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Sakshi Sindwani smashing stereotypes & conquering heights!

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If you know someone who broke barriers in the world of modeling, inspired someone to achieve anything and everything despite the hurdles broke the stereotypes and changed the mindsets of people to make the world a better place to live. IT DEFINITELY HAS TO BE SAKSHI SINDWANI and we bet over that!

She does it all! Whether be acing the ramp, featuring on the Harper’s Bazaar cover page or acing the IIFA with her charm or be it her presence at ICW 2022!

A dive into her life, goals and inspirations through this interview!

1) In order to stay relevant one needs to stay updated and rejuvenate themselves with the change in technology and trends. How has this change impacted your personal growth?

Sakshi Sindwani: I think being on social media for the last three years. I have been very much in the world of social media, and I think it’s truly taken my life over. But there are personal aspects of my life that I do not put on social media.I think it’s for my sanity. Not because I don’t want to or there is a hidden meaning behind it.

I think I need to protect a few things in my life and keep it behind and personal to me. I think it’s my time away from social media, and it helps rejuvenate and stay grounded. It puts me sort of back to reality because no matter how much we say, social media is very consuming, and that’s how it is made, and it’s going to get more and more consuming, and your attention span will go down sometimes, and sometimes it will go up . But it will all be about the next big thing and what’s happening next or what’s happening in somebody else’s life.

Just like everybody is so super connected through social media, which is a good thing, but it’s also a bad thing coz sometimes it can disconnect you from yourself and your journey. So I think the things that I try to do is, try to maintain a small circle of people who are not just the yes man in my life.

They are the true people who show me how to stay grounded. How to not lose myself in the whole world of glamour and fame and social media numbers, which are lucrative things but in the long run, they can harm your self-esteem and dim your personality. I think these people around me keep me grounded, and then sometimes I have off a day of social media where I like to do adventure things that really bring my spirit back, and travel rejuvenates me, talking to new people rejuvenates me. Even if it’s through work, it does. It’s something I get very passionate about.

2)In today’s era, a lot of teenagers and young adults look forward to being an influencer to get into the fashion and entertainment industry. They have started to value their worth based on the number of likes or followers that they have. What will be your message to them?

Sakshi Sindwani:I think for anybody who wants to come on social media, it’s a great thing. The world is moving toward digital media, and it’s only fair for people to recognize opportunities and jump on that band value. But that being said, I think anyone who wants to come on social media needs to have very strong self-esteem and very strong confidence about themselves.I think belief about themselves is important.

If you come with low self-esteem and low self-esteem in yourself, then you know social media can suck the life out of you, and the numbers can get to your head. It’s very important for someone coming on social media to, you know, realize that your craft needs to have the number 1 priority, and everything comes later. You know you need to be the most authentic and best version of yourself. Bring your craft to the audience, and the way the audience reacts to it is on the. You can’t really control everybody. You have to show up and be the best version of yourself even on social media like you do otherwise in life as well. I think when you have a good foundation, it’s almost crucial.

The more you get bigger, the more you get obsessed with numbers.

It’s a hard fact. I remember when I was at 50K, the next big thing for me was a 100K. I used to think that 100k would change my life and I will achieve everything in life and at that time, you do feel that way.

It’s an unattainable goal for you, and then 100 k becomes 200k, 500k, and a million, and then it never stops. That journey never stops, and even though when you are a small creator, you feel if you reach a higher number, your life will be all set.

That’s not how it works, that’s the human tendency in you that you keep growing out to the next big thing, and sometimes you see the high, but you also see the low, and then you reach this stagnancy. You need to have a strong belief system, and you need to surround yourself with people who believe in you as much as you believe in yourself.

I think you shouldn’t judge yourself, your craft, your skill set, or art based on numbers. Let’s be honest, social media is very fast evolving, but people are also people, and it’s not for everyone to like.

Sakshi Sindwani

3) During your college life was fashion an important part of your everyday life and personality even then?

Sakshi Sindwani: Definitely, I remember there was a time when I was really struggling with getting my personality out and expressing myself fashion-wise. I actually spoke about this in one of my recent podcasts where I said that I give myself a challenge for a week. This week I am going to pretend that I am the most confident bad bitch that you can possibly imagine and the most confident version of myself, and I will wear whatever the heck I want to for a week. No matter what people say, no matter how many people make fun of me, I am just going to do that. I am just going to do a trial test of doing this for one week, and that was the happiest fashion-wise week of my college life and then that became my normal slowly and steadily.

