Nowadays we see social media inundated with motivational videos that give us inspiration to live our dream. Sometimes these videos have formidable entrepreneurs at the helm of colossal corporate houses eloquently sharing their success stories and these videos undoubtedly give us ephemeral inspiration to be a go getter but this motivation gradually vanishes as we return to our monotonous life. Ostensibly, this happens because we don’t see these people working in front of our eyes. But if we look around then it won’t be hard to discern figures who everyday put in hard yards to follow their dream, their passion, something that gives them ultimate satisfaction. Arushi Chawla , a student of Delhi Unversity is one such figure .
The first time I met her was when we she took admission in the engineering college I am currently studying in. As days passed by, I got to know how passionate she was about dancing. One day I had the opportunity of watching her perform live in the college auditorium and the top notch performance that followed was impressive enough to make the audience scream “encore!”. That was the day when people in college got to know about her dancing talent but as first semester was on the verge of termination she realized that the college authorities were not supportive enough to encourage her interest in dance.
So, during semester exams she took the bold decision of leaving college. On the face of it, it seemed a foolish and childish decision but the stout hearted girl had some other plans. During our discourse she told me how difficult it was for her to convince herself to take such a gritty decision and moreover convince her parents to accept this decision. But we know how Indian parents are. According to them things like singing, dancing, etc should just remain hobbies and an attempt to run after them is an attempt to ruin your life.
Her parents being no exception presented stiff resistance but as they say, passion drives you to follow the unconventional. That’s exactly what she did. She followed the unconventional. According to her, the next few months were really harsh as she slipped into mild depression as she was literally sitting at home while her friends were on the verge of completing their first year of graduation. But then she came in touch with The Danceworx , a well known dancing school where she learned the art in its purest form. The new techniques shaped her into a better artiste.
This was the time when she got to know about the pre-eminent dance group of Delhi sity, the VERVE dance crew of Sri Venketeshwra College. As admissions for the new session commenced she tried to freeze a seat in Venky as they call it and eventually she secured admission into the college. Overly eager to be a part of VERVE, she auditioned her way into the group and with sheer hard work and dedication became one of the lead dancers of the crew. According to her, this proved to be a turning point.
The innumerable chances she got to exhibit her dancing skills bolstered her confidence to strive for perfection. Her crew mates, an avuncular bunch of crazy dancers helped her improve with every passing day. The pressure to prove her spot in the crew pushed her to progress with sedulous care. But now was the time to show her worth. The fest season approached, destiny and hardwork played their parts and they stood first in the 15 odd competitions they participated in. The sweet success was to become sweeter. Next was the big contest hosted by IIT Delhi, which saw 45 teams competing for the coveted top prize.
After a mesmerizing top notch performance they again emerged as undisputed winners and this gave VERVE and the crew members much desired acknowledgement and recognition as individuals. But this was not the end. They represented Delhi in two major competitions, Microsoft India fest and the Hip Hop International which in itself is a commendable feat. They went on to win a fully sponsored trip to Goa. She says, “When you are in a crew, its more than dancing you learn. You basically learn how to manage people who come from different backgrounds with different styles. You learn how to manage your life with crew life.”
Today, just being a second year student she runs her own classes by the name of Artistic Athletes and a facebook page by the same name. She conducts dance workshops for people belonging to all age groups as she personally believes that dancing gives her satisfaction and helping someone else learn the art brings to her a sense of accomplishment. For a college student like her, who is a learner and teacher at the same time, managing studies with dance sometimes makes everything higgledy piggledy but she somehow manages. It is this dedication which has also made her an inspiration for students in Delhi University who want to follow their passion and do something they really love.
Recently, she took a break from VERVE and joined another bigger crew by the name of HIGHER VISION which runs under the supervision of Mr. Vinay Khandelwal who is a big name in the field of urban dancing.It is heartening to see that she is switching only to further upgrade her skills.
She says, “People find these awards, recognition, free trips quite fascinating but they tend to ignore the thorny convolutions we are required to deal with. Even today I face resistance from my family and relatives as they perceive dancing as a waste of time. We fight . We cry. We are refused to be given money and that is when we actually walk for kilometeres and travel in buses due to fund shortage. But the desire to dance is the treasure trove of motivation. The constant support from friends keeps me moving forward and how can I forget my sister Ashna, my tower of strength.”
She also points out how difficult it is for female dancers like her to travel alone in Delhi. Coming back late night all alone after performances also pose problems. She says, “We need to deal with such situations. I see it as an adventure.”
Her story is a source of inspiration for all of us who search for satisfaction along with work but fail to accept that only doing things we are passionate about can bring to us the ultimate happiness and bliss. Also, your passion must come from things that fuel you from the inside. Live with passion.
I wish you godspeed and hope you will scale the unparalled heights.
This post is a part of our awareness campaign #MyCareerMyChoice. To read more posts from this campaign, please click here.