Svetana Kanwar, founder of “The Bom Squad” which is an all girls dance group. These girls have participated in may competitions and have won as well. The red-haired girl is very famous for moves which she fusions with the Bollywood music, which also makes her go viral on the internet. Have a look at the questions she answered on an interview with the Paradox about herself, her journey, her struggles and many more.
An exclusive interview with Svetana Kanwar:
What are your thoughts on dancing in India as a profession?
Svetana Kanwar: Honestly, I started dancing to 14 to 15 years back. At that time period, choosing dance as a profession was very difficult and the mindset of the people denied accepting dancing as a career. But the time have changed now, people accept it as a full time job to be a dancer. Still mant parents thinks that you are not a dancer until you win a reality show or even take part in it. It’s the mindset which needs to be changed, other than that there are a lot more opportunity for the young generation to take it as a career.
What does dancing means to you? How do you feel when you dance?
Svetana Kanwar: The answer to this question changes according to the phase of life I am in. Also my age plays an important role In describing it. If you would have asked me this question 10 years or 5 years back then my answer would be different each time. There was a time when dance used to be my entire life but now it is an very important part of my life. It helps me express myself, makes me confident, make me realise reality, basically it is a stabilizer in my life.
What would you say to people who wants to take dancing as a career?
Svetana Kanwar :Also it depends on time, if I talk about myself I had times when I could hardly breathe and there were also the times when I had much and much time to breathe, and this is what life is. Being a self-employed dancer is not a stable job but it gives you joy, satisfaction and mental peace. You can be choreographer, teacher, dance artist for movies, content creators and many more. You have got many platforms which can help you to be a professional dancer.
What difference did the Pandemic has made in your field?
Svetana Kanwar: It has made a huge difference for me. First lockdown was very productive for me, because of online classes I have learned so many new things. But the second lockdown was not that great as many things were going on and there was shortage of money. All my plans, which I would be accomplishing 6 years down, l want to do it now. My goals have been shifted. Covid has been a teacher for everyone and has taught something to everyone in a good or a bad way.
Which BOM Squad performance is closest to your heart?
Svetana: We did a performance called #metoo, I get goosebumps even thinking about it. I remember, we wrote every incident of our life and not only the small ones but also the big ones. It was about 26 minutes long and when we presented it, we made it around 2,5 minutes. It was very memorable for us as we were able to express what we were feeling and the response we got was overwhelming. So this was something very different that remains close to my heart.
What is your driving force which got you this far?
Svetana: I haven’t ever imagined my dancing career as it is now. When I was younger I never imagined that this many people would know me, I would be this big name in the dancing industry. But yes it feels great. When I started I had thoughts to achieve even more which I am not able to achieve till date. But it feels good to know that your work is appreciated and ypu are known among your rivals. Whenever someone says me that I wont be able to do it, I always did it. This is the which keeps me driving towards the success.
What are your moods like when it comes to dancing, keeping apart your achieving spirit?
Svetana: The mood which keeps me dancing, and also the reason why I love Jazz so much is sensuality. It is the thing which is easy to adopt for me. I can quickly learn it and is very easy for me to express myself in that. I think pain is a mood which come to me easily as well.
Apart from Jazz what are the other dance styles which you love to do?
Svetana: I think contemporary is the form which I love practicing, although I am not in that good shape in which in can practice Contemporary or even Jazz, because I have not been traning myself much. Other that this I enjoy dancing in the Bollywood style a lot.
How was your struggling phase?
Svetana: I was a non-dancer which is the most struggling part in my initial days. I was very weak on rhythm and body movement. I left my marketing management course to be a dancer but I was very bad it. My teacher used to make me stand in the corner of the last row, that’s how bad dancer I was. I am not a fast learner but I can work really hard to learn something and that is the reason why I call myself as a good teacher.
What I think is I have built resilience because of my struggles. I have also struggled because of my weight, there is a great difference from now in my body weight. I always use to hear I cannot dance as I was fat but that was the mentality at that time. It was a struggler had a phase of lot of learning as well as I wanted to build a name of myself in the outside world. It has been a good journey and still is. I am still learning and will continue doing.
