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A defiant whisper against tradition

Beneath the celebration of the milestones is the path traversed and the starting point of that journey. Join in as we celebrate the one such inspiring journey as a part of our series of “Women of Gurbanji”

We string together the very first steps of a woman who absolutely believed in herself & her dreams. Defiant against the traditions and constantly charting her own course. A teacher who inspires the minds of the future with ease and confidence – Dr. Shilpa Kalyan, Associate Professor & Head, Department of Liberal Arts, Humanities And Social Sciences. Manipal Academy for Higher Education, Bangalore.

Dr. Shilpa Kalyan

In Urban India statistics show a big drop in women at work post marriage & childbirth.

And this is precisely where the journey unfolds for Dr. Shilpa. The hurdles or the speed breakers to most educated women’s career aspirations were manifested to be stepping stones to a career spanning two decades in media education.

An early marriage as a twenty-year-old is soon followed by a master’s degree. A doctoral degree while balancing the challenges of life as a new mother and keeping pace at work . Marching on ahead, with the belief that with right support, marriage & motherhood is not an end of personal aspirations and career advancements.


Dr. Shilpa’s family has stood by her side rock solid, cheering her on as she juggled a doctoral degree, sleepless nights, and the first wobbly steps of motherhood.

Soon, her daughter becomes her inspiration or rather a motivation to showcase the strength of women who believe in themselves. We would all love for our daughters to chase impossible dreams. And what better way to inspire the daughter than living through the impossible dream herself.

A personal loss of her father – one of her biggest cheerleaders was not a setback but a rebound step to continue & celebrate his legacy.

The situations which we live - learn and excel often lead to us to our the destinations- this thought frames Dr. Shilpa’s leadership ethos which is a blend of academic rigour with liberal sprinklings of empathy - moulding students poised for professional success and also to face bravely the inherent challenges of lives.

Yet the classroom fades away when she is with her family. Movies, books, laughter & travel - there are the moments that she cherishes and treasures. It is those times with her family that helps her find strength & purpose at work.

 "A career in teaching extends beyond inspiring young minds; it’s a journey of self-discovery. Unlearn biases, embrace new perspectives, and grow alongside your students and peers in the shared pursuit of wisdom.

Embrace the dynamic exchange of knowledge and ideas, fostering growth and understanding in a shared journey of discovery."

-Dr. Shilpa Kalyan

We at Gurbanji are deeply encouraged by her beliefs in the philosophy of "Kaayakave Kailasa" - work is worship as she places deep emphasis on her joy of being a teacher at heart.

We are inspired by her faith in the human touch, the power of teamwork and the constant smile on her face through every situation that life and work throws at her.


We also salute Dr.Shilpa’s family for their unwavering confidence and support in shaping the Women who is truly inspiring.

Woman of Gurbanji - "I have been following Gurbanji's story since its inception. The most impressive part about Gurbanji has been the passion with which stories are woven through handmade products .

Each product at Gurbanji is a product of art and has a story to share . The customer is not just buying a product but would also be collectively sharing that experience and carrying the memory which personal & special." -Dr. Shilpa Kalyan

We at Gurbanji celebrate this journey from a young bride to a leader who has stood the test of time & life as testament to resilience, passion, and the unwavering belief that dreams, no matter how audacious, can be chased and conquered.

We wish Dr. Shilpa Kalyan all the success in breaking more barriers and standing proudly as symbol of defiant whisper against the tradition.


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