Ranjeeta – Hello Monica, I’m glad we could connect this morning. I warmly welcome you to my series, “Personal Connections.” It’s been a pleasure getting to know you a bit, and I find myself feeling inspired every time we meet. Your demeanor and the way you interact with others are genuinely uplifting. Despite being in your late 60s, you exude a youthful spirit from which we can all learn. I’m curious to know more about your journey. Have you always been this cheerful and enthusiastic? Could you share with me how your life has been in Singapore? I would love to share your story in your own words.

Unsure of what to do next, I tapped into my passion for music and began teaching. With over 12 students, I specialized in training voices, believing that once you understand how to use your voice, you can sing almost anything. Unfortunately, the onset of COVID-19 forced me to transition from in-person to online classes. After four years, I realized I was dedicating much time to others and neglecting my aspirations. Consequently, I discontinued the music classes and pursued my goals, such as starting a book club, joining a bridge club, and actively participating in a music group and a coffee club.

Diving in misery doesn’t lead you anywhere, right? No one else can magically pull you out of that misery; you must act. So, the antidote to despair is finding happiness. Identify what brings you joy and pursue it. For me, reading has always been a source of happiness. Music has been a constant source of pleasure whenever I’ve felt down. I adore singing, teaching others to sing, and being in music-filled environments. I pursued music until the day of my marriage. My husband’s fondness for singing encouraged me to develop my skills further. Music has always been my passion, and I discovered a particular love for ghazals. With my affinity for Urdu, I naturally gravitated towards singing more ghazals and refining my technique.

Additionally, I am particularly fond of Ganpati idols and Buddhas, evidenced by their abundance throughout my home. Whenever I encounter a Buddha, I feel drawn to it, and despite concerns about space, each Buddha finds its place effortlessly. Among other blessings, I have two little granddaughters whom I adore.

Ranjeeta—Monica, I genuinely appreciate your willingness to share your life experiences. Being in your company is always a pleasure; I’m sure others feel the same way. We’re lucky to have you as a part of our lives, and I must say, you’re one of the most genuine individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

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