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A Samaritan And An Entrepreneur – A Day In The Life Of Srishti Arya

 

Founder of a NGO and a wedding choreography business, Srishti tells us how to eat, dance, be a philanthropist and look good while at it.

25-year-old city girl Srishti Arya will make you believe that time travel or at least super speed is a real thing. How else do you explain running a successful wedding choreography venture and an enterprising NGO at the same time, and looking so good while at it? There are many myriad feathers in Srishti’s hat, but she rocks it, and how! We managed to steal her away from her crazy schedule to get all the scoop on what keeps this fireball up and running all day, every day!

Tell us a little about yourself

I’m a vegetarian Punjabi (a total paradox, I know). I live with my family in Kandivali, or what the “townies” call “another planet”. I love dancing, writing, swimming, and in my free time, I love admiring myself in the mirror! I am a HUGE Kareena Kapoor fan, and I honestly don’t think I can live without Bollywood. Food is my eternal love. I have been struggling with weight issues since forever, but there’s nothing I can do to keep food away from my life.

On juggling many lives…

Nine years ago, my sister, a friend and I co-founded an NGO called Young Innovators Foundation, which aims at providing a holistic education for under-resourced children. Additionally, I assist my sister with her training and development business called The Unleash Program. I also undertake freelance writing projects.

After I graduated with a Masters in Journalism and Communication, I took up a job as a writer at a digital ad agency. I would finish college in the morning and reach work by 11 a.m. I worked there for more than a year until the desk job and the lengthy commute (4-5 hours each day) took its toll on my health.

Dancing into the horizon…

One day, after I quit my regular, full-time job, I had an epiphany – I was meant to do what I had been doing my whole life: DANCE! I mean, there’s a good reason why everyone around me called me Jumping Jack – I am too restless. So, that’s how the seeds for Happy Dancing Feet were sown.

Swimming against the tide…

It’s hard starting out on your own. You don’t even know when the next paycheck is going to come in. I had to wade against financial challenges, rigid mindsets and high competition within the industry. I had no professional training, no starting point and no one to guide me! When I started out with Happy Dancing Feet, 3 years ago, wedding choreography was still in its nascent stages as a professional industry. There was a time when I wanted to give up because I felt stagnant.

Eventually, things fell into place. I did my first project for Rs. 10,000 . And made Rs. 2,000 on it. But the joy it gave me, was so immense, I decided to continue. It was scary leaving a stable job and income and wandering into unfamiliar territory, but it’s the exploring that made it fun!

The light at the end of the tunnel

Whenever I feel overwhelmed and want to throw my hands up in the air and quit (trust me, that happens often), I think of the reasons why I started in the first place. That itself does it.

Add to that, knowing that your people depend on you make you want to work harder. But above all, it’s the joy of doing what I love for a living that keeps me going. I look for inspiration in everything, so I never lose my spark!

A day in the life of…

I wake up around 9 a.m, workout and have my breakfast. Then, I sit down and go over my to-do list. It feels like being at a buffet – I get to choose from a wide spectrum: writing and research? Or planning classes for the NGO? How about choreographing a routine? There’s never a dull day! I try to wrap this up by 5:30-6 p.m and head out for Sangeet rehearsals, meetings or dance classes. I come back by 1 a.m (exhausted but ecstatic) when there’s a Sangeet practice. On days I get done early, I make sure I socialize a little. Oh, and through it all, I keep eating!

On looking like a boss…

Luckily, I’ve been blessed with great genes, so I have a naturally healthy skin. It just gets a little dry. So, I usually just use a cleanser, followed by a nourishing face cream. I try to stick to herbal products, as I think they work better for me. I also drink gallons and gallons of water, so that plays a key role too.

Women I admire…

Anyone who has the courage to follow their dreams.

To young girls everywhere…

The best way to make it big out there is to cut through the self-doubt and negativity, and just keep learning and growing. Your words will get you so far, but your actions will take you farther.

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