It was a typical party night with high heels, suits, food and wine. But what made it different was the special honours to the extraordinary women in various fields and industries. Taking a moment to recognise them was Brew magazine in association with Hindustan University at Hyatt Regency recently. Inspirations flaunted the ballroom from one end to another as the awardees talked about their struggles and achievements. Here is one such story.
Aparajitha Balamurukan, who won the bronze medal in the Asian Beach Games (2014), has been playing squash since she was nine years old. “Every step of the way has been a struggle as I come from a non-sporting family. Every time I travel alone it has been very hard. When I was 16, I was stuck in the streets of Australia, alone at midnight. It’s something I can’t forget. But it’s all worth the happiness and success I’ve achieved today. Still a long way to go,” narrated the 22-year-old.
Another brilliant achiever is Ashrafi Bhagat, who at a time when Chennai’s art scene was still in its nascent stages, popularised it through interesting reviews and also taught the students at Stella Maris College for over three decades. For the first time, she finds recognition and feels truly honoured. “I really hope more such recognition is given to art historians and critics in the city,” she said.
Apart from the award-winning achievers, there was another woman among the audience, a college student whose work inspired many to lend a hand and volunteer too. The Bhojan Athew Organisation, started by Mowshimkka has helped 3,000 underprivileged children. The aim is to encourage children’s ambitions and also test their creative strengths. Some of the awards were presented by ace cinematographer P C Sreeram. Considered shy and reserved, PC took a selfie with award winner Aruna Sairam, Carnatic singer, and also with Sameer Bharat Ram, CEO, Brew magazine. He struggled for a few minutes to take the picture because he preferred to not use the secondary camera. Another interesting bit about the evening was the performance by India’s Got Talent finalists, Loyola Dream Team. They closed the show with their hard-hitting dance performance, which involved a lot of stunts.
The night ended with an open buffet and music, which heightened the spirits of Chennai women. It encouraged them to continue working hard, balance family and work, and be successful.