Featured Face of the Month, RENDEZVOUS
Rendezvous with Ginger-it-Up: Meet the Endurance Runner/Author/Entrepreneur- Sumedha Mahajan

Rendezvous with Ginger-it-Up: Meet the Endurance Runner/Author/Entrepreneur- Sumedha Mahajan

Rendezvous with Ginger-it-Up

Meet the Endurance Runner/Author/Entrepreneur- Sumedha Mahajan

Rendezvous with Endurance Runner,Entrepreneur, Author-Sumedha Mahajan on Gingeritup

Rendezvous with Endurance Runner,Entrepreneur, Author-Sumedha Mahajan on Gingeritup

Let’s get inspiration from this diva who battled asthma to turn out to be an endurance runner. Her fighter spirits won her a mention in the Limca Book of World Records for being the first woman to run a distance of 1,500 km from Delhi to Mumbai in 30 days. This is where her real journey started. She’s the Woman Who Ran across the Country and Wrote a Book about her experience to inspire others.

She was never an athlete. Becoming an endurance runner became incidental after she decided to fight against the severe attacks of asthma. She stood against destiny which denied her a natural healthy life. She is a fighter who fought against asthma, the societal scorns and the downtrodden thoughts of the average majority and ultimately succeeded in her goal running shoulder to shoulder with the men.

She took up running at the age of twenty eight just for the sake of saving her health. She had no plans to bag any gold or silver at a professional tournament. However, it has been rightly said that the best happens to you when you least expect them. She created history by receiving a mention in the Limca Book of World Records.

Sumedha Mahajan was born in the beautiful town of Amritsar, Punjab in India, home of The Golden Temple. She is a successful business woman, runner, motivational speaker and writer. She is the founder and CEO of business strategy firm Karta Business Consulting. She is married and currently lives in Mumbai.

The Amritsar girl who has lived and worked in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai, has recently launched her own Sportswear brand ‘Brakefree’ which is the first ever women’s only sportswear brand in India. However, Running continues to be her biggest passion even today.

Miles To Run Before I Sleep, her first book, is her account of the 30 defining and eventful days of running along the highways from Delhi to Mumbai.

Sumedha is the younger sister of one of my very good friend. I got a chance to speak with Sumedha on a telephonic “Rendezvous with Ginger-it-Up” and it was a great experience to know more about her.

So, a warm welcome to Sumedha Mahajan on “Ginger-it-Up”!

Sumedha Mahajan on Rendezvous with Gingeritup

Sumedha Mahajan on Rendezvous with Gingeritup


Mani: Sumedha, Please tell us a bit about yourself?

Sumedha:  I am Sumedha Mahajan and I belong to beautiful city Amritsar. I am an endurance runner, author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. My father is a Vice Principal at DAV College Amritsar and my Mother is a Radiologist and head of dept at Guru Ram Das Medical College Amritsar. I have 2 siblings – elder sister who is an entrepreneur and a younger brother who is working in financial sector. I am married and currently settled in Mumbai.

I hold a bachelor’s degree in Economics and MBA degree in marketing. run a business strategy consulting firm called “Karta Business Consulting” and  I design and own a sportswear brand called “BRAKEFREE – Reborn to Win”.

I am the author of “Miles to Run Before I Sleep” by Rupa Publications. I’m also a motivational speaker. I have given motivational lectures/been part of panel discussions across MNC corporates, colleges, institutes, schools, forums,NGOs etc.

Mani: What motivated you to turn into an endurance runner?

Sumedha:  Endurance runs are actually a mind game. After a certain point your body is bound to give up and you have to play mind games to push your body further. Sometimes even your mind gives up and then you run with your heart. When heart also gives up, you still force yourself to run.

I love things that challenge my existence and I like to see how far I can go.

Mani: How was the experience of covering 1500Kms from Delhi to Mumbai in 2012?

Sumedha:  Hmmm! It is very difficult to put it in few line, if I could have I would not have written a book. All I can say it makes me speechless…

Mani: You ran along the highways from Delhi to Mumbai as the lone woman in a team of five. What were your concerns about your safety and security during that time?

Sumedha:  Well more than safety and security I was more concerned about finishing the run. With my health not being on my side and one injury after another and health issues popping up, my only concern was – “Will I be able to finish the run or not?”. I was already facing so much prejudice and criticism that I was only concerned about the miles left to go.

Only safety precaution I took, was to watch out while I was running. I didn’t want to meet any road accident. It wasn’t because I was scared of death but I was scared of not being able to finish my run.

Mani: Going back to that event where you created history, what was your biggest learning from the event?

Sumedha:  There were many important lessons. The two important ones that I will never forget are :

(a) We need to save environment. We have ruined the mother nature in the name of development. I have also mentioned this in my book that we create 4 lanes, 6 lanes and flyovers everywhere but not a single tree on roadside. Mother nature needs us and we must wake up before its too late.

(b) Love and Faith can move mountains.

Sumedha Mahajan on Rendezvous with Gingeritup

Sumedha Mahajan on Rendezvous with Gingeritup


Mani: You mention about emerging as a different person at the end of the gruelling 30-day run. What hidden personality trait of Sumedha Mahajan emerged out to yourself and to the world?

Sumedha: Before the run, all I ever wanted was materialistic desires and ego boosting designation. I was typical stereotype corporate individual who only bothered about things that were associated with me. The world issues were not my concern. But Now I don’t. I cannot sit on an issue, I try to be a support or help anyone and everyone whom I can help.

I have learned we are born to give back to the universe and we have the power to be the change. Had I not faced issues and met so many women across my journey, I would have never become an entrepreneur or launched India’s first ever women’s only sportswear brand which is designed by me, keeping the challenges and issues I have come across.Now I work for humanity and environment.

Mani: What advice would you like to give to young women athletes who face so many challenges every day along their journey?

Sumedha:  Believe in your dreams. Your passion will never betray you. You might not become Usain Bolt or Serena Williams but if you train religiously, your passion will certainly give you platform which will take you places.

Be nice to other athletes and competitors. Don’t judge them or envy them. You don’t know their story and journey. Be a complete sportsperson  and Be a Support.

Mani: What were the hurdles you had to face when you decided to publish your book- Miles to Run Before I sleep?

Sumedha: 14 publishing houses rejected me. Nobody was interested in my heart wrecking story as it lacked controversies and masala, which is in demand today and also a celebrity did not write it. But I had faith in my writing. Thanks to my agent. With his support, I finally sold my book to Rupa Publications in 2013.

Miles to Tun Before I Sleep by Sumedha Mahajan

Miles to Tun Before I Sleep by Sumedha Mahajan


Mani: Describe your experience of writing this book?

Sumedha: It was tougher than running 1500kms as so many emotions and closed chapters of my life were getting reopened. It was painful and traumatic to face those demons again.

A day before the run, my father gifted me a diary and said, “I want to see the world through your eyes”. So, when I finished my run, I started putting down my experiences, which became the book. I had never planned it to make it a book; however when I started writing, I realized a need to tell my story and show my journey across India through the eyes of a woman. While I was running I met many women, who wanted me to tell their story, so this was the best way to keep the promise.

Mani: What is Sumedha Mahajan doing now apart from running every day to keep up to her wellness?

Sumedha:  For past 6 months, I have been running around and traveling across the country for Brakefree and Karta Business Consulting so I hardly get time for anything else. I have no choice but to run or do some physical exercise to keep my Asthma , my  Slipped disc SI Joint and health in control. I do functional training, weight training 3/4 days in a week.

I make sure I eat healthy, clean and keep myself light all day long. I make sure I take all required nutrition everyday.

Mani: What were the challenges you faced when you started Karta Business Consulting? And What is your biggest achievement as an entrepreneur?

Sumedha: Business is like a marathon with no finish line. I come from a service class family and I also married into one. It took some time to convince everyone that I have made a right decision. The nagging doubts however continue and I still get judged everyday.

It has been a roller coaster ride financially, physically and also mentally.

Business Strategy is majorly a male dominating field. We do have women in strategy but the ratio is very low. Thus to break that ceiling, to tell your client that my firm can help them develop a road map, grow, improve and provide solutions for their firms/companies  has been a daunting task and experience.

However, God has been very kind and we have many clients across various sectors like polymers, textiles, pharmaceuticals, research & development, hospitality, law firm, FMCG and many others.

Biggest success story for Karta business Consulting is that our existing clients have referred most of our new clients to us.

Mani:Tell us something about your brand ‘Brakefree’? What inspires the birth of ‘Brakefree’?

Sumedha: A confession – I never wanted to have my own sportswear brand. I never thought of it and never dreamt of it as I have been supported by world’s best sports brands for so many years. So launching my own sportswear brand was actually risking and giving up an association with these prestigious brands.

Sumedha Mahajan on Rendezvous with Gingeritup

Sumedha Mahajan on Rendezvous with Gingeritup

Because of my book “ Miles to Run Before I Sleep ” I have been interacting with women across India and I realized the biggest problem – we don’t have proper sportswear. Most of us are forced to wear menswear due to lack of options. I shared their concerns with reputed sportswear brands but it was like talking to the wall.  I was told – “If you are so concerned about what women athletes and fitness enthusiasts wear in India, why don’t you make some yourself?” And that’s exactly what I decided to do. I decided to do something for thousands of women out there who are not even on the radar of these brands.

I believe that we cannot promote fitness and bring out the best performance from people unless they are given the basic necessity of sportswear which for a sportsperson is as basic a need like roti and makan. Today noone thinks about the women comfort, her requirements even when we applaud the women who win medals.  We need to treat the Sports Malnutrition.

About Brakefree: Brakefree is a high impact sportswear specialized for high performance sports like athletics, tennis, marathons, cycling, functional-training , cross-training and gym. We are the first ever women’s only sportswear brand in India that focuses on high impact sports. Our designs and technology are inspired by courage and the need to improve, grow and evolve.

Mani: There are many big players in the market for women’s sportswear? How do you distinguish your brand ‘Brakefree’ from those big brands?

Sumedha:  Globally there are more number of activewear, athleisure, yogawear brands than sportswear. However due to lack of awareness most of the people confuse activewear, athleisure with sportswear.

When we talk about India, like globally we have made activewear and athleisure brand but only handful of sportswear brands and that too MNC brands. Here women sportswear is a sub category with very limited and dated options.

Sumedha Mahajan on Rendezvous with Gingeritup

Sumedha Mahajan on Rendezvous with Gingeritup

Brakefree is India’s first ever Premium High Impact Sportswear brand that is made only for women. We have our own signature trademark fabrics, which assure deliverance and quality.

I have been in sports all my life. Before running I was a national lawn tennis player . Being a woman and an athlete, I know what a woman athlete needs and I understand women sportswear. I have designed and created all fabrics keeping the utility and needs of Indian women.

All our sizes are custom sized for Indian women body. Our Carpis and Tights that are made of  extremely light , cool , breathable and moisture wrecking fabric that  keeps body cool even in extreme hot weather and still it will not become see-through when you stretch. They also have pocket on side that can carry even mobiles like Samsung Note  and iphone6/7

We have Tees which are ultra light but and do not stick to skin even after sweating and most importantly they do not become transparent even after sweating.

Mani: What do you like listening to while you run?

Sumedha:  Industrial Metal and sometime HipHop

Mani: Whom do you admire the most in your life?

Sumedha: Nature and Humanity

Mani: Tell us something about your family and the kind of support you get from them?

Sumedha: I am lucky to have extremely supportive parents , husband , sibling and in-laws. They all have stood by me and supported me in thick and thin.

I come from very liberal and secular family. My parents have bought their 2 daughters and son as equal. They had to face more discrimination from their own family and friends because of their liberal and secular attitude towards their children but they have always given deaf ears.

I don’t have conventional life and I don’t do things that every one expects from a woman like. So my husband, my parents, my sibling and even my in-laws have to face lot of opinions and judgments from the society.

I have now become a thick-skinned person and I am not bothered and affected by others’ opinions and judgment but its certainly has been a tough journey for my parents, my sister and brother as they live among the society where they have to hear the societal noise even if they give deaf ears to them.

Mani: Describe yourself in three words?


Sumedha Mahajan on Rendezvous with Gingeritup

Sumedha Mahajan on Rendezvous with Gingeritup

Mani: What is your favorite Mantra/Quote that keeps you inspired?

Sumedha:  There is a poem my father wrote and he used to recite to us when we were growing up.

“mat kar tu reham itna, ki dusra ise teri kamzori samajh le,
mat kar tu pyar itna, ki koi tere dil ko khilona samajh khel jaye,
bas kar tu karam apna, ki mehnat ka fal tera adhikar ban jaye”

The English meaning goes like:


Do not show so much compassion, that others will take it as your weakness,

Do not love so much, that anyone will toy your heart and break it,

 Just keep doing your Karma, the fruit of hard work will become your right

Mani: What are your favorite three dishes/recipes?

Sumedha:  I am not at all a food person. I have gluten allergy, lactose intolerance and recently my results showed that I have hypoglycemia. So I have to watch what I eat. I eat for health and not for taste. But there are 3 foods that I loose my control and hog on are:

 Amritsari Aam papad( it is a sundried mango pulp), Sambhar( my mom-in law makes the best in the world) and Paper Dosa.

Closing Remarks:

Mani: Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, your career, or the profession that would be interesting or helpful to others aspiring to enter and succeed in the sportswear business?

Sumedha:  World needs equality. World needs love. When we work with aim of making world a better place, universe stands with us. Spread love and peace. Love people world needs love.

Mani: Thank you so much for your valuable time Sumedha. It was a pleasure speaking to you and I must admit that your life is a true  inspiration to each and every woman in this world!

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Hello Mani!
I found your recipes interesting and most of all the Rendezvous series. They are informative and filled with a sense of positivity to see experience and struggle your guest go through. The conversation is always encouraging. You got a beautiful style of writing , attractive words and eloquence.

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great job!!

Great Job!! A nice food blog to follow on web!


A superb initiative!

