All Life Begins in Water

TV personality and creative director Chloe Qureshi believes being a mother is a sweet joy. She shares an enduring bond with her husband, Aslam Qureshi. In an exclusive interview with Team DAP, she discusses choosing natural birthing for their daughter, Aayatt, who drives away the blues in their lives.
lifestyle parenting

Chloe Ferns Qureshi’s Natural Birthing Story


Creative Journey So Far

Chloe’s journey is the epitome of congeniality, consistency, and charm. In our interview, she treads memory lane and shares her creative journey in the industry. Here’s her journey in her words.

“I have always had the knack to kickstart anything creatively, coming up with out-of-the-box ideas and experimenting my way through them. I would like to believe I embody creativity in everything I do, from being a creative director at Balaji Telefilms Ltd. to other roles I have played in the industry during my freelancing over the years. Where friends around me were hyped about entering the “adult phase” of their lives, my professional journey started at Balaji Telefilms at the age of 17. It was a summer job for me when I walked into that company, and now here, I am at 36 with a 19-year career, with almost 14 to 15 years at Balaji alone. I take immense pride in saying that I started as Ekta Kapoor’s creative associate and learned from the very best! My career took off so beautifully because Balaji envelops every individual that comes into their company and gives them xcope for growth. When I started, I had no clue about Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, or Indian soap operas at large, but then I learned firsthand from the queen herself, the queen of content, Ekta Kapoor. At 17, I sat for every meeting she attended, and gradually, my interest and knowledge of the field blossomed. While I was working with Balaji, I was also pursuing a B.A. in St. Xaviers and had no background in media studies.”

Chloe is the personification of experience in the form of a portrait. Her 19-year-long professional career has added many feathers to her hat, giving her an in-depth understanding of media and content creation.


Final 12

When Everything Can Be Done At Home, Why Not Birth?

Chloe was at the pinnacle of her career when she married Aslam Qureshi in December 2018, overseeing 28 shows for Alt Balaji and another 8 shows for Balaji Telefilms’ TV vertical as Chief Content Officer.

When people were getting creative with Dalgona coffee during the pandemic, Chloe thought of giving it a unique twist. Delivering was the penultimate possibility, but she chose home birth over hospital birth.

Reminiscing about the time, she reflects,

“The 16th of December 2019, is etched in my mind. It was our first wedding anniversary in Jodhpur Rajasthan. That’s when I found out that I was pregnant. We were on a holiday. I had taken 15 days off from Ekta because I was going insane with work. The first year after my marriage, I was at my busiest best. I had two launches in a month, and there bang in the middle of them, we were pregnant! I didn’t know what to do, but I didn’t tell Ekta because I didn’t want her to stress. We did the launches, booked the shows on the air, and three months later, in March 2020, I told her I was pregnant. I continued working, but we were hit by peak COVID at that time, so there we were in the middle of a crazy work schedule, but we suddenly had to stop and work from home. I had a cute little belly showing at that time, but unfortunately, my Balaji family didn’t get to see me pregnant and be there for the biggest part of my life as we were sitting at home and doing Zoom meetings. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for COVID because it slowed me down.”

Love and Life During Lockdown

The shift to Goa happened spontaneously in the middle of COVID, while Chloe and Aslam were working from home. Chloe says,

“We were all sitting at home getting angsty during the lockdown because we weren’t used to it. One day in June 2020, I was sitting with Aslam, and I suddenly realized that I didn’t have to get up and go to the office or attend shoots, so why weren’t we going somewhere? I just said it in a random conversation, and he was like, “Yeah, you’re right, we could be doing this from Goa and right there,” and then we decided, “Let’s do it!” Aslam and I are risk-takers and travelers. We like to take on challenges and be thrown into a space that we haven’t been exposed to before. We are great friends and a wonderful team—more than just a great couple. You won’t believe it, but in the next two weeks, we planned everything, and it was one of our most impromptu decisions ever. We drove to Goa in our truck and hunted for a place to stay while living with our friends for the time being. We found our beautiful home, and that’s how we began our life there.”

