walls, which is not, which is not what what the situation requires. So they said no, we don’t want you to give them an integrated treatment plant, we don’t want you to… I said where would that stuff go? You know, in remote villages if you see the topography of the villages, I said you will be creating a health problem because you’ll be creating cesspools outside the house. You have to look at the whole condition and there are no leaks… and there is no Reverend to which they can just sort of you know push the stuff off… which is again not the right thing to do.

So I said you have to have this… And the other thing is the reason why they will maintain and keep the toilet is because it’s generating revenue for them, you know it’s growing their, their household crops and green whatever they want to grow and they can create new revenue out of it. I mean I sat for a month with these villagers, understanding that entire dynamics of it before I came up with this solution. But mainstream just wanted a quick fix, they wanted, you know, photo shoot sessions, and they just wanted to get it off the check checklist that village, village, village, village, you know, has been… toilet has been provided. I’m not willing to compromise on doing the right thing. Maybe that’s one reason why I’m not successful entrepreneur. I am not willing to play the rules of the game by what they laid down.

Because you need to do the right thing. It’s a tough journey if you take the hard moral high road, but I don’t know any road to take Katerina.

Katerina: So how do you define success, what success means for you as an entrepreneur?

Malini: Um, well what I’ve done is something a lot of people have, you know, when I, when I’m asked to speak and I go on engagements and I always tell them you know I’m not a successful entrepreneur. People always say no but you’re an inspiration because you’ve done things that nobody would ever do.

Katerina: You are a social entrepreneur that makes a social impact on society.

Malini: Yes, yes I tried to create that impact. But in today’s day and age, I think, a successful entrepreneur would be someone who’s been able to balance the doing good and making money part of it too. You know, people have always asked me “How is it that you have hung in there, and now it’s been almost 20 years you know and you still keep at it.” I, you know, in terms of the Wall Street terms of success I’m not a success. But I still keep at it and and I and believe any entrepreneur who starts off thinking that they’re doing this to make money, because you don’t make money overnight. It is it is it is a path you have to walk down. Either it’s uphill or downhill zigzagging taking you all over the place. But it is a part you have to walk, it’s not something that’s going to, you know, land up with a silver platter in your lap.

Well if it does, then you’re, you know you’re, you come in and give you know the gift of the gods group of people. But otherwise, it’s not going to be easy, and and the biggest challenge for people who get into this just to make the money is that when they don’t see the money in the first two years, they bail out, they just they just abandon ship. And, and another thing that happens is for entrepreneurs and this is something I face is the amount of negative flack, you get from family and friends, because you haven’t made the money. And, and so if you get into it from your heart, believing that this is what you are driven to do, then you stay the course. And, and just hope you get it right. I know it isn’t a question of hope it’s a question of my, my son who’s a management consultant will always tell “Mom, you don’t really know how to put the bricks in the right place to build your wall, and which is why you’re fumbling all over the place.” But, but if one does get get someone who can show them the plan show them how to work it. Show them how to be on track be systematic, then, then you are a success on both ends.

So just because I believe that I have some awesome products, I have done different things in different genres in different verticals in fact some of the verticals I’ve worked in are totally unrelated. It might look very motivating and nice, but from a hardcore business perspective, it’s, it’s really not going to be described as something that was a success. So personally, I don’t feel I’m a success. Yes, I guess I’m an excellent model or role model for a lot of people who are starting up there. But it isn’t enough.

Also, a bit what I’m now doing now with the Divine Heart Meditation and the Infinite life work that I’m doing, I realised that with me particularly this must be something very individual Katrina, is I’ve always been a child of destiny I’ve always been pushed in a direction I never questioned it. And, and I said… I was actually I was teaching meditation and … healing randomly to people who were interested for about four or five years but but when things were really beginning to fail when my products, you know…

I’m really grateful to Amazon, because I have this house full of stuff and my husband was giving me… there was no place to sit… it was literally everywhere. It was in the furniture, it was under the dining table it was everywhere. So when Amazon… you know when Amazon came and I could just sort of ship everything to the Amazon warehouse — there’s a big relief. But again, you have to market it, Amazon will not market it for you. So, that’s another backline… learning fight.

But then what happened was I guess one day in absolute desperation, or you know when things just weren’t right… I’m not, I’m not a person who … effort, I mean, I probably one of those idiots who will jump off the cliff — if someone tells you jump. And I would give it my 150%. Whatever I do, I would never do it in half measures. I was so, so fed up and I just sort of said God, tell me if this is not what you want me to do, then show me what it is you want me to do and I will do it… I mean, I mean, I mean I’ve proved that I’m capable of staying the course and capable of doing what needs to be done.

