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Sachin Haldankar

Sachin Haldankar

Ever felt the need to really talk to your mum about work but holding back because you would have to sit through the consequent rant about your wrong career choices?
Ever wanted to have that delicious chicken masala curry your amma makes but realized that you’d have to visit home and explain your haircut for the 10th time? Ever had your significant other wanting to meet your mother and felt the need to leave the country?
Well do leave the country and go to New York, then, because this is what ‘Need a Mom’ is all about. Nina Keneally, 65, is playing mom for youngsters in exchange of money and a good way to spend free time. Based in Bushwick, New York, she promises ‘motherly care and judgment-free advice’.
Bushwick is primarily known to be a ‘hipster’ area and that seems good for business. She finds herself belonging there despite being a few decades off the average age and a few trends off the dress code. Realizing young college-goers’ need to speak to an elder once in a while about things they cannot discuss with their parents, she discovered a new purpose in life and a unique business idea. With the only major investment being her skills of good listening, mothering and cooking, Nina has clients contacting her through her website and setting up appointments or should I say, bonding meetings. Keneally, herself a mother of 2, is very clear about not being a professional counsellor or therapist, just a temporary motherly figure and that’s all. She disclaims the ability to provide professional mental care help but can ‘make that pecan pie you really love’. When asked how she is different from a therapist, Nina says the conversation runs both ways and is definitely more personal and relatable for the clients. At the same time, she believes in keeping professional as well as personal boundaries and knows where to stop, not just in terms of sharing but also age group restricting it to 20s and 30s.
The website is a chirpy yellow and red with the logo being a muscular arm with a heart inside, signifying the power of motherly love. The tagline reads “When you need a mom, just not YOUR mom” with a very clear rate list that reads $40 for an hour, $10 for travel charges, $140 for a four session package and this is the best bit- $20 for a half an hour texting session. Did you just do the math and compared it with the train ticket home? 

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