What would be the 5 best qualities that you would pick out of yourself?
Svetana: Its always hard to praise yourself but still the qualities would be…
- I am very Hardworking.
- Also I don’t give up easily.
- I would call my Stubbornness as a good quality to some extent.
- I am at a certain level where I can emphasis with others.
- Being emotional and sensitive is considered as a negative quality but I don’t think so.
What are your upcoming projects?
Svetana: Yes, there are a couple of projects coming, I cannot talk much about them. But yes there are a few collaborations as well. December and January are more personal then professional as I am travelling. I will start teacing from January and I am very excited for that.
Whom would you consider as your Role Models?
Svetana: There are lot of people who are my role models. It changes according to situation as there are so many brilliant people out there with so many qualities. But the people who I constantly look upto would be Galen Hooks, Brian Friedman and Jojo Gomez. For leadership qualities I look upto M.S Dhoni, and Suresh from Kings United has also built a great team as a leader.
Where do you see yourself after 5 years?
Svetana: After 5 years, I don’t see myself in the city like Mumbai, I see myself in Banglore or Goa or Dehradun or Dubai or Doha. I basically see myself in a nice big home, starting my own academy or classes. Because I don’t see Mumbai as a learning culture any more and so there is less Teaching culture as well. I want to get back to teaching and that’s where I see myself in the next 5 years.
What was your most significant failure and how did you overcome that?
Svetana: I think it is my struggle itself. All the failures were at the struggle phase only like I was a camera shy, I couldn’t dance infront of the camera. I don’t believe in failure bit instead I take it as learning.
What are your fears now?
Svetana: I fesr of losing my fame which I have earned in these many years with my hardwork. I fear that 2 or 3 years later no one would recognize who Svetana Kanwar is. I think this is the biggest fear.
What would be your advice to the freshers in dancing industry?
Svetana: I would say that don’t let your fall or failure stop you from what you are trying to achieve. It takes time, hardwork and a certain amount of luck to reach at the top of any field you want to achieve. The whole thing is about not giving up, you are allowed to take a break but not to quit.
This was Svetana Kanwar along with her interesting journey and honest answers in front of you. She has travelled a log way to achieve what she has today and all her hardwork, sacrifice and dedication has payed off to her with such a good name among the dance industry.
To know more about The Bom Squad
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Meenal Jain- Voice that reaches souls
Meenal Jain- Voice that reaches souls
Meenal Jain is a fantastic singer who started her music career from being a girl who participated in Indian Idol 2, who made it to the top 6 finalists. And has been seen in many other reality shows such as Music Masti and Group. And here she is inspiring each and every one of us. Let us look at what Meenal has to say in this exclusive interview.
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Q1). Tell us about your journey, you participated in Indian Idol 2 and now Meenal Jain is a singer.
Meenal Jain: I came to Mumbai just for the music and to be something in Music. I was 10 years old and I was with Suresh Ji for a few months. Being the youngest sibling in my family, I’ve always been pampered by my mother which was the reason why I couldn’t live there, as it was a Gurukul system there. I’m basically from Indore, I went back and came to Mumbai. There’s a saying “jaha ka dana pani likha hai, waha pe aa hi jate ho aap kaise bhi” There I found my first ever Guru- Shri. Manohar Raiji & Smt. Krishna Raiji who agreed to teach music to me.
And the moment they came to know that financially I’m not able to sustain the expenses of Mumbai along with my family’s expenses living in Indore, they never talked about the money required to learn music ever again. I believe finding a Guru like them is no coincidence, I might’ve done some good deed, good karma to find them.
Also the age when I started learning music was perfect as there’s no burden of any kind of responsibilities. I just have to study and Riyaz. And that’s how Indian Idol came into my life, before that I participated in all the competitions whether it be in Jai Hind College, or Malhar etc. I studied in Mithibai College and by god’s grace I always won. And Indian Idol 2 was such a different experience, the reality show where I have to put make ups. I’ve never put on makeup before, or known how the cameras work, where to look. You have to take care of a few things, present yourself glamorous on stage,and that is it.