Being a person who had a very strong sense of fashion and style ever since I was six years old. I remember I was ahead of my game even then. I have seen pictures, but college definitely changed the way I looked at myself and style and fashion.

4) When you got into making fashion content, how was your initial approach? Did you plan everything or were you more inclined towards going with the flow? Has it changed now?

Sakshi Sindwani: I think when I started making fashion videos, I started on youtube, and at that time, I was going through discovering myself and finding my foot on social media, and social media can be really daunting. Especially at a time when I started, this was literally 4-5 years back. Not a lot of social media content creators were present and Instagram was still not a video platform.

It was still a more aesthetic-looking feed, everything super similarly color graded, and beautiful feeds and visuals and pictures and all of those things, and youtube was the video content platform and I always knew that I wanted to be a video content creator. At that time, I would look at trends; I would look at Sarojini Nagar haul, Street shopping hauls, going to Chandani chowk and making guides about it and all of that. A lot of Shein, H&M, and Zara hauls, and all of those things, but I did like it at that time I would not deny that I didn’t like it, but it’s just that it wasn’t true representation of my style.

I was still trying to figure out the content that I wanted to make. My voice and the trends and what’s getting numbers and what’s helping you grow.

With all of those things, you know you can feel a little lost, especially when you are a young content creator. When I came on Instagram, I came with the intention that I was going to start making videos even though they were going to be from my balcony.

When I started my first series, which was the first video series on Instagram, back in 2019, again, Instagram was not a video platform at the time, but in 2019 when I started creating videos, it was out of my balcony. Where I decided to make one single fashion video every day for the next 365 days, and at that point, I had a little bit of burnout, obviously because I was not being true to myself on youtube, so I had a burnout, and It went a little haywire.

When I started on Instagram, I wasn’t focusing on any best quality or anything. I was going with the flow. I was like, whatever I am wearing today, I am going to show that to the people and explain how you dress up for a bigger body type and what works for me and literally talk about my fashion sense. That’s it. Like I don’t want to have stressed over creating aesthetically looking feeds and everything so properly color graded and matched and the grids of three’s and five’s and all that. It was not my aesthetic at all.

So I started to make those things, and thankfully it worked out. I did go with the flow at that time, and to this day, a big part of my content is going with the flow, creating what is keeping me interested and what is keeping the audience interested. Of course, when you grow older, there is a lot more strategy that gets involved, and you know you will start thinking about what the audience is reacting to better. Let’s make more of that, and you know, strategizing and studying your analytics become a big part.

At the starting, I don’t think I was worried about those things because I didn’t have the numbers, and I had nothing to lose. Now there is slight fear in my mind that okay, if people don’t like this, it’s not going to get the views, and no matter how much hard work I put into it, I won’t get the views. So sometimes those things affect my confidence, but I still try to go with the flow. After every 4-5 content pieces, I make one content piece for myself that gives my creative vision justice.

I think it’s very important to my sanity because, again, I am a creative person. I started to be a storyteller about fashion on the internet, that’s how I started, and I want to maintain those things about me. So I think I started as go with the flow, but now it’s a little bit of a mix of going with the flow and what you want, what the audience wants, studying the stats, and all of that.

5) You have spoken about your obsession with youtube when you were in school and how you started your journey of content creation with it. Who was your favorite youtube content creator ?

Sakshi Sindwani: I think back in the day. It was definitely Bethany Mota. When I started my youtube channel, she was the biggest fashion Youtuber and such a bubbly girl at that time. When I was in 7th- 8th grade in school, I was a really young kid, and I used to relate to her a lot because she was also a chirpy, bubbly, colorful girl. I think she really hipped my journey and inspired me. Back in the day, like I said, she was the biggest one and the kind of opportunity that was coming to her. she was the first influencer, I think, in the world, who had launched a clothing line in collaboration with Aeropostale. That was like such an eye-opener for me. These things can happen. People can have a collection. Those things were new at the time and definitely inspired my journey.

6) Throughout your career so far what has been the most memorable moment for you?

There have been tons of memorable moments, thankfully so and hopefully, so those are just the start of memorable moments for me, but I am going to list a few of them. The first one being, I think, when I got the offer to be on the cover of Harper Bazaar’s magazine in 2019 of November. That was a big one for me because, at that time, I was a very small content creator. I had freshly done a few of my ramps. I was the first mid-size model for India fashion week, and I think that was a history that had been created in itself. So when I had gotten the Harper Bazaar opportunity, that was a big deal for me.

