A profile in courage!

I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.
Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman.
Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… 

This article is an entry for contest #NaturalsTrueBeauty by Women’s Web in collaboration with Naturals salons.


My husband’s aunt (who is more my aunt now!), Bhanu, is an accomplished educator. She has taught for over 30 years in Middle East and India. Married at an early age, she was determined to pursue her passion for teaching. She studied hard, got degrees in B.A., B.Ed, M.A., CELTA and completed her PhD in her 40’s.

Six months short of her 50th birthday, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Middle age cancer can be debilitating. One would expect her life world to come shattering down as the news sinks in. But not her! She did not let it hamper her life. She embraced it with all her energy and brought a tremendous sense of positivity to battle the cancer. Instead of victimizing herself, feeling sorry or asking God ‘Why her’, she prayed to God for the courage to fight it.


She displayed great tenacity and continued going to school while simultaneously undergoing chemotherapy, surgery and other medical remediation. Many asked her why she simply didn’t quit or take it easy but her love for her work and passion for teaching distracted the mind off her health issues. Through this journey, she still fulfilled all her other responsibilities towards home, marriage, children without demur.

I often say, she’s a true beauty, beautiful inside and out. Her beauty is brought out by the strong internal willpower and positive mind-set that shone in a crisis but was always underlying each of the roles she played and continues to play.

I also feel that her inner beauty reflects in her face. She is comfortable in her own skin and I often say she rocks in a sari as well as a dress! In fact while undergoing therapy she was glowing with all the healthy food going inside her. I often used to joke that “While we are already aging in our 30’s, you are looking younger by the day and reverse aging!’


Right from the beginning until now, she has displayed characteristics that defy conventional norms. Her own family – mother in law, husband, son and daughter have been her pillars of strength but mainly because she herself has been so brave. Siblings, nieces and nephews all look up to her and draw so much courage and inspiration from her. Her confidence, zest for life and positivity make her a role model for many of us. She proved without a doubt that it’s not the mountain you conquer but yourself.

Now that her daughter’s wedding is coming up in a few weeks, I’m urging her to accompany me to a neighbourhood Naturals salon, for a day of pampering! After all, as the bride’s mother, an equal number of eyes would be on her. Amid the hectic planning and preparation occupying her mind space, I feel this will be a good break in routine.

Reflecting upon this story of hope, I wonder what is beauty in a woman. It’s something you feel not necessarily see. It’s something that defines her yet one cannot describe. It has less to do with the body and more with the soul. As Sophia Loren once said, “Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than her belief that she is beautiful.” Let’s all continue believing and the rest will take care of itself.

If you enjoyed reading this piece, also check out my other articles on inspiring women all around me. 

41 thoughts on “A profile in courage!

  1. Such an inspiring story Prerna. I have very closely observed how Cancer can drain the life out of the one suffering and the family too. But your aunt seems to have done well for herself and her family. Kudos to her.

  2. Very true..I agree with you..if a woman believes that she is beautiful then nobody in the world can let her down and stop her from touching new horizons..

  3. Very inspiring and heartwarming post, Prerna. Many of us bogged down with little things in life and lose hope, we should learn from the people like her who fight bravely with the monster like Cancer. More power to her and wishing her hale and hearty life ahead.

  4. It is said that when you are beautiful inside it reflects outside.. This story of your Anty is so inspiring…completely loved reading it ! Keep sharing such stories !

  5. She is a super-hero. Staying positive is not very easy in any kind of negative situation. Then fighting Cancer with such strong will-power..kudos to your aunt. We need such positive people in our lives to inspire us all the time. Praying for her good health.

  6. What an inspiring woman she is Prerna. Those are the moments of life which actually test you and the way she has handled Breast cancer is something not everyone can do easily. Loved reading this post .

  7. I love these pictures. Your aunt is showing the right attitude to beat the disease. Positive mental strength helps a lot indeed.

  8. In fact adversity is the real test of character and also adversity brings out the best or worst within us .I too know a lady , who has been fighting this battle most graciously and positively. It is nice that you wrote about her struggle thus making it an inspiration for others too.

  9. Dear Friends, thank you for reading Prerna’s article and thank you so much for your good wishes and positive words. Prerna, thank you , my baccha, for bringing to me an entire community of well wishers- so many positive vibrations created by your writing.
    We are all super powerful as women. We cant fathom our own strength until we are called out to exhibit it. I wish you all love, happiness, strength and tenacity in your lives. Sending you all positive thoughts and loads of love. Savor every single moment in life, savor the miracle of every part of your body, every single day- We are a living breathing creation of the divine universe.

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