Meera Bala is one creative whose daily life is a perfect display of strength, brilliance and impact. She is a queen who combines the priceless role of being a mother, wife, daughter, friend and every other beautiful role only a woman can bear. At Hello ICON Magazine, we are in love with how her goals on diversity and inclusion blends with ours, and we particularly love how her story as an immigrant represents the voices of many others out there.
Here’s to the power of our creativity through storytelling.
Here’s our Exclusive Interview with Meera as she beautifully shares her truth on her journey as a Creative.
Enjoy and Stay Inspired:
What does Art mean to you?
Art is an expression of our thoughts, emotions, and desires. Art is definitely a form of communication and it comes in many forms from music, to visual art to writing. I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated all forms of art. It’s definitely a form of expression.
As a writer, how would you best describe your style?
My style of writing comes from the heart and it is very descriptive. I want my readers to really dive into the story and experience the life and emotions of my character and what he/she is experiencing. I would say my style of writing is filled with emotions and vivid descriptions.
Have you ever held back your gifts at some point, perhaps through self doubt? Have you ever felt it ‘boxed’ by someone else or an experience? How did you manage times like this and how do you best face challenges?
Growing up, I didn’t have the confidence or the willpower to do anything, I always doubted myself. Throughout my childhood and even early adulthood, I never believed in myself due to the lack of my confidence. This all changed after I became a mom. After my sons were born, I stopped worrying about the rest of the world and only worked towards making them happy and proud. I had the confidence to face challenges and thrive because they were watching me. I want my boys to have the self-confidence to face anything that came their way and I knew I had to model that behaviour. Always believe in your self!
Your books ‘Palm Trees Under Snow’ and ‘Hearts Full of Hope’ have both come with super lovely reviews, can you share some of the inspirations behind writing each of them?
The reviews, love, and support for both books have been just amazing!
Palm Trees Under Snow is a story that I have wanted to share for a long time. Growing up as a minority in Canada, it was hard for me to relate to the books I read because the characters never looked like me and it was difficult for me to relate to the stories. I wanted to share my immigration story, which I knew would resonate with so many immigrants and children of immigrant parents around the world. Palm Trees Under Snow is about a little girl named Maya who lives through the war in Sri Lanka and immigrates to Canada to face more challenges. Throughout the story, we see how Maya persevere through these challenges.
I published my first book Palm Trees Under Snow during the pandemic and while doing that I realized I needed to get a book out there for children about living through the pandemic of 2020. Hearts Full of Hope is about five kids from different parts of the world living through Covid. Again, I wanted to include diverse characters that children can relate to. This book gives children hope for the future that we will fight through Covid and will be back to living a normal life again. Covid is universal and it brings us together as a community and I really wanted to share a story about that.
I would like to continue to write books that represent diversity and inclusion and also empowers and inspires children. I believe that introducing kids to diverse book allows them to become more empathetic and open-minded.
How do you combine being a wife, mom of two boys, teacher and author? Balancing work time and rest time is a struggle for many Creatives out there. Can you share few tips on how you try to balance work time, rest time and family time?
Finding a balance has been tough, especially during the pandemic because I feel like we are busier than ever before! During the weekends, I do a lot of prep work for the week ahead. I prep meals for the week, get laundry done, shopping, errands, etc. I need to be organized for the week! Weekdays are very busy because I teach full time, and on most days, I bring work home to finish up. My other full-time job as a mom starts when I walk through the door! My husband and my parents are my biggest blessings. My husband, Bala is amazing and is always willing to do whatever he can to make my day easier. My parents never miss a chance to drop off meals and help in anyway possible. I don’t get much creative or rest time during the week as my main focus is on my job as a teacher and being there for my sons as a mom. During the weekends, I make sure to make up for it. We sleep in, start the day slow, go for drives and walks, do some self-care, and spend a lot of family time together. Weekends are also when I find the time to do my writing and work on marketing my books. Do what works for you but always find the time to rest and re-set, it’s so important in our busy world!
How was growing up like?
Since we immigrated to Canada when I was nine, most of my memories are here and are very fond. My parents worked hard to give my brother and I a great life. Most of my childhood days were spent at home happily reading, writing, and watching some amazing sitcoms like Full House and Fresh Prince of Bel Air. We have a huge extended family and summer days were filled with trips to parks and beaches. I also grew up with a great group of friends that I am still close to today.
Do you feel Creatives in developed countries are at advantage than those in developing countries?
Definitely creatives in developed countries are at an advantage than developing countries because of our accessibility to resources and people. In developing countries accessibility is still lacking and also creative work is not respected or valued. In developed countries, we give an importance to creative work and appreciate it highly.
What does success mean to you?
To me success means accomplishing big goals in chunks, one goal at a time, and celebrating your accomplishments along the way. Even if it’s a small goal you accomplished, each time you complete one, take time to appreciate your hard work and celebrate it!
Let’s go a little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow and you have a choice of one color in that pallette, what would that be and why?
I would be lavender, it’s such a calm and soothing colour. This colour brings peace, tranquility, and harmony.
If you could do a collab as a writer with any other artist, what Art would that be?
I would love to collaborate with an animation company such as Walt Disney Studio Animation or Pixar Animation Studios to bring Palm Trees Under Snow to life! I would love to see Maya’s story on the big screen! Dreams do come true! Let’s wait and see.
Please briefly tell us something we do not know about Meera Bala.
I’ve always wanted to be an interior designer! I love designing and creating aesthetically pleasing rooms and spaces. Neutral fresh bright spaces make me happy!
Massive Love Meera!
The ICONIC Team.