Then BBC world news wanted to interview me as the first inclusive model in India. That aired around the world in New York, London, and wherever BBC aired. Then when I got the opportunity to be featured by Forbes. It was a very big thing. I have won a few awards. The Femina award was a big thing, and the Cosmo award was a big thing. When I got featured in Vogue, it was a very big thing for me. When I was casted to be in the campaign of Manish Malhotra, that was also a very big thing for me. Getting invited to IIFA was also a huge thing.

7) You were recently at IIFA, how was that experience for you?

Sakshi Sindwani: Definitely overwhelming, something that I don’t think in my wildest dreams thought it could be a possibility that somebody who was so severely bullied! Just like I didn’t even think that the opportunities that I am getting and living today could even be possible. I didn’t think these opportunities were possible at all back in the days. But one thousand percent it was one of the most overwhelming and genuinely beautiful experiences. It gave me a lot of learning.

The reason why I say beautiful is because there were a lot of good things and also challenges that came with it. But overall, it was a beautiful journey. Iifa happened to me so suddenly. When I recall the instance when I got the message from my manager that I was going to IIfa, the first response was that I started crying. I don’t usually cry. I keep things to myself, lot of the times because I am so superstitious that way. Even I don’t tell my family the things that I get finalized for till it doesn’t actually happen in real. I don’t tell my closest one. But when I received the message for Iifa, I burst into tears. It was very overwhelming for me.

Like I said, I never thought it would be a possibility, and then doing the whole green carpet and having people recognize me in Abu Dhabi in Dubai was insane. You don’t dream of these things. I know there were a few people who came to me with watery eyes saying how much I have inspired them and How much they love themselves because of me. These are not the normal things that anybody gets to hear. Because I get to hear these things so often, it’s the biggest deal for me.

8) You wear and style a lot of new emerging brands. Which one will be your personal favorite?

Sakshi Sindwani: I cannot choose a personal favorite. All my homegrown brands are extremely exquisitely special to me because they are my homegrown brand. They are a more conscious brand. I think they are the new generation of how brands should approach everything when it comes to building the brand or bringing the people who work for them. Size inclusivity. The way they run campaigns. I think the new generation really knows their work. They are more aware, and they are heading in the right direction when it comes to fashion.

9) If given a choice, what would be the one change that you would make in the social media world for aspiring content creators?

Sakshi Sindwani: The biggest thing that I will say is that don’t be afraid of people saying no to you. I have had my fair share of no and struggle in the industry. It’s very difficult to crack open but keep working hard and stay consistent at what you do, whether it’s content creation on social media. Whether it’s pitching to a designer. Try to speak to as many people as possible and have faith in yourself.

I think that’s the most important. I think when it comes to working, be mindful of what kind of projects you are taking and be mindful of the direction you want to go in. Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes because those mistakes will give you a lot of learning. Just try not to make the mistakes very personal. I think some mistakes are always due in everybody’s career. I think failing sometimes gives you the biggest learning. It has happened to me. I have failed multiple times. People wouldn’t believe it, but there are so many times I have failed as a person and in my career, but I never gave up. I think the biggest thing is that no matter how hard and cliche it sounds but never give up.

10) In one of your recent Instagram stories you said that you often fail to complete the work that you have decided for yourself on the days when it rains and is gloomy. How do you work with that? Do you get disappointed?

Sakshi Sindwani: I used to get very disappointed if I didn’t work because I have a very strong work culture in my house and a very strong work ethic that I have grown up listening to and instilled in me, but as I am growing older. I realize that you need to have some off mental health days. Like you need to have some off days for your peace and sanity, and when there are days where I don’t feel like working. I get up wanting to enjoy the day or the rain like that. I allow myself to have that moment because life is not just about the next big thing and the hustle and the entire hustle culture. There are smaller things, and by finding joy in them, peace in silence, you should still be able to feel successful. I allow myself to feel that way.

11) What will you say to the people who compare their bodies with the models on Instagram? What will be your message to them about body positivity?

