Aradhna Sethi writes the survival guide for entrepreneur wives
A journalist, a copy-editor and the ex-Chief-Editor of Swiss News, Aradhna Sethi harboured a dream of writing a book at least once in her life. Well, she has made her dream a reality with The Entrepreneur’s Wife. The book is a combition of fiction and excerpts from her life as the wife of her entrepreneur husband, Anil Sethi. Anil as she says is the “sole and soul cause” of her debut book.
Aradhna was born in Chandigarh and lived in many metro cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai because of her father’s Indian Oil Corporation job, and so she grew up adapting to various cultures very smoothly. Post a journalism course from XIC, came the most difficult aspect- getting a job in a publication she loved the most- Copy Editor at Femina. “I still remember standing at the TOI entrance, shivering in my shoes, wondering why this prestigious institution would hire a rookie like me! Pretty unsure of myself, I walked into Pradeep Guha’s office. The interview was great and at the end of it he said that I would be sent a work contract in a week. I stepped out in total disbelief. This was it! I was going to work at India’s top media headquarters at the time. And that was the start of my career with Femina, which was then led by Sathya Saran as Editor,” Aradhna recalls.
I was a little taken aback when I realized that despite being a first world country, women still are paid a lower salary than their male counterparts for the same job
In less than five years though she found herself to be marrying her dream man, and moving to Europe. A short stint as financial journalist for a portal followed, and then came the job at one of the few English publications in Switzerland, the tabloid Swiss News. “On reading Swiss News, I had felt the pulse of what was happening around me in the country I have made home for 9 months now. When I called them, the congratulatory message turned into an invitation for an interview for the job of co-editor. I joined Swiss News and was really happy at being back in my element of people and print,” she added. She was promoted to the post of chief editor within a few months. This made her the first below-30 Asian woman to be the editor of Switzerland’s national tabloid in English. “I felt blessed and grateful.”
About writing her first book, she said that she always wanted to do it but somehow could not. “Through those years, my roles of being a wife, a mum, a breadwinner, a small-time entrepreneur, a supportive partner took precedence over all else. Today, I have no regrets because, finally, it was just all of those roles, the turmoil, the learning and more that made me step out of a job and make time to follow my dream.”
About The Entrepreneur’s Wife
I’d say that for Start-up spouses and those who want to go into the business of entrepreneurship – “The Entrepreneur’s Wife” proves to be a survival guide. For those who are already on the roller coaster – this book will make you connect to the unspoken world of entrepreneurship – what I call ‘Behind the Scenes’ of it all.
A writer or a journalist
A writer! Yes, and that too despite the uncertainty of being read, the fear of being negatively reviewed or criticised. I’m done with my journalism days. It was fun while it lasted. But it’s time to move on.
Life is all about change. So, when the going gets tough, you’ve got to be tough and get going
The Swiss Tales
I’ve always been very open to new experiences and adapt and adopt easily. I guess that comes from the ‘nomadic’ life I lead as a child in India. It was just a lot of learning at one shot! From being single to being married. Learning a new language. From having a buzzing lifestyle in Bombay to settling in a quiet village of 4,000 people. The peace and quiet was too much to handle at times. It was all so different.
As a woman, I was a little taken aback when I realized that despite being a first world country, women still are paid a lower salary than their male counterparts foe the same job. And foreign women are paid even lower. Then there is this distinct unspoken but strongly felt divide between working mothers and non-working mums. You’ll read all about it in my book.
What was conspicuous by way of its absence was eve-teasing. Safety and the level of human respect are so high here. The dignity given to one and all is exemplary. No letches. No one trying to grab you or make a pass at you. You could wear what you want and carry it off with dignity. It’s all so refreshing.
Another refreshing change was that whether it’s marriage or work, a woman is an equal partner here. So it’s perfectly normal for her husband to cook up a meal for the family if she’s out for a meeting. There are no tags or insulting insinuations attached to roles of being a housewife or a househusband. Everything is normal and need-based.
I just felt that the women I’ve met here are more open and expressive individuals; they make time for themselves– and they are accepted that way.
No failures just lessons
I have come to believe that there are no failures as long as you learn from your mistakes. There are no low moments once you learn to feel deeply and let go.
But yes, we’re all human and all of us go through our highs and lows – however balanced our approach to life is. So when I hit my lows and feel like all has failed, I take a moment to count my blessings. I think my mother did a good job of instilling in me the fact that you’ve got to go on with no regrets as you can’t turn the clock back.
Life is all about change. So, when the going gets tough, you’ve got to be tough and get going. This is the only life you’ve got – and the one time that you have to live it up! So pop in a Swiss chocolate without the calorie guilt and get moving.
Favourite Genre in books
Depends on my mood and time available really… Romance to thrilling mysteries, classics to chik-lit. At the moment, I’m reading ‘Jane Eyre’ and Jonathan Livingston’s Seagull for the nth time. A few weeks ago it was ‘Lipstick Jungle’ and a PG Wodehouse. I also have started Jerry Pinto’s ‘Em and Hoom’ and Khushwant Singh.
What I do steer clear of is horror tales or anything that has a sad ending. My current favourite – ‘The Entrepreneur’s Wife’