Week's Person

Person of the Week: Vanita Thakkar

Dear Readers,

In this interview series we ask questions to people who are making a difference in our society, it can be big, it can be small, it doesn’t matter, what matters is their contribution. It can be anyone from any walk of life and from any country. Please, do send us suggestions of people whom you think we should interview for this series.

Vanita Thakkar is an Entrepreneur – an Engineer-Researcher-Consultant and an Artist – Singer-Composer-Poetess-Writer from Vadodara, Gujarat. She holds Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as Music and is pursuing Research. She is a Chartered Engineer, Energy Manager and Government Approved Valuer for Plant & Machinery. She is an All India Radio Approved Singer and Composer and has sung in several albums in more than ten languages. She writes in Gujarati, Hindi and English and has done translations among Gujarati, Hindi, English and Marathi languages.

Following are her responses to our questions

  1. Tell us something about yourself?

Hello !! I am Vanita Thakkar. My name – Vanita – is a word of Sanskrit origin which means Graceful Lady (Desired Lady). In our Indian culture, lady is called Shakti-swaroopaa meaning personification of Energy. Perhaps, due to the Energy the Almighty bestows to my name, I have realised and manifested a wide variety and rare combinations of possibilities of Womanhood.

I am a versatile artistsinger, composer, poetess, writer – from Vadodara (Gujarat, India). I realize and portray through my Art, the Universal Message of Indian Culture – Unity in Diversity.

I started performing on stage at an early age, unaware of intricacies of music like pitch, rhythm, etc. I was simple and gifted and easily recognized for my talent. Thanks to my father and my teachers, who recognized and loved my talent, I was a regular participant in all programmes during the scattered schooling I had, since my father had a transferable job.

I learnt songs in many languages – Bengali, Assamese, Telugu, Rajasthani, Pahadi, Panjabi and so on, apart from mother-tongue Gujarati, Hindi & English.

My first AIR programme was at AIR, Vishakhapatnam when I was 11, singing patriotic songs in Telugu, Hindi & Sanskrit.

I went on to do Masters in music, along with my Engineering studies & career. I am an AIR approved artist for more 24 years now. I perform in live concerts, have performed in special AIR programmes – live & recorded, and on TV.

I established Omkaar Swar Vihar about 25 years back. Its activities include giving training in Music and presenting live concerts and making Music Albums, such as those titled – Soor Vandana (Devotional Songs in Hindi), Rhymes (In Gujarati, Hindi and English), Aao To Ramavaane – Non-stop Raas-Garba, Anekataa Mein Ekataa, Dohaavalee (Two volumes – Doha by Kabir, Tulsidas and Rahim, composed and sung by me), Aaraatrikam (Two volumes – collection of Aaratis, sung by me) etc.

I have a YouTube channel with around 150 songs uploaded on it. There is a wide-ranging variety of music performances, from classical, light and devotional music to folk music, in different languages like Gujarati, Hindi, Sanskrit, English, Bengali, Assamese, Rajasthani, Telugu and so on, on my YouTube channel …. Many more to come …. My songs are also available on all other online platforms like Spotify, Amazon Music, iTunes, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, Pandora, Medianet, etc. Search by : Vanita Thakkar.

I started writing at the age of eight or nine. I write poems, stories and articles in Gujarati, Hindi and English, which have got published in Anthologies, magazines, newspapers, e-journal, and portals. My collection of Hindi poems – उस पार (Uss Paar) – was awarded grant for publication by the Hindi Section of Gujrat Rajya Sahitya Academy and it got published in 2011. My collection of English poems – Wings of Silence – also got published in 2011. I have translated poems / songs, articles and stories among Gujarati, Hindi, English and Marathi languages, for Prasar Bharati (Government of India) and reputed organizations like the Ramakrishna Mission.