Sakshi Sindwani: I think it’s a very toxic thing to compare yourself with anybody, Whether it’s comparing your body or career or anything about your life. Just always remember that social media is fake. It is a filtered reality. If people show you that they are happiest looking at their bodies might be struggling with their bodies. Even though in your eyes they might have the perfect bodies. They might not have the perfect bodies in their own eyes. So I think it’s very wrong for you to compare yourself with anybody on social media, and I think the best way to move forward. It worked for me. I unfollowed pages and muted pages that trigged me in any way.

What I think is that the List that you see and the List that you will get triggered and it was a very important step that I took for my mental health, especially in the initial few years and months of my self-love journey. I am still on that journey. Of course, I have a stronger belief system in myself. Like now, if I see things that trigger me, it won’t trigger me a lot, but back in the day, if I saw pages like that, they would trigger me a lot, so I would mute them and follow more pages that made me feel good about myself. It’s not always about body positivity. I think nobody can be positive all the time about their bodies. It’s okay to have low days.

I have this particular rule. 15 Minute rule. If I feel really bad about my body or if its a blue day or if I look a certain way and I do not like my pictures and videos, I give myself 15 minutes to crib about it, and then I have to just drop it and let it go and then I have to be my true self.

12) Lastly, what will be your message to your fans?

The biggest message that I will give my fans is that don’t compare yourself to the people who are sharing filtered reality on the internet. Self-love is a journey. People can inspire you on that journey, but you need to start it yourself. No one can. Be yourself.

Sakshi Sindwani

You are literally the most beautiful and the most amazing and the most thrilling person. Don’t try to be somebody else just because you think they are cool. Just remember that you are even cooler. Please remind yourself that you love yourself because that is the relationship that is ever so important and needs to be nurtured ever so often.

We hope you liked the interview and Sakshi Sindwani inspired you to the core as she inspired us!

To know more about her:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/fashion/i-am-what-i-am-because-of-my-weight-101642127054293.html

For more such interviews:

https://theparadoxnews.com/category/interview/

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Interview

Meera Joshi: An all rounder personality

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Meera Joshi: An all rounder personality

Meera Joshi is an all rounder personality, from working as an assistant choreographer in dance reality shows such as ‘street dance’, being a contestant in ‘Dance India Dance- season 4’ and holding 3 world records and 3 Indian records along with being a dubbing artist and an influencer. She had won all of our hearts. Let us see what Meera has to say.

Meera Joshi’s instagram:

https://instagram.com/meerajoshi_?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

 

Q1). Can you tell us about your journey as a dancer and a choreographer…. 

Meera Joshi: So my journey as a dancer and a choreographer started with participating in the ‘local mandals’ and that’s when my mom realized that I like dancing, and then I joined dance classes. My father was a bank manager, and he used to transfer every three years. So, in Ratnagiri I learned Kathak for two years, Bharatanatyam for seven years in Satara, and in Pune I learned Latin American dance styles. By then I started participating in inter-college competitions and I won prizes. That’s when I realized that dancing is not just my hobby, maybe I want to pursue it as a profession. Then I joined many dance groups in Pune and became a side dancer and danced behind Marathi celebrities. 

After that I started giving auditions for dance reality shows as well and finally got selected for my first ever show in 2010 “Street Dance”. It was a group dance competition and so I was a part of a group. I used to go from Pune to Mumbai. In 2011, I got into another dance reality show. By the time I graduated in German language, I stood third in University. That was the time to decide whether to go for post graduation or go to Mumbai.

My family was a little skeptical about this profession because living in Mumbai- a completely different city and getting a job with this profession was a little difficult. So my family wanted me to go for post graduation and then join some IT company or become a translator. But with the help of my mother I went to Mumbai, and that was the first time my mom let me travel alone. I was going to Infinity (there are a lot of rehearsal halls) for the rehearsals and I asked the auto guy what the fare would be and it was a shock for me hearing the price. But some lady overheard me and asked to share the fare and that was my first ever ride in Mumbai. And overall it was really welcoming.

The real Job

Then I freshened up. And that was my first day of work, in 2012 as an assistant choreographer for “Dance India Dance- little Champs” where Faisal Khan was the winner and I was assisting Prince Gupta, that was a team of Faisal Khan. After that eventually I got recognition and I assisted many choreographers such as Jalak Dikh Jaa… and simultaneously I was improving my dance styles such as hip hop and contemporary dance etc because it is difficult for a classical dancer to catch up. And finally in 2013, in “Dance India Dance, season 4” I was a participant. 

