Kaushalya aka Kausi was the perfect candidate to interview, what with so many dreams packed in her young mind along with so many naïve yet brave ideas. Find out more about Kaushalya’s love for fashion designing, her dream to move to Germany and her wish to adopt a child while being a child herself.
Kaushalya, 19, Boutique Manager, Auroville
Interviewed by Poorva Dinesh
Why did you decide to give an interview on your life?
I want to speak about life because I am very thankful of whatever has happened in my life, my family my job and all the new people I get to meet everyday.
What do you work as?
I work in a boutique in Auroville. It’s a shop full of clothes which gives me a lot of happiness. The shop’s owner has studied fashion designing herself and is quite a good seamstress. She’s kind enough to teach me as well. I work really hard every day from 9am till 8 pm. I don’t really get bored here because I get to interact with so many people which also helps me brush up on my English.
Have you learnt English on the job?
I studied in a private school in Auroville for a year after which I had to shift to a government school because my mother couldn’t afford the high fees. I’ve learnt English both at school and at my job.
What are your hobbies apart from fashion designing?
I love to participate in different sports and have won quite a lot of awards as well. I play football, volleyball but my favourite is athletics. I’m a three-time gold medallist in the Auroville marathon. My mother was quite upset though that I gave my medal to the school instead of bringing it home to her. She didn’t speak to me for over a month. My teachers had to finally come home and convince her that what I did was quite noble.
Till what grade have you studied?
I have studied till my 11th standard but wasn’t able to study further because of family problems. I’ve chosen to work and earn money for now and will save money to study further.
Are you happy working at such a young age?
I chose to work over my studies because I enjoy fashion designing and I learn so much from my employer. She’s a lovely soul; we share a special bond. She doesn’t treat me like an employee but rather like her sister. We share our personal problems and help each other out. I’m really happy to have her in my life. I never have to ask her for my money too, she’s always prompt and forthcoming.
I’ve heard that you’re quite keen to move to Germany?
Yes, that’s right, I would love to go to Germany to make money to take care of my two younger siblings. I’m also quite intrigued by the culture there, I’d love to know more about what they eat and how they dress.
Why Germany though?
Through my mother I met a German lady in Auroville, who opened up to us about her life. She came to love me so much that she asked me to come to Germany with her to be her daughter, as she had no children. I told her that though I would love to I can’t because my mother needs me as well. I’m a daughter to my mother first. She left soon and went back to Germany and I tried to stay in touch with her through letters and email but I didn’t get any reply. I guess she has changed her address.
So do you want to go abroad or specifically to Germany?
Specifically to Germany
Is it just because you’ve had the chance of meeting a few German travellers?
No, that’s not true! I think Germany is a great country, even better than India.
How did you come to know that?
Well, the German lady told me that. She gave me a fair idea of the country telling me both about the positive and negative aspects of the country.
Also I’d love to adopt an orphan from India and bring her up in Germany along with me.
When did you come up with this idea?
I’ve always wanted to adopt a girl since I was quite little. When my sister ran away with her lover I realised I wanted to adopt a daughter even more. There is this girl I’m quite fond of and next month on my birthday I’m going to go and bring her home. If my mother doesn’t accept her I’ll shift out and get my own home.
You do know that there is a systematic process and rules to adopt a child?
Yes I know that, I can give the authorities my details. We have our own house, I can even give them my mother’s mobile number and our ration card details. I hope they agree!
You need to approach an adoption agency if you wish to adopt a child. Also, adoption agencies might favour married couples.
That’s why I think I should get married. But I will make it clear to my partner that I want to adopt and not have our own biological children. I don’t care how old the child is I’m open to adopt anyone.
Does your mother want you to get married soon?
Yes she says I should get married now, but I feel I need to save money for my to-be child first. I’m very clear though that I want a partner who wants to adopt a child too. If he disagrees then I’m willing to divorce him.
You’re talking about divorce even before getting married! (Laughs)
Yes, I’m telling you, I’m so keen on it.
And what about this particular girl who you’d like to adopt.
She’s this really sweet and quiet 8-year-old orphan who lives in the hostel.
So you’d like to help her out and give her a better life?
Yes, I have a big family myself but I want to help those who have nobody.
Where do you see yourself in a few years?
I think I will get married in two years, it’s because my family wants me to do so. If it was up to me I would never get married.
Are you going to continue working after marriage?
Yes, of course! What if my husband fights with me because I have adopted a child! I need to have my own money to take care of the child.
The last question has nothing to do with your interview topic. But we ask everyone we interview – what does love mean to you?
Love is an attraction! It is a feeling of comfort that you have with someone where you can be yourself and speak your mind. But honestly I think that love is a waste of time, you can do so many better things with your time. You can probably use all the money that you spend on your lover on helping others as well.