Latha Menon came to like the world of 'moving images', as a young child. A constant companion to her moviegoing mother, she was introduced to 'Do Aankhen Barah Haath', 'Shree 420', 'Pyaasa', and Deewar', among other classics. I also enjoyed the advertisements that were played before the movies, she smiles, recalling how she would hum the jingles with equal enthusiasm, as she did the movie songs. That was the beginning of her journey.Since then, Menon has taken on several roles as a film executive in an advertising agency, working in a media company, and finally starting her own film production company after the birth of her first daughter. I was one among a few women behind the camera back then. Today, there are many players but it wasnt like that when I started off. The learning curve never ends, and that's the delight. The journey is infinite as long as you are travelling.There were no media courses available in Madras back then, so she moved unwillingly to Mumbai for her masters degree in Mass Communication at her mothers insistence. Although it seems insignificant, she remembers it as a turning point in her life. I recall tear-jerking scenes at the railway station when my friends came to see me off, but my mother remained unmoved. We located a hostel at Bombay Central, then my mother took the night train that same day back to Madras, leaving me alone in a large and unfamiliar city! I grew up overnight. Fear turned to resilience, and that's the attitude I developed as I started working in the media.What is evident is her passion and commitment to her craft. Filmmaking has a single-point agenda - to tell your story well, be it commercials, documentaries, or feature films. With commercials, you get anywhere from six seconds to four minutes to do that. For documentaries, it is typically three minutes to two hours. Feature films are the longest, using 90 minutes to three-and-a-half hours (and now even multiple parts!) to communicate your idea. Brevity is the key in commercials, emotional chronicles in documentaries, and thought-provoking narratives in features.Menons career took off as her children were growing up, and she does admit that she felt pushed by the lack of time and space. Whatever resources were available to me at any given time helped me. It was just then in the early 90s that mobile phones appeared. Being a filmmaker and producer, I had the flexibility to attend to calls for work 24x7 and also be available to my children. Seeing my work making a difference to brands and clients, as well as getting those warm hugs from my children, simply got me through. It was hectic and I learnt to rely on my family and domestic support. I was guilt-ridden at times back then, which was frustrating, though now my children tell me they loved the conversations we had after I returned from a shoot or a meeting.There are many women she counts among her role models. Agnes Varda, known as the godmother of the French new wave of cinema, was busy until 2019, shortly before her death. She collaborated and continued making films till the ripe old age of 90. Canadian short story writer Alice Monro, known for having revolutionised the 'architecture of short stories' is yet another inspiration, given that she won the Nobel prize for Literature in 2013 at age 82. Closer to home, bilingual poet and novelist Madhavi Kutty or Kamala Das/Surayya wrote in both English and Malayalam, living life on her own terms till the very end.I come from a family in Kerala that follows the matrilineal tradition still prevalent in some families, though largely fading away. The ladies I have grown up with, my maternal and paternal grandmothers, my mother-in-law, and my mother have influenced me and my way of life. They were strong and independent, but also caring and unafraid to show emotion and vulnerability.Menon truly believes that her creative surge took place when she was in her 40s when her children were teenagers and she had more time and mind space. One becomes experimental, patient in creativity, brave in treading new paths. For instance, for a dairy brand I work with, I also got into the space of docu-mercials. This combined two styles to create real-life stories of dairy farmers in the timeframe of a minute. The campaign saw me traversing the rural hinterlands of South India and Maharashtra. I enjoyed the process of creating this unique language of filmmaking that was acknowledged by audiences. In advertising, one largely remains anonymous as a filmmaker. She enjoys collaborating with people and engaging creatively through multi-dimensional opportunities such as directing, photography, writing, or teaching. As a Tamil film producer, her latest outing was the GV Prakash Kumar-starrer Sarvam Thala Mayam.She has also used her passion for photography to create a calendar each year and help raise funds for causes dear to her heart. It all began with the floods of 2015. The helplessness of the city and its inhabitants, and the way everyone came together to help each other was inspiring. To help raise funds for the flood relief work I created a calendar featuring the wildlife photographs I had taken. Since then, it has become an annual feature.To live life creatively, Menon believes women dont necessarily have to paint or write, be filmmakers, actors, or singers. Creativity is simply a way of living. Embrace the present, be present, participate in the moment, respond and remember. Inhale each breath and enjoy it!