But then a few rounds later I realized that something was wrong with my back and the channel people took x-ray and things. And they found out that something was wrong with my spine and they suggested that we should stop here due to the medical emergency but I insisted on being a participant as it was my dream. And Mithunda insisted for me that if I was that willing, then let me continue as a contestant.

But I knew somewhere that my back won’t be able to support and after top 14 I got eliminated. And then I started helping people by assisting them with choreography. I assisted Sumit Shahil, Puni Verma for Bajirao Mastani then again Shimla Mirchi film and for Poster boys etc… And after almost 13 reality shows I realized that I can do something more. And I decided to do something on camera which had less dancing and eventually started auditioning for acting. 

Q2). You have been an all rounder, a dancer, choreographer, an actress, dubbing artist and an influencer… Do you think your fans might have much higher expectations from you?

Meera Joshi: “I think people will keep expecting till you die” whether in a professional life or personal, people will expect something or the other and that’s a natural human behavior… and if you’re a stage performer, people will keep on expecting more and more the next time.. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That is something which motivates you to grow. And do better than before, going to an upper level. And that’s why I’m here today, I expected something from myself. My parents, my well wishers, everyone around me expected me to grow. And that’s what led me to give auditions, become a side dancer to the main dancer and even start acting. “Expectations are the key to growth.”

Q3). What do you love to do the most amongst all the professions that you do?

Meera Joshi: Well i really cannot pinpoint any one profession among these, i like dancing cause that’s where I started and as a choreographer if I am not able to do any dance steps or if I don’t fit in the dance or the song. I have this vision which I portray through others by teaching them and reaching to the audience. The vision that I have, I love to share it with others. So, I love to choreograph as well. 

Even in acting, I got to explore many characters and that is what I love the most. Dubbing is also the same, that’s when I got to know that my voice is also a charm in itself. While influencing was also fun, back then not many Marathi influencers were there in the industry. I did some projects for clothing brands and beauty products and I remember not shopping for almost 2 years. And I loved the perk of free shopping plus earning out of them. So I enjoyed every profession that I perceived. 

Q4). While shooting for Bajirao Mastani, you got an inspiration to start your career in acting… is that true? What inspired you to do so? 

Meera Joshi: Before Bajirao Mastani, I was already pursuing several professions and as an assistant choreographer I thought till when will I just keep assisting. And getting a good movie where I can be the lead choreographer would have been a lot difficult plus it would have taken me years and years… As movies were the only option where we could choreograph or showcase our skills back then.

So I had to choose a profession which will give me recognition by face. And acting was it. That’s what I realized on the set of Bajirao Mastani. And then with zero experience in theater or acting I started giving auditions for acting. I had no mentor or a guide who can provide me with acting guidance or who can help me get a role in a movie. That’s where I had to struggle and even now after 13 years in the industry, So, I guess that will go on till the end. 

For one and a half year I wasn’t able to crack any auditions and I still remember my first audition where I had to give an introduction and I asked them “what does that mean?” So yes it was my learning period and initially I did crowd roles such as praying in the temple while the hero and heroine are the main focus. And then I’m glad, my parents were really supportive, especially my mom was very supportive of everything that I did. Even financially but again I had this to earn money myself. So yes I did  projects as well.

Q5). You are such a beautiful lady, is there any secret to your beauty? 

Meera Joshi: Thank you so much. I think every soul is beautiful in their own way but of course that is off camera. I have been called ugly many times and been rejected for that. It’s like maybe you’re pretty and cute but you’re not a heroine material. Even for the skin color, they said, “you’re not fair enough so you don’t fit into our projects.” Thank you again, but I don’t think there’s any secret to it. I guess being positive and being around positive people, living a healthy life can be called the secret. 

Q6). You have 3 world records and 3 Indian records in dancing… How do you feel about this achievement?

The first world record:

Meera Joshi: The world record things actually just happened, it wasn’t planned. I love trekking and traveling. So, I got in touch with this man named Anand Bansode- he is the Everest man of India. He climbed Everest. He asked me if I want to join them to climb “Kokan Kada” and hoist the longest flag on 26th of January and make the world record. And I said okay I’d love to do that. 

