WHEN THE POOR ARE Rich

This moment left an indelible impression on me. It captures the essence of life and human spirit in more ways than one.

Their home is the median of a very busy main road in Mumbai, India. All of their precious belongings are clearly on display. They include a battered and unhygienic mattress, make-shift pillow, clothes and containers. The girl’s right leg is on the street with cars narrowly scraping by her, drivers honking and inching through the chaos, bikers anxiously seeking an opening so they can zip through traffic, people jay walking, street vendors hustling with customers … the noise of the hustle and bustle, unbearable.

And yet, amongst that overwhelming chaos and noise are three kids who transcend into an entirely different world. There is not a care for what they have, where they are and what’s transpiring around them. They are lost and immersed within themselves where there is immense happiness and pure joy. It’s in their eyes and laughter; you can see it and you can hear it.

The interaction between the little girl and child is priceless. It’s what most people crave. The interaction between the little boy and child is heart wrenching; one can tell that the boy has had to grow up very quickly, at the expense of not having much of a childhood himself.

We choose to get lost in the race to acquire the latest gadgets, own the biggest house, drive the fanciest cars, adorn ourselves with luxury brands … all to create an image of how we want others to see ourselves, to help define who we are because our character is not rich enough to compete with such possessions. We choose to get upset with our loved ones about things that don’t matter as routine and habit. Or get up in a tizzy about our food not served right or other first world problems.

This moment captures the essence of life — love and beautiful interactions between two souls. These kids may not have much, but they have everything that we crave for everyday in our fanciful technology driven lives … love and happiness through meaningful relationships.

Published: April 4, 2014

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From Global Roots to Unearthed Truths

Asha was born in India, raised in Oman, and lived in London before settling in the U.S. Her multi-continent, multi-cultural, global experience was a clear predecessor that fed her insatiable curiosity – and the inspiration for her defining Twizted voice.

As a rare breed, she’s truly mastered the art of metamorphosis in body, mind and soul. In her first adult incarnation she graduated Magna Cum Laude from ASU and pursued a vibrant career in the hospitality industry. Then, she grew new wings. Ever intrepid and intrigued by the unknown, she launched and helped grow a thriving e-Commerce technology company with her business partner, proving herself as an entrepreneur and demonstrating both the skills and resolve required of a woman intent on succeeding in a male-dominated industry.

In 2014, she boldly stepped into uncharted territories again, starting a new venture, Twizted Myrtle, in pursuit of her undeniable thirst to confront and create consequential social change. Few understood why she would leave behind a burgeoning e-Commerce business that served marquee clients like Amazon, Samsonite, Viacom, Pokémon, Red Bull, Taylor Swift and other household names – all during the pinnacle of a successful career.

The impetus for leaving the traditional business world for a less conventional path was intensely personal; a deafening voice and inimitable force inside her told Asha that she needed to contribute to the world in a very personal and life-changing way. Asha found herself in the throes of depression and new depths of loneliness. She was acutely aware her “success” was empty. Like many, she had lost her soul in the daily grind of chasing unhappiness.

Ironically, during this time, her depression revealed spiritual clarity; it connected her to the struggles of others who face the same suffocating walls of relenting darkness. Photography became a sacred respite that unleashed a strident voice; like a caged tiger set free, she could never again return to the confined existence dictated by society.

Twizted Myrtle became the multi-pronged platform to confront social issues that we’ve been plagued with for centuries. To break free from these vicious circles, she challenges what we accept, without question, as “wisdom,” and our conventional way of thinking through artistic means – provocative writings, thought-jarring podcasts and captivating photography.

Bringing a refreshing curiosity with the unique empathy of a true global citizen, she speaks with an open mind and unfiltered honesty on a host of issues where most would fear to tread. Her work compels us to see and think differently to help unlock our mindsets from self-imposed limitations. In doing so, she seeks to help people break free from the invisible chains that enslave us as oblivious prisoners.