“Everyone is unique—never compare yourself with others, not even milestones —— it has to be your prerogative of ‘to be a family’s earning member, or a homemaker’, do whatever you want to do – never bend to social pressures”, -Rashmi Choudhary , Commercial Photographer, a wife and a mother.

This Delhiite, moved to Nagpur to pursue her Engineering, holding a degree of Bachelor of Engineering in the year 2001 soon she joined an information-technology giant in Mumbai and took up a corporate job profile, in 2005 she got transferred to Gurugram (then Gurgaon)——there then in the same year she got engaged, married and got settled — in the year 2010, at the peak of her ten year experience career -where she was leading a technical team of 100 professionals- she hung up her corporate boots- she wanted to be a full-time-mom to her first kid — during the kid’s academic vacations she planned long travels and went to far off places for life’s different experiences altogether —— she is Rashmi Chaudhary.

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By now, Rashmi wished to do something productive and reach out to other women in the similar age group —— In the year 2011 she began her venture ‘Rendezvous – Lounge for Moms and Kids’ -a haven for new moms. Multifaceted ‘Rendezvous’ had a dance-cum-fitness studio where young mothers could train in Pilates, Yoga, Zumba while their young ones as young as three-month old babies were taken care of in the nursery by a nanny. In the same premises there was a coffeehouse-mothers after various activities could connect with each other while sipping a coffee or two. Second half of the day had different batches which catered to activities related to kids like ballet, storytelling, chess or guitar classes — on weekends there were workshops held for kids and mothers alike on various subjects related to art and culture. Rashmi was expecting her second child—post birth of this child, in less than a month’s time, workaholic Rashmi returned to her desk and continued to work as before. Then after a year-and-a half span she announced a break, a kind of self-sabbatical period of two-years to give full time attention to her second child. During this sabbatical, ‘stay active always’ attitude of Rashmi got her to enrol in a ‘Pinkathon’ (the concept had just been newly introduced to the city) -a woman who never ever had ran even for five-hundred meters now ran a six-and-a-half kilometres run -she marks this as her first stepping stone. “Now, I had a new objective of waking up in the morning for training, though I chose running as a hobby, but that kept me motivated, charging my productive thoughts”, she continued, “Once I completed the 10 kilometres run, I further primed myself for running half marathons—and, I accomplished a few successfully.”

By now, Rashmi wished to do something productive and reach out to other women in the similar age group —— In the year 2011 she began her venture ‘Rendezvous – Lounge for Moms and Kids’ -a haven for new moms. Multifaceted ‘Rendezvous’ had a dance-cum-fitness studio where young mothers could train in Pilates, Yoga, Zumba while their young ones as young as three-month old babies were taken care of in the nursery by a nanny. In the same premises there was a coffeehouse-mothers after various activities could connect with each other while sipping a coffee or two. Second half of the day had different batches which catered to activities related to kids like ballet, storytelling, chess or guitar classes — on weekends there were workshops held for kids and mothers alike on various subjects related to art and culture. Rashmi was expecting her second child—post birth of this child, in less than a month’s time, workaholic Rashmi returned to her desk and continued to work as before. Then after a year-and-a half span she announced a break, a kind of self-sabbatical period of two-years to give full time attention to her second child. During this sabbatical, ‘stay active always’ attitude of Rashmi got her to enrol in a ‘Pinkathon’ (the concept had just been newly introduced to the city) -a woman who never ever had ran even for five-hundred meters now ran a six-and-a-half kilometres run -she marks this as her first stepping stone. “Now, I had a new objective of waking up in the morning for training, though I chose running as a hobby, but that kept me motivated, charging my productive thoughts”, she continued, “Once I completed the 10 kilometres run, I further primed myself for running half marathons—and, I accomplished a few successfully.”

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After this Rashmi Choudhary zoomed in her focus on to her childhood fascination ‘a camera’ —— Rashmi used to pose and her father loved to click those memories – the camera had always been her companion —— She wanted to explore the possibility of her being a professional photographer——Rashmi owned a DSLR Camera – joined a photography course and became a professional commercial photographer.

Rashmi has taken up her photography professionally with the name ‘Rendezvous with Rashmi’, where she covers exhibitions, corporate events, conferences, fashion shoots, portrait photography which includes maternity shoots, family portrayals, and corporate personal branding. Her photography work has been acknowledged with many excellence awards —— at times Rashmi is invited as a guest faculty at the Indian School of Design and Innovation to teach offline photography courses to youngsters — and post breakout of the pandemic 2020, she has started her own online photography classes.

Picture/s courtesy: https://Instagram.com/RendezvousWithRashmi // Photograph/s rights reserved with Rashmi Choudhary.

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“My work is my inspiration—photography is a visual medium of expression, it has changed me as a person. —— this passion filled profession gives me an opportunity to enjoy the little things in life like the streets – watching – observing the street-vendors or chai-walas——-interacting with them – capturing them, their expressions in my lens, is a wonderful experience for me.” -Rashmi Choudhary. When asked about her notable moments, she acknowledges her photo-series on intellectually challenged people —— and, when asked about any tough assignment, she recalls her photo-story of a people’s group of 80 runners on a 21 kilometres run to Ladakh—lowlight was her major constraint and continuously shooting with two cameras on a track for six-and-a-half hours was back-breaking — but it was worth it as everyone had appreciated it as she had captured those unforgettable glimpses imparting with cherishing memories for a lifetime.

During the year 2020’s pandemic crisis, Rashmi took up another noble challenge of feeding the needy with at least 100 lunch packets daily—she racked-up her house-kitchen to prepare it and aligned herself with an NGO for distribution logistics. She took Facebook as a platform to stretch the ambit of this work- her corporate communication skills and management abilities got employed here, and helpful neighbours and friends from her condominium as well as others from across Gurgaon joined in. Soon Rashmi started managing a roster for 17 condominiums in Gurgaon——collectively this community management were able to supply food packs, buttermilk, biscuit packs etc. Additionally, Rashmi did a crowdfunding campaign to arrange for dry rations for the crisis affected people, and in a month she was able to raise ₹8,77,000 in which 1200 families were catered to with food grains supplies. 

Rashmi Choudhary first and foremost acknowledges her family as her biggest support; secondly, she counts feminism ‘being a woman’ as a blessing, as her women clients are more comfortable with her; and lastly, in her profession she credits her fashion sense as her strength. In her message to today’s woman, she says “Everyone is unique—never compare yourself with others, not even milestones —— it has to be your prerogative of ‘to be a family’s earning member, or a homemaker’, do whatever you want to do – never bend to social pressures,”.