“Time is the most precious thing in our lives, you cannot waste time. Use your time in doing things that make you happy, place your energy into thing’s that will bring about happiness in the long run, and have no regrets in life, because everything that you do teaches you something” – Madhurima Nigam
We have all heard of the quote; “Behind every successful man, is a great woman”, but after speaking to Madhurima Nigam, designer and wife to Sonu Nigam, my thoughts shifted to believe that instead, it is “a great woman that is at the forefront of every successful man”. She stands in front, not because it is a race to see who is ahead or who, to put it ever so bluntly, ‘wears the pants’, but instead, she is at the front because she is ‘the woman’, the woman who supports him as opposed to impedes him of his goals in life and career. She inspires him to be his ultimate complete, and therefore often, she is mistaken to be behind, because no one else can hear her voice.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Madhu, we had a relaxed conversation about goals, perceptions, expectations, motherhood, dreams, womanhood, the past, the present, life, love and everything else in between.
I didn’t know what to expect, I had thoughts of; will she come across as confronting, female pro quo, accommodating, or would she want to just hurry this up. After all, I was about to delve into personal conversations with the woman whom many know of us know as the other half, and as Wikipedia puts it, ‘spouse’ to Indian singer Sonu Nigam. Our conversation’s turned into the type you would have on the couch with your girlfriend’s, it made way for genuine question’s on my part and just as much, genuine responses from Madhurima.
So I begin to best tell or re-tell the four sides to Madhurima Nigam……….
Madhurima the Designer:
Madhurima designed for the most part of six to seven years for her husband Sonu Nigam, for his concerts, special events and television shows. In 2011, Madhurima launched her label “Madhurima Nigam”. To date, the label has grown at an organic pace, the label is tailored towards a couture line for men. Her greatest inspiration behind her designs is her husband, because “when I design for him, I know that I am doing the job well”.
Her designs depict a traditional yet independent take on men’s jackets, with a strong take predominantly in playing with block colour choices in black, and the often featured Indian style Sherwani jackets.
Madhurima has spent the most part of her time focusing on raising their son Nevaan, with design taking a back seat, with the passing of her mother-in-law earlier in the year. Having only just recently re-immersed herself into her label again, Madhurima is now taking it in her pace, as she speaks about her vision for the Madhurima Nigam label, excited with plans in the next six months to open her own multi-level designer store.
Madhurima the Mother:
As the mother to son Nevaan, Madhurima comes alive when she speaks about Nevaan. She tells me how her life is first and foremost as a mother to her son and wife to her husband. Madhurima is dedicated to protecting Nevaan in this world, to surround him with people who will positively enrich his upbringing and add valuable lessons to his school of life, and to also allow him to experience and nurture his natural gift, because it is those moments that will eventually create Nevaan’s story. Madhurima says that life has definitely slowed down, now that Nevaan has started school, and so a routine must take place, not only so Nevaan can feel very much stable in a very ‘high profile’ lifestyle, but so Madhurima can also focus more on her career.
Madhurima the Wife:
I candidly ask Madhu about her personal views on being married to one of India’s most recognised profiles in the entertainment industry, Sonu Nigam. She tells me, “at times it is very challenging, as you have to be the ‘picture perfect’ wife, with a certain image you have to fit into, and you are constantly at gunpoint to the expectations of others. You have to be alert, well groomed and strong willed.” Madhurima answered this question with ever-so-slight humour as she has a natural ability to make things not get to the better of her. How then does she become all those things? “You stop reacting,” was her reply. I take it, she was hinting, you have to know how to sift away the things that don’t matter and instead embrace the things that do or will matter.
She tells me, “My husband is an amazing father… an amazing man, and in the last few years I have…. we have… grown up together.” When Madhurima spoke of her husband, she had a tone of a very proud partner. She says, “My husband is an extremely creative man, he thinks on a level that is deep and from within, and therefore he is so great at what he does, his achievements, including being a wonderful father to Nevaan.”
Madhu the Woman:
In this part, I wanted Madhu to openly discuss about being “Madhu the woman.” Regardless of the fact that she is the partner to a famous man, but she is also a woman… a woman where on day’s, she may not be all that perfect.
I asked Madhu, “If you could go back to a certain point in your life, which part would it be and why?” I explained to her that this question is not necessarily one to reflect on regret, but instead to positively look at it as; “If you were to return to your past, and experience something again, what would it be?” To which she replied, “I would go back to when I was 18 years old and do again all the things that I didn’t do, pursue my career as a dancer and to explore life in a different way, this… which I am trying to do now.” She answered this with contentment, content that although she did not nurture herself as a dancer, it did not mean it hindered what she would do now in life. “The present is the most happiest phase of your life,” and from this, I take it, that Madhurima is completely in her ‘present’.
Madhu and I spoke about the controversial yet universal language called, ‘Love’. Her definition of love, “Love is understanding, love is a mental emotion, my love for my husband is never-ending, and not because I simply love him, but because I understand him and with understanding, comes a genuine love. She continues to say, “love can also be over rated and can also bring about evil, by way of obsession and possession and so it is important to grow with love.”
I asked Madhu what words of advice would she give to other women to overcome adversity in their lives, she replied, “You must look at adversities in your life with a positive approach. Life ahead of me, is far more beautiful. The way you think that your life should take shape will allow you to find happiness in something else… change the present situation.”
Madhu believes that adversities may appear to put you back five steps, but really, it pushes you to leap ten steps. She believes that everything is meant to happen and happen for a reason, even if that reason is not immediately clear, Madhu believes that reason is always for the better. I concluded that adversity comes with it a lesson, and with the lesson comes the truth, and with truth comes your destiny… your meaning to be. At this point of the conversation, Madhu and I both agreed there was a reason she and I were to have this conversation. She said, “I feel like I’ve known you for ages,” and I shared the same thought. Maybe it was so I could have a comfortable and honest understanding of Madhu the woman, and for her, to trust in me, that I would take her words and re-tell it on a level where those who read it will take something from it.
By Kim Trinh–Madam AE