Dear Armoury, welcome back to Everyday Heroes! Gosh, I am so humbled by the views, the love and the responses for the first part of Rayali’s interview. A lot of work goes into just one interview, I plan these interviews weeks and weeks in advance, I then record them and try to translate them word for word, so you just even clicking and reading a bit is all the reward that I need! So let’s launch into Part Two!
Okay! So moving on, this question is very simple. Technology or travel?
Travel! What can technology teach you? You can only see things on the phone or on the tablet, you can only see things [that are limited to your city], whereas if you travel you gain knowledge and knowledge is power. To travel, means that you can learn and you can teach others what you have learnt. You can pass on knowledge, inspire and motivate! Of course, the most important thing travel teaches you is how to be independent.
Do you think we are becoming a technology-obsessed generation?
Of course! I think that yes we are becoming technologically obsessive because instead of going out for a nice walk and ordering pizza, we can just do it on our phone. But going for a walk and ordering a pizza is so much better than just ordering it on your phone because we are amongst nature and we are at peace with ourselves. Our minds are always over active and always thinking about what others are doing when we immerse ourselves in technology. We are always thinking about what is going on around us and [we don’t usually think] about loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves, and doing things that make us individual happy.
Okay let me ask you this: picture your mind like an i-phone, and you double tap the centre button. How many tabs do you have open in your brain?
[Thinks] There probably would be too many to count!
Do you think [because of what we just discussed] that it is hard for our generation to switch off?
I think it’s difficult for our generation to switch off because, not just because of all of the things that go on in our mind, or on our i-phones, but because we have this hunger to always stay connected.
And why do you think that is?
Because with connection comes feelings of being loved, and if you think about someone like Kim Kardashian, she is constantly surrounded by people and never alone, and maybe that’s why she leads such a superficial life. What would happen if you took everything away from her and stripped her of all of those things, who would she be? She wouldn’t be able to define herself, because all of those things that she’s surrounded herself with is what defines her. So I feel like technology is the same thing, [it’s like] “Oh hey look at me, I have an i-pad, a mac book, an i-phone, I’m such an Apple geek.” Well what are you without all of those things? Who are you without all of those things? And the emphasis that all of these electronic companies put on you and that you have to stay connected to people, and without that connection you’re nothing, that’s not true. Without that connection, you have time to find out who you are without all of these social media platforms and celebrities influencing you.
Alright, next question. You have this incredible ability to connect with people. Where do you think this comes from?
[Laughs] There are a few reasons. To cope with my struggles I’ve been doing a lot of meditation for the past five years and that has enabled me to become quite sensitive to different energies and to feel what other people are feeling [and Jacob, there has been instances when even we have had conversations in the past and I’ve burst out into tears because I could literally feel what you were feeling!]. But besides that, I also think it’s because I’ve experienced and struggled through life at such a young age. Because of this, I’m a really understanding person. If anyone comes to me with any problems wether it be positive or negative I feel like I could not only listen to them but also tune into their feelings; I actually feel what they feel inside. I think that warmth and comfort is where that ability comes from. If I didn’t have as many life experiences and if I didn’t travel as much, maybe I wouldn’t be able to be as understanding, and as open to other people and other cultures.
Alright, I think you might enjoy this next question. If you had to describe your happiness moment as a scent, what would it be?
Oh wow! Okay, let me think about it [thinks]. Gosh, sorry I might get emotional, it makes me so happy. So this is a scent that changes over time. It is a time travelling scent. At first it starts off with quite a mellow note of musk, and then a couple of hours later it blooms open like a sunflower, and as it blooms you get this resonant smell of sunshine, it’s fresh and floral and for a moment you don’t know what to do with all of this open space and this happiness. Then as the sun sets, and it’s time for the sunflower to close back up you have a comforting scent of vanilla and comforting scents; think lots of cinnamon, black pepper and ginger. That is the end of the day and that is how the scent finishes.
So what is this memory?!