Q2). Were there anybody before you, from your family who played music or are you the first one?
Meenal Jain: In my family, it is like they have a good taste in music- my father and my uncles but they never learned music. Music as a profession… nope. I’m a Jain Marwadi Malvi from Indore so I don’t think there’s any kind of connection with music here. I think my father was always meant to be an artist or a sportsperson. When he heard me singing for the first time he thought that I have something, some blessings for music. So he thought what can he do? All he can do is to make sure I get proper guidance and knowledge about music.
Becoming a successful singer was a different thing. Because today’s definition of success is getting 1 million views on the songs, reels that I post or being popular on social media. I’m a little laid back in social media though I try to push myself. I don’t see it as wrong but that is how I am. Off camera, I’m a very very jovial person but when it comes to camera I’m a little laid back in all these things.
Q3). At what age did you realize that you are ready to step into reality shows?
Meenal Jain: The time when Indian Idol 1 came I could have participated but I think it’s good that I didn’t participate because I still have a little bit of time. As I said I participated & performed in Mithibai since the first year itself but when it comes to reality shows, it’s a whole different thing. I think in today’s music world, especially for female singers, they want us to look like Kareena Kapoor and sing like Lataji, which is difficult. And our main thing is singing, so that should be our focus. This has been divided into different departments because being an actor is not easy. If you’ve naturally been that beautiful it is a different thing but to maintain that needs a lot of time and effort. Everything takes time and giving time to music is never enough.
People are always in a hurry to finish tasks, going from one reality show to the other. And they expect us to have loads of money which I wish and pray that we have. One of my friends used to say that it is necessary to be in love with music. Loving something takes time, whether it be a thing or a person, profession, or passion, it takes time. One should understand that the only competition is you, yourself. Because if you want to learn something, it needs time.
Q4). How did you manage to learn singing along with your school and college life?
Meenal Jain: That credit goes to my mother and my father. Especially my mother, she stayed with me. As I said, that was the age where I had no other responsibilities on my shoulders. The younger audience who wants to ask me about singing, I would always say take advantage of that age. You can practice singing, do Riyaz for more than 10 hours. As you have your parents, no need to worry about earnings, etc and your life is easy. Trust me these are extremely practical things which I’m talking about. Because today if I want to do Riyaz for 5 plus hours, I won’t be able to do it. As I have ten thousand other things to finish… I have responsibilities. And that was the time where I had no responsibilities.
Q5). Being from a different state & place, it is very difficult to manage our voice tone. How did you manage your voice tone?
Meenal Jain: Voice? It’s the same. As I said, I used to do Riyaz when I was younger, I have put a lot of time and effort… which helps me even today. That was a really important part of my life. And I really wish I could’ve given more time when I was younger, then I would be much better now. The more you practice and love your voice, the more others will love it.
Q6). Many viewers want you to sing, but before that I want to ask a question, what are the genres or languages in which you sing?
Meenal Jain: Honestly, I’m a singer. And I would love to try all the genres possible in this lifetime. I don’t want to restrict myself. I especially love to sing Ghazal, Sufi and of course old songs. But I also equally enjoy dance numbers. I want to sing everything… As a singer,I have sung in Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi of course,.. Also I love western songs.
Q7). What encouraged you to work so hard for you to make your dreams come true?
Meenal Jain: You get inspired by a lot of people in your life… of course the people who are already there, who you look up to as successful musicians and singers. But yes, my parents, my sisters, my guru inspired me. And my friends,they do so well in their lives and inspire me to do better everyday. We tend to learn some things from various people in our lives. And yes we somehow find inspiration… if we look at it, and use the inspiration, we tend to do better things than we already are.
Q8). From your family someone got inspired by you and started a career in music.
Meenal Jain: There is a nephew of mine. He really wants to learn music but of course he is studying as well. However, he is also doing music of his own. His name is Yash. And I’m so proud of him because he’s trying to find a way on his own.
