Lisa Haydon: “In India, if you have a baby, it's assumed you're not interested in work"


Lisa Haydon: “In India, if you have a baby, it’s assumed you’re not interested in work”

Our May 2017 cover star gets real

By Cheryl-Ann Couto  May 12th, 2017

If it appears that Lisa Haydon Lalvani is segueing into motherhood without any of the doubts and fears that append the modern career woman, it’s because this has been as much a lifelong dream of hers as anything else. “I always wanted to be a mum. I fantasised about it,” she says. “The way my mother raised us eight children was my ideal scenario. We were a big family, and family was always important and fulfilling. You get tired of thinking about yourself all the time, you know.”

The fact is Lisa, like every other woman, wants it all and wants it on her time. She says she’s pumped to get back to work as soon as it’s possible, but she won’t do it from the fear of a career lapse. “In India, if you get married, let alone have a baby, it’s assumed you’re not that interested in work. Lisa ‘settled down’, they’ll say. What a labelling, binding term. Nothing could be further from the truth. We no longer live in a world where you need to choose one or the other, and I’m not going to allow myself to be pushed to choose.”

For now, homemaking is a full-time job. “It can feel like a rabbit hole,” she admits. “One day, you’re baking your own bread. Next, you’re thinking of growing your own vegetables, and I can only imagine what having a baby as well will be like. This time, right now, is the calm before it all changes.”

Mum-to-be Lisa Haydon Lalvani in the season’s hottest swimwear


Lycra bikini, Rs 9,100, Zulu & Zephyr. Viscose crochet cover-up, Rs 21,500, Melissa Odabash. Rutile necklace, gold-plated silver necklace; both prices on request, MYO Designs.


Elastane bikini, Rs 15,250, Melissa Odabash. Gold and diamond necklace, Rs 37,500, gold necklace, Rs 31,000; both The Line at Le Mill. 


Nylon bikini top, Rs 9,800, Araks. Jersey bikini bottom, price on request, Hermès. Silk cover-up, Rs 8,750, Turquoise & Gold. Ceramic earrings, price on request, Louis Vuitton.


Crêpe maxi, price on request, Roberto Cavalli. Leather block heels, Rs 68,000, Christian Louboutin. Gold-plated brass howlite necklace, Rs 1,950, gold-plated brass howlite cuffs, Rs 2,900; both Ikka Dukka. Gold-plated bangles, gold-plated cuff; both prices on request, Zariin.


Lycra bikini top (part of set), Rs 17,000, Moeva London. Ceramic and hemp cord necklace, price on request, SavioJon.

Photographs: Farrokh Chothia. Styling: Malini Banerji. Art Direction: Reshma Rajiwdekar. Hair And Make-Up: Namrata Soni. Production: Parul Menezes. Assisted By: Aneri Koradia (Production); Jahnvi Bansal and Sejal Pendharkar (Styling).


Neoprene bikini top, price on request, Stella McCartney. Cotton silk trousers, Rs 17,500, Sanchita. Gold earrings, price on request, The Line at Le Mill. Gold-plated crystal brass cuff, Rs 2,500, gold-plated brass cuff, Rs 2,900; both Ikka Dukka. Gold-plated cuff, gold-plated bangle; both prices on request, Zariin.


Nylon bikini, price on request, Michael Kors Collection. Silk robe, Rs 24,000, Shivan & Narresh. Gold-plated sterling silver palm cuff, price on request, MYO Designs. Gold-plated brass earrings, gold-plated brass ring; both prices on request, Louis Vuitton.


Nylon bikini, price on request, Michael Kors Collection. Silk robe, Rs 24,000, Shivan & Narresh. Gold-plated sterling silver palm cuff, price on request, MYO Designs. Gold-plated brass earrings, gold-plated brass ring; both prices on request, Louis Vuitton.


Elastane bikini, Rs 5,999, TOMMYXGIGI by Tommy Hilfiger. Crêpe silk cape, Rs 8,000, Lola By Suman B. Dendrite opal earrings, price on request, MYO Designs. Gold-plated bangle, price on request, Zariin. Gold-plated crystal brass cuff, RS 2,500, gold-plated brass cuff, Rs 2,900; both Ikka Dukka.

An excerpt from the interview featured in ELLE India’s May 2017 issue. Click here to subscribe to the magazine and the digital version.