The second world record:

And then the second time in Lockdown, everybody was trying to be active on social media. That’s when five Marathi actresses decided to dance Antaksari, a kind of thing which included recording dance pieces. So I got to dance to a song that starts with ‘ka’. And I danced to “Kanta Laga”. So others did the basic dance steps as they were not dancers but actresses. So I decided to dance outside the house as it wasn’t able to shoot inside. And my mom helped me with it, literally climbing on top of the car to shoot me. Then I edited the video as I had a little basic knowledge about it. But the other actresses pointed out that my video was not shot inside the house despite the theme being ‘lockdown’ and they pushed me off the project which made me a little sad.

Then I thought of posting it on my social media anyway and it blew off. So I started creating dance reel content and at that time people didn’t shoot these kinds of videos. And then I was traveling to Kachchh, Gujarat and I told a passenger to shoot a video on ‘chaiyya chaiyya’ of me. There I shot a one minute video. And people loved it. So, I thought I should do everything together, traveling, dancing, shooting etc… So I clubbed everything together. 

The third world record:

And then I was traveling to Chopta…we started at 3am in the morning and reached there at 7 for sunrise and we shot a video and I checked if anybody had shot a video here because it was the world’s highest Shiva temple. And nobody had performed surprisingly. So I contacted Anand Bansode and asked him if we can do anything about the world record. And then I sent it for approval and within fifteen days I got approved and I was the first actress to perform at the world’s highest Shiva temple. This news went viral and people actually loved it. 

After that I went to Hemkund, which is the world’s largest Gurudwara. So I almost trekked for 16-17 hours and then I performed there and again sent it for approval and it worked out again. So yes that’s how the 3 world records happened. 

Q7). What are your upcoming plans and goals? 

Meera Joshi: Well my plan right now is to earn more money by working hard and my goal is to buy a nice house of my own and on my own in Mumbai. Like I’ve been living in Mumbai for 13 years and paying rent. And in my family everybody has their own house, it’s only me who doesn’t have anything on her name yet. So that’s my dream right now.

Q8). How was your experience working on Amazon for “Crimes Aaj Kal”… Do you plan to work again in the future? 

Meera Joshi: My first web series was Myra, it was in lockdown and we shot it on a sample flat in Nagpur. My second web series was “Indori Ishq” in which I played the role of Alia. And people loved it. Basically, I got a call from the casting director and he told me he wants my audition for a character and they sent me the script. So there were two characters, one was Alia, a 21 year old college passout student and the other was a prostitute. So I thought obviously, the second role would be for me as I was 29 back then. But the director told me he wants me to audition for Alia. And I was glad because I thought people still consider me as a young actress. And my co-actor was Ritik Shauri and he was 20. He was almost 10 years younger than me. 

I was really conscious about how I would look because being a 30 year old and acting to be a partner of a 20 year old was a different thing. So matching up to him was a difficult thing but then people loved my character. And then I got selected for “Crimes Aaj Kal”, I was auditioned three times. And they asked me if I was an athlete and then I said I am a classical dancer. But then I wasn’t able to match three other guys who were really tall and athletic. And my director was like you said you were an athlete what happened  but eventually we shot the scene…

Q9). Considering how busy your schedule might be, how do you find time for yourself?

Meera Joshi: I don’t think it’s a difficult task for you to find time for yourself if you love yourself. Because if you love yourself, you’ll find time for yourself anyhow. And in my profession we don’t have a routine so I get time for myself when I don’t have any work. I watch films, go for a walk, eat well.. And I love street food and I keep myself happy with that. I love to spend time with myself, I’ll always find “me time” even if I have a busy schedule. So finding time for myself is not a big task. 

Q10). Out of all characters, which one is your favorite and why?

Meera Joshi: Every character that I played was different. So I don’t think I have any favorite character. In Marathi films, people viewed me as an evilish, villianish and glamorous personality while in Hindi films I was viewed as the soft ‘sanskari’ girl. People viewed me really differently, there was this contrast and it really confused me. Which also helped me portray many different characters though. In Marathi serial, I have played a Witch and then I’ve also played an evil daughter in law. And then in ‘Chandana’ a short film I played a poor girl living in a village, fighting for the right to basic education. That was something really heart touching.

“Indori Ishq” for that, i played a character of a 21 year old college passout student. Being a 30 year old I had to act as a partner of a 20 year old actor was a difficult and a different task. And for ‘Crimes Aaj Kal’ I played a cop, so again it was really different. And in Myra I got to be a heroine. So yeah, “There’s a lot and many colors to explore.”

Q11). What are the three things that you would like to change about yourself? 