Q9). What is your personal favorite genre in which you like singing?
Meenal Jain: As I said, I like to sing in every genre.. It mostly depends on my mood, sometimes I feel like I want to sing old songs and sometimes I just want to sing dance numbers… upbeat songs.. There’s no particular genre, it is all about mood.
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Shridhar Mankar: A saviour who takes just 5 minutes!
Shridhar Mankar who fairly is regarded as the saviour by many Computer Science students and related branch students, it does justice to his work! From making their academics easier with 5 minute videos to helping quick revise some topics this 5 minute engineer is a boon to the online community of students who prefer learning complex concepts through youtube. And with this interview you will know why he enjoys so much following and love from his students and subscribers!
- How has your Engineering background influenced the content you published?
I finished my engineering degree with a background in computer science, and now that I’m talking about my channel, 5 Minutes Engineering, I aim to provide answers to questions concerning CS. Since it took me 4 years to complete my CS engineering, I strive to provide solutions in my channel in a matter of five minutes. Both are connected because I am applying what I have learned over the course of my four-year journey and providing topic-related solutions within five minutes in the most easy manner. Additionally, I picked up time management skills while studying engineering, and I try my best to represent that in all of my videos. so that it takes less time for those watching, who also get the solution, and can also enjoy learning from it.
- What difficulties did you overcome to transition from Engineering to Content Creation?
I absolutely will not deny that it wasn’t difficult for me. Since it was something I had never done before, it was challenging. I had a difficult time changing from being an engineer to a content creator. I was the first person in my family to enter this industry, therefore I knew less about it and there was no instructor or someone to guide. Additionally, there are many challenging phases that people go through when you begin something new. However, I wanted to start a new and fresh concept for the people that could help in their growth as professionals. In the beginning, it was challenging to record using my camera because at that time, not everyone could afford one. I used to record it using my mobile instead, but it was challenging to look at the camera constantly, so I used to keep my toy nearby while recording and used to teach it so that I could record my topics’ related solutions. Students used to visit my channel throughout examination season, and that gave me the inspiration to keep going. It’s my turn to help the students in the finest and simplest manner possible. It was definitely challenging, but I’m glad to see that it benefits so many people broadly. I started this during my third year of college engineering, and I plan to grow my channel enormously.
- Could you briefly describe your college life?
Speaking of my college experience, I actually started crying during the first lecture on my first day of college. I cried because I was unable to respond to my professor’s basic conceptual questions on computer science. I wasn’t even sure I understood the questions he was asking at the time. due to the fact that I completed my 12th grade education through PCMB and had no prior experience of computer science. Above that, I noticed that my classmates were answering questions with thorough justifications and even engaging in debate with the professor. I got scared when I saw the scene in my class, but I didn’t give up; I kept working on myself and began making changes. Because of my persistence, I have reached this point in my life where I am doing interviews and people are watching my videos and learning from them. I went from being a student who struggled to understand basic computer science engineering topics to now making videos on YouTube and assisting many students in passing from it. All of this is a result of my perseverance and mentality of never giving up on myself. I was completely focused on my studies during my time in college, so I didn’t participate in any cultural activities and, when I did, it was only to enjoy as an audience. I ranked among the top students in my department. I first started interacting with people when I went for my masters.
- Which of your YouTube-related experiences have you found to be the most rewarding, and how have those experiences benefited your life and career?
YouTube has given me a lot of things. First of all, it has given my life direction in ways I could never have imagined. In addition, while working on it, I have learnt a lot from YouTube. I’ve discovered through YouTube that I can be a teacher who can simplify complex concepts. I used to teach the subjects during exam time, so learners would write and do well on their exams. Therefore, I then considered turning everything I had learned into an audio-visual format that would be helpful to many students taking exams. There is no alternative for YouTube, in my opinion, and it is the finest platform for those looking to start for a larger audience. It is the most priceless compliment a student can give to a teacher, and YouTube has made it possible for me every time I post a video and get to see those three magical words, “thank you sir.” When you receive feedback from others, it greatly motivates you to work more. For this reason, I am truly thankful to God for the learner’s feedback that I am currently receiving. YouTube has been extremely beneficial to me.