Pandemic and Pregnancy

Can I say that I had a very different pregnancy? Yes, I felt faintly ill on the nine-month journey, but strangely, after those first three stressful months of work, I was really happy and Easy! I didn’t allow myself to believe that my work stress would have any effect on my baby either because I’ve always done this; it’s a part of my life and who I am as a person. I’m not going to be able to separate this side of me and give my baby a cocoon because it’s who I’ve been for over 19 years.”

With the pandemic proliferating at a global level, Chloe says they were aware of how difficult it could get to deliver a child in a hospital with the exposure all around at that time. For the collective safety of not only their child and her as a mother but the entire family, they chose a middle path between the two extremes: to deliver at home, which was also something they had intended for a long time before they had even conceived Aayatt.


Final 7

Intentions and Intuitions

“There is an exciting story of how Goa happened and how I think it’s so important to have intention in life. Two years before we got pregnant, we were travelling for a friend’s birthday to a farm. We were discussing having a child, and I randomly spoke about birthing my baby in Water. Coincidentally, our friend mentioned that his brother’s wife had just had a beautiful water birth with a midwife In Goa. We started researching this, and when we decided to go to Goa, we realized we had intended on giving birth in the water a long time ago; why don’t we consider that?”


The Natural Way: Water Birth and Hypnobirthing

“The first thing we did was research how and where we could do a water birth,” Chloe says. With 21 years of experience behind her, Corrina owns the Assago Birthing Centre in Goa, and that is where they learned more about the concept of natural birthing.

Chloe shares an interesting encounter with her midwife, Corrina. “I did birth class with her, and that was integral to my journey. We knew then this is exactly our path. She is the same midwife we called two years ago, before our marriage, to ask about her services. She thought I was some crazy girl because I wasn’t even married or pregnant then, and I was still so excited! I called her now, and she said that if I am pregnant and in Goa, then yes, of course, she would help me on my journey. It all started from there.”

Chloe and Aslam were also introduced to hypnobirthing in Mumbai before they left for Goa, and her Hypno-birther, Melissa, introduced them to the concept of hypnobirthing, which revolves around managing pain during childbirth using different therapeutic relaxation techniques. They believe that understanding this greatly helped them during the natural birthing journey. Melissa explained to her that every time you have a contraction, imagine that her womb is opening to give her a present. “I never associated birthing with fear, and hypnobirthing class reassured me that I shouldn’t think of it as pain or fear. You are going to be gifted something so beautiful that you cannot even imagine is what I kept in mind. So, every surge or contraction that you go through means that your present is coming closer and closer to you. That was so beautiful.” Chloe says, “So, while I was going through an intense hurricane in my body, at the back of my mind, each contraction and push would bring my baby into my arms. Can you imagine how intense that thought was for me? That’s what kept me going.”

Through this course, I reimagined the way women birth babies and found an alternate path that is just right for them. Chloe remembers that her midwife once said this one line to her during the course, and that changed everything: “Chloe imagine and think about your perfect birth,” she said, “This is for both of us and we do this as partners, right?” “She said amazing things to us about associating birth and our child with a beautiful song, and since that day we’ve had this one song in our heads by Prince; Could you be the most beautiful girl in the world? From then on, I never had any other thoughts about alternative birthing techniques; I could imagine my perfect birth,” Chloe said. For some reason, that song stuck with us. We didn’t know we were having a baby girl, but we did imagine this birth. Every single morning, we would play this song; when we first held Aayatt, we played it in our birthing room too. Aayatt has been listening to music ever since she was in my womb, and even now, when she comes back from school, she asks us to put on music for her to dance, and this comes as no surprise that she loves music.

Final 3


Every Woman Must Give Natural Birthing a Shot – We are All Mama Warriors

“After I got pregnant, this is something that I tell all women; it is essential to have access to information as a woman. It is empowering and your basic right to know the physiological processes of your body, and every woman needs to know what their body can handle. If I can do it, any woman can do it! Birth is so sacred and must be treated with dignity. I’m grateful for the existence of Doctors and medical intervention and most definitely it is there for an essential reason, having said that I would just want more women to make a promise to themselves of having Dignity at Birth. You must own your body, own your birth, and don’t lie there on the bed, allowing the doctor to take the call for you. You’re pregnant, you have that nine-month relationship with your baby, and believe me, you know exactly what your body is going through and what you want. If It is not possible to deal with the pain, Sure Everybody has different levels of resistance. Go ahead with a cesarean, all right? However, give Natural Birthing a shot.”
Every phase of life comes with a test and leaves us with a lesson. Chloe says, “Hypnobirthing teaches you to have a plan, to visualize your birth, to throw away any birthing fear that you might have and learn birthing affirmations that you and your partner can do together, and the labour class that just was everything for us it prepares you as parents for the Journey ahead.”

