Many people let go of their dreams because they believe they are too old to start something new. It could be about starting a new career or learning a new hobby. But 100-year-old Padmavati (Padmam) Nayar has proven everyone wrong.
Padmavati is a gifted and passionate designer, who hand-paints beautiful sarees, even at the age of 100. With the help of her daughters and daughters-in-law, this Bindaas Dadi earned her first-salary at 60 and is running her own business at the age of 100. Her exceptional journey shared by TBI gives hope and inspiration to many.
How Her Inspiring Journey Began?
Born in 1920 in Kerala’s Thrissur, Padmam had 9 siblings and she was ninth among 10 siblings. In 1945, when she got married to KK Nayar who worked at Ford Motors, she moved to Mumbai.
Like many selfless mothers, she spent most of her life taking care of her family. Being busy raising five kids, Padmam never gave up on her love for art.
Though initially, she stitched clothes for her kids, including dresses for her daughters & kurta pajamas for her sons. It was only after all her kids were settled, she started following her passion seriously. While sharing the details, her daughter Lata shared:
“As far back as I can remember, amma would stitch our clothes and enjoy replicating sewing designs that she would see somewhere. But, she truly started following her passion and enjoying it only after she had us all well-settled,”
It wasn’t until Padman was in her mid 60’s that she took up her hobby seriously with the encouragement and support from her family members. Padmam shares how she received encouragement from her daughter, who herself is a designer:
“In the beginning, I painted very little, but my daughter, who is a designer was perhaps instrumental in pushing me a little and making me take it up.”
But it wasn’t only her daughter who supported Padman. She received constant encouragement and inspiration from her daughter-in-law, Dr. Shubhageetha, and Vijaylaxmi.
Believing in the mantra of “Staying busy and not interfering in other’s lives,” Padmam is a role model that our society needs. How she works meticulously at her age shows her persistence and determination.
Every day, Padmam sets a target for herself to work for three hours. And without fail, she completes her tasks for the day. While sharing why she does it, she mentioned:
“I enjoy this, and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction.”
It is Padmam’s persistent belief in being productive, which makes her a successful businesswoman. Padmam wakes up between 5.30 and 6.30 am every morning. While sharing the details of her routine, her daughter shared:
“She will make her way to her work desk by 10.30 a.m. and immerse herself in the world of her paints and brushes until almost past 1.00 p.m..”
To people who don’t understand the complexity of what Padman does, designing a saree is a time-consuming process. With so much focus on minute details, it is anything but easy. It is quite inspiring how Padmam follows high-quality standards for every masterpiece. She first outlines the design, then fills it with colors. She paints on sarees made from a variety of materials.
“Working on tussar silk is slightly more challenging. My daughters and daughters-in-law bring the sarees to me, and I paint.”
Her undying patience and determination are reflected in each and every saree that Padmam paints. It takes her almost a month to complete work on a saree. For one saree she charges Rs 11,000, which includes saree cost and Rs 3000 for a dupatta.
Earning her first sale is a special memory for this 100-year-old. This particular moment is vividly etched in her mind. And why not? Because it was the first time in her sixty-plus years of existence that she had earned something. Though many may wonder why she is still working at an age when many consider retiring, she happily states:
“If at 100 I can earn some money, why not?”
At IFORHER, we are in awe of this courageous soul as she has made us believe that achieving our dreams is possible. All we need is to commit and make it happen!