An international philanthropist, a global icon, a single mum of three and now an author, Meera Gandhi wears multiple hats with relative ease. In 3 Tips: The Essentials for Peace, Joy and Success, she offers self-help tips in the most pragmatic manner, interspacing guidance with anecdotes from her life, making this book quite an intimate read. The pace of its pages is easy and the narrative, simple yet powerful. HELLO! chats with the New York- based author to know more about her life’s journey and the lessons she learnt along the way.
HELLO!: As you mentioned in your book, colleges internationally now develop courses that teach one how to find happiness. Do you think this is a necessity in today’s day and age?
MEERA GANDHI: “The world has changed. In today’s fast-paced world, most people are chemically imbalanced due to improper diet, lack of proper sleep, lack of time to pray, meditate and give the mind time to recharge, lack of mobility, too much travel, too much comparison, too many opportunities... It’s a madness we were not created for. Hence, people are imbalanced, which shows up in the form of unhappiness, stress, depression and despair! So just like we need a manual to figure out a new phone, we need tools to protect ourselves and bring us back to happiness and balance. This is where courses or books are useful to help us redirect ourselves!”
H!: At first glance, your life looks perfect as a popular philanthropist who associates with the social elite. Was it difficult to peel the layers for public consumption?
MG: “No, it was not hard to share these anecdotes. I live my life with integrity. I have a great life, and I love it. Things come and go like the waves of the ocean. I was happy to have a platform to share! I hope someone can benefit from these pages!”
H!: While you touched upon your divorce several times in the book, you steered clear of mentioning what went wrong with your ex-husband Vikram Gandhi. Was this a conscious decision?
MG: “I don’t think it was traumatic, and I don’t think sensationalising something is a good idea. Many people go through divorce, so it’s good to share how one dealt with things. 3 Tips is not designed as a tell-all book. I’m not interested in that. The anecdotes were purposefully shared to highlight my learning and tips. The focus of the book is the wisdom gained from my experiences. I hope many can benefit from them.”
H!: Pain and upheavals can embitter people. But you come across as optimistic and full of hope. Is this how you inherently are?
MG: “I’m happier now than ever because I truly believe that God and the universe have a plan for us all. I’m now free to follow my dreams and goals and live an Aquarian life in nature. I live by a river surrounded by acres of greenery. I wake up to birds chirping, and I lie in the grass. Please note: I loved being married, but a 30-year marriage after six years of courtship—a 36-year relationship—was perfect, and now I’m onto other things. It’s a short precious time we have, born as a human on this beautiful planet, and I don’t want to waste a moment of it!”
H!: Your three tips for kids to help them cope with their parents’ divorce and its aftermath.
MG: “1. Don’t take sides. Let your parents handle their issues. 2. Don’t ever think it has anything to do with you. Never blame yourself. 3. Remember, life goes on. In the big scheme of things, a parent’s divorce should not take you away from accomplishing your dreams!”
H!: While you’ve talked about the importance of hard work to achieve success, some feel that luck and destiny play a part, as well. Your comments.
MG: “I’ve never met a lucky person who did not work hard and stay focused on their goals. Most happy-go-lucky people don’t really achieve any goals. It depends on what a person wants in life. Yes, there’s a greater plan that guides us all. Perhaps it’s destiny, but everyone is destined for good. We don’t realise it, and often, our daily actions take us away from our true destiny!”
H!: What are the three life lessons you learnt from your kids?
MG: “I learnt from Kiran the importance of understanding and living in the moment. Kanika taught me the importance of living in nature and being truly at peace within. From Kabir, I learnt the importance of focused hard work.”
H!: What are you hoping to achieve through 3 Tips?
MG: “It’s been a journey and a bit of a struggle to really be at peace with myself. Now that I have this peace, I want everyone to feel this way and live their lives in joy. I think these nuggets of wisdom from my journey might help others. After all, my personal motto is, ‘We are to the universe only as much as we give back to it’. This book is another one of my attempts to give back!”
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s February 2023 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!