I am a qualified Mechanical Engineer, with my Master’s degree in Thermal Sc. – a branch of Mechanical Engineering that deals with thermal aspects of Energy Conversion and Utilization. I have worked for around 24 years in the field of Engineering, about 12 years in Academics and as many years in the Industry. My field of specialization and Research was Renewable Energy. I am invited as an Expert on Renewable Energy as well as Music and have presented and published papers in International and National Conferences and Journals. I am a Chartered Engineer and Government Approved Valuer for Plant & Machinery for Company Act, 2013 (under IBBI) as well as under WTA, 1957. In 2015, I established my company Omkaar Energy & Engineering Solutions and I am practising as a Chartered Engineer, Valuer (Plant & Machinery) and RE Consultant / Expert.


  1. What role arts, music, and literature have played in your life?

Arts, Music and Literature are the food for mind and soul, not only for me for everyone. They have played significant roles in my personal life ensuring and enhancing physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being as well as in my familial, social and professional life. They are like my true friends. As a performer and poetess-writer and an artist, in general, they have given bliss, elation, joys and fulfilment, soothed and solaced, guided and inspired, not only me, but my audiences and readers. Arts inspire, ignite and guide our inner journeys along with the social and professional benefits they bring in. Arts help us at every level of our existence. That is why, our Indian Philosophy of Life or our Indian Culture (whatever we choose to call it), has glorified them as the paths that lead to the Ultimate, the Absolute, to the experience and the goal called Moksha.

  1. Why students should pursue creative fields such as music or literature in your opinion?

As already mentioned, creative fields strengthen inner well-being. They sharpen observations, self-assessment and self-improvement, patience, and perseverance. They help in experiencing life to the fullest, leading and connecting the aspirant to the vastness and subtilities that characterise the infinities of Existence.

Pursuing them as a career has its own challenges, with a rise in pseudo-professionalism in every field, especially in arts due to the elements of glamour and popularity associated with it. However, as diamond cuts diamond, the inner strength that the Arts bestow us with, helps us (is there to help us if we choose so), find ways to face the inevitable challenges and ordeals.

  1. How has your life changed from this pandemic? How did you cope during the lockdown?

Generally speaking, this Pandemic – the uninvited devil that entered our lives and changed it as never before, has tested all of us atrociously and taught us several lessons. I had written and published a poem in Hindi about it, titled प्रकृति की पाठशाला, कोरोना का पाठ …. (Prakriti Kee Paathhshaalaa, Corna Kaa Paathh ….). The Gujarati translation of it also got published.

I have never known boredom in my life. I love and enjoy every moment of life. I have enjoyed many forms of arts apart from Music and Literature, including sketching and painting, embroidery, knitting and other crafts. So, coping up with lockdown was not difficult that way. I sang, I wrote, I enjoyed watching my most favourite serial – Ramayana – on the television …. I taught online ….

Work and earnings were unprecedentedly affected due to this pandemic. The working style of every profession went through changes and updates, be it teaching or practicing as a consulting engineer / Valuer, performing artist / artist …. Internet turned out to be the greatest of boons during this pandemic.

Medical problems during the pandemic – in May, 2020, my mother, aged 72 then, fell down and suffered a hair-line fracture in her right thigh bone. She had ligament and muscular injuries as well, due to the impact of the fall on her aging body. She was advised complete bed rest for about a month and a half. Fortunately, she did not require any surgery. That was the period of complete lock down – work from home and no domestic help …. After she was allowed to move, special care was needed to help her regain normal movements. My mother has had knee joint problems for almost 24 years now and has had a surgery in her left ankle in 2012 …. All this kept me fully occupied and alert and that way, with the blessings of my parents and elders and the unfailing Grace of the Almighty, everything could be managed smoothly. On Dussehra 2020, we lost my elder Aunt (my father’s elder sister). It was not a Corona death, but the cremation and rituals were all done under Corona restrictions. It was an experience that will always remain in our memories. The second wave was the toughest of times. There were news about Corona cases from all around, among relatives and friends and well-wishers …. On the one side were the mourning on sudden, most unexpected and irreparable losses of lives and on the other side were the feelings of relief and joy for those who were able to defeat Corona …. In May, 2021, my father was detected with mild Corona infection. He had to be hospitalized for a week. He came back home, safe and healthy. A week after his recovery, he had to take post-Corona Intravenous treatment, three times a day for five days. During those days, the Cyclone Tauktae had struck the coastal areas of Gujarat. The weather was stormy. I will always remember those days – the fears, the rushing around – for tests, medicines, hospitalization, treatments …., the support and love, the phone calls and messages, the prayers and blessings, the courage, the strength …. I feel grateful and blessed that we could come out of the crisis safe and healthy.