And that’s when everything broke loose when I broke my back, I went blind, and I was diagnosed with cancer, all within the same month, all within 10 days of each other.

Katerina: Was this after you asked the God what to do? … all this events just happened at the same time.

Malini: Yes, it happened on 31st of October I fell and I broke my back on 12th … 10 days later I went blind with a glaucoma attack and 10 days later, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer of the bone marrow, all, all in the same month.

Katerina: Wow.

Malini: And and you know I look at it as well, like you know one of my students told me you know … you’re not an easy nut to crack. I don’t think you would have listened, I’d gone explained told you in any other way. This was the only way he could catch you to listen to flatten you on your back, to make your blind and put you in a place where you didn’t have a choice but to listen. And I think it’s a gift Katrina, I really think it’s a gift, because how many of us get that opportunity to really find what you’re here for. What’s that mission that one burning mission that you took just this life form, took the decision to be born at this time and really we just sail through life doing what we think is what you’re supposed to be doing because society has sort of set the norm. It’s a big grace and some big gift to be given that now look this is what you have to do. And another thing I realised is when, when, when the mission is so big — the focus… everything just falls into place, just falls into place.

And, and in the first 15 days of this entire experience, you know, that I had one of the beauties of it was that I could meditate, because I couldn’t do much else… I couldn’t see. And I realised that my God, I can meditate for 20 hours a day. What a gift. I mean, how many of us get that kind of time. Yeah, I was in a lot of pain, and I was having a bit of brain fog post chemo and all that, and all that was there. But, but I was just… and you won’t believe it. That is why I always say that it was a revelation because in those states of trans… I was teaching look I knew how to meditate I was teaching. I was teaching hands on mind control and I was teaching Theta. I was teaching… so I knew how to get into those frequencies. But … was revealed with something. I mean, it’s so simple. It’s so doable. You don’t have to spend hours at it. It’s just that intent, you’ll get the intent…

Katerina: I’d like to ask you about your podcast… now you’ve started the podcast. Can you tell me?

Malini: I wasn’t doing podcasts, because this was my, my entire treatment was from November of 2018 till April-May of 2019, you know, so that was the period when most of this, you know, it’s very recent and. And at that point of time at the Cancer Centre you know when you have something new, you want to share it and spread it you know you have that urge. So at the Cancer Centre the first few months when I was going for the chemo sessions, the women or someone asks how can you… you are so happy about the situation and when I said you want to hear… So I started teaching one on one, and they found a lot of improvement in their condition and then one led to another so I was doing one on one audio meditations on the phone for about three four different people and then someone else said look my friend has this problem, can you help her?

So, then I would just record all these meditations, and send it to them on WhatsApp, and, and then connect with them on the phone, which is how by, by sheer serendipity I have such a large body of meditation recordings already available all the, you know, all the conversations I’ve had with these people. And, and each one was a different challenge, and, and, and how I was sort of talking to them, but you know I must say that every time I would speak to someone, I would meditate and I would go into Theta, and I would just say what I was asked to say to them. So actually I always feel that it’s another force that that was sort of, I want to say was channelling but I was very much there but it wasn’t me, it was, it was a larger, larger force that was telling me what they need to hear. And so that was it.

And, but somewhere in June of 2019 I was insistently getting this message that get this out by May of 2020, this has to reach humanity by 2020. I was wondering, what’s the bloody hurry why March of 2020 and this business of March of 2020 was repeatedly been… And you know I’m a person who tends to say Okay Okay boss, I listen, I will know why would you want me to do. I’m not fighting you. So then I started looking around how can I get this out, and youtube wasn’t an option because it’s kind of silly, when people do those things with their eyes shut… or YouTube, you know, and, and then I started enrolling for podcast courses, I’m a great student I love enrolling.

