Meet Mrs. Ritu Malhotra. She lives in Bengaluru, India. She is married with two small children. Ritu is your everyday wife and mother. But with a twist. While balancing a saucepan and school bags in one hand, she wields a music console in the other. Yes, you heard it right. Ritu is a professional Disc Jockey, or D.J. as we know it. Ritu has also dabbled in modelling and has even participated in beauty and personality contest, ‘Mrs. India – Karnataka’, making it in the top finalists.
She also went on to win the title of ‘Mrs. Gorgeous’ at the contest. Due to family priorities, however, she couldn’t continue in the contest and had to pull out. Ritu’s first love is music and being a professional D.J. was always her dream.
Today Ritu has started on the path that she was put on this earth for, playing in leading clubs in Bengaluru and entertaining and enthralling the crowds with her electrifying electronic tunes! But her path wasn’t easy, as she herself says. Ritu’s story of the challenges in the way of her dream and how she overcame them to realize her passion, with a positive, ‘never give up’ attitude is truly inspiring, and that’s what makes her our ‘Inspirational Woman of the Week’.
Tell us about your passion. Did you always have this dream?
I love music and I always wanted to do something related to the music field. And I wanted to do something different from others in this field. My dream was always to be a professional D.J. since I was a little girl, but I kept postponing it as I couldn’t leave my regular job at the time.
How did you know that you wanted to be a professional D.J.?
I started playing casually at the corporate events alongside my friend who was the D.J. at these events. Initially, I started doing it purely for the fun of it, playing on a basic console, but I realized that I was good at mixing music. My friends saw my talent and encouraged me to progress to professional standards. That is when my journey towards my passion began.
What efforts did you put in to succeed in your passion / dream?
I wasn’t satisfied with playing on the basic console anymore. Once I had decided that I wanted to pursue this field, I decided to learn this craft professionally and then do it with perfection. In addition to completing a D.J. course, I would spend several hours training myself by observing my seniors and learning the nuances from them. I began to frequent clubs just to see others playing. Your journey towards you fulfilling your dream hasn’t been an easy one.
Tell us about the challenges you faced in making your dream come true.
“You want to be a what….?” people always asked me this question with utter shock on their faces when I told them what my dream in life was. Initially, everyone felt that this was the weirdest job one can ever do, especially for a married woman with two children. There was skepticism but I stuck my ground and in spite of a lot of reservations, I was very focused and continued putting in the hours to learn the process as I was 100% certain that this is what I wanted to do in life.
How do you find time to pursue your passion with two children at home?
It is a challenging situation for every mother who is working, irrespective of the kind of job she does. But one has to juggle the different roles and tasks to the best of one’s ability. And trust me when I say this; kids are much more adjusting than adults! (laughs) Jokes apart, it would be unfair to take out any time from the ‘family time’ with my spouse and kids so I had to cut down on the ‘me time’, reducing my social activities and outings with friends and family considerably to focus on my passion.
Is your husband supportive of your dream?
I believe that no one can understand your dreams better than you, yourself. Your dreams won’t come true unless and until you are self-determined and have a zeal to achieve your goals. Support from spouse and family starts trickling in only when they see you succeed.
How did you get your first break?
I am fortunate to have very supportive friends who are also in the music industry for quite some time. Seeing that little spark of talent, it is they who began recommending me for events.
Where did you begin performing initially?
I started with corporate events where I played for companies like Amazon, Accenture and Microland Limited.
Where all have you performed so far?
The music scene is big in Bengaluru. I’ve played at most of the leading clubs in Bengaluru such as like ‘XU’ in Leela Palace, ‘Sugar Factory’ in Le Meridien Hotel, ‘Pebbles’ in Palace Grounds and ‘TILT Gastro Lounge’, among other places.
You are now a professional D.J. How does it feel?
Music is my first love and being a D.J. is my passion. I have been able to put both these together and am living my life doing what I’ve always wanted to. My dream has come true and each moment of life is more meaningful now. The ultimate happiness for me, as would be for any D.J., is when I see a sea of excited faces dancing to my tunes on the dance floor. This happiness would turn to disappointment if I saw the crowd just standing around, or worst, if they moved away from the dance floor, bored with the music. That hasn’t happened to me so far and I hope it never does. (laughs)
What is your mantra in life?
Every day brings a new challenge, accept it and excel in it with the right attitude. Your dreams are your dreams and you have to strive hard to make them a reality. There are short cuts in life, and hard work and persistence always pay off, sooner or later. Just B+, which, by the way, is my blood group too!
What is the message that you want to give to others who have dreams and want to pursue them in spite of the challenges they’re facing in life?
This is for all the mothers and wives who suppress and sacrifice their dreams for their families. Women are the best multi-taskers out there, performing the balancing act of home and the outside world every day. No job is small or big, as long as you enjoy doing it. Magic happens when you don’t give up and keep striving towards your dreams. The Universe always falls in love with stubborn hearts.
—Shireen Passi Chopra
Columnist, The Times Kuwait