Chloe elaborates on one thing that changed her pregnancy during discussions about natural birthing,

“Apart from the fact that midwives are in full control of how to help you and assist you in giving birth, our midwife also took Aslam and me through a two-month labour or birthing class that was life-changing. Both parents are equally instrumental in not only conceiving but also giving birth to this child. But believe me, everything that the mother feels during childbirth, the father feels after the child is born, and the child is as attached to the father as he/she is to the mother, even though we breastfeed as mothers. Of course, our bodies go through trauma, but we’re a team, right? That two-month class that we did with our midwife really gave us an insight into the process, what’s going to happen pre and post, and how will I give birth. She trained us to have the baby. I had been in labour since around 3:30 a.m. on the 24th of August, and it had just begun. The unfolding of the little blossom of my gift had just begun. I was blood-spotting two days before, and it’s called a ‘pinky show.’ That’s a sign that your valve has broken, and the little baby is going to come very soon, but that doesn’t mean that you’re giving birth on that day, all this we learned in Labour Class.”

After 22 hours of being in labour, Chloe confesses screaming at her midwife, asking to be taken to the hospital. “…I was tired, and, after all, I’m only human,” Chloe says. “What helped at that time was remembering the beautiful and perfect birth I had imagined, and Aslam’s support and reassurance made me truly believe all women can give natural birth.” Chloe believes that everyone has the right to their own choice and says that pregnancy is a journey of learning about yourself and your body. She encourages all women to abandon their fear of childbirth and instead embrace it, as she did.


The Arrival of Aayatt: “Could You Be The Most Beautiful Girl In The World?”

Sitting with their hands close to their chests, their eyes gleaming with the reflection of the wide smiles that the moment provided, and their gaze fixed on their beautiful baby girl, Chloe brought her thoughts, etched with memories, into moments with her words.

“The first time we held Aayatt in our arms was beautiful. When we found out she was a girl, we played our favourite song by Prince, which we had been playing for the last few months. My husband was so elated that I remember him taking her in his arms while I was still in the bathtub. Aslam was over the moon! Our baby was born in the water, straight into our arms, and my husband cut the umbilical cord. We had music, lights, and balloons in the room. It was magical; we had the most wonderful experience when Aayatt was born.


Further detailing their birthing journey, Chloe gets nostalgic as she says,

“My contractions started 22 hours before I gave birth. Till 4 pm the next day, I was going through my contractions, and I still wasn’t ready, but at around 5.30 pm they got intense, and by 9 pm, I knew I was ready to go to my midwife. It was 22 hours, and then I couldn’t handle the pressure that my body had been put through anymore; that’s when Corrina suggested I get into the water to calm my body down. Your body relaxes because you’re in warm water, but does the physical strain become any less? Of course not! But I allowed it to be a natural process. I finally gave birth around 3:00 or 4:00 am, and I knew that it was around 24 hours after labour both active and passive, that I gave birth, as the active labour started only around 5 hours earlier. I promise the crazy 19-year-old Balaji and TV industry person had suddenly become a calm, happy individual. All I wanted was to be happy because that’s what I could give my baby—happiness. We gave natural birth to our baby, gratefully on our own. I was physically drained, but the moment I took my baby in my arms, the pain went away. I forgot the pain; it is beautiful.”

Isn’t this the magic of motherhood — even the pain evaporates into pleasure in the embrace of your creation?

Aslam: My Pillar of Strength

“Aayatt” means “miracle of God,” and the name was a perfect fit for their daughter; chosen by Aslam.