The memory starts when I step out of the airport in Calcutta and I see so many sad images. Even if I close my eyes now, it’s somewhat similar to a nightmare. All I remember seeing is orphaned babies crawling around naked, poverty and the rotting of life around me. That’s why I said the scent starts off quite mellow. I cannot fathom how happiness can be present in a place that is so desolate. Then as the scent changes, it reminds me of walking into my Grandparents house and seeing their faces, which gives me strength and an unreal amount of happiness, which only continues to amplify. The realisation that I have two people in my life, who love me unconditionally, who would travel halfway across the world just to make sure I am okay means everything to me. That’s what I mean by the scent blooms open like a flower.
Finally, the scent ends with warm notes like cinnamon, ginger and black pepper. Cinnamon reminds me of the tea my grandmother makes for me when I have a horrible headache. Black pepper and ginger reminds me of the delicious chicken curry my grandfather cooks for my brother and I when we need some good old home cooked food. My happiest memory is with my grandparents, when I finally got the chance to be in their arms after not being able to see them for five years.
I remember that moment I walked into my home after a long, long time. All it took in that moment was a glance into their sparkling eyes to realise that there are other types of happiness in the world that not only constitutes being with your partner, or reading a good book. My grandparents amount to everything I believe in. They reminded me of how important it is to fight through struggle, after fifty years of being marriage they still share a love people dream about and that memory to date is one of my happiest ones.
That’s incredible I wish you could capture that scent in a bottle! So, moving forward, you have beauty blog! Can you tell us a bit about that?
I love art, and the concept of painting and drawing, but I cannot draw to save my life! So that’s why I feel like my face is a blank canvas, and with all of my makeup tools and all my gadgets, I can become anything or any character that I wish to be. I can draw that on my face, I can sculpt and contour and that’s why I started up this beauty blog, to show others that makeup and beauty isn’t about just following what’s popular or trending at the moment. But I think it brings out the artist in me, and something that I’m really passionate about, and it’s something that I can’t express in paintings of drawings. I feel like in relation to beauty people like to say “Oh it’s very superficial, you can just be natural,” and you can! That’s true! But say you are going out on a date, and you want to look mysterious. You can create that look with a smoky eye and a nude lippy! So my beauty blog is all about sharing my passion with others, and I [also] incorporate some life style things in there too! I’m going to post some of my travel things up there, so it’s not just beauty, but I would love to incorporate those things into my blog. So yeah! I also work for LUSH, and a lot of people know that and they really appreciate it when I help them out with any of their questions, and I really enjoying helping others other and knowing that I can help tackle [any cosmetic] issues that they have!
So I always ask this question last, and as this segment is titled Everyday Heroes, I want to know who in your life has inspired you and why? (It has to be someone you know!)
My Mum. She is just, ah man! I don’t think there is a word in any language to describe her. I even think she is a goddess she is so damn strong and beautiful! She is my hero because everything that she has never been able to have in her life, she has given that and so much more to me. She has always wanted to do so much with her life but because of the society she grew up in, she had to grow up at a very young age. There were many things she was deprived of like a home, family and even career opportunities. What inspires me about her is that she works her ass off to provide the best life for my brother and I.
That’s why every opportunity that she has presented me with or pushed me to achieve, I have just embraced. She inspired me to get my first job, inspired me to continue to lead my life no matter what obstacle is in the way. She has literally picked me up from the deepest, darkest hole and made me feel like I am sitting on top of the world. Everyday, that is how she makes me feel. It’s like I’m on this peak, I’m on this roller coaster and it just keeps getting higher and higher, and it never comes back down. Everyday when I wake up in the morning I always tell myself to “Live my life like I dream it,” because she has this uncanny ability to keep reminding me how precious life is. She is just my hero (or should I say heroine).
* Rayali is a free-spirit, who lives in the moment and embraces everything that life has to offer. She is a 20-year-old University student studying a double degree in Agriculture and Business and cannot wait to travel and make a difference in the agricultural/environmental sector worldwide. She loves to boogie, sing her heart out and is usually in a state of trance when listening to her favourite songs.
* Here is a direct link to Rayali’s beauty blog: https://instagram.com/banjosandbeauty
* Rayali has decided that if this part of the interview it would be ‘Kygo’ by Firestone featuring. Conrad Sewell, which you can find here.
* Here a photo of Rayali and I on the day of the interview: