Paving the Way to Success: Rachel & Chitra Narayanan

Rachel & Chitra Narayanan

One of the guiding principles of ELYSIAN is the idea of women supporting women—encouraging, teaching, mentoring.  And as we prepare each edition of ELYSIAN, one of the things we most look forward to is the opportunity to connect women who have accomplished great things with those who are just beginning to discover their passions and starting to dedicate themselves to personal and professional goals. 

We were thrilled recently to bring together ELYSIAN Inspiring Woman and Publisher’s Nonpareil, Chitra Narayanan, and our Winter Issue cover model, Rachel Castellani. 

Chitra is a former journalist and Ambassador of India, serving as a diplomat to European countries including Switzerland and the Vatican. With a wealth of experience and insight, she currently works as a consultant to businesses and think tanks. She is sought after for her understanding of governments and cultures throughout Asia as well as her insight on corporate diversity and gender issues. 

Rachel, a first-year student at Clemson University and an aspiring lawyer, was well-aware that her conversation with Chitra was an extraordinary opportunity. She asked multiple questions and listened closely to Chitra’s life story. 

Chitra’s father was K.R. Narayanan, a career diplomat who went on to become the president of India. Much of her upbringing was in Vietnam, but her family traveled throughout the world. These experiences were vital to Chitra’s perspective as she launched her career in journalism and diplomacy.  

She told Rachel, “It’s been my parents who have taught me very much to have respect for different opinions. You don’t have to agree. I can say my opinion, I listen to another opinion, and from that maybe something will come up. Always be curious, have an open mind, and there’s so much waiting for you and me.”   

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