Meera Joshi: I think I can be more ignorant about a few things and take everything a little less seriously because not everything needs to be answered. Let’s say somebody passing a comment should be ignored. And it’s not necessary to pay attention to everything that happens around you. I guess that will make me happies. Sometimes I really tend to give too much attention to trollers and that makes me a little dejected. Being ignorant becomes a necessity sometimes and I am trying to do that.

Second thing, I think I should be a little more patient. Not that I’m too impatient but the More patient I am the more things will come to me. 

Lastly, this is a funny thing but if God could change my dusky skin tone, and make me a little fair then maybe… maybe I could get more work. In a funnier way though. Now I’ve got acceptance about myself, my skin tone, my body and I think I’m very comfortable in my skin. I love myself. 

Q12). If you are given a chance to visit any fictional world, what would you choose and why? 

Meera Joshi: To be precise, Harry Potter. Back then when I was in school Harry Potter was the ultimate crush. And Hogwarts is something I would love to visit if it is possible and I am given a chance to.  

Q13). Your fans might be eagerly waiting for you to say something to them… So anything?..

Meera Joshi: For upcoming projects, there’s a new movie “Orange Lily” that is going to be released and I’m playing the title role and a few upcoming item songs are to be released. Keep loving me and keep giving me your love and support… Every artist needs that. Be careful of what you have to say to anybody because it might hurt them and rethink it. They might end up making different decisions which they would not if things were a bit different. So yes, keep loving everyone because everybody is working as hard as you are. Life is beautiful, live peacefully.

It has been a 13 years long professional journey in Mumbai and I’m grateful to my parents  because of them I was able to pursue my hobby as a profession. Especially my mom, without her I wouldn’t be able to be what I am today. Also grateful to everyone who loved and supported me, without them growing wouldn’t have been possible. It inspires me to do better projects. So thank you very much. Please keep loving me. 

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Interview

Ashish Patil – THE enthralling journey of the LAVNIKING!

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LAVNIKING Ashish Patil. B.Sc (computer science) from Birla College Kalyan. Specialized in Bollywood, classical, Semi-classical, Folk, and contemporary dance in Marathi and Hindi industry for 19 years now. Recently was a Finalist of a Dance show. High Fever Dance ka Naya-never on TV.

An energetic, awe-inspiring, and imposing grand Classical – Semi-Classical Dancer and Celebrity Performer who breathed dance from his childhood and his passion took him to India Satellite First Dance Competition Boogie Woggie attained applauds by winning the competition. Passion turned into Fascination and in his teens, he shot to fame by winning the most acclaimed award for his splendid Classical Choreography in 2010 Eka Peksha Ek. A habit of delivering fresh moves to feature innovations in his dance forms and finally that one platform which he had dreamt day and night shot recognized him as one of the Best Classical Semi-Classical Dancers. And as a performer and an outstanding choreographer in  Eka Peksha Ek – Season 2. And as the judge in Dholkichya Talavar.

1)Can you tell us how you started on this journey?

Ashish Patil : I have done my B.Sc IT from Brila College, Kalyan. And yes! I am an IT student and have been dancing since I was four. When I was young my mother used to see me moving around the house and as the saying goes mother always knows what her child is capable of? So it was my mother who first figured out that I can be a dancer.

The mother is always the first teacher and in my case, my mother is the one who taught me dancing. I am not a trained dancer and have not taken any formal training initially. Also, there was this show on Doordarshan “Chitrahar”, we used to watch it and my mother would point out the expressions of the contestants and tell me that that’s how I have to express myself when I dance. So yes that is how my dance journey began.

2) What impact did dance have on your life?

Ashish Patil : As a child one certainly needs a platform to express and develop oneself and dance has always been that platform for me. Since I was young I was always fascinated by Indian dancing and loved the feminine kind of dance. Because of that, I was called names in school and college time. But dance was something that me feel like the happiest man in the world. I used to forget myself and go into a zone. I believe that when I dance I reach to the almighty and feel near him somehow. And at times I cry after my performances. So dance gave me a platform through which I can express and find myself.

3) Is there someone from the industry that had an influence on you?

Ashish Patil: Since a young age, I was very much influenced by Madhuri Dixit. And during that time Madhuri numbers were very famous on “Chitrahar.” And yes I used to see her and fall in love with her dance. I used to tell myself that I would dance someday on television. I have always loved her song “Chane ke khet me”, it’s very expressive and that is one dance that influenced me as a young kid. Also of course Juhi Chawla and Sri Devi have influenced me a lot but Madhuri Dixit if I must say is my first love for dance. 

