Masoom Minawala pens down a quintessential guide for every woman who wants to prove the world wrong

“I knew she was destined for greatness,” reads Deepika Padukone’s quote on the cover of ‘She’ll Never Make It’. And Karan Johar calls her “(An) icon, every product she touches turns to gold.” 

16 April, 2024
Masoom Minawala pens down a quintessential guide for every woman who wants to prove the world wrong

For a name that has been as ubiquitous to the Indian blogosphere (and influencerdom) as, well, insert your choice of a dominant and predominant example here, there was no way of getting through this interview with Masoom Minawala for her book without asking why it’s titled She’ll Never Make It? “Because it is something I’ve heard constantly. Whether it was whispered behind my back or said as snide remarks to my face,” she said. “Remember when we met four years ago and your boss’ demeanour and words…”

It immediately took me back to that meeting in the coffee shop of Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi. I was working with a literary agent and had pitched a book with Masoom. This wasn’t long after her wedding, when her innovative approach to content creation and influencing took Instagram and YouTube by storm, and her already thriving audience stayed and grew. I knew she would have something unique to say, and, advantageously for any agent or publisher, an already eager audience waiting to listen.  We had to do it, it would be our biggest sell, I knew it. Turns out, the person I worked for didn’t, and it showed in how he spoke to her. Every word, however disguised, was condescending and (what I then naively thought subliminally) read “she’ll never make it”. 

The making of Masoom’s book

Four years later, here we are, talking about how she did make it (although she won’t say so herself), her book in hand, her photo on the cover a celebratory shout to everyone who refused to listen. 

“It didn’t come from a need to prove others wrong but from wishing I had had some sort of guide myself, a documentation that could have helped me on this journey. That has always been my approach, making content that I want to see,” Masoom says. Two years in the making, the idea has pivoted many times. From a guide for influencers, to a self help, to finally being a book that is a tell-all of the last 12 years of Masoom’s life as an example for anyone who needs help, or a simple nudge of encouragement to say “you can do it too” when choosing an unconventional path, or perhaps, as the back cover reads, “for the Indian woman who wants to prove everyone wrong.”

And the journey of writing the book itself has been an arduous one for Masoom. “I’ve gotten so used to instant gratification!” she laughs. For someone who looks like she is always on overdrive, hustling her way from one shoot to an endorsement and another event, unfailingly bringing content to her followers, having to slow down to write was a challenge. “Plus having to remember the past is painful. I have procrastinated and worked through so much doubt in the process of writing this.” But with the book now in her hand she looks at it as a personal victory. “A gift to myself...”

The book in a snapshot

“ that tells my story as is. ” This book is not going to be about a happy ending. It is not a sob story to say it will all work out. It is a book about picking a career choice that isn’t an easy go-to and how to work through it, making bad decisions, dealing with criticism and batting them away, the freedom of choice, and gratitude for the privilege to do it all. 

Masoom’s manifestation journey 

In fact, gratitude has been at the heart of everything Masoom does, at the heart of Masoom Magic (a term that was coined by her many collaborators to describe the results working with her has brought their business). “The journey for me began when I read the book You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L Hay and realised the power of my own thoughts. I was only a teenager when I first picked it up, going through a tumultuous time, and I realised I was in charge of my reality, that I could change it with my thoughts. And within it lay the power of gratitude.”

Personally, I once saw Masoom talk about journaling in a yellow notebook with a red pen every morning as a manifestation approach and I have followed suit (talk about Masoom Magic). Has it brought me everything I wanted? No, we continue to write every day, but I am still a believer. And Masoom makes no claims for it either. “Gratitude has been a huge part of my life, but there have been parts when I’ve felt unfulfilled despite it. And that unfulfillment leads you towards more and more professional release and validation. It may not necessarily be the right balance, but it led me to want to make something of myself. And I wouldn’t change a thing because it has led me to where I am today, including this book!” 

Masoom on making and owning her mistakes

Not sans mistakes she herself adds, and Masoom is unafraid to own them. “There is no beating around the bush when it comes to my privilege. I don’t know why I have been at the receiving end of this privilege, but I am incredibly grateful for it, and I have never been complacent of it.” 

The privilege conversation has been a check for Masoom often. “And rightfully so.” But whether it is making public apologies, or taking cognisance of the mistakes and letting the learnings reflect in her work—Masoom has never shied away from taking responsibility and working hard on fixing it. “First came the doubt, will people even read this book, and then came the strength,” her reel to announce the book says, as an example of the mettle she holds.  

Finally, embracing Masoom Magic

Whether it is her tremendously popular #SupportIndianDesigners series or her representation of the country (and women in all stages and forms of life) on a global stage—Masoom is now owning and growing her own magic. “And it feels absolutely incredible! With this book I get to celebrate my journey along with everyone else’s who has shared their aspirations with someone else and not had them believe them. I am not letting anyone take it away anymore. (Ironically, Masoom has added a long list of negative comments she has received in her book too as if to say “I wrote this book, what did you and your negative comments do?”). 

As we put down the call, I can’t help but wish that this book reaches (and I know it will) the hands of my boss from back then, who predicted she’d have a baby soon and not want or need to work given her “privileged background” when Masoom politely said no to working with us. Masoom was back to work only a few months after giving birth and has travelled for work with her son. She did write the book I knew she would all along, and she continues to prove wrong everyone who seems to think She’ll Never Make It.