Friday afternoon saw us at the Ryan International School in Malad west, Mumbai, where a hall-full of eager students, packed from wall-to-wall, eagerly came to interact and listen to a motley group of women achievers – Soha Ali Khan (actress), Juhi Pande (TV personality), Dippika Pallikal (International squash champion) and Mahrukh Rizvi (TV reporter and editor).
Organized by ITC Classmate, the ladies spoke at length about their upbringing, education, family life and why the settled for the careers they finally chose to excel in.
Since ITC Classmate believes that each child is unique, this interaction with the students was called Follow Your Heart where the bright young women spoke to the students about following one’s own dreams and not getting pressurized by the set ways of the world. Each of the panel members shared stories from their lives, on how they made decision in their growing up years to follow their own heart’s true calling, leading to where each one of them are today – successful icons in their respective fields of journalism, entertainment television, sports and acting.
Soha spoke about how she wanted to be a magician and a detective as a pre-teen and then went on to being an investment banker (a job which she hated and made her cry herself to sleep every second night).
Juhi Pande, the bubbly and vivacious VJ shared that she wanted to become a detective after reading Ken Follett novels but ended up doing hotel management. Of course, she then realised that she was not cut out for it because she was working almost twenty hours a day!
At then end of the talk, the celebrities happily posed for pix with the students and signed autographs as well, making everybody go home with a huge smile on their face, stars in their eyes and a brand new way at looking at the world out there!