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OMG TOP 10 Photos, Controversies, Unknown Facts of Namita Thapar


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Old 08-10-2022, 08:17 AM
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Default OMG TOP 10 Photos, Controversies, Unknown Facts of Namita Thapar

Audience knows Namita Thapar as the ‘Isme meri expertise nahi hai’ shark from Shark Tank India. Little does one know that the 45-year-old entrepreneur had a very difficult childhood and in her words she ‘wasted 21 years of her life judging herself and crying all the time’. Why? In author Chetan Bhagat’s podcast Namita Thapar opened up about fighting body image issues, going through emotional eating disorder for 40 years and a lot more. Excerpts from the chat.

Fighting relatives to study abroad


I come from a very conservative and traditional Gujarati family. I always had the deep desire to go abroad – become a ‘foreign return’. I wanted to live by myself. And me, being the eldest in the family and living abroad without getting married… imagine! Many of my relatives dissuaded my parents from sending me. I got through very good universities. But I am glad that my parents didn’t listen to the ‘well meaning’ relatives and sent me shaadi se pehle to explore the world and it really changed me as a person.

Suffering from emotional eating disorder


I come from a joint family and everyone is loud. Even I am loud. I didn’t know anything to do on my own when I went abroad. I learnt everything the hard way. I would feel so depressed at times. From the university, when I used to return home, I would turn on the television just to hear some noise. I would be sad and lonely and every evening I would just eat one pint of ice-cream. I had put on 20 kilos. I suffered from emotional eating. It’s been 4-5 years that I don’t do anymore. For 40 years of my life, I have been an emotional eater. I have always looked at food, especially sugar as a way to make myself feel better.

Going through body image issues


I was very overweight. I had a lot of facial hair and acne. I was body shamed a lot as a teenager. I can’t share how much I weighed, it was a lot. No guy looked at me. When you are body shamed to that extent as a teenager, it leaves a lot of scars.

Being called ‘The girl with moustache’


I had facial hair on my upper lip. A lot of girls have. A guy in my class would call me, ‘Mishi wali porgi’. ‘Mishi’ means moustache and ‘porgi’ means girl. So I would be called ‘The girl with a moustache’, ‘moti’. Like everything else, I have worked hard on myself. I used to feel extremely ugly and had a very low self-esteem.

Constantly being judged in family


The first time I was really confident about myself was at the age of 21 when I became a chartered accountant. For 21 years of my life, I did not like myself. We were 9 grandkids and 8 of them would come first. I would come second, which is fantastic but they would never congratulate me. They would look at me like somebody has died in the house. They would scrutinise my performance, marks. I would constantly judge myself on looks, my mark sheet. I lost 21 years of my life crying. I would lock myself in the bathroom and cry for hours.

Having no one to talk to


I felt my father didn’t like me because he wouldn’t spend time with me. I didn’t realise what an entrepreneur's life is. I thought the problem lies within me. I had self created all these inner demons. In those days, counselors weren’t there. I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t have anyone to talk to and had bottled up all these feelings. I just kept studying.

Dealing with anxiety and lower self esteem


30 years back, talking about mental health was a taboo. It was looked down upon and people would label you as ‘mad’. I would define myself as labels. I started loving myself when I cracked CA. I got that label. I had these fixations that if I top 10th and 12th boards, my photo will come and my parents would love me more. I was so anxious, I missed the 10th and 12th by 2 marks. That lowered my self esteem even more.

What made her do Shark Tank India


I don’t let labels or people define me who I am. I am 45 now and age gives you a lot more experience. I didn’t do Shark Tank India to gain more Insta followers or people to love me. Shark Tank India required 14hrs of shoot, it was a lot of effort. We weren’t used to having 14 cameras on us. We didn’t even know that it would be a hit. I saw the struggles that others were going through what my father went through. We wanted to help those founders, who deserved it and be a part of their journeys.

Her difficult relationship with her father


I got really emotional once seeing a father talking about his struggles and his daughter crying. I am a strong person. I had a painful relationship with my father. The co-sharks still make fun of me because I cried in one of the episodes. I don’t cry because it reinforces the stereotypes around women that ‘women are emotional’. Seeing that daughter cry so much, I couldn’t control. I was scared as a kid. I have seen my father go bankrupt 2-3 times. He is my hero but being in his business, we have ****ed heads many times. We have an interesting relationship.

When she fought back her low self-esteem and body image issues


It happened after marriage. My husband belonged to a glamorous Punjabi family. Every family party was like Bollywood parties. They all looked like celebrities and I felt I didn’t fit. I had time in my life. All my life, I was always studying. I was working and I had time for myself. I challenged myself and lost 25 kilos. I worked hard. Bay area has a lot of hills. I joined a group and we went trekking, I would do kick-boxing, I did yoga and a lot of things. I started eating right, I cut down on sugar. I learnt how to cook and eat simple and healthy food. I went through a lot of makeovers. In America, at the department stores, you can go and sit and they would do your make-up. I would go on weekends to get my makeup done to see which products to pick up and what worked on me. I worked on make-up, clothes and a lot of other things.


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