  1. You have worked actively in the field of renewable-energy, how did you got involved in this field?

As an Engineering student, Renewable Energy appealed to me as a solution to the various problems / threats related to environmental and ecological crises and sustainability that modern technologies were imposing. My project in Final Year B. E. (Mechanical Engineering) was related to Renewable Energy, titled – Tracking Mechanism for Solar Photovoltaic Module. My M. E. Project was on a Non-Conventional Space Conditioning System, and was related to Green Energy and Sustainability. I presented papers on these projects at National and International conferences and received appreciation and encouragement to work further …. Later on, I worked on Research Projects on Solar Thermal Systems – especially on Solar Concentrators. I was invited by Solar Energy Society of India (SESI), the Indian Division of International Solar Energy Society (ISES) to represent Academics in their Governing Council in 2010. I served two terms as the member of Governing Council of SESI between 2010 to 2014. I have always encouraged my students to work on Renewable Energy and have organized as well as have been invited to events for spreading awareness about Renewable Energy.

  1. With rising prices in fuel and increasing energy demand and pollution in our country, how do you see prospects of renewable energy in future in our country?

Renewable Energy is the best and the most appropriate choice to ensure a healthy and sustainable future not only for our country, but for the world as a whole.

The prospects of renewable energy look bright and decisive in our future progress with rising awareness and increased utilization of renewable energy sources in our country. Traditionally, our culture supports the cause of living in harmony with nature. We just need to reorient our lives to our culture and our values.

  1. What would be your advice for aspiring authors who want to get published?

Be true to your inner conscience while writing.

  1. What are some of the social causes that are close to your heart?

Spreading harmony and love: India was known as the country of honest, cultured and prosperous people. After the attacks of North Asian neighbours and the bondages of colonial slavery for centuries, the conditions of ignorance, discrimination, poverty and corruption prevailing in the country in various fields, at different levels, arouse serious concerns. We have to re-establish our lost glory and play a leading role in ensuring peace and sustainability in the world.

Healthy Music: Unfortunately, these days, junk music is becoming popular, just like junk food. Creating awareness towards and promoting healthy Music that nourishes mind and soul is a need of the hour. This concept can be extrapolated to other forms of Arts as well.

Education:  We need to move from mere literacy in the disguise of education to real, essential education, that makes life enlightened, happy and prosperous for individuals as well as for human society as a whole.

  1. What are your plans for the future in your artistic and scientific endeavors?

For Artistic pursuits – something related to the Ramayana, as it is very close to my heart. Scientific endeavors – to continue with my research work – on topics of my interest.

  1. Your message for our readers?
  • Sky is the Limit.
  • Sincere efforts never go in vain.
  • In life, many times I found myself wondering and pondering about – What to do ? However, I have always been very clear about what I will not do. Be firm on your convictions and ideals.


  1. Ashok gupta-Dehradun

    Good to know more about you and your persuits, your varied experience and professional interests. Be clearer on which profession to focus, may be ueful.

    My blessings always. Uncle Ashok Gupta

  2. Greetings Vanita,

    This article about you is beautiful and enlightening. You are one talented individual with many interests and accomplishments. It was a pleasure learning more about you.

  3. I have known Vanitaben for years now. She is a seasoned artist. She is spiritual and we play her aaratis, bhajans everyday in the morning. She must become a popular artist across Bharat that is India. Pranam!

  4. You are indeed a multi talented lady. I like your spirit of enjoying life to the utmost through your interest in various fields. I believe that if one has interest in any creative art then he/ she won’t get bored & this creativity will help in living a wonderful life. Keep it up Vanita!