Ginger It up has been a superbly thought & well-executed blog. Seeing it among one of the most popular food blogs makes me feel proud. Mani Dee has come so far with this baby of hers. There are many blogs over the internet which provides recipes & numerous cuisines. What Ginger It up brings on the table is its niche which has been carved out by her. I loved the concept of bringing authentic Indian recipes & sharing an interesting experience along with. It was a very unique & good idea which gives the reader a sense of personalized touch & in a way the reader can form a connection with that.
Her passion for food & writing goes way back!! I wish this website a stupendous growth ahead in the upcoming year! Hope to see many new cuisines with that personalized experience! 🙂


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Great work!

I love to read gingeritup articles because it’s everything which you can relate to. The recipes so presentable and delicious yet so easy and simple ingredients and the lil intros which Mani writes to describe the recipe makes you connect with it. The other articles on gingeritup I find very honest and sincere . Rendezvous series is an inspiring unique initiative which she has started which I haven’t seen anywhere else . Overall, I admire Mani for she is so talented and a multitasker.


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I love to read your Blog..aspecially Rendezvous series..very inspiring and and the way you write makes it more intresting and inspiring.I also like to read your healthy recipies…. looking forward to read more recepies and stories. Good luck.

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Amazing blog from an amazning girl!

I met Mani for the first time when she approached for interviewing me for her Rendezvous series! Right then, I was immensely impressed by her dedication, passion and commitment towards her blog! Ginger-it-up is not just a random blog, its a well thought and amazingly executed piece of art! Her love for food, and her passion of meeting people and executing their journey with such warmth and love makes Mani stand out from what others are doing. I have gotten to know Mani after our first meet and I am glad our paths crossed! Wishing you an amazing journey ahead! Keep writing!:)

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Ritu Selects - India inspired Couture

My favorite blogger!!

If you are looking for easy, healthy and creative recipes, then Ginger it up has covered up everything for you!!
Mani Mukhija’s brilliance and excellence, keeps me drooling every time I read her recipes.
And wait, her power packed, highly inspirational Rendezvous series is something that I always look forward to.

Keep up the good work Mani Mukhija! Keep growing and inspiring always!!

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Great blog to collaborate with!

Gingeritup.com is a great site full of helpful lifestyle tips, and it was a pleasure to collaborate with them! The communication was quick and easy, the guest post went live super fast, so congratulations on this great site and the amazing job you do! A must-read!

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Dear Mani, I am a regular reader of your blog just because you bring the most delicious, mouth-watering and creative recipes on the table.
My favorite recipe so far is “Gajar ka Halwa “ can’t beat this one!!!

THE RENDEZVOUS series brings real-life experiences which are never forgettable. It inspires our community and encourages ones to further their dreams.

Ginger-it-up website is very organized and easy to follow.

Can’t wait to read more life inspirational stories and mouth-watering/healthy recipes!!

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Gingeritup is the best blog and Mani the best blogger ever!! Her recipes are so easy to follow because of her creative writing style. Always looking forward to see and follow her recipes !! Keep up the good work!! Best wishes !!

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Saffron Indian cuisine in Charlotte

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I love the recipes and the write-ups especially the Rendezvous Series. It’s a great Initiative. Keep it going!


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ZEGO Co-founder Colleen on Rendezvous with Ginger-it-Up

Mani writes very in-depth recipes, and I LOVE her photos. They make everything look so good! It is always enjoyable to browse her site and try the recipes, and I love that she has a focus on empowering women as well!

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ZEGO Snacks

Superb Blog Keep it up Mani.

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“Great Work”

I have known Mani for more than a year now. I have never seen a lovely, caring, multitasking, talented women like her.
I really like and an avid reader of her blogs. Her writing style is very impressive and easy to understand.
Her recipes are unique as well as healthy.
I am a big admirer of her Rendezvous series. Her series exemplify that the women are capable of so many things.
Thanks so much for doing a great job!

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The best blogger ever!!

Excellent blog gingeritup !! Always giving 💯 to the receipes which are easy to follow because of her creative writing style and her series Rendezvous is always the best !! I wait to read about this series each month since she started writing about this.

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Saffron Indian Cuisine in Charlotte

Hi Mani,I love your each

Hi Mani,
I love your each and every recepie, all of them are very simple to make. Also I am inspired by the way you start the recipes with a little story which gives a personal touch to your creation. Keep up good work and good luck!!

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About Me

Welcome Readers, I am Mani Mukhija. Thanks much for stopping by 'Ginger-it-Up'. I am an IT professional by qualification and currently live in Toronto, Canada. I am a Globe Trotter. My blog was born in the "Queen City- Charlotte" in United States and is growing in the "Land of Maple Leaf", Canada !! And now that you’re here, please connect with me, stay longer and don’t be a stranger. Please leave a comment, a note or follow along.