So I enrolled and find out how to do podcast. I said Okay this kind of makes sense. And, and then I started enrolling for … and now okay this time I’m going to be a little smart. I started hunting around for marketing… how to market and how to reach out and because the digital digital arena is something totally new to me. I’m not comfortable on Facebook, and you know, that sort of thing. So I’m very digitally savvy I’m back sorry, but that’s that’s the, you know, that’s the engineering creative part of me, but not the other part. So I enrolled for a very intensive 30 day marketing course, and I have to put it into action to see what I will learn… how …

So, … when I, you know, started going back into whatever I had recorded, I realised I had hundred recordings. I said, Oh my God, is that the you know I’m the sort of person who will just work. And when I look back, I’ll find that I have a room full of stuff, you know it’s like that, I never keep track of the work that I’m doing it’s only when I turn around and look at what I’m… stock. So then I managed to get a digital… You know I use I’ve used wave audio editor before, and I love audio analysis business of making the audio the exciting part of it. So then I started editing it. And then I realised, a friend of mine told me look, why don’t you make this into a course, because I was telling “Look, I can teach this. I would love to teach free” but she said “Oh, don’t be stupid you have to monetize it, you have to live now”…

Because most of my finances got wiped out in the treatment. And, and I and sort of retired… I don’t have any, you know, a regular nine to five job that pays your salary to keep you going and I have no savings, because all the salaries that I got I shoved into my entrepreneurial ventures. So, so pretty much, so mine… a friend of mine, a student actually… she said “You know, I think you need to make a course. So then I took a course on how to make an online course.” And I uploaded. I’ve started… I’ve uploaded three courses on … Course craft, and I find that an absolutely fabulous platform. It’s so convenient. Then, then I came across Buzzsprout. I first tried with Anchor and I didn’t like the way Anchor was sort of, you know, laid out and how it worked. And then I looked at Buzzsprout and I looked at three four I shopped around quite a bit I did quite a bit of research, and then I said Buzzsprout sort of works for me.

And then I realised that I needed to have a website…

Katerina: You’ve just launched your website, well done.

Malini: I’ve launched my website and I that I did on GoDaddy. It’s very funny because in some 20 years ago, I was making websites, but what I know of coding and website making has no relevance today. So I said I’m not going to now relearn everything, let me just go to a platform which has these ready made templates and there was one smart thing I think it’s a smart thing that I’ve done is instead of putting all my stuff on my website, I just put the links to the platforms because, you know, I’m going to be uploading on that platform. So it may as well, someone goes, they see the latest stuff, if I start uploading on the website is going to be so much extra work uploading there then uploading them and uploading there.

Katerina: And you can monetize your podcast for example, if you if you have enough listeners, you can then monetize it. If it’s on Buzzsprout.

Malini: Oh, I don’t know that I haven’t learned that to do that. So, that is that, and, and now I’m in the process of, you know, putting together the rest of the material into courses, sort of organising it in a better way… doing more podcasts, seeing what can go as a podcast. But one thing I have learned in one of the courses that I learned is to have consistency across, in terms of content in terms of, you know how you present yourself. So that’s something I learned recently so I managed to get that consistency across.

Katerina: I’ve listened to several of your podcasts, meditation podcasts and I guess March, I mean it’s it’s very timely because of, you know, COVID-19 and a lot of people just need this extra mental and emotional support and a lot of people are kind of lost in the moment, then they just don’t know what to do. And actually being locked in, in our homes might be might become a new norm for everyone right? Because we still sort of trying to figure out how they gonna leave in the future because they expect few more waves…

Malini: I know… I was… timing that was given to me repeatedly March 2020 as to why I was being getting to getting out there… but otherwise I would have taken another year I have this problem of perfection paralysis… I would have just delayed and delay and push, push it further down the road, then this March 2020 it needs to get out, it needs to get out. So I said, Okay, I just do it, good, bad or indifferent, irrespective of how imperfect it is I just get it out there.

Katerina: Yeah, I mean that’s that’s amazing and uh one of your podcast had meditation about fear. Can you can you tell me a little bit about, you know, the importance of understanding where the fear comes from, and how do we get rid of fear, or should we embrase fear?

Malini: Yeah, you know, there are there are the three most powerful forces in the universe that is unconditional love, unconditional gratitude and unconditional compassion. In my lessons and in my podcasts… future podcast I’ll be going into great depth what they are and how they present themselves into your life. But there is only one opposite to all these three powerful forces, and that is fear. Now, unfortunately, you know, in the Bible when they talk about the fall of man, it’s actually, you have to understand metaphorically what it is… we were actually created in the heart, we live in the heart. The heart is the first organ that is made. Heart doesn’t feel fear. Heart just knows to be… it is…

And from that love …. gratitude… compassion all that comes, but the brain, you know the fall of man happened is when you move from the heart and fell into the brain, and you know it’s just 18 inches, it’s just a distance of 18 inches. And the moment you go into the brain. That is where the ego is seated. The heart has no ego. The brain is where the ego is seated and the moment you have ego, you will have fear. Because, you know, the, the me, the mind, the my, the I. That is the source of fear. Also, fear has been, often referred to as darkness and love has often been referred to as light. Actually darkness is not a thing. It is basically when there is absence of light, you have darkness. You know darkness is not a thing, not the problem with fear is that if you have not learned to recreate the power of your heart, which is, you just who you are, then it is so easy for the mind to quieten the heart, and then feel it’s over.

