Meet Karishma Mehta, The First Human At Official Humans Of Bombay!

Two strangers sitting on Mumbai's Marine Drive, binding a web of beautiful possibilities that is Karishma Mehta & Humans of Bombay!

When the 21-year-old Karishma Mehta, started Humans of Bombay, she didn’t realise that she’d touch millions of hearts and inspire many people to tell their stories. 

In 2013, Karishma moved to London for her master’s degree in Business but soon realised the mainstream business world wasn’t hers to thrive. 

Thus, after returning to India, the self-effacing Karishma, who was exceedingly impressed by Brandon Stanton, a New York-based photographer’s Facebook page Humans of New York– knew what she had to do.

That’s how we got Humans of Bombay!

Karishma Mehta, a stranger and city lights- that’s how Humans of Bombay came to life!

Two strangers sitting on Mumbai’s Marine Drive may sound romantic- this predestined meet entwined Karishma and that one stranger into a web of beautiful possibilities that is the Humans of Bombay.

Reminiscing the time before she started Humans of Bombay, Karishma talks about how she went to the marine drive and asked several people to speak with her- all of them denied until one woman agreed. The woman was in her mid-50s, newly widowed and talked to Karishma.

Two strangers talked about life experiences that connected them far beyond the idea of strangers. At the end of her first interview of sorts, the woman thanked Karishma for assuaging her heart.

That’s when Karishma knew she had to hold onto this feeling.

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You’re not alone- Karishma Mehta’s pursuit of happiness

Karishma Mehta on Instagram

When Karishma started Humans of Bombay on Facebook, she intended to create a safe space for people to share their stories, connect with strangers and put forth the idea of ‘you’re not alone.’

Little did she know, what began as a platform to provide a sanctuary for voiceless people, would soon hold 3.2 million people together.

Karishma, whose bio on Instagram reads, First Human @officialhumansofbombay, states:

“And it made me realise that this is what we all are– a collection of stories just waiting to be told. No matter where we come from, or who we are, or where we’re going; stories are all we hear, and stories will be the only legacy we leave behind.”

The last eight years have been nothing but a poignant ride for Karishma that shares beautiful stories with beautiful people. Now, Humans of Bombay is not just about people from the city- it has gone beyond boundaries into the realm of humanity.  It is India’s largest storytelling platform that talks about humans out beyond the idea of borders and experiences.

The generous Karishma has helped several people via crowdfunding 

Since 2014, Humans of Bombay has tremendously grown and documented beautiful stories of humans all over. It’s not just an Instagram page- it has become much more than that. Humans of Bombay has managed to help several people by crowdfunding. 

In an interview, Karishma said:

“We have thus far raised over 15 crores, paying for surgeries and the education of the lesser privileged, rehabilitating women in the sex trade and in one case, justice for a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for a bomb blast.”

Karishma raised 23 lakhs for Ali Bhai, a person who wrongly spent 23 years in jail overnight.

The art of storytelling is beautiful- it is complex at times, but it somehow manages to warm your heart and pour a glass of inspiration. Karishma has made something amazing out of her passion for listening to people.

 It is very easy to talk about yourself, but what’s difficult is when there is nobody to listen to. Karishma with her magnanimous heart has time and again become the ears to that downtrodden voice, and I respect her for that.

Image credits: Instagram

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About the Author

Pranjali Hasotkar

I am a journalism student with a penchant for writing about women and social issues. I am an intersectional feminist and an aspiring journalist. I identify as she/her. read more...

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