I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. A saying every rebel follows and a direction that directs the people who are different and are often shunned by the society.
Sapna Moti Bhavani has been such a rebel since her childhood. Known for a different lifestyle, tattoo all over her body, and being outspoken, this celebrity hairstylist has always been on the receiving end of harsh criticism through her life. When she was 14, people would call her a whore because she would hang out with boys, drive motorcycles and smoke cigarettes.
After her father died, Sapna moved to Chicago and when she was 24 she was gang-raped on a Christmas Eve. She recalls she was in the bar drinking, wearing short clothes, and bright lipstick. When she came out of the bar, a few men cornered her and raped at the gunpoint.
She was left scared but she kept it to herself not letting her mother go through the trauma. According to her, those who stay silent are not weak but strong enough to bear their own burdens and people should start respecting that instead of judging them.
The way the society blames the victim kept her confused for a long time was it her fault or whether she deserved it. But long after she realized it wasn’t her fault and nobody deserve such violence.
A few laters later, Sapna moved to Mumbai and got married to her high school friend where she faced nothing but domestic violence. Being strong she walked out of the marriage and decided to give her life a new direction.
In Chicago, Sapna was introduced to the art of inking where she started collecting tattoos from various artists and started dying her hair, experimenting with her own identity. After moving to Mumbai, Sapna worked as a hairdresser and also as Bollywood stylist. Her work flourished and she opened her first salon in 2004 named MAD-O-WAT. Since then, there is no looking back.
She is indeed an inspiration for numerous women and encourages them to follow their dreams and be independent regardless of what society says. She is a true hero.