If Never Giving Up Had a Face

Almost eight years ago, Karishma Mehta decided to do nothing and took a break to figure things out. Her mantra was to never give up, come what may…

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Sometimes to do nothing is the best thing to do. Almost eight years ago, a 21-year-old decided to do nothing. At a time when her friends were landing a six figure job, she decided to take a break and figure things out. Fast forward to this day, she is an author and founder of the blog Humans of Bombay. What debuted as a Facebook page, has now millions of followers on social media.

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"I did not know what I wanted to master, so I took my time. I call it a sabbatical of five to six months. During this time, I read extensively, wrote and traveled a lot. I started having clarity," said Karishma Mehta, founder of Humans of Bombay.

An avid reader, she is a risk taker and a go-getter. A student of literature, theater arts, history, industrial economics, she has aced a lot of subjects. Still, she was trying to find her calling. "After a lot of contemplation, I decided to write a magazine called Knoq. Humans of Bombay was supposed to be a column in the magazine. However, what started as a random tour around Mumbai's iconic Marine Drive, asking strangers to speak, turned out to be the ultimate calling."

After its genesis, Humans of Bombay has grown to document the inspiring stories of the city's people, businessmen, celebrities and many more. It is not only a platform to document stories - it's a page that has helped several people through crowdfunding. Her book by the same name was published in 2017. It tells stories of healing, love, longing, strength, grit, among other shades of emotions.

She draws her inspiration from the Humans of New York. "When I was in college, I used to read Humans of New York a lot. Somewhere, it clicked."

In the initial years of the blog, it was challenging to convince people. "It took a lot of hard work to make HOB a company. There are so many challenges that come up even today, but with time you learn to deal with it differently."

During the first and the second wave of the pandemic, keeping up with the grit of the blog, the platform narrated stories of recovery. "We told stories of recovery, good health and hope. Amid all the chaos, it was a breath of fresh air."

A nonconformist by nature, she calls herself a hard negotiator, "I negotiate a lot, some of which is not considered very feminine, but who bothers? I love to live my life in my own way."