“One of my fondest memories of my childhood is of my father taking me for ice cream drives late at night. He was a smoker and had a heart attack that took his life. With four daughters to take care of, it put a lot of weight on my mother’s shoulders. She was a teacher and ran her own hostel at the time- she was my biggest support system and meant the world to me.
It was the 7th of September, 2010 when she asked me to help her change her profile picture on Facebook to a picture of the five of us. I remember it clear as day. When I entered the room, she was already on the floor. She had suffered a massive heart attack and passed away. I was forced to learn early in life that people come and go, it’s only you that you have to depend upon. This threw me into a vortex of depression, something I was unaware of at the time.
I have always felt like the black sheep of the family. My sisters were not on good terms with each other, and I had severe inferiority complex with regards to them. At 21, I had finished my BCom and was also handling my mother’s hostel. There were too many questions I didn’t have answers to, and it was slowly killing me.
A lot of little incidents that seem unimportant can actually build up to the point that it breaks you. The frequent remarks and judgements from my sisters- all of it was taking a serious toll on my mental and physical well being. To add to this, the relationship that I was in at the time turned out to be gravely emotionally abusive. I had fallen in love with the image of this man, and only later did I realize that it was all in my head. It got to such a low point that I had to sell a pair of earrings just to survive- life was tough back then.
It honestly seemed like a horrible series of events that kept transpiring over the years. Starting from the death of my mother to contracting peritonsillitis to a severe head injury. However, one day, I decided to leave the country to travel. Visiting Europe gave me the perspective I never knew I needed. Something as simple as putting yourself outside your own bubble can heal you in ways you wouldn’t believe.
When the lockdown happened this year, my pet was really sick and the treatment took the last of my savings. Ramadan came around and I absolutely refused to let it pass without being a joyous occasion. That is how SweetoothbyNyla came about! I make authentic Hyderabadi phirni made out of organic products, and sell it on my Instagram page. I’ve come to realize that regardless of how bad things are, life goes on. I guess now we just have to wait and see what the future holds!”