Mahek Anadkat was born with a gift; the gift to give! Her smile gave hope to her parents. Her eyes gave feelings to her silence and her feet gave life to dance.
Her life however did not begin from a pleasant place. She was born with a hearing impairment and she had to grow and learn at her own pace. Her mother, Priti looked back 20 years as she shared her daughter’s story. “Mahek was born in UK. A year later we moved to Malawi in Africa. We were there for about 8 years. At Malawi Mehak began her schooling. She studied with normal children. She enjoyed all areas of learning especially music. Her first dance performance on stage was at age 6 – she played Radha during a Janmashtami celebration. She was the lead dancer for the Krishna song. She was brilliant and so full of life! Her whole physiology would shift went she danced. It was heart-warming to see that.”
When the family moved to Dubai Mahek was unable to get admission in a normal school. Due to unavailability of a speech therapist and other setbacks she had to join a school for children with special needs. She trained and developed her skills further at the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre. “Mahek cannot hear the beats however she senses the vibrations. Further she is quick to pick on the instructions of her choreographer and group. She is very observant of the signals being given to her during practise. She is in sync with the steps of the team. This is her medium of expression which is why she chose to be Ballerina for the Calendar Girls project.”
Mahek had been on previous w2w projects and she was keen to be on this very unique opportunity because she felt strongly about her message to the world. “I think I am fighting a mind-set more than a stereotype. When it comes to anyone with special needs – anyone who has a disability – the world automatically dismisses our talents. I want to challenge that idea; I want to show the world that we all have talents, dreams and also the drive to make them come true. Even though I am hearing impaired, it doesn’t stop me from my love to dance, I work twice as hard as someone who is able bodied but I do it with love and passion and to me that is worth celebrating. The Human spirit is what I stand for in the Calendar – we are all people with flaws but what makes us great is that we keep getting up after each fall,” wrote Mahek in reply to the interview questions.
“The beauty of woman must be seen in her eyes because that is the way to her heart. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.”
She added, “Beauty is not only that which looks beautiful to show everyone, but it is how women talk, behave, love, smile, laugh, care and polite. Beauty with innocent, kind heart and soul is underrated. No matter what, women are beautiful inside and outside. All sizes of body are also beautiful. I strongly resonate with the quote: “There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”
A woman who doesn’t need to be told that she is beautiful and knows it…that’s truly beautiful…someone with unwavering confidence in her beauty!
Mahek is like any girl her age. She has dreams and aspirations. While dancing is her passion, her dream is to be a graphic designer and maybe progress to be an interior designer. “She works with designs and art. She uses colours to express. I’ve seen her at her best and worst. She stood strong in spite of the pain and suffering of her condition to rise above her challenges. She never gives up. She is a fighter and this is her message,” her mother concluded. “Her dance is by itself a miracle; it is her gift to the world.”
Calendar Girls 2016 :
The ethos behind the program is to develop campaigns through marketing and events that promote positive body image in Men and Women.
Calendar Girls had over 14 role models for young women to identify with and inspire from, the personal stories of these 14 women will be showcased in this unique calendar.
Theme for 2016 : Fairytales – each image for the photo shoot was inspired by the person’s own favourite character – the idea behind it is, the each one of us really are, “our own super heroes”.
We are grateful for all the amazing support from many individuals!
The Fashion Designers of Calendar Girls 2016:-
Aisha Alia – Hayaatii
Desi Sari Dewi
Reve Du Soleil
Calendar Girls Sponsors:-
RK rites (Ruqya Khan)
MAD (Mad About Dance Institute)
To learn more about w2w: firstname.lastname@example.org