Priyanka Chaudhary Raina believes in letting her work speak for herself. “Compassion, empathy, love, and care have shaped me into who I am today, and I would like the same to be seen through my work,” she tells indianexpress.com in an exclusive interview. A former banker and engineer by profession, Priyanka — who is married to cricketer Suresh Raina — is also a successful entrepreneur who is passionate about causes related to women and children. “Raising awareness about women and child health is a cause close to my heart,” she added.
In a tête-à-tête, the mother-of-two opened up about her work, Suresh as a partner and father, embracing motherhood, and why mental health matters.
While Suresh is constantly in the public eye, you continue to not share much about your own self. Is it easy to evade the limelight?
I have shared a lot about my work, and I believe that it is an extension of who I am as a person. My values and beliefs are reflected in the causes that I am passionate about. Compassion, empathy, love, and care have shaped me into who I am today, and I would like the same to be seen through my work.
Post pandemic, how has life been for you?
The pandemic has been a difficult time for most of us, yet we cannot forget that it is during the most difficult times that the spirit of humanity shines through. I was blessed with Rio (son) and that has immensely changed my life. It was also the time when Maate (babycare venture) came into being. The pandemic has been difficult, yet we can’t help but count our blessings. We have carefully listened to all that the moms have to say and with constant innovation and research, we have strived to bring the best for you and your baby. Maate works with the Gracia Raina Foundation (GRF) in its efforts to empower women, in and on the cusp of their reproductive phase, which enables them to make informed choices about their health.
How would you describe motherhood?
Motherhood has made my life beautiful. Being a mother, you start to notice and enjoy the little joys of life. You become sensitive to even the tiniest needs of your baby. Being a mother has made me more aware, not only of my children’s health and needs but also of how I have evolved as a person.
You wear so many hats — what do you enjoy doing the most?
I believe that the balance between all the various facets of a person’s personality makes them complete, yet as an individual, I believe in being compassionate and kind. I am passionate about what I do and strive to give a 100 per cent to it. In all my varied roles, I would love people to have fond memories of me.
How would you describe Suresh, as a husband, and a father?
Unconditionally supportive is how I would like to describe him both as a husband and as a father. Making it a point to always be there for family, he never ceases to inspire us both as a partner as well as a parent.
You also share snippets of your family working out regularly…what’s your fitness mantra?
I believe it is more a mindset towards a healthy lifestyle and a lot of it comes from the kind of environment I grew up in. My parents have always encouraged healthy ways of living, not only physical but mental and spiritual as well. And through leading a healthy lifestyle I am trying to pass on the same to my children.
I work out mostly at home, however, my routine is not limited to it. I try to balance my workout with a healthy lifestyle. I am a vegetarian and believe in simplicity when it comes to food. I stay away from spicy food and include a lot of vegetables and tofu in my diet. The fresh clean and simple flavours of Mexican and Thai cuisine are what I gravitate towards when it comes to choosing cuisines.
I also try to maintain a sleep routine both for me and my family as rest is also an important part of staying healthy and fit.
I never stop myself from having something I crave. But I do have healthy cravings and don’t hold back from indulging in them.
Your every day mantra…
On days that I feel low, I try not to rush things. I take in the day as it is and try to be in the moment. This helps me when I’m overwhelmed so that I can make it through with calm.
Your take on mental health…
Mental health is extremely important, and it starts young. Irrespective of age, mental well-being is a must. It is important to regularly examine your mental health and recognise and resolve issues if any. Mental health for children should also be prioritised as it is key to their overall growth and development.
What is the key to a successful marriage?
The key to resolving conflicts in any relationship is communication. Expressing yourself, sharing thoughts, lending an ear to their concerns and reciprocating love are all helpful when it comes to maintaining harmony in relationships.