Contemporary face of Indian woman

Contemporary face of Indian woman

WOMAN POWER

Promoting the flag legacy of India, an exponent of Kuchipudi, philanthropist at heart and a genuine soul, Shallu Jindal is a known name in the Capital.

multi-faceted : Shallu Jindal

She plays multifarious roles juggling her hours between being a classical dancer, interior designer, writer, wife, mother and social activist. Metrolife gets candid on International Women’s Day with the lady who believes in perfection.

An inspiration for the youth, Shallu is an icon and a representative of the contemporary woman. A humble and grounded personality, Shallu gives the credit of her strikingly earthly nature to her firm belief in God and dance.

“My God and my dance keep me grounded. As a dancer I have learned to be humble.” Always working for the benefit of the society, Shallu keeps thinking of newer ideas for betterment of the lives of people. She has lived with artisans in Chhattisgarh and worked amidst them along with her husband, MP Naveen Jindal.

Settling for an arranged match, Shallu says that her her expectations of a husband weren’t too many. “I knew it would be an arranged marriage since I come from a small town and we were brought up very simply. The only two conditions that I had was that my husband should be good looking and a vegetarian. Fortunately, Naveen happened to be both.

Though happily married for 18 years, Shallu says that “I am yet to understand what love is but Naveen and I respect each other a lot and more than lovers, we are companions.”
A dedicated mother of two, whose children are her first priority, Shallu hates the fact that she is not able to devote to them as much time as she would like.

“Since my kids have crossed the age of 8-9 years, I have not been able to spend quality time with them but I ensure that when we go abroad during their summer vacations, I am a regular mother to them.” Her holidays with the kids are so important that she even foregoes her dance rehearsals for two months which leads to one full month of rigorous practice to get back in the frame.

But beyond family and dance, Shallu is a social activist and philanthropist too. She has recently released Tiranga, a coffee table hardback; a book on Mahatma Gandhi; and compiled a pocket book titled Freedom, which she regards as a perfect souvenir for those going out of India.

“Freedom includes quotes from almost every one who has their names in the annals of Indian History.” An avid reader herself Shallu loves “fiction and murder mysteries.” But those aren’t her only reading preferences. She insists that every woman must read the book 40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafaq, based on the life of Rumi.

This collector of Indian sarees is extremely calm and spiritual at heart. But there is also a daily regime which keeps her fit and in perfect shape. What’s the secret of her figure? “I do yoga, eat lots of walnuts and almonds and go for walks in Lodhi Gardens. My walks have become an addiction - like my dance. The day I don’t go for a walk, I feel extremely stressed.”

Looking back at her life till now, she is very grateful to the Almighty for whatever she has. At an age when women tone down their spiritual workout, Shallu openly admits her love for the Lord.

“I am a firm believer in Lord Tirupati Balaji and have witnessed miracles because of him. I began learning Kathak at a very young age and had to stop dancing after my college. It is only because Lord Tirupati that I was able to revive my dance at the age of 31, after coming in contact with Gurus Radha Raja Reddy. But that is when I began learning Kuchipudi, another dance form altogether.”

A perfectionist in everything she does, Shallu keeps pushing herself to attain what she believes in. “I feel guilty if I am unable to deliver my best. For instance after my performances, while coming back home, I invariably end up dissecting them and wish that they were better in this aspect or that, which really tires out Naveen and he asks me to stop talking about it.”

Currently the multi-faceted lady is working “for a physically challenged school Asha in Chhattisgarh and an NGO Pabam in Himachal Pradesh which has come up with the innovative approach of Bal Panchayats where educated children hold panchayats and educate the adults about their rights. I suggested this successful model to Naveen who is now trying to make it work pan-India.”

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