You know like, people have always asked me, aren’t you scared that you know you’re going to be a failure. I said no. In fact, that is one of the biggest sources of fear entrepreneurs have — fear of failure. Because, failure is you know you have to look at failure as a gift, failure is a lesson you refuse to learn the easy way. So I like to… you were shown that there was an easy way of doing things, but you didn’t learn it, you refused to learn it. So you’ve got a kick in your butt and you’ve got C. But fear of failure is more harmful than a failure itself, because fear starts to define you. It starts to say that this is me, this is happening to me, this is my, this is where I am going wrong.

No, something that has happened is just an event. So, how do you deal with fear? Of course, if you try to solve something that is created, solving from the point where it is created, which is why most of the modern… most of the meditation that has been taught globally and it is such a tragedy is being taught from the mind. You know it’s controll your mind, it’s mindfulness, it’s calm your mind, you take the fear out of your mind. You cannot replace fear from the mind, you have to replace it from the heart.

The moment you create that light in the heart, there is no place for fear because you start seeing things differently. You know this was what was revealed to me. You know the situation I was in actually would have been very, very fearful… You know it could have really been terrifying. And this is what most of them asked me so happy about it, how can you not terrified? I said because I was shown a different perspective, I was shown a different dimension. Okay, I… it was a gift… it was an awesome… there’s a reason. I think I was, I was forced to go through this for the sake of authenticity. There’s one thing teaching from theory, and there’s one thing teaching from experience, there’s a whole ocean between the two ways of teaching. So, fear is 90% of the fear comes from the mind, you think … said nothing is good or bad, thinking makes it so. You have to get if you want to overcome fear, just get it out of the mind, look at it from the perspective of the heart.

What’s the worst that could happen? You know, sometimes we get so caught up into this, this whole labyrinth of what fear can create…

Katerina: Yeah, we think worse case scenario… It’s like a spilled milk you know… if you if you ask people can you imagine spilled milk and a lot of people will imagine a lot of mess on the floor, milk all over the place and, and spilt milk could be just a couple of droplets of milk on the table right?

Malini: I spill milk every day, my daughter says in the past life there must be some child you didn’t feed… Yeah, so, so what’s the worst that can happen? And, and you know if you stop to think about fear, fear will actually shut down all all your faculties. And then what happens is… this has been scientifically proven, it will start releasing chemicals in your cells…. and there where cancer begins. It’s all that fear, you know, because your body’s such releasing chemicals, the cells in your body are not used to having having those chemicals around them. And what do they do. They protect themselves by creating more of themselves. In fact, have you listened to the broadcasts talking about cancer?

Katerina: Yes, yes I did.

Malini: And, and that fear. I mean, you know, which is why most of the people might sort of be sharing the meditation with cancer patients. I tell them for God’s sake, stop that… all your relatives if they’re going to come and see you to talk about your condition. Tell them you don’t… just tell them it’s going to be rude, but that you are more important to yourself, so just tell them I don’t want to see them. I had… you won’t believe this Katerina… the number of people who would send me YouTube links and messages… cancer this, cancer that. They wouldn’t give me a break to give me a chance to move away from focusing on the problem.

You know, so I just then started telling people, I don’t, I don’t want to talk to you is this all you’re going to talk about. And what is it? Why are you getting this condition so much of unwanted energy? That part of the body is already suffering, trying to come to terms with all the, all the rubbish, nonsense we have sent towards it. Give it a chance, change it. So, fear is something that has to be dealt with from the heart. Because if you do, you can be dealing with it from the mind, but believe me, the mind is dual. It’s a duality. It will come back. I have seen, you know, if you create from the mind, there will always be a negative part to what you have created. But when you create from the heart, there is just one form. You know, you can create… a lot of people work from the mind, but what is the other side of the story that you know the other part of the mind, the duality that is creating the negativity that is created… That is stress of the mind, you know, but you create from the heart — you deal with something from the heart, it goes away, it doesn’t ever come back, it doesn’t ever ever ever come.

