'Break the monotony - make time to play!'

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Break the monotony - make time to play!

Mahima Mehta, founder of Mad About Dance (M.A.D), on the importance of fitting 'extracurricular' activities into our daily schedules

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Published: Fri 18 Aug 2017, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 18 Aug 2017, 2:00 AM

What is your best childhood memory?
When I was five years old, I got lost in Disneyland, Los Angeles. I must have gone to every castle and character, looking for my mum. My family and I finally found each other after two hours of searching. I still remember how relieved I was to see them, following which I quickly proceeded to tell them stories of all the characters I saw and places I'd visited. It was a thrilling adventure for a kid. I'm glad to say we've 'lived happily ever after' since!

If you could move anywhere in the world, what place would that be?
I've been very fortunate to have been able to travel to several places. Of course, there's so much more to see. However, I'd love to stay in Dubai as long as I can. We don't realise how blessed we are to stay in this city. There's always something to do; people, food and venues are all nearby. The streets are clean and the roads easy to drive on. If I could, I'd love to travel to different parts of the world - for free! - and then, come back to #mydubai.

The biggest learning point or experience in your life to date.
One thing I learn time and time again is how change is so constant. It surprises me every time. At times, in our over-confidence, we plan things just so, but life eventually has its way and teaches us this lesson - which is great, because it only makes us work harder and never give up!
Name a skill you'd love to learn - and why.
I've been wanting to learn martial arts but been too intimidated to start. I've heard amazing things about the wonders it can do for one's physical and mental health. Everyone should learn some form of self-defence. It can only be a good thing!

What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
Make time to play! I remember coming home after school to watch TV or take a nap after lunch. I used to start my homework only by evening, and this routine would therefore eat into my play time. To my younger self, I would say: get the assignments out of the way first, so you can have time for other activities. That's the foremost reason that I now own a dance studio and activity hub: to encourage kids and adults to break the monotony and develop alternative skill sets.
If you could go back to any era in time or witness any major event in history, which one would it be, and why?
I'd love to go back in time to about 3300 BC and visit the different parts of the world dance forms originated from: how they developed, and evolved, over the years. Alongside, I'd love to witness the rituals that accompanied these celebrations.

Your greatest fear.
Giving up hope and not having contributed enough while I'm in this world.

If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day, who would it be and why?
I want to be one of those mystical gurus who con people in India, who seem to be able to do anything at all with a single touch. A strange thing to want to be, I'm sure you're thinking. But I'm just really curious to find out how those tricks are performed - and to find out how much they earn!

Favourite on-screen character - and why.
I absolutely love Joey from Friends. He's ever-hilarious, goofy and such a good friend to all the other characters (he was ready to give up Rachel for Ross, give up meat for Phoebe etc). Plus, he adds so much more excitement when he's around.

If you were President of your country, what is the first thing you'd do?
That's a tough one! I was in India during the demonetisation saga. Personally, I'm not sure that it served its purpose. The low-income groups suffered far more than others. There's also so much aid needed to encourage agriculture, enhance rural development, health and the education system. I would love to work on a legit crowdsourcing app or website for farmers that can connect them to people and organisations directly, with the government's initiative and support. This would help bridge the gap for those wanting to contribute or help, without them having to go very far into rural areas in order to do so.
- Staff reporter

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