We hosted the second edition of the #TheAugustWomen series, to celebrate the stories of substantial women. In episode 2 of the series, we conversed with the uninhibited and charming Aarabi Veeraraghavan, who is a contemporary dancer also trained in Bharatanatyam. Our Founder Vidhi Singhal spoke to Aarabi about art, empathy & sisterhood.
Your dance is enchanting and captivating, what inspires you to do, what you do?
“I was introduced to Bharatanatyam at the age of 3. Honestly, the love for being on stage came first and the love for the art came later. As I started growing older, experimentation with the dance form that deems fit for me, started erupting. I took up other forms like jazz, ballet, etc. and soon realized performing arts is what I will be doing for the rest of my life. I was drawn to contemporary during my experimentation phase in college. Watching Maya Rao for the first time, was the ‘it moment’ of my journey. The emotions portrayed and the embodied experience of no restrictions in the bodily movements attracted me towards contemporary as a dance form. Although, my love for Bharatanatyam has never subsided. I still learn and perform the art form”.
Looking back, were there any hurdles in the path of pursuing your passion?
“I come from a family of mixed backgrounds. My family has always been a strong support system, my decisions were never questioned and that gave me all the leverage I needed to study the art without any judgment. Even after graduating, while I started working, we traveled all around the world and the support I got from my family became the easiest part, due to which the rest of the struggle became bearable.”
Did touring around the world, meeting different people from different aspects, impact you individually?
“ I think my batch mate’s words ‘You don’t really dance until your livelihood depended on it.’, stuck with me. I understood her words of wisdom, way later in life, and realized art either comes from a place of peace or unrest, but not from complacency, and if it does, it definitely affects the quality of your work.”
How do you think we as women can support each other, especially during a time like this?
“I think the question here is when push comes to shove, we as women, do we really support each other? You are being judged by the same women, who promise you sisterhood when the time actually comes undone. It takes 2 minutes for somebody to make a lucrative comment on another woman, either about her size, her choice, or her preferences. So, the real essence of women supporting each other is not just via hashtags on social media, but rather not judging a women’s choice and understanding them.
Has motherhood changed your perspective on life?
“Motherhood is a humbling experience. It’s a process of getting mindful while parenting. When you have become a parent, you want to set a standard for yourself as parents, on what your child thinks about you, because they hold on to your every single action. These actions help you peel the layers that you never knew existed. That makes you feel grateful towards people around you and helps you become empathetic towards each other.”
What advice do you have for a young, women-oriented brand like ours?
“The best part about The August Co. is that it is a ‘by women, for women’ brand and the most attractive part about the brand is, it’s mindfulness, as to how inclusive the brand really is and how you believe in inclusive growth. You know the difference between doing the right thing individually and doing it as a brand as a whole, which is the most important part of the journey of a growing entity.”