EP #75: Apinayah Arul – Starting Varman’s Smile Foundation After Losing Her Younger Brother To Suicide

Apinayah Arul (@apin.yah.ai) is co-founder of Varman’s Smile Foundation (@vsmilefoundation) which was started in her late brother’s memory with a mission of raising awareness around mental health and suicide prevention.

She joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to discuss moving from Toronto to Vancouver for a fresh start which included 5 days of drivng with her family, how Varman’s Smile Foundation was created, common misconceptions about mental health in the Tamil community, how Tamil movies glorify suicide by correlating it with romance, raising $30,000 to fund her organization, how fantasy books help her creative process, and so much more.

Follow Apinayah:
– LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/apinayah-arul/)
– Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/apin.yah.ai/)

*TAKE THE QUIZ – “What Type of Creator Are You?”**



00:19 – Ara introduces this week’s guest, Apinayah Arul
01:11 – Her family upbringing; frequent moves and supportive parents
03:26 – Api’s father being a welder and the family taking pride in it
05:25 – Why she started the Varmin’s Smile Foundation; losing her younger brother to suicide
08:17 – Common misconceptions about mental health, especially in the Tamil community
10:24 – People in the Tamil community speaking up about their own losses, after Api’s brother passed
13:27 – Tamil movies glorifying suicide
14:31 – How she sees Varmin’s Smile Foundation growing; balancing this with her full-time job
16:21 – Using GoFundMe to raise $30,000 in less than a month; using these funds still
17:23 – How her work as a content creator helps with the growth of Varmin’s Smile Foundation
18:52 – Moving to Vancouver for a fresh start; driving for 5 days with her family
21:11 – Easier COVID-19 restrictions in British Columbia; Api working from the office
21:49 – Her career in 3-5 years; wanting to grow from a graphic designer into a digital storyteller
22:48 – How Api has fun; her Etsy shop journaling business, painting, family time, and cooking
23:25 – What she is insecure about; impostor syndrome
24:03 – What she would tell her 15-year-old self
24:50 – The personal legacy she wants to be remembered for by her friends and family
25:16 – Api’s favourite methods for consuming new information; being an avid reader
26:25 – Improving her life by being more aware of her emotions and triggers
27:26 – Who she admires in the global and non-global Tamil communities
29:43 – Api’s relationship with money; how she views it and invests
31:55 – A purchase she splurged on but doesn’t regret; any food and a pair of Air Jordan sneakers
33:51 – Advice she has for fellow aspiring Tamil creators
34:37 – Creator Confessions
38:11 – The Wrap Up

Intro Music

Produced And Mixed By:
– The Tamil Creator
– Yanchan

Written By:
– Aravinthan Ehamparam
– Yanchan Rajmohan