Katerina: So what advice would you give to people who maybe lost their jobs because we’ve seen on news about unemployment in the US and in the UK, a lot of people lost their jobs and I guess around the world… there will be a big economic impact of, you know, Corona virus on employment… on people and some people will decide to start up businesses, whilst other people will decide not to do anything at this point. What would be your advice in this situation, if people feel threatened or that they feel fearful of the situation. What would you tell them?

Malini: You know, as far as this current situation of the virus is concerned, I’ve been trying to meditate to get to read on, on what it is, why it is happening. What is the way forward. One thing is very clear, it is a big reset button that was… has been pressed, a reset for a lot of things. The way, the way we were going desperately needed to be reset. And, and this is where I really think is the unconditional love of the Creator for his creation, to have taken that step to press that reset button. You know, we could have just continued the way we were, but a reset button was pressed… needed to be pressed. That is one.

In terms of the economy having gone likely to be going from, you know, not coming back, a lot of people losing jobs and ending, and in you know in developing countries, it’s really more traumatic because a lot of people are a major part of the workforce is in the unorganised sector. So, they will not have access to any of the schemes that are likely to be coming up in the future, where the government’s are going to be… and stuff like that, is… you know I would like to tell people that there is always enough. There is always enough. No, no, no single person ever… uncared for or looked after, in one way or another. The problem is, our definition of what is enough. And what we want, as to be looked after or taken care of, you know. Because I am, I am seeing in these times there are people who are flourishing who have sort of found a niche and found a way to get about it. Yes, you do need money but then there are also people who are stepping out in providing services or which not equal to money, which, you know, equate to so much other forms.

We are going to need to take a step back, and especially people who have lost their jobs have to seriously, take a step back, go with them and find out what what they are about, because they will always be, you know, the creator doesn’t leave anybody …. never. I mean this this I have seen across the board. In all my experience and all of my travels nobody is ever left out. People lock themselves out, you know I would always say, God is talking to you all the time… I’m not a religious person Katerina, I should… I should make this disclaimer. I use this… because it’s simpler and easier way to explain it. God is talking to you, the universe is talking to you all the time, every time. All the time, problems we don’t listen… There is an opportunity to meet your need, never to meet your greed. The problem is we have moved from need greed. And that’s why we moved moved into it in a very bad way. And that’s why this reset is there. My advice to people who are looking out for businesses starting out… wanting to start businesses because they’ve lost their jobs. Maybe starting a business because you’ve lost your job is probably not the right choice. You know, I mean, it’s a knee jerk, a knee jerk is never sustainable. I mean you know this is a knee jerk reaction to any situation is never the answer. For people who are already entrepreneurs who are struggling… I will always say and I use this — please move away from your logical brain, move away from the left brain move into the right brain, meditate, because you know when you, we don’t have all the answers we are too myopic. Our timeframes are too small. The universal… you know the universal canvas and the universal agenda, universal timeframe is far, far larger than us and we will never be able to do with our left brain, and our limited thinking ever be able to grasp, its potential, you know. And, and I do know one thing that absolutely revolutionary new path breaking concepts, ideas technologies are going to emerge out of nowhere. The person who lost his job maybe the next person who comes up… provided… tuned in,,, tapped in turned on this. If you’re listening — the answer is there for you. This is some personal experience you know. None of what the products I have developed, none of the work that I have done has ever been from…. I have just allowed the ideas to intuitively flow in from the universe, I’ve just been the instrument that that’s gotten done in this diamention. And I know it sounds, what I’m saying sounds like a lot of woo woo but people really need to take a step back, take time off. It’s easier said than done, but I guess the reset button was pressed, because we refused to, you know. So, there’s always something somewhere… You know who would have thought that we would be talking on Zoom ever. Five years ago… Who would have thought that was Facebook 10 years ago, WhatsApp…. Twitter… we never knew these things.

So I don’t know for a fact but that was was shown to me that there are revolutionary new concepts technologies. A lot of things are going to be totally rewritten what we took us for granted and just the normal or the expected norm is going to change a lot. And the point is, if you get into feel like you’re going to shut down your … capacities… will shut down your ability to see beyond your nose. You know that’s what happens with fear… fear stops…. but we’ll see. I tell my students… stops here. If you keep focusing on you you’re focusing on fear… you lock behind your walls, you get out of fear — go beyond. Who knows you may have been given a skill, you know, in a job which, which is going to be so critical for something new that’s going to come up. People need to be open to face. That’s all I can see.

