“I am grateful for the pain, the failures, the experiences, and the struggles that helped me to evolve, and develop the character and strength I have today.”
Ruby Walia, Our Alumnus
Bachelor of Arts (Session : 1985-1988)
“You have to go through the pain, to grow through it,” believes Ruby Walia who is a single mother of two children Shivani and Manav
Born in 1970 and brought up in a middle-class family at Kapurthala, she was the youngest of her siblings. She did her schooling from Government Girls High School and B.A. from Hindu Kanya College, Kapurthala in 1988. She was a shy but studious student. Not giving up easily, continuously moving forward and extending a helping hand to others, have been some of her defining traits.
After finishing B.A., Ruby served as a nursery teacher in a local school, Prita Lee Lesson School. In 1990, she joined LL.B. at Jalandhar Regional Centre (GNDU) as per her father’s wish, who wanted her to be a strong and independent woman. While studying law, Ruby also did an apprenticeship yet realized that practicing law wouldn’t be her cup of tea. She didn’t like the culture of the courts in India. But, she enjoyed studying law. Ruby completed her LL.B in the year 1994 with flying colours by becoming one among the top 10 students in the University who were to be honoured by the Governor of Punjab. Ruby’s great achievement made her father feel really proud.
Till the age of 17-18, life was a smooth- sailing for her without any indication of the tumultuous tornadoes of tough times she would have to face in the future. She was innocent and naïve and trusted others too easily. She was not very clear about her goals. Her father was a Central Government employee and mother was a homemaker lady. Her parents wanted their kids to have the best education and be financially independent. In late 1987, her brother of 21 years old,lost his battle with leukaemia. He was the eldest and only son in the family. This irrevocable loss left Ruby and her parents devastated. Ruby was very close to her brother and his death left a vacuum in her life.
With the passage of time, Ruby got married and migrated to US in 1994. As luck would have it, the letter of her being shortlisted for the Indian Airforce interview came a couple of days post her marriage. Ruby found the U.S. to be quite different from India.
Ruby became a proud mother of two kids within four years of her marriage. Ruby’s mother was a constant visitor to help her while the kids were growing up. Taking the advantage of her mother’s presence, Ruby decided to join a Customer Service job at Hertz Car Rental Company at the airport.
She worked for a couple of months, but had a bad experience with her co-workers as they used to bully her. She felt as though her qualifications were of no value in the U.S, she decided to quit the job and won’t work under anyone. Despite being clueless, she chose to be her own boss. But she kept that thought instilled in her mind. She also joined a Paralegal course and got a diploma.
In 2000, she appeared for the California bar exam, but it turned out to be too much for her due to the adverse circumstances that she was going through. She later volunteered in a few law firms but didn’t enjoy the work. Meanwhile she was trying to figure out as to what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Though she was uncertain, yet she took a plunge in the field of Cosmetology.
Having done her course, she joined a salon and put her first foot forward in the beauty business. At this juncture, she realized that she was not happy with her married life. But, she could not decide as she had two small kids. In 2004, she decided to drop her son in a boarding school in India, which gave her time to think about what she wanted to do with her personal and professional life.
In 2004, she decided to end her marriage amicably, despite the fact that she was not yet financially independent. Her parents were in India and she had no one to guide her. She took this decision in the interest of her kids. Life was not easy for a single mother.
Ruby had to face many challenges on the way. Establishing a business, bringing up her kids and on top of all that, all the financial and other responsibilities fell straightway on her shoulders. Many a times she felt lost, frustrated and helpless. But her endurance, resilience, and determination led her to the right path. Her parents were her biggest moral supporters throughout. She worked hard to earn a reputation for herself and never looked back. She had her priorities set, which were her children and business.
Within a couple of years, Ruby moved to a bigger and better place known as Ruby’s Beauty Studio. Her passion towards the profession brought celebrities like Amrita Rao, Kavitha Krishnamurthy, Neha Dhupia, Shreya Ghoshal, Ayushmann Khurrana, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, Dipti Naval, and Natasha Pandit to her fold. Ruby has a caring and giving nature.
She started a group called “Feed the Hungry” that was dedicated to feeding the homeless. The group used to cook fresh food. She has an aspiration to add her bit in this world by serving poor and needy.
In 2017 she founded ‘Touch a Soul’, a U.S. based non-profit organization. The mission of her organization is to empower and nurture the underprivileged children. This organization sponsors hot school meals and contributes to the annual backpack/school supplies and toy drives for the children who are less fortunate.
During the pandemic, ‘Touch a Soul’ started to offer free online tutoring sessions for children in need. Ruby has been an advocate of physical as well as mental health. Yoga was her refuge during her challenging time. She got involved in yoga in 2012. Within months, she could see the difference in her mental and emotional state. From there, her spiritual expedition started and she kept seeking more and more. In 2017, she went to Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, (South India) to stay in Sadhguru’s Ashram. She left it with a great sense of peace.
After coming back to the U.S., she did the “Inner Engineering” Course with Sadhguru and in 2019 she went to “Isha Institute of Inner-Sciences” (Sadhguru Ashram in Tennessee, U.S.) to do the “Shoonya” program. She witnessed a commendable change in herself after practicing the rituals committedly. Her perception towards life, people and things changed. She wanted to share this treasure with others and thus, started offering free yoga classes to the community.
Ruby is an avid reader. She loves to read, write, learn and grow. In 2018, she started her blog, “rubysletshare.blog.” She feels our life is full of stories and by sharing these stories, we can empower and inspire others. Ruby’s thirst for learning is never ending.
During the pandemic, when her business was temporarily closed for almost a year; she thought to make the best use of this time by joining multiple courses to learn more skills. She joined an online 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Course and got certified. She also got certified in Chakra balancing and Reiki Master Level 1 & 2.
In 2020, she founded “Ekom Yoga”, a healing yoga practice. At present, she teaches online private yoga sessions and is helping others to heal holistically. Since 2017, she has been invited by a local college in the U.S. as a speaker to talk on mental health and from 2021 for yoga sessions as well. Ruby believes that life is a school and we all are life long learners.
Taking advantage of the pandemic, she recently finished a course of “Rhetoric” (the Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking) from Harvardx, an initiative started by Harvard University.
According to Ruby, life is a journey with problems to solve and lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy. Life can only be experienced fully if one has the courage. Solutions lie in the problems. A small sea never makes a sailor, skilful. As Paulo Coelho has said, “Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.” Every human is unique in his or her own way. One must try to become the best version of her yester-self. There is an ocean of possibilities within a capable person. No one can think of crossing the ocean only by standing at its shore. Age is just a number, so one must not let this two-digit number limit oneself. Life is not about how many FB, Instagram, or twitter followers one has; it’s about how many lives one has touched; even if it’s just brightening someone’s day with a smile.
Attitude of Confidence, but with Humility.
Attitude of Leadership, but with Empathy.
Attitude of Strength, but with Kindness.
Attitude of Beauty, but with Simplicity.
Ego and Power doesn’t conquer,
Embelish your Soul, and let it shine through.
Have an Attitude with Gratitude.