Meet Purnima Sharma: The Woman Who Found A New Relationship with Technology in The Lockdown | Chandigarh | Wade Asia Special | Women Architects

Purnima Sharma

SURFACES REPORTER (SR) in association with WADE ASIA invited women in Design to share their inspiring stories from 2020. Today, we bring you the amazing story of Purnima Sharma who developed a new relationship with technology in Lockdown.  

Also Read: Roti and Makaan; How this woman turned it into her passion

Born to a family of doctors in Agra, Purnima Sharma was raised in an atmosphere that demanded one’s profession to be given the highest priority in one’s life. Going against the flow of her family, she pursued architecture in Lucknow and graduated in 1987. She married the only person she knew in Lucknow, her classmate Sangeet. Fate worked out in her favour. Her father-in-law, Mr. SD Sharma, is a celebrated architect in the country and she soon learnt the crafts of the business in the family firm. But conflicting ideas led her to break off and create her own firm Creative Architects Planners Team (CAPT CONSULTANTS). Her mantra of 3 Ps – ‘Passion, Patience and Perseverance’ and her philosophy of integrating art and architecture led her from designing the smallest single rooms to fascinating IT buildings and hotels. According to her, “beauty can be intricately wrapped in how I feel the space.”

Covid-19, Lockdown And An Unprecedented Challenge

Just as she was settling in this new life of hers that she had created from scratch, a global pandemic brought the entire world to a screeching halt as humanity went into an unforeseen lockdown for an unknown period. Just as she had somewhat settled in into her new life, she had to embark on another challenge, this time in the confines of four walls of her own home.

Instead of losing heart in the face of another adverse situation so soon after the other, she kept her faith in the 3 Ps of her life. And she focused on discovering aspects of herself which she wasn’t able to focus on previously due to her professional responsibilities.

Conception and Birth of FLY

Along with her sisters, Purnima came up with FLY – First Love Yourself. This was an initiative to make people aware of the fact that self-love isn’t selfish. She started with two people initially, trying her best to overcome the hurdle posed to her by technology.

And by sheer effort, today the group stands at two hundred members. From sharing thoughts on how they spend time with themselves to ways of enjoying their own company, the members helped each other out through these difficult times. Purnima considers this as her way of contributing towards the cause of humanity.

Also Read: Persevering In A Pandemic: The Woman Who Achieved Success With Survival Instincts And Self Care

Her Trysts With Creativity

As her professional life came to a standstill, Purnima focused on the creative aspects of her life – the aspect that she never had the chance to fully explore due to the constraint of time.

She resumed making paper mache jewellery which she last did during her teenage years. And in turn, she generated a passive income and that too while doing something that she loved. Another major creative outlet for her was her bookmarks. Being an avid reader herself, she generated a lot of her creative energy into making hundreds of bookmarks, which to her utter delight were used religiously by her son who is an ardent reader.

Dr. Bhatti spoke about her bookmarks on Facebook, “I am utterly delighted to observe that in my entire life I haven’t see the artwork of such brilliance as yours. It has given me both a pleasant surprise and what I had expected of your mute meditation.”

On seeing her artworks bearing fruits, Purnima painted several canvas paintings during the span of the extended lockdown. She even conducted an exhibition of her artworks on social media and now most of her artworks have found their homes in the houses of her family and friends.

Also Read: The Urban Future: The Inspiring Story of Leena Kumar

Learning New Things And Getting Better With Technology

Through the period of the lockdown, Purnima got herself enrolled in a number of online courses and workshops. She did courses on Yogprana Vidya, spiritual learning, numerology, and Vastu. Apart from these she also hosted a number of sessions for other online. ‘

During times of normalcy she had been working as a guest faculty at a number of architectural colleges. But this lockdown forced her to master taking classes, vivas, and examinations online.

And with dedication and practice, she quickly came to be regarded as an expert thesis guide for architecture colleges not just in the north but all over India. Instead of just restricting herself to teaching her subject, she connected to her students virtually and helped them cope with their professional and personal lives to the best of her capabilities.

Maintaining Professional Life And Understanding The Lessons Learnt

She learnt that while designing houses, a small study room is mandatory which can be turned into an office during times like these. In these ways, she emulated whatever she learnt during the lockdown into her designs. Moreover, she finished working on her Textbook of Hospital, Planning and Designing.

Lockdown made her realize that every nightmare would end one day so all we need to do is keep working towards that end. But perhaps the most important lesson she learnt through this extreme ordeal is the value of the phrase, ‘This too shall pass.’

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