4)Your journey is filled with hardships. How did you overcome the challenges?

Ashish Patil: Yes, the journey was difficult. Though we live in a society where men and women are equal still a guy wears a kurta and is teased and asked why are you dressed like a girl? SO ever since I was young it was difficult to walk in public because people used to call me names when I passed by. So the journey of being a dancer, contestant, performer, and now a judge on a reality show was not easy as I had waited for nineteen years. I have struggled for nineteen years in this industry. I have worked hard and learned so much for so many people, good and bad.

And also what to do and what not to do. I feel that if you want to become a dancer the first and most important skill required is to believe in yourself that you can do it. And I always believed in myself. I am passionate about my work and dedicated to my talent and am always focused on the goal. So to achieve anything in life I have four steps: Patience, Dedication, Passion, and Staying true to yourself.

5)What inspired you to pursue Indian classical dancing?

Ashish Patil: I have always loved the sound of ghungroo. My sister used to learn Bharatanatyam but could pursue it as it was not taken positively by our family. But the sound of ghungroo, the costume, I used to love the colors. And so this is how I started discovering that this is Bharatanatyam, this is Kathak, Lavni, and so on. Our Indian culture is filled with so many colors and I am obsessed with it, especially the bright colors. So I guess the colors and sound of ghunhroo brought me toward Indian dancing.

https://instagram.com/ashishpatil_the_lavniking?igshid=MmU2YjMzNjRlOQ==

6)Who has played a major role in your life?

Ashish Patil: As I mentioned earlier my first and foremost supporter has always been my mother and she has always believed in me. She used to lie to me when I went to the competitions as my father never liked me dancing. As I used to do Indian dancing, his friends used to always question him –  how will he earn? Who will marry him? Stuff like that. But my mother has always supported me in whatever I did. She loved watching me on stage because I was the happiest when I performed. Also, she is my critic and my number one fan.

7)How do you manage the negativity that surrounds an artist?

Ashish Patil: Yes, it is challenging, especially being a male classical dancer. In India, we worship all the gods and goddesses but most of them don’t know the story about them. And I always feel that the god of dance “The Natraj” He himself is a Shivsakti which is a rare combination. So my mother encouraged me saying I am blessed with this combination so make the best out of it. Initially, I was bothered about what people thought but they were not going to save me when I met with an accident or they were not going to pay my bills.

So now all I care about is what my parents and loved ones say. I have gone through many ups and downs on my own and faced them alone. I feel that every problem has a solution. And if the problem doesn’t have a solution why worry? So just do the best with what you can and I just do that.

8)What are your thoughts on the life of an artist in the entertainment industry?

Ashish Patil:The industry looks very glamorous for an outsider. People are like he works in the entertainment industry and what a life he lives. But the most difficult life is that of an artist. People who work in a company have their timings fixed but when an artist has to work day and night because that’s what we are paid for. Many times there are night shoots or shoots in hot sun. It is very difficult for an artist to maintain the same energy throughout the song. Because the song is of just 3 minutes but the shoot goes on for das. So I think an artist’s life in the film or any industry is challenging but it is up to you how you manage it.

9)What kind of people do you like to work with?

Ashish Patil: Initially, I walked on this journey alone. But as time passed by people joined and now I have my own team. And I believe in trying to give love and appreciation to people which I did not get at the start of my journey. So I always work with those people who are focused and dedicated in what they do. And I love working with such people. A team is important because when you work with a team your project hits harder. Because there are a lot of creative minds. Yes, I call them team and not assistant because they are like my family members who are by my side. Also, I feel that when you are working as a team you need to be a good leader. And not a boss. 

10)What advice would you like to give to someone who is suffering on their journey?

Ashish Patil:When you work the best way toward your goal, not initially but somewhere at some point you will be successful. And once you reach there by default you get fame. These days fame is easy due to social media. But I feel that it is just a moment of fame like an elevator that works on its own speed, we cannot control it. But when you are climbing the stairs and you fall you can get up. You can control yourself because you are walking on your own.

I believe that one needs to fight their own battle. It is like when you climb the stairs you can feel each step. Same way when you take the hard route you can sense the feel who stood by you and can feel a sense of respect for them. I always believe in the line –  Give respect take respect. Last but not the least – “Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho; to puri kainaat usse tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai”

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