- What are your YouTube channel’s future goals, and how do you see its content evolving over the coming years?
We need to keep up with the times in this fast-paced world. As you can see from my youtube videos, I attempt to teach topics simply but in a more practical approach because students are more engaged in practical ways than in other ways. This also applies to the teaching profession. We must remain current in teaching as well, first in terms of knowledge, then in terms of upcoming new technology, and finally in terms of curriculum. As I previously stated, if you compare my current videos to those from the past, you will see a difference in the amount of practical advice I tend to give with conceptual solutions. I constantly work to integrate new technology and curriculum updates as the students become more involved. I’m working on it and will continue to work on it because the process is ongoing.
- What made you want to pursue a career in engineering, and how did you begin?
I’ve never considered becoming an engineer, and when I was younger, I didn’t even know what engineering was, so I didn’t consider it. However, I achieved grades above 90% in both maths and biology during my 12th grade year. People assume that if you are good at biology you will enter the medical field, and if you are good at maths you will enter the engineering field because maths is the dominant subject there. After giving it some thought, I decided on engineering because I had read that while medical required a large budget, engineering could also be accomplished on a smaller budget. This was my only goal, therefore I chose engineering with the idea that I would find employment after finishing my studies. But after enrolling in engineering, I discovered that we must specialise in a specific area. There were many alternative areas, but I decided on computer science because everyone around me told me it had a wide range of opportunities. As I previously stated, when I chose computer science as my area of speciality, I knew nothing about it. However, because of my persistence, I am now the person teaching on this subject.
- What led to the start of 5 min Engineering ?
5 minutes engineering has a pretty interesting backstory, When I was in my third year of college and it was examination time. I used to study everything at home before coming, and I never saved anything for the last minute. In order to ask me to clarify a few issues to them before the tests began, my classmates would gather around me at that time. I used to explain things to them so they could score marks. This was routine, but one day my peers informed me that although you were explaining concepts to them, there must be more people outside of this college campuses who needed assistance. They suggested ideas for videos because I had real proof—my classmates—that the topics I was discussing would help them do well on their exams. I can even make videos about the topics and assist people after that. I started making videos and posting them on YouTube because, as I’ve already stated, it’s the finest platform for reaching a wider audience. I didn’t receive much feedback at first, but as soon as the examinations started, my videos received a lot of views. At that time, I had only posted 25 videos, but I still received a lot of views during exam time. I was inspired to work harder after that. People began to give me positive feedback and create memes. The journey that I began when I was in my third year of college is still going strong and will be working on it much more effectively.
- How do you bring your expertise to your videos?
I create information in a way that requires that it be knowledgeable, simple to grasp, and short to create. I make an effort to create videos that students won’t view under stress but instead learn from in a more efficient and entertaining manner. The planning, updating, searching for examples, and creation of visualisations that take place behind the scenes are what give the camera its simplicity and flexibility. My whole focus is on making sure that the students understand the material on a deep level, especially so they will never forget it and so they can achieve good grades. Since the name of my channel is “5 Minutes Engineering,” it is maintained in a way that considers people’s mindsets. They would assume that it would be simple and quick because it only takes five minutes. It then says engineering, indicating that I will solely cover engineering-related topics in my five-minute presentation. However, because some topics are too broad and can be challenging to cover in five minutes, we still provide the best answer we can.
- Who is your favourite youtuber ?
I typically watch the videos of one particular YouTuber, whose channel is called Craylyf Rohit. He is Rohit Sharma in real life, and he is one of the persons whose videos I enjoy watching. I spoke with him and found him to be such a wonderful person. He tries to portray a cheerful existence through his vlogs, plays practical jokes, and engages viewers in his work. And this kind of content is something that people nowadays actually need. I like viewing his video, and he is like a genuinely nice person.