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Millennial and NRI food blogger Ribah Khan, who lives in Saudi Arabia, speaks about her journey and of fielding sexist questions asked only of women.
“When will you get settled?” Why are clichéd career questions of society only addressed to women?
Women, while still struggling to drive away misjudged and misrepresented identities in society continue to follow their dreams and passions unimpeded. Even when they’re treading on two roads at the same time, they ace both, irrespective of fierce tornadoes.
The aim here is not to highlight how, incredibly, women pursue two or more professions while living their personal lives to the fullest; it’s instead to normalize the capacities of men and women equally in the same context.
Men, however, are never posed the same doubts on their career choices or maintenance of work-life equilibrium. Millennial women especially have to deal with plenty of questions where peer pressure of getting ‘settled’ always takes the limelight.
One instance of busting such myths on career-oriented women, blissfully pursuing a dream and a passion separately and simultaneously, is a lifestyle blogger, Ribah Khan. With more than 20K followers, her Instagram page, ‘Feedbites’, is about exotic locations, delectable food, and Indo-Arabic fashion.
The millennial and NRI, born and brought up in Riyadh City of Saudi Arabia, stated in an interview with EatMyNews, how she had always been an inquisitive child and wanted to be an architect since grade 5.
While Ribah Khan was completing her graduation in New Delhi, studying and designing buildings and structures, she took a keen interest in exploring different cultures and subcultures imbibed in the nooks and corners of the city. This includes visiting heritage structures and savoring a plethora of cuisines. As it is said tasting food is like tasting culture. Ever since she began penning down her experiences on reviewing websites, there was no looking back. As her feedbacks got a platform, ‘Feedbites’ was spawned.
Interested in food, hiking, photography and music, Ribah Khan shares her thoughts on following one’s own passion and societal questions of ‘Work-life balance’ and ‘How will you manage it after marriage?’
Q: What’s your version of ‘Seize the Day’ that led you to begin food blogging?
I think it was when I moved to Delhi to pursue architecture. And being a hardcore foodie, I always wanted to explore the city. Delhi, being the hub of foodies, got me attracted to the exceptional cuisines. Eventually, I starting visiting a lot of places on a daily basis.
So one day I had a thought – why not share my experience with others while I explore these spaces rich in culture?
This led me to start writing reviews on different reviewing sites which gained a lot of attention in a short span, and gradually that encouraged me to start my food blog on Instagram.
Q. How did it feel then vs how do you feel now?
I really felt skeptical at that time, wondering if this really was the right decision to make. I was shy and reluctant. I didn’t know much about content creation or even how to photograph food aesthetically for that matter.
There was a point in life when my mom once told me, “What’s the worst that could happen? It may not work out but you will do what you always wanted to do.” And that gave me immense strength. So, I was adamant to start it. I have indeed learned a lot and undoubtedly continue to do so every single day. From being a camera-shy then to speaking to 18k people now, I can proudly say I have come a long way.
Q. A lot of women are been stereotypically asked if they can manage work-life balance. What’s your say on that especially while pursuing more than one profession?
In general, it is definitely not easy for a human, not just a woman, to juggle to strive for a work-life balance.
In my case, being an architect, a full-time blogger, and also a marketing strategist, sometimes it really gets overwhelming. However, I enjoy the work, the hustle that comes with it and wouldn’t want it any other way. There are days when I am working vigorously all day long. But the support of my family at every step of my life is what keeps me going. It’s like the backbone that keeps me firm, and honestly that’s what I always seek. It’s important to remember we can’t please everyone and no matter what you do in life, someone will always be unhappy. So why not be content by having it all with a blissful family, a rewarding career and of course a HAPPY YOU.
It’s time we break the stereotype that when HE has it all, it is a noble thing and is associated with perfectionism but when SHE has it all, her capacity, values and priorities in life are questioned.
Q. Did anything act as a deterrent in your blogging journey?
A blogging journey is definitely not as fancy or easy as it looks. Especially when you start something from scratch. There are going to be a lot of people around you who will discourage you or maybe even mock you. I’ve been there and have dealt with all of it, from hearing people in college murmur as I pass by to openly mean comments. It’s not easy to put yourself out there on Social Media and definitely requires courage with a lot of determination.
As they say, everything comes with a pinch of salt. Yet I think the positivity and love I have received over the years keep me going and overshadows every negative energy.
Whenever I receive a text from one of my followers talking about how helpful I’ve been or how I encourage them, it clearly makes my day, and I live for that.
Q. How do you deal with the incessant questions of marriage plans or as they call it “getting settled”?
I usually choose to brush the question off with a little humor and wit. But to be serious, I personally feel, getting married should never be the only definition of getting settled. Besides, marriage or no marriage doesn’t describe who you are. I feel it’s a matter of cherishing every milestone in life even if it’s getting married or getting a job promotion or even commencing a business. Every milestone is an achievement in itself. It’s the start of something big, a new chapter, a new journey and none overpowers the other.
I also personally take some time to retrospect and acknowledge my feelings. I remind myself of all the good energies contained in me – and of course the decision of whether or not I want to get married at the moment.
Q. Your opinion on digital space as an opportunity for millennial women and their fervid passions.
The digital space has immense potential for opportunities. If millennial women want to showcase their passion on a digital platform, all I would say is they just have to start! It’s nothing like it’s too early or too late. It’s all about your niche and what drives you and makes you happy. You are never gonna be fully ready, but you just have to start. The process will help you learn what you are good at, and what you like creating content for.
Q. Any thought you want to share with women aspiring to opt for a full-time job besides being an influencer, just like you?
I started blogging a few years back and before that, I have always been a procrastinator. However, I remember managing my Grad degree projects and assignments, part-time architecture internship, and my blog that I commenced 5 years ago. I believe it’s all about how passionate you are about the work you wish to do no matter how overwhelming it could get. If you aspire to have a full-time job besides influencing, you just need to make sure that you love what you do and believe me things will fall into place.
Planning for more sources of income is always the best idea! Hustle and keep working. You are 20 and I believe you can do 20 different things for a successful career.
Picture Credits: Instagram page Feedbites by Ribah Khan
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Alruba Sheikh is a former Assistant Director at Creative Department in Prime Focus Technologies, Mumbai, a Post Graduate in media studies and a Freelance Writer, currently aiming to pursue research in digital media, culture and read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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