“We had many choices, but there was this name that Aslam had intended on having, and intention has played such a large part in our lives that we just went with it. Aslam has always been an SRK fan. The song “Dil Se” has the line “Aayatt Ki Tarah,” which stuck with him for years, and he always wanted to name his baby that. We had a baby girl, and that’s what we chose. It worked out perfectly because, in hypnobirthing, we learned that your baby is a gift after all the pain; it just felt right.”

Speaking about how Aslam has always been supportive of her decisions, she says, “It’s a very important journey as a couple once you are pregnant since two people are together in this. If you want to give birth in water and your husband isn’t confident or doesn’t want to put that sort of energy into it, how is it going to happen?”

“If Aslam wanted to have the birth traditionally at the hospital, we would have fought about it. We would have been upset, and maybe I would have pushed him into doing it. But 22 hours into labour, when I was tired and giving up and asking to be taken to the hospital, he would have agreed because he was never really into it anyway. Aslam came to all those classes of labor class with me for two months, there he was trained and was told to be on his A-game. He stood strong when I was losing strength and said, ‘No, baby, you can do it!’ For you to have a wonderful experience, you and your partner must be on the same page, and your partner must support you. Aslam was there from the beginning when we decided and intended to be full-time parents. We lived in Goa for the first seven months of Aayatt’s life. We had to do everything for our baby together because, due to COVID, we couldn’t hire anyone, so we massaged our baby, bathe her, and took care of everything together as a couple.”


chloe 1

The Blend of Both Worlds: One Universal Religion, “LOVE”

“Where I am a Christian and Aslam is a Muslim, we embrace each other’s religion and want our daughter to do the same. Aslam and I were childhood friends and grew up together in Borivali, Mumbai, which has many Catholics and Muslims. When we got married, we decided to embrace both faiths, but intrinsically, we are spiritual people. I’m Chloe Qureshi today, and I’m Islamic now, just as is my child, but it’s not like she wouldn’t know about Christmas. When Aslam and I got married in 2018, we spoke highly of two faiths but one universal religion: LOVE.

So, we teach Aayatt about love and that the one universal religion in her life will always be love. While Islam and Christianity will be huge parts of our lives, we are spiritual individuals who have strong faiths and beliefs, but who we are today is all about love.”

Chloe and Aslam want to continue this tradition of a blended family, where Christianity and Islam both play an equal role. Speaking about how their religious beliefs play a role in Aayatt’s life, she says, “She is too young right now, but she knows who Allah is and who Jesus is. We speak about Eid and Christmas, as well as Diwali, Holi, and all the other religious festivals of our country and faith. We are raising Aayatt to be a child filled with love and respect for all religions and cultures, and that’s exactly what we imbibe in her daily life. When Aayatt is with the Qureshi family, she speaks in Hindi, and when she is with the Ferns family, she speaks in English. She learns from her Dadi about Islam and from her Nana about Christianity, and that’s how we, as a blended family, play equal roles in the upbringing of Aayatt, and I think it’s wonderful.”

Final 6


Speaking of the Present

Two years later…

Chloe has now moved to Dubai with her family and is setting up a base there. She is the mother of Aayatt Qureshi and is not working for Balaji or any other company anymore.

“I’ve moved to Dubai and am on my journey to be an entrepreneur here in the media and entertainment fields. I am also a full-time mother, and I’m enjoying it and doing everything with the same passion and the same amount of research, but with my child.”

Being a mom is more than just having someone to look after. It comes with sweet moments and sleepless nights. Chloe also adds that this newly acquired role of being parents has changed Aslam and her as individuals.

She says, “What our child changed about the both of us was that we started living life a little more; we walked out on monotony and started taking up challenges and looking at life very differently. It’s going to be exciting, despite the roadblocks and challenges that we will face. We are not living a life of monotony anymore, and we now have Aayatt to make our lives magical every day, while we take on this exciting new journey called Life.


Chloe believes life is beautiful the way it is. It is how you embrace it. There are ups and downs, highs and lows, but then what is life if not a rollercoaster of moments and adventures? Set yourself on a lifelong adventure (literally) and experience the essence of real fun with the people you genuinely care for, love, and value in your life.

Final 5
Chandan Sojitra


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