I have had the pleasure of knowing Nidhi for 25 years now. A gentle and kind-hearted girl, vivacious and sincere in everything that she does in life, NIdhi has never failed to inspire and surprise. She is a Mompreneur, a professional Nuritionist and an accomplished Dancer. For all of us out there, who give up on our dreams and hobbies post marriage and post children, who first think about Log Kya Kahengay and walk the earth with Mom Guilt for doing something that makes us happy as women, as individuals… this one right here is a must read 🙂
- Tell us your story, Nidhi. Mum, Nutritionist, Business Woman, Dancer…So many roles. Tell us a bit about those roles that you play so efficiently.
I always wanted to be a Mom. It makes me complete. I have 2 lovely kids and they keep me updated about the new generation. I love having them and their friends around. It makes me feel young.
I have been practising as a nutritionist since the past 18 years and it is a very fulfilling career as I know I make a change in people’s lives. I have also written a book which I plan to publish soon.
Business is something I stumbled upon while giving healthy food to my kids. I used to make special weaning food for them and now I sell it by the name –Kiddy’z. It comes in 2 variants- Ragi and Multigrain. I have also developed 4 more products, which I plan to launch after the situation of Covid-19 settles down now.
Dancing started as a hobby, which I simply refuse to give up! I teach and I also perform professionally.
Between all these roles, I also love to cook healthy—and sometimes junk– food and you can follow me on instagram (nidhi.foodcure) where I regularly update about what I eat and cook. I can do all of these because long time ago, I realised that I have to choose what I want to do with my 24 hours.
2.Dance as a passion, as a hobby, as a career option? You took up dancing much later in life. How did that come about?
Yes that’s true- I resumed dance- Bharatnatyam at the age of 31. It started as an exercise programme for me actually. I never really took to gyms and I loved dance. so I went deeper into this art form and completed my Arangetram at the age of 36 and both my kids, my husband and my entire family not just encouraged me, but were very involved in the entire event. After that, my teachers encouraged me to start teaching and performing….and that,s how it has become a part time career for me.
3. Is there any one particular incident that was your defining moment, that moment when your head and heart both went, “This is it?” This is what I want to do…
Oh this comes many times! When I dance, when I counsel a client, when I give talks on nutrition, health, fitness, when I teach nutrition or when I teach dance. All these satisfy me. We feel women always have to choose. It’s like one or the other. It doesn’t have to be. You can pursue your career or careers, your hobbies and interests and still be a great Mom or a Wife or a Professional. Every part of my life inspires me, and I am passionate about everything that I do.
4. Tell me about your life. A difficult moment or a trying time when you think Dance was what helped you get through.
There was a time when I faced emotional imbalances on the personal front. I was detected with hypothyroidism. Dance pulled me through this time. Bharatnatyam is very similar to yoga in that sense – it is an extremely involving workout for the entire body, plus it tests your mental capacity and satisfies you soulfully. It is a never ending art form. It teaches you that you are but a speck in the ocean. It teaches you to become humble and also teaches you to let go.
I finally fought back the condition. I did it with dance, good food and medication.
5. Tell us about your family. Nidhi, not a lot of women, even today are able to pick up a new hobby or carry on with their childhood dreams after marriage. How does your family help you with it?
Madhavi, I am blessed to have a supporting family. Although they never had any working woman or a woman who likes to dance, per se, in the family before me! They were supportive. I stay with my in-laws and they make sure my kids have fun when I,m not around – giving them cheat meals which I don’t give in to so easily- (lol). Initially it was difficult for them to understand why I went to a Sunday morning class (my teacher has her classes on Sunday mornings), but now they even come for my performances and health talks whenever possible. They have started eating healthier too.
6. Did you face any prejudice? Is the society more open to you for how you continue to pursue your hobbies?
Madhavi, I am a Gujarati and for most of us, art forms start and end at Garba and food is salvation!! We believe in having Jalebis and Gathiyas for breakfast and Panipuri or Sev Puri for dinner—followed by ice-cream, paan and mukhwas!!! Jokes apart, it was difficult for people to accept that I maintained my body weight and they believed I was weak and not ‘hatti-katti’ like them. They always told me I don’t eat and that I follow- ‘diet’. But now as the world knows more about healthy food eating habits and how to pursue happiness, they have started respecting me and even asking me for advice.
7. What is your Soul Workout?
That has to be a Varnam…. it is a 40ish minute dance that involves complicated footwork and soul involving Abhinaya. It is story telling with dance and expressions. Whenever possible, I practice a Varnam and it is extremely soul satisfying.
8. How do you want to be remembered, Nidhi?
I would like to be remembered as a woman who didn’t give up on all her passions. A woman has many facets. I believe we should never give up one for the other. I see so many women who give up everything they like after they get married. It is in good jest that they want to devote their entire time, energy and soul into their new life. But remember, once the kids grow up, and fly out of the nest- what is it that you will do? Think of this one thing and continue to pursue it no matter what.
9. What’s your Mantra, Nidhi for every woman reading this out there?
For every woman, my suggestion is to keep pursuing two things in life besides giving your family time. 1. Is a hobby that you love. 2. Become financially independent- at least earn enough to maintain your own expenses.
I see a lot of women going through emotional turmoil and low confidence. Never give up is what I’ll say. Times will be difficult initially but keep going slowly. I love the tortoise who slowly but steadily wins the race. We all deserve to have our own place in the sun and it does not have to be a trade off for having a family or looking after kids. Be You, Celebrate you and live your best potential.