Life becomes difficult without hobbies, says Kuchipudi dancer Mridula

Mridula believes that the goal of a hobby need not involve studying it professionally or making it into a profession.

By Anoushka Caroline Williams  Published on  19 March 2023 5:30 AM GMT
Mridula Annabattula

Hyderabad: Mridula Annabattula, a law postgraduate student, who is also pursuing excellence in classical dance, believes that the goal of a hobby need not involve studying it professionally or making it into a profession.

Her Kuchipudi Arangetram (a debut on-stage classical dance performance), held on March 10, was a grand affair. The event was organised as per classical customs and traditions and the venue, Ravindra Bharathi, was at capacity.

Tanikella Bharani, an actor, screenwriter, poet, dramatist, and director was the event’s special guest. Speaking at the event, he said that in the film industry, dance and fight masters are highly regarded. “Mridula performed like a professional dancer. She has a bright future,” he said.

Mridula’s performance, according to Dr Venkata Rama Krishna Badrinath Nandula, Judicial Member, NCLT, didn’t feel like her debut (ranga pravesham), but rather as a result of many successful performances. She performed Tandava Ganapathim, Kuchipudi Vasishtyam, Maninoopura Dhaari, Veekshekadaa Deva Devam Tarangam, Sarasamuladetanduku Jaavali, Thillana and Mangalam.

The 21-year-old student studying Masters of Law provided insightful comments on youth, passions, hobbies, and the reasons why some are dying early.

“Today’s kids lack patience, have no hobbies, and lack passion. They are simply competing for success. Sedentism is a leading cause of premature death owing to cardiac arrest, as well as other disorders and stress. We must always engage in an activity that provides us joy and has the potential to help our career and personal lives,” said Mridula.

Excerpts from Mridula’s interview with NewsMeter:

What got you into dancing?

I have been learning classical dance for the past 14 years, beginning at the age of six. Thanks to my mother Kavitha’s early push, I’ve developed a strong interest in it. It is now my reality. It is not a strain to pursue studies and dance simultaneously.

Why Kuchipudi?

Kuchipudi, which has its origins in ancient civilisation, evolved as a devotional art associated with temples and spiritual sites. Dancing teaches discipline, patience, and timing, and it gives confidence and increases strength.

What made you want to pursue law?

My interest in law began in eighth grade. My father, who is also an advocate, has piqued my interest. I’ve always wanted to practice law since I find it fascinating and enjoy disputing. The legal profession opened its doors to women when Cornelia Sorabji was admitted to the High Court of Allahabad in 1921 to practice as an advocate. Women make up 11% of Indian judges and 15% of lawyers. Women are increasingly entering the legal profession. Studying law keeps me sane and provides me with enough confidence to move forward in life.

How do you manage to balance a degree in law and your passion for dance?

The confidence and strength that one learns through dance will help one succeed in any profession. The legal profession is quite difficult just like dance. In both law and dance, one must be a learner throughout life, and I am confident in my ability to handle both. Engaging in a hobby that you enjoy can enhance your work and personal life.

Do you have any other hobbies?

I paint sometimes and watch a lot of movies.

Do you consider dancing a stress buster?

Because the study of law and subsequent practice necessitates a significant amount of homework, learning to dance relieves my stress. Every professional should have hobbies or interests. Without it, life becomes difficult and potentially results in high blood pressure. To avoid becoming weighed down by work, I suggest taking short breaks from everyday tasks.

What would you like to say to your peers?

Although I am still in my early twenties, I am unsure about offering a message, but I would simply say that everyone should believe in what they are doing and never abandon their passion to pursue a job, as both can be modified if desired. Just stay focused and prioritise your tasks.

What do you do when you’re not studying or dancing?

I just relax and watch web series. I like watching YouTube dance videos as well.

Are you on social media?

Yes, I use Instagram and YouTube a lot.

What is the diet you follow as a dancer?

There is no particular diet as such. I just have a lot of coconut water and banana for instant energy.

What are your favourite foods?

I always prefer eating Indian food.

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