Meet an Alcmenie Series | Chaitali Dhua
Hi Alcmenies! My name is Chaitali. I live in Sydney with the love of my life, Soumen, and our 21 month old daughter Isha. Hubby is an IT professional and the best life partner I could ask for. My girl Isha is a cheeky little monkey and the biggest joy of our lives. I have done a few things professionally from being a Server in a restaurant when I was in Uni to being an Office Administrator and now an entrepreneur. Right now, we are building our Real Estate Property Management business, which I am spearheading and my husband is my back-up guy. Eventually, once this business is stabilised I want to start my own cloth nappy company specialising in flat nappies of various fabrics and wool covers. My personal code, that I live by is honesty in all my dealings. I know that probably sounds cheesy or corny or cliché. But that’s what I believe. What we put out in this world comes back to us eventually. So if I want things to be positive for me, then I have to make sure I am positive in what I am doing. And that’s where my personal anecdote comes in – If it's in your hands to do something about it, do it and stop worrying; if it's not in your hands, then stop worrying because worrying won’t change anything.
What prompted your decision to use Cloth Nappies?
I have always been conscious of my carbon footprint but didn’t have a lot of information on all the different ways we can reduce it. When I was pregnant I had decided to use cloth once my daughter was around 3 months old. Because at that time I thought cloth meant the homemade flats that I have seen in our native place in India. Would you believe I have not seen a single cloth bum family in Australia yet, in my 12 years here??? By seen, I mean out of the virtual world of course.
So, while flats felt like too much work, I was still determined to use Cloth Nappies. Only, its just me and hubby here, no family help. We began researching the different types of Cloth Nappies and more specifically Modern Cloth Nappies when Isha was around 3 mos old and purchased our first stash when she was 7 mos. But it was a rollercoaster - Bought a full stash. Loved it. Found out she was allergic to the lining. Hated it. Sold it all. More research. Found Alcmena. Was out of stock. Started stalking the VIP group to learn about them. Bought as many as I could on release. LOVED them. Bought a full stash. NEVER LOOKED BACK!!
What has surprised you the most on your cloth journey?
Just how easy Cloth Nappies are to use! As I said, I was prepared for a hard journey. But once I started researching and discovered MCN's, I realised how easy it would be.
Can you share some advice for families wanting to start using Cloth Nappies?
Don’t overthink it, just get a few and try it out. The learning curve becomes easier as you go. No amount of reading or watching videos will prepare you fully for the reality of it, which is easier than you think or expect.
What is your favourite Alcmena print?
Probably the toughest question in this entire list. LOL. I don't have a clear favourite. Chamberpot of secrets, Poo Shall Not Pass, Royal Flush, Age of Pootron, Gumtree, Wattling Along, Bums 'N Roses and Fire & Ice are all equally strong contenders.
How do you fill your own cup?
Is it my Coffee Cup? That I fill with my own homemade coffee. I trust no one else to do it right!
Reading and photography are probably my two main hobbies. Photography depends on a lot of other things being right so its not so accessible to me all the time. But reading is. I find that my cup is mostly always close to full. I am fortunate in my life to have all the blessings that I have and knowing that keeps me grounded and happy.
What would be the theme song of your life?
I haven’t really thought much about this. But there are a couple of songs close to my heart because of their meanings. One song that resonates with me is "Life’s a Dance, you learn as you go" by John Michael Montgomery. And there is a classic Bengali song of Rabindranath Tagore – Jodi tor daak sune keo na aashe tobe ekla cholo re (Translation – if nobody comes on hearing your call then move forward alone). It’s a very powerful song and has motivated me in life in those few moments when I felt the path was too hard.
If you could make a difference in the world, what would you be known for?
I would like to be known as a small part of the revolution to become more sustainable. I don’t want to be a big part, because I want it to be a huge revolution. I would rather be a small part of a large community moving towards sustainability steadily, than be a big part of a small community.
What is your most treasured possession?
Generally I don’t put much importance in material things. I am not a minimalist by any measure, I just don’t think material things are as important. But if you asked what was my most loved possession out of all the stuff I own, that would be my Breville coffee machine and my Fuji XT2.
Who or what lights you up?
My husband and my daughter. Pretty much every time I see any of them I light up. Lol. That’s corny. But true.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
I let my husband taste the brownie I was eating (Zumbo’s) a few months ago. It was deliciously amazing. I still drool when I see them. And he said, “Why did you buy this? You make much better”.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I have a love-hate relationship with cooking. I love to create and modify recipes and they tend to almost always turn out good. I hate being in the kitchen for more than an hour. I started cooking only after I was 23 years old. I had never cooked anything before that. AND – I love reading well written Fan-Fiction stories. So many good authors in this world that are not officially published.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would die. Seriously. Nope. Can’t do it. Food is life. Variety is living.
A genie gives you three wishes—what are they?
Go back in the bottle and do not come out for any reason for the next 1000 years. I have many blessings and I am fortunate to have them. I do not need a genie to give me anything. All that I need is right here with me.
If life were a video game, what are some cheat codes?
You lost me here. I am not big on video games. Does it count if I say – when the rules don’t work for you and you know you are doing a good thing, Bend Them.
What do you wish you knew more about?
Everything. I am a researcher by heart and personality. So there is always something I wish I knew more about.
Describe yourself in three words?
Shop Chaitali's favourite prints!