Katerina: Yeah. So, what would be your sort of final advice… last advice to female in the cleaners, who maybe started their business but they now hit the wall and they’ve lost their clients. What can they do today and what advice — mental, emotional advice you would give them to carry on?

Malini: You know, for females and I and I can completely empathise with your question because I’ve been there. My first advice is, it is going to be tough. You aren’t going to be accepted easily… accept it. Don’t let it get into your way. It is still very much a male-dominated world, especially when you work with finances, when you talk to funding agencies, when you talk to venture capitalists. I faced that I’ve been the only woman in a room full of engineers when I was trying to sell my thing and they were looking at like is she going to teach us how to run a machine, you know so accepted. Don’t let that sort of scare you or doubt you. And I would tell a woman — use all all the dirty tricks of the trade of being a woman to get what you want. Honestly, honestly, don’t try to be one of the men. It’s never gonna happen. So use your strengths in the playing field, it is going to be a male playing field still for some more time. It’s going to take six seven years for it to be a female playing field. But, use your skills, don’t feel guilty about it. The second thing is, women are going to find it more difficult to get finances, and I sincerely hope there is going to be a woman’s network financing only women in businesses, you know. I been on you won’t believe it. I mean I’ve been on so many funding forums venture capital forums, I mean, there isn’t a forum I haven’t been presenting… I’ve always found that the moment a woman comes to present the case, they start pulling out their phones and … So I really hope and think, if someone is listening that a network of women of funders, and venture capitalists supporting women entrepreneurs comes up. The second thing is your community, and don’t feel shy asking for help. Yeah, you are a dumb blonde yeah okay fine ask for help. Yeah, this is what I would say. And that’s where most of us hold ourselves back, you know, we feel inadequate. You are not inadequate. I always, you know I always tell men, or my male students. The problem with men is you see you have to understand they can’t multitask. Women are born multitasking. So I always tell them the day you learn to have a baby and do the housework and get a job, and keep the place going, then you talk to us. In India it is really very challenging because women aren’t supposed to be knowing anything about money. If there’s a business conversation going on and a woman opens her mouth she’s blankly told to shut up — this is man’s job and not for you. So I understand, I really understand the challenges we’re facing. And I don’t just hang out with women you know because women don’t know all the tricks of the trade. I hang out with as many men as I can, because obviously if it’s a given… accept it… they look at the situation in very differently than we do. And while we may be able to look at a situation, they will never be able to learn from us, but we have one great talent, we can learn from them. That’s what I would do. I mean that that was what I have sort of practice. I always hang around the man and my husband will say “Yeah, you’re the only woman in that group of man standing around them nodding your head as you’re intelligent.” Well he doesn’t know basically I’m going to pick up as many tricks of the trade as I can from them. Because the way they do things we will never even if we go… degrees we will never be…. it’s not in our…. So not from, learn from others mistakes and never be afraid of reaching out… say I don’t know, teach me. There’s no ego. Ego doesn’t have to take any winners here…

Katerina: Ego is fear like you said.. if you feel fearful it’s fear talking.

Malini: What it will cost me? What will they say about me? How will I appear? Forget it… You have a focus you have a goal you to achieve. Don’t let anything stopping you.

Katerina: Yeah, that’s, that’s great. Thank you so much, I hope that someone listens and actually creates a platform for for for women to get some funds because we had actually a girl on a programme and she created an app, a mobile phone app for girls to socialise and network and because she’s good man on the board of directors, they’re giving her some hard time… venture capitalists… they’re giving her some hard time even telling her how to run her business, right, and it’s, it’s all about a place for for for girls to socialise and be together and they want to put their… you know they want to change it and mold it into what they want and it’s hard… it’s hard. And I just wish that you know… I think it’s it’s a great suggestion for someone to actually create a platform to fund other women.

Malini: Yes I hope that someone starts that… I sincerely do.

Katerina: Yeah, thank you so much for being on the show and thank you for giving us your positivity and it’s an incredible story and I guess everyone will learn from from your story that you have to be brave and fearless and, and, and just accept, accept yourself, accept the situations in your life and and see beyond the fear.

Malini: Thank you. Thank you so much, Katerina.


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